My husband and I just celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary on October 30th. To celebrate we took a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The fall is the best time (in my opinion) to visit this area because the weather is gorgeous and the leaves are stunning. Chuy loves to travel and of course we brought him along after we found out how dog friendly the Charlottesville area is. I wanted to put together a dog friendly guide to Charlottesville, Virginia based on our experience with Chuy Chihuahua.
Charlottesville sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and makes a perfect home base for day trips around the area. Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia and the famous Monticello. It’s about a 3 hour road trip from the Hampton Roads area.
Dog Friendly Hotel in Charlottesville
We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Charlottesville, VA. It was pretty challenging finding a decent hotel because we unknowingly planned to go during UVA Homecoming Weekend. Keep that in mind when traveling to Charlottesville. Any time there’s a home game, hotels are far and few between. I’m really picky about hotels and won’t lay my head just anywhere. Marriott is extremely trustworthy as I’ve never had any issues with their hotels!
Our room had a separate living area, full kitchen, and master bedroom. After Chuy smelled and investigated every inch of the room, he settled right in! The Residence Inn Charlottesville is pet friendly, has free parking, free wifi, and free breakfast. These are all things I look for when I’m traveling. There are pet stations located throughout the property with complimentary poop bags!
Carter Mountain Orchard with a Chihuahua!
We started our Saturday morning by venturing up to Carter Mountain Orchard which was about a 20 minute drive from our hotel. I will warn you that once you turn into the orchard property, it’s an extremely steep mountain with NO shoulder or guard rail. Please use caution going uphill and be sure to secure your dog. I don’t recommend letting them hang out the window!
Carter Mountain Orchard is extremely dog friendly. We saw lots of other families and couples there with their fur babies! Here is my recommended “bucket list” when visiting Carter Mountain Orchard:
Must Do’s at Carter Mountain Orchard
Mountain Views. The views on top of Carter Mountain are phenomenal! You have to snap a few pics of the view although pics don’t do it justice.
Apple Picking. You cannot go to an orchard without picking a few apples! We ventured out into the orchard and brought home some fresh Granny Smith and Rome apples. Let me tell you, there’s a huge difference between these apples and the ones I normally get at the store. They are so juicy and sweet! I’ve been eating apples in my green smoothies and grilling them on my sandwiches and salads!
Apple Cider Donuts. All the reviews I read RAVED on and on about the Apple Cider Donuts. I figured the hype couldn’t be true. Wrong! They are totally irresistible! You HAVE to try some of the apple cider donuts and of course wash it down with a cup of hot cider! We bought some to bring home and they didn’t last very long . . .haha
Wine Tasting. Carter Mountain Orchard also has a wine tasting area where they sell their own wine. Nothing better than sipping on some bubbly while taking in the mountain views! I’m sad to say my wine bottle never made it home . . I wish that was because I drank it but it actually fell out at the gas station on the way home. Boo!
Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mall
After our adventure at Carter Mountain Orchard we were starving! We went back to the room to freshen up a bit and headed out to the Downtown Mall. This mall is perfect for dogs!
ALL of the restaurants offer outdoor seating and they openly welcome dogs. We ended up eating at Citizen Burger Bar which is delicious. I had a lobster roll and my husband had a burger. Chuy even had some bacon! Since it was the weekend before Halloween, they had a trick or treating event which made for great people watching. There were tons of dogs dressed in their costumes too! Chuy fit right in with his favorite skull hoodie.
The next day we set out for a little adventure at Crabtree Falls. This was about an hour drive heading west towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. Crab Tree Falls is a bit intense and you really should be careful. Don’t even think about attempting it with your dog not a leash. They can easily run off and fall off a cliff. We actually ended up carrying Chuy a good part of the way because the incline was too much for him. If your dog isn’t used to this kind of activity I wouldn’t recommend it. Especially a big dog that you can’t carry! Check out this mini video I made at Magisto of Chuy at Crabtree Falls!
The views are incredible and totally make the hell of climbing up a mountain worth it! Please listen to the caution signs and do not even think of attempting to climb on the rocks around the falls. Almost 30 people have died here trying to do that because they don’t realize how slippery it is. As long as you stay on the path, you’ll be fine. I did slip and fall down one of the steps coming down and hurt my back. It’s probably because I didn’t have the right type of boots on. Make sure to wear boots/shoes that have a good grip.
Blue Mountain Brewery
After our hike, we were STARVING! I mean we really worked up an appetite! We headed further west to a local brewery called the Blue Mountain Brewery. My husband and I are not big beer drinkers (rum is another story lol) but when in
Rome the Blue Ridge Mountains you have to at least try it!
We ordered what they call the Sampler Flight. It consists of 9 of their brews which are each 2.5 ounces. Trust me, they look bigger than they are. It’s the angle, I promise!
We brought Chuy’s Kong to keep him busy while we go our eat on! I always recommend bringing this when you travel with dogs. It’s a life saver!
PS – I highly recommend the crab dip as an appetizer at Blue Mountain Brewery!!
Blue Ridge Parkway
It was perfect timing because right as we finished lunch we had just enough time to get over to the Blue Ridge Parkway for sunset! Nothing beats the Blue Ridge in the Fall at sunset. The colors of the foliage are breathtaking.
Conclusion: Charlottesville is Extremely Dog Friendly!
We give Charlottesville 4 paws up for how incredibly dog friendly the city is! We had a blast! Little Chuy slept all 3 hours in the car on our drive back home to Virginia Beach. He was spent! We had the most amazing time and I highly recommend Charlottesville, Virginia to anyone for an active/fun weekend getaway with a dog. It’s awesome to go to a city that welcomes you and your pup with open arms. We will definitely be back!
Happy 3rd Anniversary to the love of my life . . . and many more!!!
Love + Paws,
Aimee + Chuy Chihuahua