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Dec 9, 2008 06:35 PM

New Year's Eve in Charlottesville or Annapolis

Hi- we live in DC area and want to head out not too far from our toddlers but away for 1-2 nights with friends (so no kids)-- any ideas of where in C'ville or Annapolis would be good for a new year's eve event? we're fine with all inclusive as long as it's not bad food.. I saw some deals at Boar's head in C'ville which was pricey but that is a nice place.. also saw Lowes in Annapolis was ok rate but no (at least yet) NYE event..

would appreciate some help getting away but not bad food and overly cheesy.. thanks!

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  1. Have spent several weekends at both (stayed at the Boar's Head but not Lowes). The drive to Charlottesville down 29 is scenic no matter what time of year (when the Blue Ridge come into view around Madison). If you stay for two nights, C'ville is obviously more rural and offers different options of things to do than Annapolis, mainly touring the countryside and visiting wineries which is fun anytime of year. We do a C'ville wine tour with friends once sometimes twice a year so I can offer lots of recs if you go there. Several are nice enough to while away a couple hours in front of the fireplace while staring at the mountains. And I have lots of restaurant recs for C'ville. Had a magnificent anniv. dinner at The Boar's Head restaurant last year, and they have a fabulous brunch. Can't speak to their New Years Eve event, but really like the rooms there (though prefer the older part of the Inn if I had to pick). Anything they would plan though would be top notch. Again if staying two nights, there are plenty of other great places to eat in and around the downtown Mall at all price points. If the weather's not too ridiculous, the downtown Mall is also a great place to kick around for the afternoon. One of a kind shops, galleries, etc.

    If considering Annapolis and you like live music, I'd check out the Ram's Head. They probably have a special new year's eve event. We usually plan our weekends there around a show. But regardless, Annapolis is a great place for strolling the historic streets, shopping, eating and being near the water. Though in my opinion, if you're staying two nights, C'ville has many more good restaurant and bar options.

    Hope that helps a little! Let us know what you decide, and I'll be glad to offer specific rest/bar recs.

    1. Hi Lisa. For some reason my initial reply to you didn't save. Ughh. So I'll try and recap.

      Have spent many weekends in both towns. Love the Boar's Head, never stayed at Lowe's. C'ville is obviously more rural and is a beautiful drive down Rt. 29 any time of year when the Blue Ridge come into view around Madison. If you're stying two nights there are lots of wineries around C'ville and some that are great for whiling away an afternoon in front of the fireplace staring at the mountains (and drinking, of course). Had a magnificent anniv. dinner at the BH last year. Love their dining room and their chef, though it's resort pricey. They also have an incredible Sun. brunch. Any new year's event that they put on would be top notch. If you're staying for two days, the Downtown Mall is a great place to kick around, weather permitting. Independent shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, etc.

      I'd check out the Ram's Head in Annapolis for New Years Eve, I'm sure they have a special event/performance. We usually plan our Annapolis weekends around a show there. Annapolis is great for kicking around the historic streets, shopping and being near the water. IMO, C'ville offers more choices of good restaurants and bars at all price points. Though we love both towns.

      Look forward to hearing what you choose and will be glad to offer more specific rest. recs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Meg

        How bizzare. After hitting refresh 4 times I couldn't see my original post. Then when the second one appeared the first magically did too.

        1. re: Meg

          some times it takes a while, if I've done a long and for once helpful post I usu. do a ctrlA ctrlC just in case then hit reply - if it hasn't posted in 10 minutes or so, it's still on my clipboard. It also depends on how you go back to the board.

          if you haven't been to C'ville you have to stop by Monticello.

          if it's a hungover drive back there's an old Eat-Rite diner on 29 a bit North of town. I don't know it for a fact, but I think they still do their fries in suet.

          also on 29 is a charming place advertising "Antiques, Guns and Fireworks" - a heady combination.

      2. I hope this isn't too late, but I lived in Annapolis, and I always found that you kind of have to do their First Night as everyone participates, and if you are into group kind of crowded slightly cheesy experience it is fun, I think it is more fun with a group. But it is fun the first year the other years if you live there you are annoyed because it is always the same.

        I would do Charlottesville myself, but that would probably be more low key fun, and that is more my style.

        1. There are two wonderful getaway places near Charlottesville (but not in town).

          The 1804 Inn is on the property of Barboursville Vineyards. Suites with antiques and views of the ruins there. It's small and intimate. The restaurant on-site, Palladio is outstanding. C'ville is about 20 minutes further south.

          Keswick is another option. Big roaring fires in the lobby fireplaces, and very good food at their Fossett's restaurant. It's nearer Monticello. Feels like staying in an English country manor.

          If you want to stay in town, I would go for 200 South Street Inn. Not nearly as luxurious as the other 2, but puts you right at the downtown mall (an outdoor pedestrian mall, with concert venue and ice skating rink). If you are there, then there are several fantastic restaurants that are walkable. My all time favorite is the C&O restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DC_Convert

            Ditto for the C&O. It's also my very favorite place in town. I'm sure the 1804 is booked for new year's but the vineyard also has two old slave cabins that were converted for guests. Very rustic compared to the 1804 and smaller, but we loved our stay there. And I'm sure Palladio has a New Year's Eve event.