Situated a mere 2.5 hours from Washington D.C., Charlottesville is a city renowned for its state-of-the-art museums, picturesque landscapes, and rich history. From its stunning scenery to plethora of fun things to do, this community is the perfect place to make your new home. Additionally, Charlottesville is a hub for amazing food, five-star wine, and delicious cider. With its natural beauty, scenic drives, diverse shopping options, and abundance of educational opportunities, this close-knit community has a lot to offer. The location of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and the legendary University of Virginia, Charlottesville provides a vibrant historic and cultural tradition.
Furthermore, nature lovers and outdoorsy types of all ages have the exciting opportunity to explore Shenandoah National Park, situated along a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you are in the mood for an insightful museum tour or a great cup of coffee, or if you’re touring homes for sale in Charlottesville, the charming and friendly town has lots of thrilling things to do. This vibrant community is a wonderful place to be inspired by art, enjoy culinary delights, and embrace all the great outdoors has to offer.
1. Visit Monticello
Take a step back in time at the famous Monticello. Home to President Thomas Jefferson, Monticello is one of the most famous historic sites here. It provides an intricate look into the well-known founding father and his era. You can tour the house, stroll through the grounds, and learn more about colonial times. From the beautiful flower garden to the educational events, Monticello is the perfect opportunity to learn about the author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. Visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets online for this riveting and knowledgeable experience.
2. Tour museums
The Fralin Museum of Art is the pinnacle of art history and extraordinary talent. With a wide array of lavish paintings, life-like sculptures, detailed pottery, and rotating exhibits, this museum celebrates the beauty and passion of art. From the educational programs to exciting events, Fralin offers an engaging and creative experience for the community. Meander through the galleries and marvel at the pristine artwork. Admission is free. All are welcome.
3. Shop at the Historic Downtown Mall
Are you ready to shop until you drop? Bring your shopping bags to this historic mall located in downtown Charlottesville. This premier shopping, dining, and entertainment district promises a host of thrilling things to do. With plenty to explore, the downtown mall is made up of exquisite architecture, brick paved walkways, and restored buildings. Here there is a colorful and appealing assortment of over 120 stores and 30 restaurants. Plus, you can watch a movie or enjoy live music.
4. Hike at Shenandoah National Park
Embrace the outdoors at Shenandoah National Park! Grab your hiking boots and explore the gorgeous trails. A mere 75-miles from Washington D.C., this beautiful national park offers a plethora of stunning views and an escape into the untamed wilderness of nature. With its cascading waterfalls, towering trees, serene meadows, and fields of wildflowers, Shenandoah is made up of 200,000 miles of protected land. Experience wildlife in its natural habitat — everything from birds to black bears. If you are ready to get active outdoors and soak up the sunshine, this is the adventure for you!
5. Soak up immersive art
Calling all art lovers! The Looking Glass is the first all-immersive art experience in Virginia. You and your crew can immerse yourselves in everything from a larger-than-life forest and the highly popular kaleidoscope cave. The dazzling lights, enchanting pictures, and mazes of mirrors all make up an enthralling experience for guests of all ages. You can participate in the art making evenings, film screenings, and educational workshops. A place where wonder and curiosity come together, The Looking Glass inspires a passion for learning.
6. Explore local coffee shops
Established in 2007, Shenandoah Joe is both a coffee shop chain and roastery. From its wonderful beans to delicious coffee, there are lots of reasons to love it. With their wide selection of menu options, this is an ideal spot to meet up with friends or enjoy your new favorite summer read.
Begin your day with the perfect cup of coffee at Lone Light Coffee. Whether you are more of a latte or iced coffee person, you can find both and much more here! The menu is filled with classic favorites like hot chocolate, drip coffee, or the crimson iced tea.
7. Do a wine or brewery tour
Spend the day at Meriwether Springs Vineyard & Brewery and enjoy an amazing drink of your choice. Whether you prefer a sparkling wine or craft beer, the perfect drink is waiting for you here! The first combined winery and brewery in the area, Meriwether prides itself on its beautiful vineyards, stunning views of the Blueridge Mountains, and of course, its stellar selection of drinks. Situated on 40-acres, this winery and brewery offers a quiet getaway. You can enjoy a tour or spend the night at the elegant bed-and-breakfast. With its breathtaking landscape and delicious food, this is the perfect oasis for rest and relaxation.
Meriwether is located on the original estate of the acclaimed explorer Meriwether who was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to lead an expedition across the newly acquired land of the Louisiana Purchase in 1804. Family-owned and operated, the Meriwether wine and brewery provides a refreshing experience.
8. Enjoy delicious food
Welcome to Ivy Inn! Known for its locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal American cuisine, this restaurant provides an elegant and classic dining atmosphere. The menu is filled with delicious fare, such as the chilled spring pea soup, mustard-herb crusted lamb, or the wild mushroom and ricotta ravioli. Sides include everything from grilled asparagus to creamy mac ‘n cheese. Whether you are in the mood for a soup or roasted chicken, you are certain to discover a meal that appeals to your taste buds here! Plus, you can rest assured that each dish is made with the freshest ingredients and cooked to absolute perfection. This gorgeous inn provides an exceptional culinary experience for guests. From its candlelit vibe to welcoming staff, it is truly a wonderful place to enjoy hearty, homestyle cooking.
Who is hungry? Gather your group and come to the Sedona Taphouse for a delicious meal! On the menu, you will discover a wide range of scrumptious options such as pasta, burgers, grilled meat, or brunch. How about trying the chicken marsala, French quarter pasta, or Julie’s farmer salad? From healthy greens to sizzling steaks, there is something special for everyone here. Plus, the kid’s menu provides a host of delectable favorites like cheese pizza or kid’s chicken. After eating to your heart’s content, complete your meal with a brownie sundae or the chocolate decadence dessert. Besides, what better way is there to satisfy your sweet tooth and finish off a perfect evening of dining? This top-notch restaurant strives to create a truly unique craft experience for guests. It provides a stellar selection of beers and must-try cocktails. With its five-star service and inviting atmosphere, Sedona Taphouse is an amazing place to eat delicious food and fantastic drinks.
9. Catch a show at Paramount Theater
A member of the League of Historic American theaters, Paramount Theater is a vibrant and famous part of Virginia's historical landscape. A hallowed venue for the arts and social gatherings, this theater serves as a living reminder to the valuable lessons of history. From riveting plays to classic ballets, the Paramount seeks to create an enriching and inspiring experience for guests from all walks of life. It receives over 100,000 visitors each year for the performance season and around 15,000 students who attend the Arts Education Program. This gorgeous auditorium and stage offers a wide variety of captivating showcases, movies, and community events. So, what are you waiting for? Purchase your ticket today for an upcoming show and enjoy a spectacular evening of entertainment and art with your loved ones.
Are you looking for more information about Charlottesville real estate or wanting to learn more about our specific property listings? Contact The Hogan Group Real Estate for an inside look into Charlottesville luxury homes. The team would love to show you some stunning properties for sale. Let’s get started today in helping you find your perfect dream home!
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash