The Top 5 Reasons to Visit Prospect Hill

With some 24,000 bed and breakfasts in America, 320 in Virginia, and more than 40 in the greater Charlottesville, Virginia area, your options for unique places to stay are nearly limitless.  So, to help you narrow your options and plan your next getaway, we suggest these top five reasons to visit Prospect Hill Plantation Inn:

1) Experience an Authentic 1732 Southern Plantation…

Few plantations nowadays have their original slave quarters and plantation dependencies still standing.  At Prospect Hill, not only are eight of the original cottages still standing (including the summer kitchen, overseer’s cottage, carriage house, groom’s quarters, smoke house and original 1699 log cabin), they’ve all been transformed into some of the most unique guest accommodations anywhere!

2) Charlottesville is Virginia’s Coolest City…

This is Thomas Jefferson’s town, and history is her middle name.  The Declaration of Independence was written here; Three U.S. Presidents lived here (as did Patrick Henry, Lewis & Clark, and Jack Jouett); The largest all-cavalry battle of the Civil War was fought just 6 miles from Prospect Hill; Outdoor thrill-seekers cherish the nearby Shenandoah National Park; Wine and beer enthusiasts have more than 30 wineries and a half-dozen breweries to choose from; Local celebrities (including John Grisham, monticelloSissy Spacek, Dave Matthews, and Howie Long) are routinely spotted around town; and some of the best ACC college basketball plays right here in Charlottesville, the home of the University of Virginia Cavaliers!


3) You’ll Enjoy World-Class Dining at Prospect Hill…

As long as we have to eat… why not do it in style!  At Prospect Hill, we make dining an art form.  From our award-winning dinners (known throughout central Virginia), to our hearty, three-course gourmet breakfasts (delivered right to your cottage)… we love food, and it shows!  Vegetarian… no problem.  Gluten-free… that’s easy, just let us know.  Regardless of what first brought you to Prospect Hill, the food will ensure that you return!

4) We Specialize in Peace, Solitude, and Privacy…

Unlike many bed and breakfasts, we don’t make you sit with strangers, share a bathroom, or hang-out with the innkeepers.  prospecthill  porchSure, we’ll assist you with luggage, fireplaces, or directions as much or as little as you like… but mostly, we value your privacy. Stroll our stunning 40 acre grounds, explore nearly 2 miles of nature trails, watch the horses, alpacas & mini donkey romp in the fields, and hang-out under the stars.  Or even better, choose one of our secluded cottages, and we may not see you again until check-out.  Perhaps that’s one of the reasons we were recently named one of the ‘Top Ten Romantic Inns’ in America for 2015!

5) We Have 5 Teenaged Children…

The older they get, the smaller (and more electronic) their wants and desires become… Enough said.

Regardless of your reasons for selecting Prospect Hill Plantation Inn, we are honored that you did, and will work tirelessly to ensure that your stay is one of the most memorable highlights of your visit to Virginia.


What You Should Know About Virginia’s Historic Garden Week – 2015

Your Guide to Virginia’s 2015 “Historic Garden Week”

Coinciding with the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, the 87th Annual Historic Garden Week (April 18 – 25, 2015) offers a rare opportunity to visit Virginia’s most gracious homes and lavish, hidden gardens.  This 8-day, statewide event showcases more than two hundred fifty unforgettable gardens and beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 fabulous flower arrangements created by more than 3,400 Garden Club of Virginia volunteers.

Since its beginning in 1929, Historic Garden Week has raised some 17 million dollars for the restoration of public gardens across Virginia, including Mount Vernon, Monticello, and the grounds of the Executive Mansion in Richmond.  This year, there will be 41 separate tours throughout Virginia over eight consecutive days.  Known as “America’s Largest Open House”, it is the largest ongoing volunteer effort in Virginia.

Orange_Aerie_WC for Web

Historic Garden Week – Charlottesville Area

The rich cultural heritage of Thomas Jefferson’s era is on display in Charlottesville’s portion of 2015 Historic Garden Week, as several buildings on the tour reflect the influence of Jefferson’s classical architectural ideals.  Several of the featured properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and much of the land is still held in large farms, as it has been since the 18th century.

