Charlottesville, Virginia Travel Guide: Best Restaurants, Wineries, Hotels, Historic Sites, and More

Address: 1827 University Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Phone: (434) 924-0311

You can’t come to Charlottesville without walking around the UVA campus. Start your tour at the lawn, a grassy area designed by Thomas Jefferson to be the center of the university. The Lawn is surrounded by academic and residential buildings dating back to the early 1800s. To this day, final year students can live in some of the original Lawn buildings – a prestigious honor. At the north end you will see the Rotunda, one of the most recognizable buildings on campus. During the academic year, tours of the Rotunda are offered every day at 11am.

Visitors should also take the time to see the Memorial of Slave Laborers (MEL) at the University of Virginia, a short walk east of the Rotunda. Completed in the spring of 2020, the memorial honors the approximately 4,000 slaves who built and maintained the university for four decades.

If you continue north you will come across Beta Bridge on Rugby Road. Thanks to its passionate alumni, UVA has countless traditions, one of which is to paint the bridge with messages of support, activism, love and remembrance. The messages are constantly changing – so much so that the bridge has developed a thick coat of paint over the years – but most students give each new message at least a day before painting on it.