Outstanding Things To Do In Charlottesville Va
Whether your fascination with Charlottesville, Virginia is based on its historical significance, its position beside the Blue Ridge Mountains, or something else entirely, this medium-sized city might just impress you.
Exploring some of the countrys most famous, and sometimes notorious, historical sites or traversing the many wineries could await you in this charming city literally built on top of Americana.
Here are 22 things to do in Charlottesville VA that you shouldnt miss!
Pick Fresh Fruit At Carter Mountain Orchard
If youre looking for family-friendly things to do in Charlottesville, spending an afternoon at Carter Mountain Orchard should be at the top of your to-do list! This is the place to go to pick your own fresh fruits and veggies straight from the orchard. Think apples, strawberries, peaches, and so much more !
Theres also the adorable Country Store & Bakery on-site, where you can shop for seasonal fruits and veggies, as well as an impressive selection of specialty foods. Plus, the bakery dishes out some seriously good apple cider donuts and other sweet treats everyone in the family is sure to love.
Carter Mountain Orchard is set high up on Carters Mountain Trail, so youll be treated to spectacular views of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you want to sample some local wine, you can even order a flight of Carter Mountain Wine from the on-site wine store, sit back and relax at an outdoor table, and enjoy the views.
Visit The Leander Mccormick Observatory
Exploring the night sky at Leander McCormick Observatory on the first and third Friday nights of every month is truly a one-of-a-kind stargazing experience.
Operated by the Department of Astronomy of the University of Virginia, it was once considered the worlds second-largest telescope back in 1885.
Be ready to get up close and personal with the authentic exhibits, tour the Observatory, marvel at celestial objects through the historic 26â McCormick Refractor or many other smaller telescopes, and get goosebumps by listening to astonishing presentations held by the astronomers.
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Learn About Slavery At Thomas Jeffersons Monticello
Thomas Jefferson built his Monticello farm, plantation, and estate in 1772, and it was the primary plantation and residence of the third President until his death in 1826.
It is now a designated National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its neoclassical architecture, sprawling grounds, and impressive collection of Jeffersons personal items and artifacts. But one of the most interesting, important, and sobering things about visiting Monticello is learning about its slave history.
Its possible to take a variety of tours that detail the realities of what life was like for the 400 slaves who lived and worked at Monticello. The Hemings Family Tour focuses on the Hemings family, one of the best-documented enslaved families in the US. Youll also learn all about the story of Sally Hemings, who was the mother of six of Jeffersons children.
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Fantastic Wineries Breweries And Cidereries In Charlottesville Va
Whether you’re exploring the region with Cville Hop On Tours or on your own, sampling local drink spots is one of our favorite things to do in Charlottesville. There are more than 30 wineries in a 30-mile radius, and Charlottesville has been cited as one of the top wine regions in the eastern US.
Here are a few of the breweries and wineries we’ve enjoyed during our Charlottesville getaways.
The names of Three Notch’d Brewings six flagship and many seasonal beers are inspired by Virginia history. The popular Ghost IPA pays homage to Confederate raider John Mosby and delivers a nicely balanced light hoppiness. Citrusy 40 Mile IPA references Jack Jouett, known as the Paul Revere of the South, who traveled Three Notch’d road to warn Thomas Jefferson about the approaching British calvary.
Star Hill Brewery, the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia, occupies a former ConAgra plant in nearby Crozet. Keep an eye on beer production from the open space as you sample from a long list of core and seasonal brews. We ordered Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel to goabsolutely delicious and fun to watch the crowler machine in action.
To the west in Crozet, King Family Vineyards features a large tasting barn next to a polo field. The 327-acre farm was started as a place to train and breed polo ponies, and you can watch polo matches on the field on summer weekends. Sip along with a glass or two of Croat, a dry Rose which has become the official polo wine.
Stroll Along The Downtown Mall
Located in historic downtown Charlottesville, the Downtown Mall offers limitless opportunities for those after a historic experience combined with leisure and entertainment.
Lined up around old Main Street, you will find many unique boutiques, art galleries, live music venues, nightclubs, and countless dining options to suit any taste.
The Mall has more than 120 shops and over 30 restaurants and cafes nestled in vibrant historic buildings.
Take part in ghost tours if youre down to get into a spooky mood, visit art galleries for some inspiration, or check out Saturday Farmerâs Market to taste the areas fresh produce.
Spend an evening with your special someone watching a movie in a historic cinema or enjoy a play at one of the finest theaters in Charlottesville.
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Things To Do For Couples In Charlottesville
Find the most romantic things to do in Charlottesville to ensure you have the perfect date! From romantic restaurants, to fun date ideas, find the best things for couples to do in Charlottesville.
From foodie delights to outdoor activities, luxury outings and cultural sights, couples in Charlottesville are spoilt for choice. Consider your loved ones interests when planning a date.
Take A Scenic Drive In Shenandoah National Park
Taking a day trip to Shenandoah National Park should be at the top of any nature lovers Charlottesville bucket list. With 500 miles of hiking trails, cascading waterfalls, towering peaks, and stunning lookout points, its impossible not to be enamored with this beautiful national park.
But if youve only got time for one activity, take a mini road trip along Skyline Drive. Youll want to allot a full day to tackle the 105-mile-long stretch of road. While the drive itself will take about three hours, youll want to leave plenty of time to hike at least a few trails and take as many photos as possible!
For some of the best views on Skyline Drive, youll want to stop off at The Range View Overlook and The Point Overlook. That being said, youll pass dozens upon dozens of viewpoints along the way. Time your visit with the first week of October, and youll be rewarded with spectacular views of the fall foliage.
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Cruise Along Skyline Drive In Shenandoah National Park
Taking a scenic drive on Skyline Drive is an experience you will never forget. Nestled along the crest of Virginias Blue Ridge Mountains, this is a 105-mile picturesque byway that runs through the entire Shenandoah National Park.
Hit the road and take advantage of breathtaking lookouts that will reward you with panoramic vistas of Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia Piedmont region.
The road also offers 75 overlooks that connect you with the parkâs campgrounds, major visitor centers, picnic areas, most trailheads, etc. The road trip will also lead you to some of the best waterfall hikes in VA!
Things To Do During Holiday In Charlottesville
Make the school summer holidays memorable by enjoying interactive exhibitions, childrens theatre shows and kid-friendly museums.
Charlottesville is a busy year-round destination. When visiting Charlottesville in December keep in mind that hotel prices and airfares are higher than in other months. As this is peak travel time to the city, visitors flood the most popular attractions, and stores get filled with shoppers, so make sure to plan your days out.
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Grab A Bagel At Bodos
Your Charlottesville trip wonât be complete without paying a visit to Bodoâs, the king of bagels in Charlottesville.
Serving as a Charlottesville institution since 1988, Bodoâs is the place to go for a quick bite or morning hangout.
It has become a favorite breakfast and lunch corner for UVA students, kids, families, office workers, and tourists to try their signature bagels topped off with mouth-watering sandwiches with avocado, egg and cheese, BLT, etc.
Friendly and professional staff, affordable prices, and charming atmosphere will guarantee your delicious experience, making you want to return every time you visit Charlottesville!
Blue Ridge Wine Excursions
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Blue Ridge Wine Excursions Private Wine Tours offers daily tours that can accommodate parties in size from two to fifty. The President of Virginia Tourism Corporation said this of her tour, “The day was magical their planning and execution exceeded my expectations.” Our Wine Trail Guide will escort you to 3-4 wineries or breweries. Tours last 5 hours. Inquire with our team to learn more, after reserving, to learn about food options and pricing. Visit our site for a full list of offerings and policies for larger groups. Blue Ridge Excursions Unlimited also provides Brewery Tasting Tours. Experience the best of the micro brewery scene on one of our custom day or evening Beer Tours. Add-on lunch options are available for a fee.
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The Ivy Inn Restaurant
The Ivy Inn Restaurant
The Ivy Inn Restaurant is a gorgeous dining establishment housed inside an 18th-century Charlottesville building.
The elegant restaurant is relaxing, with a welcoming and pleasant atmosphere and cozy furnishings.
Youll get the clear sense that youre in the South and that youre enjoying its famous hospitality!
The Ivy Inn Restaurant has four dining rooms and a covered outdoor patio.
Seasonal ingredients, locally sourced, create American dishes with small twists that make them more cosmopolitan.
With the tranquil atmosphere and the long wine list, having dinner here is probably among the most romantic things to do in Charlottesville, VA this weekend.
Dont forget to order dessert!
Address: 2244 Old Ivy Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903, United States
Ivy Inn Charlottesville Virginia
Located in the 18th century charming clapboard red house with a wide white porch about a mile from the University, Ivy Inn is romantic, tranquil and elegant. Ceiling beams, a cozy fireplace, and white damask tablecloths remind you that you are in the South, where a meal should be a relaxed, pleasant affair.
