There’s no escaping it: The pandemic means a lot of things are different this year. With many extended families celebrating the holidays from a distance, holiday family photos to share with loved ones near and far will be more cherished than ever. And the good news is, Charlottesville has a wealth of gorgeous outdoor locations for perfect family photos. Share them with Grandma and Grandpa until you can get together in person again. Just remember to mask up before and after the photos are taken! (Photo above by Insider @JenFariello)
The University of Virginia is an iconic destination with countless places to stop and snap pics. Try the Pavilion Gardens, which are open to the public, but just about anywhere on Grounds provides a lovely backdrop.
The L.F. Payne Heritage Trails around the Boar’s Head Inn are another family photo hotspot. The trails provide easy to moderate walking for all ages with distances ranging from a quarter mile to two miles.
The Saunders-Monticello trail has become a go-to destination with photo-friendly attractions. There’s a section from the trunk of Monticello’s historic tulip poplar tree, the Carter overlook and a small pond.
Pack up the family and the pooch for family photos at Riverview Park or anywhere along the Greenbelt trail. The paved portion of the Rivanna Trail begins at the park and runs along the Rivanna River.
If you’re looking for sweeping views of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains beyond, look no further than Carter Mountain Orchard. On a clear day, you can see for miles.