Living in this area for 14 years, I have compiled a list of top daytrip destinations. The #1 seed on that list has always been Charlottesville, Virginia, and more particularly, Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello. It wasn’t until this last month that I was actually able to get to Charlottesville for this special day. If you know me and have read my blog for any amount of time, you know I what i like: Plants. Architecture. History. Books. Photographic Opportunities. Monticello ticks off ALL of those interests in excess.
I was visiting my sister in Richmond and we drove over to Charlottesville for the day. It was a warm day and only a few days after the weird week that included both an earthquake AND a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic. In fact, we passed the small town of Mineral, Virginia – the epicenter of the 5.3 quake – on our drive towards Monticello. I made sure to ask the docent who led our tour about any effects at Monticello. Surprisingly, there were none! Such a surprise being so close to the epicenter, where areas in Washington, DC had some medium-grade structural damage… Good news for this landmark, the only historical houses on the United Nations World Heritage Site list!
The house itself is beautifully preserved with many original furnishings, floorings, and decor, but unfortunately, they are off-limits for photography (there are images on the website if you do want to peek…), so I focused my photography on some of the incredible gardens surrounding the property.
Celosia cristata “Pink Spiked” with Monticello in background
Heirloom okra varietal – probably Hibiscus esculentus
“Joseph’s Coat” Amaranthus tricolor
The true beauty of the garden/natural travel destinations is that you can go back at a different time in the year and have a completely new experience. We particularly enjoyed seeing these late summer blooms, but the gardens would be spectacular throughout the year. The day we went was warm and we didn’t get to venture out onto the trails and as much of the surrounding areas, so I am saving those experiences for my next trip – there will most definitely be one, and I’m not going to let 14 years pass before I go again!