Monday, December 8, 2014

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

I wish I had had more time in Charlottesville. The few days that I spent in Virginia were mostly packed with back-to-back site visits of destination wedding venues. That's what most people don't tell you about travel writing - when you're on assignment, you're lucky to spend an hour in any one place.

In fact, you're often rushing from appointment to appointment, connecting with and interviewing sources, snapping photos for reference, burying your head in a notebook, trying to write down all of the things that you'll need to remember for that article that's due next week, next month, maybe a year from now. It's a lot of fun, but it's no vacation.

Travel writing is my job, but it's also something that I love to do. So, I've decided to try and slow down on my trips and take the time to really enjoy a moment when it draws me in. In Charlottesville, that moment was the two hours (!!!) we spent at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. After a lunch of cheese, brick-oven pizza and an arugula salad (for good measure), we took advantage of the free picnic blankets they hand out to guests and sat down with our bottle to take in the rolling hills of fall foliage.

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

How do I describe the vibe at Pippin Hill? I'm not even sure...it just...was. It was busy enough to have a good flow, but not too busy to where you couldn't find your own plot of grass on the lawn. There were couples, groups of friends, families with infants flailing about happily in their Baby Bjorns. There was a carefree Saturday afternoon buzz in the air. Staff was friendly; not for the tips, but because they just are friendly in Virginia. It was perfect.

Pippin Hill is owned by a husband and wife team. He's got a background in advertising and she's a local weddings expert. It makes total sense. They've nailed it as far as hospitality goes...and it's not all about the superficial. Pippin Hill is absolutely beautiful, yes, but the food is also delicious and the wine is great.

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

While in Charlottesville, we stayed at The Boar's Head Inn, another place I would have loved to spend more time. It's charming, comfortable and very low-key - the kind of inn where guests congregate in the living room for coffee every morning and tea and pastries every afternoon. Our room was cozy but also very modern and it looked out onto the lake.

We woke up early one morning to take a walk around the property and ended up chatting with a couple who's daughter is going to college here in New York City. They were both UVA alums, in town for the big homecoming game that weekend, and en route to catch a party bus that was taking them to the stadium. They almost missed it because they were giving me their recommendations on other beautiful wedding venues to check out for my story. This is Virginia, friends.

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Charlottesville, VA - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

I also wanted to mention - on our ride up to Charlottesville from Richmond, we made a stop at Tuckahoe Plantation (pictured up top). It's Thomas Jefferson's childhood home. Now, the family that lives in the house rents the outdoor spaces for weddings and special events. The Southwestern girl in me still can't believe places like this exist...

PHOTOS BY: Stjepan Alaupovic
MORE INFO: Virginia Is For Lovers

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