What to do New Year’s when everything is closed…

Or it could be entitled, “What to do in Charlottesville that’s Free!”

We had some time off and decided to do the walk from little Kemper Park which is located on Rte 53 just below Michie Tavern and Carter’s Orchard. From this point you can walk about 3 miles up to Jefferson’s Monticello. Or, if the parking lot at Kemper Park is full, just drive up to Monticello, park your car, and do the walk backwards starting at the picnic area!

The second photo here shows the start of the walk. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the full walk, so don’t bring your pooch. There’s plenty of space at the bottom of the park to play with your pet, but they don’t allow them on the full walk up.

What is really great about this walk is that it was specifically engineered to that someone who is wheelchair-bound but in good shape can wheel the whole way up. It is a gentle slope and has suspended boardwalks where the land dips.

We checked out the plans for Monticello’s new Welcome Center which will be located at the parking lot. The ticket office is located here as well as the little bus that takes you up to the mansion should you not wish to walk the last mile up. We have heard that Brix will be opening a location here which would be exciting, so we hope it’s really going to happen!!

And here the last photo shows the picnic area which is off the side of the parking lot. If the parking lot at the start of the walk is full, people will park at Monticello, and do the walk backwards since you (at least right now) don’t have to pay to park at Monticello!

We are of course still running wine tours throughout the winter months. Some have cut back on their tasting room hours, so you may wish to call before going out to ensure they’re open. Most all will be open on weekends. They have many new wines due to be released around February!

Salut!

Erika & Chris

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