  • Morven.  A majestic three-story brick manor house built in the late Georgian/Federal styles.  Dating to 1820, the house was once owned by Thomas Jefferson.  In 2001, the 7,378- acre estate was given to the University of Virginia Foundation by the late John Kluge.  The extraordinary gardens boast a number of interesting varieties, including a pair of Osage orange trees, a state champion Chinese Chestnut, and a lovely dove tree.  Read more here.
  • Albemarle / Charlottesville. Close to the city-center of Charlottesville, this portion of the tour showcases several unique properties, ranging from restored Gillette gardens; to a modern, private home which seamlessly integrates the landscape with native and non-native specimens in colorful, expansive beds; to stately 19th and 20th century manor homes, representing the essence of refined country living in Central Virginia.  Read more about this portion of the tour right here.
  • Orange County. Highlighting three private homes, as well as the Barboursville Ruins, this garden-focused tour notes the evolution of farming and architecture along the Spotswood Trail near James Madison’s Montpelier.  Tours of Barboursville Vineyards are also available.  Learn more here.
  • Tuckahoe Plantation. Located less than 45 minutes from Prospect Hill in Goochland County, this tour of the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson showcases the most complete plantation layout in North America dating from the early 18th century, and includes the schoolhouse where Jefferson attended classes. More information is available here.

Majestic Colors

What Is It:

An 8-day statewide tour of 191 majestic homes and exquisite gardens.  Begun in 1929, more than 17 million dollars has been raised to preserve or restore some of Virginia’s most-cherished historic landmarks.  The Charlottesville portion of the tour will showcase numerous historic properties.


Dates / Schedule (for Charlottesville Area tours only):

Morven Estate:  Saturday, April 18th, 10 am – 5 pm

Orange County: Saturday, April 18th, 10 am – 5 pm

Tuckahoe Plantation: Wednesday, April 22nd – Friday, April 24th, 10 am – 5:30 pm

Albemarle/Charlottesville: Sunday, April 19th, 12 – 5 pm; Monday, April, 20th, 10 am – 5 pm

Saturday, April 18, 2015 through Friday, April 24th, 2015


Locations / Admission Fees:

Morven Estate, 791 Morven Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22902, $15 advanced, $20 onsite.

Albemarle / Charlottesville, $40 advanced ticket purchase

Orange County, $25 advanced ticket purchase

Tuckahoe Plantation, 12601 River Rd, Richmond, Virginia 23238, $10 plus Richmond tour ticket (grounds & gardens only tour free with Richmond ticket)

Tour ticket prices vary by location and range from $15 – $50 per tour. Advance tickets can be purchased online here or at various local outlets.  Tickets are also available at each tour location on the day of the event (not all tour locations can accept credit cards).

Enticing Gardens

What Else You Should Know:

This is a driving tour of properties throughout the Charlottesville and Central Virginia area.  Most of the homes and gardens are not handicapped-accessible due to multiple staircases, narrow unpaved roads and uneven walkways.  Once onsite, you will do a good bit of walking, so wear comfortable walking shoes.

Neither smoking, pets, nor photography is allowed inside the homes.  Children are welcome, but those under age 17 must be accompanied by an adult.  The tours occur rain or shine, except for Morven (in the event of rain, Morven tours will be cancelled.  Tickets, however, are not refundable).


Official Website:

The website for the 2015 Virginia Historic Garden week is here.

Where to Stay:

Our Inn sparkles like a jewel during the Spring, so as you plan your trip to Charlottesville, remember that we have our own captivating grounds (including a century-old arboretum) and fascinating history (our original cabin was built circa 1699 and is still available for guests… see it here.  In addition, we’ll pamper you with breakfast-in-bed and delight you with true Southern hospitality.  Book your stay with us today right here.



Posted in Charlottesville Events, Historic Garden Week, Things to do in Charlottesville, Visit Charlottesville, Why Visit Charlottesville in 2015

All You Need To Know About The Tom Tom Founders Festival

If you’re anxiously awaiting the next TED Conference, or you  find yourself inspired by innovation, block parties, concerts, competitions, and creative expositions, then perhaps you should make your way to Charlottesville, Virginia this coming April 10th – 14th.  The Tom Tom Founders Festival is designed for people just like you. tom tom

Created and hosted by the Tom Tom Foundation, a local not-for-profit that educates the public about innovation and entrepreneurship, the Tom Tom Founders Festival will inspire, energize, entertain, challenge, and most of all… change you.  Proceeds from this event create grants for the production and display of public art.

The Tom Tom Founders Festival will host numerous events, including…

Artists in Residence:

Every year in Charlottesville, Tom Tom hosts Artists in Residence which showcases specific artists who are working on public art in the community, or causing the public to engage with creative ideas.

