10. Walk the Mall.
Charlottesville’s historic downtown mall is a round mile brick walk full of local shops, restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating, and vibrant buskers. A perfect place to browse and take in the city on a sunny day.
Charlottesville is not a town that takes her food scene lightly. With over 450 restaurants, you could eat out every night and not try everything. Don’t skimp or calorie count on a Cville weekend- there’s simply too much delicious
8. See a Show.
Fridays during the Summer, you’ll find free live shows at the Sprint Pavilion on the Downtown Mall, but Charlottesville’s music scene runs way deeper than that. Home to Dave Matthews, Corey Harris, and Parachute, the mall alone boasts three music venues (in addition to the pavilion.) Check out the Paramount Theatre, the Jefferson, and the Southern Cafe and Music Hall and start planning your summer shows!
7. The Art Scene
Galleries, pop-ups, and margaritas in the IX Art Park- Charlottesville loves artists. Spend an afternoon checking out the exhibitions at the Bridge, the weird, wonderful sculptures and the “Before I Die” wall at IX, or grab a glass of wine at First Fridays at the Fralin, UVA’s gallery and museum space.
6. Humpback Rock
No list of Charlottesville activities is complete without mention of the area’s favorite hike. A quick, steep mile with one of the region’s most rewarding rock scrambles, an afternoon spent on Humpback is a quintessential Charlottesville experience.
5. Ash-Lawn Highland
Fifth president, fifth best C’ville attraction. James Monroe’s Highland has some truly spectacular gardens and is a favorite of history buffs, families, and arts fans- William & Mary operates a performance area on the property.
4. Wine Tasting
Virginia wine has exploded over the last decade or so, and Charlottesville has been at the forefront of some of the industries most delicious innovations- as well as being home to some of Virginia’s most historic wineries. History gurus should check out Jefferson Vineyards, music buffs should head to Dave Matthew’s Blenheim Vineyards, groups divided between beer and wine should head to the Tasting Room and Taphouse at Mount Ida Farm & Vineyard. For serious wine connoisseurs, consider a venture to Gabriele Rausse’s shaded, off-the-beaten-path tasting room.
3. Michie Tavern
Part 18th century tavern, part historical landmark, Michie Tavern is sort of a miniature Williamsburg unique to the Charlottesville area. After eating, make sure to check out the Armory and Artifacts shop for a look at the way weaponry has shaped the history of the nation.
TJ’s house, designed by the man himself. The historic home, sprawling grounds, presidential library, and rolling green gardens comprise one of Charlottesville’s most popular visitor attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the home and grounds are open for educational tours and host various events throughout the year, including a confirmation of new citizens on the 4th of July.
1. The University of Virginia
Founded by our third president in 1819, the University of Virginia is in many ways the center of Charlottesville. Short of enrolling as a student, the best way to enjoy the classic Jeffersonian architecture and rolling green spaces of the Academical Village is to pick up a picnic from Take It Away on the corner and spread your blanket on the Lawn.