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Meet Charlottesville and Albemarle County

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Charlottesville and Albemarle County at a Glance

Location: Central Virginia; 3 hours from the beach, 1 hour from Richmond, 2 hours from DC

Access: Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Airport; Amtrak

Major Meeting Hotels: The Forum Hotel by Kimpton; Boar’s Head Resort; Omni Charlottesville Hotel; DoubleTree by Hilton Charlottesville, Holiday Inn University Area

Hotel Rooms: 4,179

Off-Site Venues: Jefferson’s Monticello; Monroe’s Highland; Brick Cellar at The Dairy Market; The Wool Factory; North Fork Meeting Center at UVA Research Park

After-hours activities: Hiking trails; wineries, breweries and distilleries; historic sites; paddling the James and Rivanna rivers; shopping, dining and live music at downtown pedestrian mall

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Teresa Lamb, Sales Manager


If Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe did some time traveling and returned to Charlottesville and Albemarle County today, much would seem familiar — especially the historic grounds of the University of Virginia, which Jefferson designed. But the founding fathers, who spent many a day in meetings, would also be impressed by the region’s meeting venues. Charlottesville doesn’t have a convention center, but the city and surrounding Albemarle County, with a combined population of 150,000, have many appealing options for meetings of under 500 people. 

Charlottesville’s Historic Pedestrian Downtown Mall

UVA Venues

UVA is the impetus behind some of them. For years, its foundation has owned the Boar’s Head Resort west of town. Parts of the property date to the 1700s, but the 168-guest room resort is thoroughly modern, with a spa, a championship golf course, a top 25 tennis complex, a pool, trails, lakes and 22,000 square feet of meeting space.

And, UVA has another conference hotel in the works on its grounds. The 214-room hotel—scheduled to open in a few years—will have a 25,000-square-foot conference center with a 10,000-square-foot ballroom that will be the city’s largest. The hotel also will meet energy and environmental design standards.

Also, near UVA, the 198-room The Forum Hotel by Kimpton opened in the spring of 2023 adjacent to the university’s Darden School of Business. Red-brick Colonial outside and mod inside, the hotel and its more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space are bordered by gardens, an arboretum and an event lawn.

Downtown Dynamos

Downtown, a $15 million renovation at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel was completed in fall 2023. The renovation includes upgrades to its 208 guest rooms, newly added lobby bars and increased meeting space that now totals 14,000 square feet. The Omni Charlottesville Hotel sits on the western-most end of Charlottesville’s historic pedestrian mall, packed with restaurants, bars, music venues and shops. Upscale overflow accommodations are nearby in boutique hotels like the Quirk Hotel Charlottesville and The Draftsman, an Autograph Collection property.

Several preserved historic buildings also serve as venues. At the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, rotating exhibitions educate and enlighten during events. The Dairy Market has been a draw for ice cream and dairy treats since 1937. Now it is a food marketplace where entrepreneurs cook up everything from Thai and Latin American meals to pizza and beer, and meeting groups gather in its 6,000-square-foot Brick Cellar. The Wool Factory, a roomy, restored 19th century textile mill, hosts anything from small corporate dinners to celebrations for 500 or more.

The Dairy Market

Scenic Settings

Charlottesville’s inviting urban core pairs well with the undulating Albemarle County countryside. At The Clifton, a boutique inn on 100 acres five miles from town, 20 guest rooms and small meeting spaces are scattered in restored historic houses, cottages and a stable. Groups can hike forested trails in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills, paddle the Rivanna River or unwind on a trek along country roads.

Charlottesville and Albemarle County — voted Wine Region of the Year according to Wine Enthusiast — is home to some 40+ wineries along the Monticello Wine Trail. A number have meeting and event spaces, like the 3,600-square-foot Granary at Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards and the tasting and tap room at Mount Ida Reserve Winery.

Southwest Mountain Vineyard

Jefferson’s and Monroe’s former estates also welcome gatherings. At Monroe’s Highland, two miles from Jefferson’s Monticello, the climate-controlled Event Barn has two levels with seating at tables for 150 upstairs and 100 downstairs. And at the foot of the mountain upon which Monticello sits, a modern visitors center has classrooms, a theater and a patio for after-hours events. A gracious 1908 home called Montalto, located on a mountain Jefferson owned, looks down on Monticello. It is a secluded spot for board retreats and outdoor events on a lawn that overlooks Monticello and valleys below and mountains beyond. It’s a striking way to take in all the possibilities that Charlottesville and Albemarle County offer.