With four dining rooms and a spacious covered patio, the place is popular with large parties and groups. Chef/Owner Angelo Vangelopoulos uses local, seasonal ingredients to create his version of American cuisine, combining Southern favorites such as shrimps and grits with some more cosmopolitan treats, including a few delightful Greek dishes such as Lamb Served Two Ways. The Ivy Inn has very fine wine lists that feature a few good Virginia wines.
2244 Old Ivy Rd., Charlottesville, Virginia, 434-977-1222
“Best Things to Do in Charlottesville, Virginia for Locals & Tourists – Restaurants, Hotels” Back to Top or Beautiful places near me, what to do, restaurants for breakfast, travel guide, nearest beach
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Check Out The Fralin Museum Of Art At Uva
If you are into art and thirsty for some creativity and inspiration, then you should definitely check out the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.
The UVA Museum showcases 14,000 objects, including marvelous paintings created by famous American and European artists, photography, African, Asian, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art, etc.
Joanne B. Robinson Object Study Gallery provides a spacious area for showcasing the museumâs expanding collection, while the Print Study Gallery holds the museumâs most significant assets, such as prints, photographs, and drawings.
The finest items are even available for online browsing and studying to support the museums academic mission.
Things To Do In Charlottesville With Friends
When it comes to such vast cities like Charlottesville, it might be a bit intimidating to find the right activity for you. Oftentimes, people tend to give up and just go sightseeing, and while this great city has a lot to offer in that way, you could be potentially missing out on some unique and unforgettable activities. Fun things to do in Charlottesville with friends are around every corner, you just need to know where to look!
Charlottesville is a huge city, and so is the number of ways in which you can have fun here. We hope youve found something to your liking, which is highly probable, especially considering how unique and innovative some of the activities listed here are. Have as much fun as you can, and dont forget to like the article
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Popular Restaurants In Charlottesville
James River Batteau Cruise
Per the James River Tour site, the James River Batteaux were flat-bottom boats designed to navigate the shallow rivers of Virginia, specifically the James River. In that spirit, the James River Batteau Cruise Co. introduces guests to this type of boat they might not be familiar with in honor of that historical element.
This cruise company is the only one that offers a sunset cruise on the middle James River, while they also offer midday tours and private charters as well. You can even take a dip in the river during the cruise if you want to.
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Carter Mountain Orchard And Country Store
Head down the street from Monticello, or a few minutes outside of downtown Charlottesville, and youll stumble upon Carter Mountain Orchard and Country Store. This vineyard and fruit orchard has been a community favorite for years, and not just during apple season either. Because their offerings depend on whats in season, there is always something new to enjoy at Carter Mountain.
Also on the premises is Bold Rock Tap Room, which serves craft hard ciders and seltzers made from the orchards apples. On top of that, Carter Mountain has its very own wine shop, not to mention the apple butter and cider donuts. We could live on cider donuts.
Details: 1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA 22902 | Website
Albemarle Tourism & Adventure Center Crozet
The small town of Crozet packs a lot into its lovely spot at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Start your visit at the Albermarle Tourism Center to pick up maps and book adventures. The shop features locally made goods from a juried collection of 70 artisans. Visit on Second Saturdays to enjoy book signings and other entertainment.
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Eat Local In Charlottesville Virginia
National Geographic called Thomas Jefferson America’s First Foodie, and his devotion to local agriculture is reflected in an excellent range of dining options. There are so many excellent restaurants in Cville and throughout the county. We highlight a few options below, but you’ll find many more in our guide: 21 Favorite Local Restaurants in Charlottesville VA.
The downtown pedestrian mall is a favorite place to eat and drink local in Charlottesville. Citizen Burger Bar is our favorite stop for excellent, locally sourced burgers and tasty fries. For a more refined atmosphere, try Brasserie Saison.
On Main Street, The Ridley serves seafood and Southern cuisine in a lovely indoor-outdoor space. The restaurant opened in 2021 in the Draftsman Hotel, next to the University of Virginia.
A short drive from the downtown mall, Mas Tapas serves excellent Spanish tapas in a sleek and busy space. A favorite casual restaurant is Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, popular for tasty ribs and their famous biscuits.
National Geographic included Crozet Pizza on their Best in World list, and we absolutely loved The Hittie, a rich pie covered in sausage, onion, and peppers.