Charlottesville, Virginia, is blessed with an abundance of historic landmarks dating back to the very dawn of our country. These include Monticello, Ash Lawn Highland, The University of Virginia, and of course, Michie Tavern. When you visit these incredible destinations, you can hear history echoing in your footsteps as you explore.

Winter weather poses the perfect opportunity to visit Thomas Jefferson’s world, preserved in an almost perfect state. While we all know about his home atop the mountain at Monticello. Only half a mile away sits an equal treasure, Michie Tavern. Founded in 1784, Michie Tavern is a place where travelers have been enjoying food, drink, and lodging for well over 200 years.

The History of Michie Tavern

The Tavern served as the social center of the community and was originally based in Earlysville, just a few miles from its current location. You can imagine founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison all meeting there in the middle of their three estates for some good food and even better company. How many restaurants in Charlottesville can claim that kind of historical glory?

It was owned by the Michie family for more than 100 years. In 1910, the family sold the property to the Virginia Commonwealth. It was purchased in 1927 by Josephine Henderson, who moved it seventeen miles to be near Monticello. The entire building was carefully dismantled and reassembled in a picturesque setting. It’s quite literally on your way up the mountain to Monticello and James Monroe’s home of Ash Lawn Highland.

Classic, Southern Dining

Today, visitors of all ages can experience 18th century Virginia. Waiters in period clothing serve a classic southern midday luncheon. The menu at the restaurant is exclusively southern, featuring fried chicken, hickory-smoked pork barbecue, buttermilk biscuits, and black-eyed peas. If you’re looking to stay true to the classic dining experience, Michie Tavern is a must-visit.

When the weather is blustery and cold, your family and friends can enjoy a meal next to a fire burning hearth.  Afterwards, take a self-guided tour of the oldest part of the lodge. Michie Tavern also features four separate gift shops. The Tavern-Museum Shop, The Metal Smith Shop, The Armory & Artifact Shop and The General Store each provide a one-of-a-kind experience above and plentiful shopping opportunities.

More Activities in Central Virginia

Looking for more to do in the Charlottesville area? Check out our articles on popular hikes and fall activities.



Photo copyright 2012, Bill McChesney entitled “Lunch With Jackie at Michie Tavern October 2, 2012” and is published under the Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.