12 TRULY UNIQUE THINGS TO DO AROUND CHARLOTTESVILLE
Crabtree Falls, the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, is a popular attraction located in Nelson County, just six miles off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 27. Crabtree Falls features a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet. The first overlook is just a few hundred feet from the parking lot along a gentle, paved trail making it an excellent stopover for travelers of all ages and abilities. The more adventuresome hiker may continue along the 3-mile trail to four other overlooks offering spectacular views of the Crabtree Creek Falls and lovely vistas of the Tye River Valley. From the upper falls, the trail follows the creek another 1.2 miles to the Crabtree Meadows. Open dawn to dusk. Parking lot with daily parking fee per vehicle.
POLO AT KING FAMILY VINEYARDS
Polo matches are held each Sunday at noon, from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October, weather permitting.
King Family Polo matches have been a popular event for years in the Charlottesville area. Visitors may pull up directly next to the polo field and set up a tailgate or park and walk up with a picnic. Wine is sold in the tasting room and by golf-carts that will come right to you! This event is free to attend but spaces cannot be reserved so coming early is recommended (open at 10am). This a family friendly event and a truly unique experience to Charlottesville.
Order some Crose and watch the elegance of the horses and athletes while you’re there and take in gorgeous landscape.
Intro to Polo Clinic: $200 per person, 3-hour experience that includes lunch and a wine tasting. Come learn all of the basics of polo, ride a polo pony, learn to swing a polo mallet, and enjoy a Q&A over lunch and a wine tasting with our polo professionals.
Private Polo Match: Take your event to the next level by hosting a private polo match at King Family Vineyards. Available after hours, this is an exclusive opportunity to offer a polo match viewing to your guests in a private setting. Matches start at $5,000 and include announcing and a Q&A with a polo professional.
EXPLORE THE BLUE RIDGE TUNNEL
The Blue Ridge Tunnel was constructed between 1850 and 1858 beneath Rockfish Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia. CSX Transportation generously donated the tunnel to Nelson County in 2007. The tunnel is located at the convergence of the southern entrance of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, the northern entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, and U. S. Bicycle Route 76. Both Interstate 64 and U. S. 250 cross over the tunnel at Rockfish Gap. Traveling through the long (1.3 km), dark tunnel will be a stirring experience for a variety of visitors from across the Commonwealth and beyond: hikers and cyclists of every level, wildlife watchers, history enthusiasts, railroad buffs, heritage tourists, school children on field trips, and nearby residents.
LOOKING GLASS AT IX PARK
The Ix Art Park presents The Looking Glass. A new whimsical wonderland invites you to leave the mundane at the door and escape to an unexpected otherworld. Our enchanted forest is the first immersive art space in Virginia, created by over a dozen local artists to spark your imagination and captivate your sense of wonder. A new mystery awaits you around every corner of this dreamland that ignites all your senses. New exhibits are continually added meaning there is always something new to discover. Walk through a magical world and immerse yourself in art. Get that perfect image for your insta or just see something new and fun at the IX Art Park. This is a great activity close to downtown Charlottesville that people of any age can enjoy.
IX Art Park embraces the emerging trend toward immersive art experiences. IX Art Park inspires all people to find their own spark of imagination and creativity, and bring to life multiple artistic mediums. IX Art Park also has multiple food options, a brewery, and a Sake restaurant. There are frequent farmer’s markets and local vendors in the open air space.
UVA ATHLETE EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE
Have you ever wanted to toss a football with UVA Quarterback Brennan Armstrong? Would your kid freak out if UVA Point Guard Kihei Clark showed up to their birthday party? The UVA Athlete Exclusive Experience was designed for all the sports lovers who want the once in a lifetime chance to hang out with the college athletes they admire. With Men’s Lacrosse and Women’s Swimming & Diving being the current-standing 2021 NCAA Championship holders, this experience gives you the opportunity to get to know some of the best athletes in the country.
*Dates may vary depending on athlete availability.
ROCKFISH RANCH – LODGE DAY RENTAL
Rent the Lodge at Rockfish Ranch. Enjoy the Party Room, Hot Tub and Barrel Sauna for the day.
Just South of Charlottesville find the scenic beauty of Nelson County. Over 120 acres for your use with 2500 ft of river frontage and breathtaking vistas.
