Not every town has unparalleled vistas, a Cab Franc made at the hands of the same person pouring it, or Dave Matthews and John Grisham walking by as you enjoy lunch at a café on its historic pedestrian mall—but Charlottesville does.

It’s urban and bucolic, historic yet modern. There are boundless hiking trails, wedding venues, wineries, breweries, boutique retail shops, and theaters (not to mention more restaurant seats than there are people to fill them). It’s for the limitless adventurer, the wine-taster, the music-seeker, and the family searching for a new experience..

At Charlottesville Insider, our goal is simple: to showcase Charlottesville by curating our ideas about what makes it unique. Follow our insiders to see what’s new, find exclusive deals, or simply figure out how to spend your day in our favorite city.


Winter Survival Guide

Think outdoor dining or wine-tasting are out for the winter? Think again! Wineries and restaurants around Charlottesville know that a roaring fire does more than warm chilled fingers and toes; It creates ambience that make winter nights memorable. Here are some of our favorites.

Charlottesville Wedding Guide

With breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and rich history tracing back to the founding fathers, Charlottesville has become one of America’s top wedding destinations. Our wedding guide gives you an insider's view of Charlottesville's best wedding venues, photographers, planners, caterers, and so many more vendors.

Date Night Guide

What's better than a date night to show your love but it can also bring pressure. After all, you want a perfectly romantic evening. Here are some tips for gifts, restaurants and flowers to sweep your sweetie of his, her or their feet!

2023 Charlottesville Restaurant Guide

Not all pizza is created equal, but whether you like your crust thick and chewy, thin and crispy or somewhere in between, you'll find your idea of the perfect pie at one of these Charlottesville pizza places.

Charlottesville Holiday Guide

If you are looking for a fun and beautiful getaway for the holidays, then look no further than Charlottesville, VA. The shopping is phenomenal. The events are spectacular. And the decorations rival any big city. Join us for any or all of these events this season:

Charlottesville Newcomer's Guide

Welcome to Charlottesville! If you've just relocated here (or are considering it) congratulations! You won't have regrets. It combines the charm of a small college town with the cultural offerings of a much bigger city and wraps the whole package in rich history and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Get the insider perspective on dining, lodging, tours and experiences from or team of local experts.


👩‍🍳🥮 Upcoming workshop at @bejustcville! ...

7-15-23 Seasonal Galette Workshop

Rachel De Jong of @coucourachou will lead participants through a hands-on exploration of crafting a decadent, seasonal galette in the French style. Under Rachel's expert instruction, locally-sourced ingredients will co-mingle with fresh fruit in this classic dessert that participants will not only see through from start to finish, but result in a mouth-watering finale as the class enjoys their confections together. To quote Rachel's favorite French phrase, "Vouloir le beurre et l'argent du beurre" (who doesn't want to have their cake and eat it too?!). This class is ideal for all skill levels!

More about Rachel...Raised in a large family whose door was always open for hospitality, she grew up prizing the power of food to delight and draw people together. After receiving her certificate in pastry from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Rachel spent a decade honing her art in restaurant kitchens on both American coasts, serving as pastry chef alongside such internationally acclaimed chef restaurateurs as Patrick O’Connell (The Inn at Little Washington) and Ludo Lefevbre (Los Angeles’ Petit Trois). Now, she’s returned to her roots in the Blue Ridge, sifting the best of her recipes crafted and lessons gleaned to open a bakery that makes people feel good!

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🥾 Charlottesville’s Rivanna trail, a beautiful 20-mile network of hiking trails, is the perfect way to get outdoors and feel like you’re in the wilderness without the need to leave the city. The next @rivannatrailsfoundation “Loop de’Ville” monthly walk is this Sunday! This free guided out-and-back walk along the Rivanna Trail will take place at 10am, and will cover five miles of forest trails from Meadow Creek Gardens to Greenbrier Park (creek crossings included!). Parking is available at the Meadow Creek Community Gardens and disc golf course. ...

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🧗‍♀️ Looking to get active in Charlottesville on a cold or rainy day? @rockytopclimbing located less than a mile from the downtown mall in McIntire Plaza, is a perfect way to get some energy out indoors and have a blast while doing it! Adults, children, beginning or veteran climbers are all welcome! Rocky top features over 4,500 square feet of climbing terrain and an amazing community of climbers to help you feel right at home.

📸 @rockytopclimbing

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🪄 We visited the Looking Glass at @ixartpark, Virginia’s first and only immersive art space. @ixlookingglass is a magical space, a full sensory experience you don’t want to miss! Bring the kids during the day to get lost playing in the enchanted forest and kaleidoscope cave (there isn’t anything they aren’t allowed to touch!), or come on a Thursday evening for a creative night out with drinks, art making, and music. Grab a craft cocktail or beer at the bar, enjoy some water color painting under the black lights, and then take the stage with your favorite karaoke song! Arts from underground” is open 7-11pm every Thursday and karaoke starts at 8pm on the Flowstone Stage! 🎤 ...

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🌸Loving this aerial shot of Chiles Peach Orchard Blooms by @aerowingva on 3-11-23! 📸👏

Signs of spring came early this year but the official first day is March 20th. Stay tuned for ideas for outdoor fun in the Charlottesville area as things warm up and the days get longer!

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🥃 Meet Ivar Aass, owner and distiller at @spiritlabdistilling, the oldest legal distillery in the city of Charlottesville. This business is one of those true gold mine finds for those who enjoy quality local products, a little off the beaten path, but once you’re in, you’ll be all in! “Just look for the red door” Ivar says when giving directions to his little inconspicuous warehouse space in Belmont. Ivar is super passionate about his business and craft, a labor of love for he and his wife, from the distilling process, to fun collaborations, to artfully creating his own bottle labels with a woodblock print!

Spirit Lab offers tastings of their spirits, bottles for purchase, and complimentary tours (as long they’re not too busy). Hours…
Mon 11-5
Fri 11-5
Sat 1-5
Or by appointment at your convenience!

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🍜 We visited @northamericansake on a rainy day last week, and this ramen bowl more than hit the spot! We were coming from the @ixlookingglass next door (stay tuned for our post on this super-cool art space at the IX building), staring out at the pouring rain and puddles when it became clear that a warm bowl of noodles from the "Bad Luck Ramen Bar" was meant to be. The "Nas Original" was the perfect, most delicious treat - Tonkotsu Broth, Chashu Pork, Ramen noodles, corn, button mushrooms, a soft boiled egg, scallions, nori, togarashi, and garlic oil. We will be back to learn more about the sake brewing process, and will be sure to share what we find! ...

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