Okay, maybe they aren’t so secret. But if you go anywhere near Charlottesville, Virginia, make sure to visit the gorgeous grounds of University of Virginia and stroll through every one of the gardens behind the ten pavilions.
Of course as a proud graduate of University of Virginia, I am more than biased about the beauty of our grounds. Yes, grounds people, we do not call it a campus!
Thomas Jefferson designed the school, which opened in 1825. Professors lived in the ten pavilions and students lived in the rooms in between.
That is still the case today, and it is considered quite an honor to live on “The Lawn” even though you have to travel a ways to get to the bathrooms.
The Grounds were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and the gardens are open to the public. Students often use them as a quiet place to study, have a picnic or just relax.
I was there last weekend for the 150th anniversary of my husband’s fraternity and the gardens were in full bloom. We started the weekend with an elegant cocktail party behind Pavilion IX on Friday evening. Everything about it was perfect – the food, the company and the setting. TJ would have loved it.
Find out more at www.virginia.edu/uvatours/gardens
– Jan Schroder