Rockfish Ranch can be your private escape from the city for a relaxing soak in the hot tub and steam in the barrel sauna. The lodge includes large TVs, pool table, and large open spaces for gathering or watching sports. Skeet shooting, fly fishing, or horseback riding can all be scheduled if desired.
PRIVATE POOL DAY IN CHARLOTTESVILLE
Are you looking for a place to have a private pool party? Want to have a relaxed pool day without worrying about crowds? Enjoy the pool at one of our luxury properties. Host up to 20 of your friends for 5 hours with access to towels and restrooms.
ESTATE TOUR & TASTING AT PIPPIN HILL
Bypass the lines and have a unique, in-depth exploration of Pippin Hill’s wines, vines, and beautiful scenery.
The experience starts when you are greeted with a glass of bubbly as you arrive and start with a guided tour of the Estate vines and expansive gardens. The tour is followed by an intimate tasting featuring a selection of six Reserve, Library, and Rare wines, and concludes with curated culinary favorites such as cheese, charcuterie board, and burrata.
The Estate Tour & Tasting is by reservation only for up to 8 guests and is available to book Fridays through Sundays.
Prices start at $100 (tax and service charge not included).
GET A PRIVATE EVENT SUITE ON DOWNTOWN MALL
Have you ever gotten a table in Vegas, a box at the stadium, or your own private lounge to host an event? Old Metropolitan Hall has been historically known as the private event venue on the downtown mall.
Elegant and versatile, Old Metropolitan Hall features 3 fully furnished suites for various sized functions-
An expansive upstairs ballroom displaying aged wood floors, 14ft ceilings adorned with their original antique tin tiles, and white-washed walls- all exquisitely lit with era-inspired glass chandeliers.
A cellar downstairs with checkered flooring, exposed brick walls, and Edison-style lighting.
The Old Met Speakeasy is for your more intimate events – revealed behind doors disguised as book shelves, with wood-paneled walls and an old-timey feel.
All 3 spaces feature a bar, sound system, and come furnished.
In addition to the rental of the space, inquire about additional add-ons from our partners.
HORSEBACK RIDING IN WINE COUNTRY
Explore some of the area’s most beautiful vineyards and farms on horseback. Horseback riding is a great experience for couples and groups of any size. Enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge on a private, guided horseback ride at the venue of your choice and conclude the adventure with a tasting at one of Charlottesville’s many acclaimed wineries. Every trail ride is uniquely tailored to the group and terrain – ride through dense vineyards, wander across open meadows, traverse the ridge line, splash through a bubbling creek, or catch a glimpse of orchard blooms. Calm, trained, well behaved horses will lead you through an unforgettable, unrestricted riding experience. This one of a kind experience lets you enjoy the outdoors, relax away from the hustle and bustle of life, and experience the wonderful wine of central Virginia.
PRIVATE IN-HOME WINE TASTINGS
Have the wine expert come directly to your home for a tasting with the best wines Virginia has to offer. This experience is truly unique and exclusive to Charlottesville Insider, and was designed as a way to let guests explore all of the award-winning wines crafted locally, all in the comfort of their own home!
These private, in-home tastings are perfect for the party host who likes to go above and beyond for their guests. You can skip the hassle of trying to take a group across Virginia’s wine country, and genuinely focus on the quality of the wine itself. With the undivided attention of the wine expert, guests will gain a vast amount of knowledge on the various types of wines and their processes, as well as have the opportunity to ask any questions they have.
What sets this experience apart from other wine-centered activities in Charlottesville, is that it is truly one of a kind. There is no need to worry about getting a good table at a winery, dealing with other people, or having to find a designated driver. Your party guests will talk about this for years to come!
VIP AFTER HOURS MONTICELLO TOUR
Experience Monticello after hours and behind the scenes. See the full house, including the upper floors. Learn about Jefferson and the times in which he lived, and all the people, both enslaved and free, who lived and labored at Monticello. This exclusive pass allows guests to explore the mountaintop after the regular closing time, providing a peace and quiet for reflection that differs from the activity of a day visit.
This one-of-a-kind experience picks your group up at your doorstep in Charlottesville and takes you right to the doorstep of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello where you will meet your private guide, bypass the gates and lines in this exclusive tour offered in partnership with Monticello Wine Tour & Coach Co.
Tours begin at 5:30 and usually run for an hour and a half.
- Private transportation to and from Monticello
- Multi-floor tour of Monticello
- Access to Monticello’s Gardens and Grounds
- No waiting in line