Embraced by the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and lush pasturelands dotted with prized horses, the picturesque Charlottesville area lies two hours southwest of Washington, D.C. This is the genteel heartland of Virginia, its countryside home to numerous historic estates, including the restored residences of three presidents who held power during America’s formative years: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland. Jefferson also founded and designed the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (now designated a UNESCO World Heritage site). 

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