Things to Do in Charlottesville VA: Your Complete & Quick Guide on the Best Attractions Around Charlottesville Virginia

Whether you are a local looking for something fun to do on the weekend, or a tourist visiting Virginia for the first time, we have put together a list of the top things to do in Charlottesville VA.

things to do in charlottensville va

This charming city that offers a bit of everything for everyone. From downtown shopping and dining districts to world-renowned historical attractions and outdoor activities close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are so many things to do in Charlottesville VA.

Starting from Downtown Charlottesville

Downtown Charlottesville is a great place to start your exploration of the city. Home to many shops, restaurants, and businesses, downtown is also where you will find a number of historical attractions. The Historic Downtown Mall is a pedestrian shopping district lined with trees and cobblestone streets. This area is also home to the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center, which offers tours of Monticello.

Home to Thomas Jefferson & James Monroe

Just outside downtown Charlottesville is Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and grounds, or explore on their own. Be sure to visit the plantation’s winery and vineyards for a taste of Virginia wine country. Next up on our presidential tour is Thomas Jefferson, who was born just a few miles from here in Shadwell, Virginia. He was, of course, our third president and author of the Declaration of Independence. Now, most people know that Jefferson was quite the renaissance man, as he could speak five languages fluently, loved to play the violin. But did you know he liked to dabble in architecture and horticulture as well? He designed his own home, Monticello, which is just a short drive from here. And he grew over 250 different varieties of vegetables on his plantation. Quite the green thumb!

James Monroe

James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States, and he served from 1817-1825. He was born in Virginia, and later became a lawyer and statesman. He played a major role in the development of the United States Constitution and the government system we have today. In 1826, James Monroe moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, and he lived there until his death in 1831. His residence is called the Highland. During his time in Charlottesville, Monroe was a mentor to many young people, including James Madison and John Tyler. He also helped to establish the University of Virginia.

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Today, Charlottesville is a beautiful city with lots of history. It’s home to the University of Virginia, as well as many historical landmarks. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to check it out!

Scenic Drives

A short drive from Charlottesville takes you to Skyline Drive, a scenic highway that winds through Shenandoah National Park. This area is perfect for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are over 500 miles of hiking trails in the park, so you can find the perfect hike for your skill level and interests. Be sure to visit one of the park’s many waterfalls, including Dark Hollow Falls, which is one of the most popular hikes in the park. Still looking for something different to do in Charlottesvile VA?

Paradise for Wine, Beer & Cider Lovers

Charlottesville is also home to many wineries, breweries, and cideries. The Jefferson Vineyards are a must-visit for wine lovers, and Three Notch’d Brewery offers tours and tastings of their locally-made craft beer. If you like sour apples in a drink, go to Albemarle Ciderworks or Castle Hill Cider. For those with a sweet tooth, try some apple cider donuts in Carter Mountain Orchard.

Michie Tavern

The Michie Tavern is a historic inn and restaurant located in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was originally built in 1784 as a stagecoach stop and tavern on the Main Road between Richmond and Knoxville. The Michie Tavern is now open for lunch and dinner, and offers historical tours of the property. They also have a gift shop on site, which sells local art, crafts, and food items. Some of my favorite items on the menu include the stewed tomatoes, pulled pork, and the scrumptious fried chicken.

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Travelling with Kids

Families with children will find plenty of things to do in Charlottesville VA as well. The Virginia Discovery Museum is a great place for kids to learn and play, and the John Paul Jones Arena hosts family-friendly events throughout the year. Other things to do for kids include visiting the Virginia Zoo, going for a horse-drawn carriage ride, or taking a scenic train ride through the countryside.

If you are looking for more things to do in Charlottesville with your children, go to the Rivanna River. It is a nice place to be outside, walk around and go canoeing or kayaking. You name it!

There are also a few playgrounds, including one at Darden Towe Park. For something a little more active, take the kids to Charlottesville Skate Park or IX Art Park. And if you want to get out of the city for a day, Skyline Drive is only about an hour away and offers plenty of hiking trails and scenic views.

Art Galleries in Charlottesville

There are several art galleries in Charlottesville that are worth checking out. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a world-renowned art museum that features works from all over the world. The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is another great option, with a collection of American art from the 18th century to the present. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, check out the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, which showcases Australian Aboriginal art from across the continent. Which one have you marked on your itinerary?

The Weather in Charlottesville VA

The weather in Charlottesville, VA is typically mild from November to April. This is the best time to visit the city if you are looking for pleasant weather. However, the city can be quite humid in the summer months. If you are visiting Charlottesville during the summer, be sure to pack light clothing and plenty of sunscreen!

The fall is a beautiful time to visit Charlottesville. The leaves on the trees change color and the weather is cool and crisp. This is the perfect time to go for a hike in one of the many state parks or take a drive through the countryside. Wintertime in Charlottesville can be cold, but it is also a great time to cozy up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. Springtime brings warmer weather and blooming flowers. This is an ideal time to explore downtown Charlottesville or take a walk through one of the city’s many parks.

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Things to Do in Charlottesville. Time to Wrap It up

Charlottesville is a fascinating city that’s home to some of America’s most important historical figures. If you enjoy history, art, or nature, there are plenty of things to do in Charlottesville, VA. The best attractions around Charlottesville, Virginia can be found starting from Downtown Charlottesville. You can also take scenic drives and explore the beautiful countryside. Wine lovers will find paradise here, as will beer and cider aficionados. If you have kids with you on your trip, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered too! There are plenty of family-friendly activities in this charming town. Finally, no visit to Charlottesville would be complete without spending time in its many art galleries. We hope you enjoy your stay!


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