Tom Talks

Tom Talks:

Some two dozen speakers at the Tom Talks will explore innovative ideas about education, technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership… with many of the themes emerging from The University of Virginia, the Charlottesville community, and beyond.  Each of these 10-minute talks will delve into cutting-edge research and reveal new ways of thinking and experiencing the world.  As a twist, each of the speakers is local to Charlottesville, and many of the trends covered are emerging in Charlottesville.


Tom Tom is a local and “friends of friends” festival, with more than 60 musical acts (almost all free) representing a broad swath of genres, including folk, hip-hop, Americana, electronica, R&B, rock, bluegrass, funk, and more.  In addition, the venues are as unique as the artists, including historic schools, parks, art museums, library steps, and micro-breweries.

$10,000 Pitch Competition:

Creatives pitch.  Judges critique.  YOU decide!  This crowd-sourced pitch night for creative artists, entrepreneurs of any kind, innovators, amateurs, professionals and enthusiasts just may produce the next big idea in Charlottesville, or the world!Tom Pitch

Everyone chips in $10, which buys entry and a vote to cast toward the winning idea. You’ll hear 10 quality ideas that need funding and the crowd decides who they want to support.  This all takes place at the ground-breaking i.Lab at U.Va, a unique community-facing incubator that is pioneering how business schools can interact with the community and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a City.

The pitches represent all Charlottesville and folks doing cool, innovative things here, and need that live kick-start to make things happen!

Tom Yum:

Tom Yum is a community food festival based in the heart of downtown and celebrating food innovators at the Charlottesville City Market.  In 2011, Forbes named Charlottesville the “locavore capital of the world.” During Tom Yum, come meet the farmers, chefs, artisans, and pioneers in sustainable food and see what all the fuss is about. Tom Yum

Play with your food. Learn about your food. And eat your food. It’s a day of hands-on workshops, food talks, culinary demos, and tastings. Try your hand at market-scene sketching and games. Revel in the sights and sounds of live bluegrass and classical music in a parking lot transformed into a pop-up park.

Grab your groceries at the market, participate in the arts and music at Tom Yum, and stick around for the Food Talks. This event is totally free and designed for the whole family. Bring an appetite, a sketchbook, and plan to stay a while.

 The Galant Challenge:

The Galant Challenge is an annual event that caps the entrepreneurial sprint at UVA. This is not a business plan competition. It’s not a mock “pitch” exercise. It is a REAL pitch event in which student teams convince real investors they deserve capital to launch their businesses!

There’s no “winner.” There’s no prize money. But the check-books are out from real angel investors and venture capitalists, and up to $250,000 is on the line to invest real money for seed equity in the startup.

In the Tom Tom Wildcard, the ten semi-finalists will pitch their ideas, and get feedback from a panel of judges. Three finalists will be chosen, two by the judges and one by the crowd, to convene at the end of April in the finals.

2014 Tom Tom Founders Festival:

So here are the details:  It’s all taking place between April 10th and 14th, 2014  at more than 50 venues throughout Charlottesville, Virginia.  Almost everything is free, but some events require registration (due to space limitations).  If you want, you can register here.

As the venues are spread throughout downtown, the parking situation varies.   Charlottesville offers plenty of parking, just plan on having to walk a bit.  The attire for most events is casual, but our weather in April weather can be unpredictable (bring a light jacket).

Numerous sponsors make the Tom Tom Founders Festival possible, such as Skyline Tent Company, R.L. Beyer Custom Homebuilders, Relay Foods, Wild Wolf Brewing Company, McGuffey Art Center, ArcheMedX, WTJU 91.1 FM, 106.1 The Corner, Festive Fare, SNL Financial,, Piedmont Council For the Arts, Perrone Robotics, Rimm-Kaufman Group, Biovista, Royer Caramanis & McDonough, Cardagin, Blue Ridge Bank, WNRN, Union First Market Bank, AIA Central Virginiaand Photo Works Group.

Now that you know all about the Tom Tom Festival, it’s time to plan your trip.  We invite you to stay with us at Prospect Hill Plantation Inn Nestled on the outskirts of Charlottesville,  our unique bed & breakfast boasts an authentic Southern plantation complex essentially as it existed in 1732.  Escape to one of our original plantation cottages, long-since transformed into your own rustic, yet refined hideaway. Secluded on 40 acres, the magic of our romantic bed and breakfast invites you to linger, to breathe, and to slow your pace to that of another era.  Click here to view our accommodations.