On a tip from the Monticello house tour guide, we ventured the five miles over to the University of Virginia to see the Rotunda and were stunned by the beauty of the building and the campus.
We actually took the self guided Rotunda tour instead of waiting for a guided tour. The Rotunda is open from 9:00-4:45 and there are guided tours five times a day. Another option is to pick up a brochure and read through it while touring the building. Either option is free and well worth the time.
Jefferson designed the original Rotunda building, which burned to the ground in the late 1800's. The building was a rebuilt in a similar style but does have a few differences than the original.
Not to be missed is the climb to two floors above the basement entrance to the dome room. There is an absolutely gorgeous skylight and the room is modeled after the Panteheon. A great architectual detail are the bookshelves that encircle the room but are not noticeable from the center of the room.
After you see the Rotunda, take time to walk around the rest of the campus. The central lawn area facing the Rotunda is fascinating with the unique columned Academical Village. Besides that, there are many other beautiful buildings all over the campus.
The best bet for public parking is the Central garage located beneath the bookstore on Emmett St. between McCormick and University. It is a short five minute walk from the garage to the Rotunda and the parking fees are not outrageous. I recommend visiting the University of Viriginia website and printing out a campus map before visiting.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC