CVS Layover - Where to Dine and What to See?

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George

Lead Service Attendant
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Jul 11, 2008
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I will be travelling in a roomette to ATL in mid-April on CZ, Cardinal, and Crescent. If Cardinal and Crescent arrive and depart on schedule, I will have a little more than five hours in CVS, from 3:35pm to 8:50pm. I know nothing about CVS station and the town around it.

My inclination is to get out and about on foot if time permits. I would enjoy having a fine restaurant meal after ten or so train meals en route, and I see several interesting restaurants listed along Main Street.

Some questions:
  1. Does anyone have any favorite CVS restaurants?
  2. If the Cardinal arrives late and I don’t have time to dine ashore, will dinner still be available at 9:00pm on the Crescent?
  3. Will I be able to check my roller suitcase at the CVS station, either to pick up when I re-board, or check it in the Crescent baggage car to ATL. Although it’s airplane carry-on size, i wouldn’t want to drag it into a fine restaurant.
  4. Finally, let’s say I have three and a half hours not including dinner. Where would you suggest I explore in the city?
Thanks for any thoughts and suggestions.
 

River in Sight

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Sep 22, 2015
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I’ve taken many trips to Charlottesville via train, usually staying at the Quirk which is a very short walk from the station. One of my favorite restaurants is Hamilton’s (Hamiltons) which is on the downtown mall. You could walk there in 10-15 minutes and spend some time browsing the many shops on the downtown mall.

You could also visit UVA but it’s on the opposite side of town, so depends on how much time you have.

If you were really ambitious you could do Monticello, but I don’t think you’d have enough time before it closed for the day to do it justice.

If you like beer, I always enjoy Random Row (Random Row Brewing Co. - Crafting Community Since 2016) which also serves pizza. It’s actually right alongside the train tracks, maybe a 10 minute walk north of the station.
 

George

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Hamilton's looks great. I've just checked out their menu. Unfortunately, it appears they are closed Sundays. (I've noticed several Charlottesville restaurants are.) My connection happens to fall on a Sunday. But thanks for your suggestion. If I have time, I'll check out the downtown mall. And luckily, Random Row is open Sundays 'till 8pm. Gives me just enough time to roll back to my 8:520train departure.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Although it’s airplane carry-on size, i wouldn’t want to drag it into a fine restaurant.
You’re not a REAL traveler until you’ve dragged a rollerboard into a restaurant with you!

But I’m guessing the station agent will help you out, if they are in a good mood that day!
 

River in Sight

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Sep 22, 2015
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Unfortunately, it appears they are closed Sundays. (I've noticed several Charlottesville restaurants are.)
Yes, a lot of restaurants in Charlottesville are closed Sunday. Last time I was in town on a Sunday I went to Public Fish and Oyster, it is a bit on the pricier side but the food was very good. It's nearly just across the street from the train station.
 

George

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I went to Public Fish and Oyster, it is a bit on the pricier side but the food was very good. It's nearly just across the street from the train station.
It does indeed look good. And I won't mind dropping a few extra $$ after being on the train for three+ days. Maybe I'll start at Random Row and end up at Public Fish before re-boarding. Of course, everything will depend on Amtrak's punctuality, including me being able to make the CZ-Cardinal connection in CHI. Whatever happens, it's going to be fun on my first cross-country Amtrak in 11 years.
 

River in Sight

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Maybe I'll start at Random Row and end up at Public Fish before re-boarding.
Sounds like a great afternoon/evening! Public Fish has a relatively small inside, and a large patio with heaters, which would probably be pleasant in April. They do take reservations on OpenTable which I would recommend.

I will leave you with two other options right on that strip: Doma (Korean, very casual) and Little Star (I have never personally eaten here but it always smells amazing and has a great reputation). All three of those options are within a 5 minute walk of the station.

There are two crossing rails at Charlottesville. To get up to the Random Row area, you would north right along the platform the Crescent (not Cardinal) uses, exit through the parking lot, and keep walking north right alongside the tracks through a neighborhood until you get to Random Row. It's around 10 minutes. Two other options in that area are Rockfish Brewing (right up the street from Random Row; I prefer Random Row myself) and the Dairy Market, further up the road from Rockfish, which is a beautiful building with a number of food, drink and shopping options.
 

BCL

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There’s some third rate trade school in town that has a rather expansive campus.

You can go to a gift shop and look for a t-shirt:
View attachment 26729
I had a coworker who was a UVa grad. And our HR director was a Maryland grad. Man the vitriol she had for Uva - especially "It's not a charm school". But they got along fine, but she absolutely hated UVa.
 

George

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Jul 11, 2008
Messages
327
Location
San Francisco
Sounds like a great afternoon/evening! Public Fish has a relatively small inside, and a large patio with heaters, which would probably be pleasant in April. They do take reservations on OpenTable which I would recommend.

I will leave you with two other options right on that strip: Doma (Korean, very casual) and Little Star (I have never personally eaten here but it always smells amazing and has a great reputation). All three of those options are within a 5 minute walk of the station.

There are two crossing rails at Charlottesville. To get up to the Random Row area, you would north right along the platform the Crescent (not Cardinal) uses, exit through the parking lot, and keep walking north right alongside the tracks through a neighborhood until you get to Random Row. It's around 10 minutes. Two other options in that area are Rockfish Brewing (right up the street from Random Row; I prefer Random Row myself) and the Dairy Market, further up the road from Rockfish, which is a beautiful building with a number of food, drink and shopping options.
This is great advice. Thanks! I'm starting to get excited.
 

Ryan

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Off looking for his sense of humor
I had a coworker who was a UVa grad. And our HR director was a Maryland grad. Man the vitriol she had for Uva - especially "It's not a charm school". But they got along fine, but she absolutely hated UVa.
In all fairness I dated a beautiful young lady from "U"Va for three of my four years in Blacksburg, so I have many fond memories of that campus the grounds (sadly we broke up before she lived on the lawn her senior fourth year). But yes, part of the degree conferral process at VPI brings forth the legal obligation to make fun of Hooville and anything associated with it at all times.
 

BCL

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In all fairness I dated a beautiful young lady from "U"Va for three of my four years in Blacksburg, so I have many fond memories of that campus the grounds (sadly we broke up before she lived on the lawn her senior fourth year). But yes, part of the degree conferral process at VPI brings forth the legal obligation to make fun of Hooville and anything associated with it at all times.
I'm a Cal grad, so what do I know about school rivalries in that part of the country? But I do remember how weird it was at work. He had no idea that she hated UVa. But the UVa grad just shrugged it off. Kind of weird too because he was actually from Virginia and she was from Maryland, with both settling in California.
 
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