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We walked down through the hospital campus to have brunch at the Oakhurst Inn Cafe and Espresso Bar .We knew we had plenty of time to linger over a great meal before we had to board our train. By this point they didn’t even ask where the car was or if we could carry them.

Family travel is stressful, especially when you start to think about packing the car for a quick weekend getaway around Washington, D. The Beltway (AKA 495, the ring road around DC) backs up before 3pm, tempers start to rise and somewhere a kid is already puking because he is carsick (that would be my kid by the way).Amtrak with kids is a great alternative to the headache that can come from driving to some of Virginia’s most scenic destinations.There were plenty of restaurants, coffee spots, parks and shops to explore within a block or two of the hotel, thanks to the college campus being so close.We could have walked to the hotel, but given the late hour we opted to Uber to the hotel with the kids.We had packed a picnic dinner to eat on the train since we wouldn’t arrive until after 9pm, well past my youngest son’s bedtime. My husband and I made a little toast to our first stress-free weekend getaway in a very long time.

When you arrive into Charlottesville, the Amtrak train station almost splits the town in half.

If we had been in town longer, I would have looked into bike rentals from a shop.

Charlottesville has more than enough to keep a family busy for the weekend without overwhelming you.

When my family and I decided it was high time we explored the home of Thomas Jefferson, I wasn’t sure how we could pull it off. We really didn’t need more than a full day to explore, but the drive down and back would take up most the day.

There was no way we were leaving on a Friday after work and coming back on Sunday in all of that traffic though. Tickets were booked and two small bags were packed.

There are several shops on the Michie Tavern property to explore and buy antiques, but the General Store is where kids will want to spend their vacation allowance. may be lacking in UNESCO World Heritage sites, but Charlottesville has two of them.