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Branch Out

I was standing there having the time of my life. But then it hit me…its 11:30 pm and I’m not on the Corner. I was not in a frat house, or in a friend’s apartment pregamming with familiar faces. How was it possible that I was spending my Friday night far away from the places I have grown so used to? I frantically took the opportunity to catch a cab ride back to the Corner, leaving my best friend to mingle on her own downtown. As I was riding away the panic of being stranded calmed down and then it hit me…it is time for me to finally branch out and explore. Charlottesville has so many special things to offer and all too often we forget to venture out and see what other things are out there. We have all gotten into the same routine…class, work, and head to the corner…and of course make a pit stop at our favorite frats. But for those of us who can, what about the many bars that downtown has to offer? Yes they are bit pricey, but there is nothing like spending quality time with the people you love over delicious martinis and drinks. Skybar offers a wonderful rooftop bar, with new people to meet, and delicious drinks to enjoy. Blue Light Grill has a young hip crowd, with interesting people happily willing to share their life stories. Starting a night downtown or staying until last call doesn’t mean you are abandoning UVA. It means you are willing to try something different and see what other drinks, people, and experiences this city has to offer.

Not convinced that you want to leave your “going-out nest” quite yet? There are so many fun day activities Charlottesville has to offer. Take a scenic drive down the beautiful Virginia mountains and end up at Blue Mountain Brewery. This gem of a spot offers over 10 different home-brewed beers, and has the wonderful option of a beer flight where a small tasting of each beer can be enjoyed. As if the beer and beautiful view overlooking the mountains wasn’t enough, the food is absolutely to die for. Not a beer fan? No worries! Charlottesville is filled with wonderful wineries, where you can enjoy wine tastings for as little as $10 for a tasting of 11 wines. Visit Jefferson Winery, located conveniently close to the University, with a beautiful view of all the green and mountains Virginia has to offer. Not a big drinker? I’ve got something for you. It currently is prime-time for apple picking, and Carter’s Mountain is just the spot to pick fresh Gold Delicious, Fuji, and many more types of delicious apples. If you are looking for a bit of a challenge, take on one of Charlottesville’s hiking trails, and take a whole different approach to working out.

Bottom line? Don’t feel like you have to fall into the same old routine every weekend, because there is so much more out there for you to do. Take a stab at trying something new and maybe you’ll find a new ritual activity to share with your friends. Every schedule needs to eventually be revised, and it might be time to fill in your day or night with something new!

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