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Things to do in Charlottesville

Charlottesville offers sights and activities for the history buffs, the nature lovers and the late-night revelers in equal measure. Start with a tour of Charlottesville’s rich history, beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello and his academic legacy, the University of Virginia. Take a quick break in the adjacent district known as The Corner, beloved by UVA students, to sample a variety of local and international cuisines. Take a walking tour of the city to admire beautiful colonial-style brick buildings, and visit the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society to learn the town’s history as the site of Civil and Revolutionary War battles.

Entertainment junkies looking for things to do in Charlottesville should take advantage of the city’s vibrant nightlife. The downtown district packs in a number of live music venues that have hosted legendary blues and folk artists. The Corner is also home to a number of late-night bars and restaurants for travelers looking to quench their thirst in a hip environment. Favorite local venues include the Jefferson Theater, the Southern Café and Music Hall, Beer Run and Bent Theatre.

Nature-lovers looking for things to do in Charlottesville should spend a day exploring the Albemarle countryside to visit sprawling vineyards along the Monticello Wine Trail, thriving orchards where you can sample local strawberries, cherries, peaches and apples, and hills perfect for hiking. Adrenaline junkies can kayak the James or Rivanna River, or bike through miles and miles of quiet country trails. Favorite farms and orchards in the region include Albemarle Cider Works, the Bessette Family Farm, Carter Mountain Orchard and the Forest Lakes Farmers Market.

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  • Bittersweet

    The Warehouse District shop sells flirty silk tops and Frye boots. More
  • C&O Bar

    A dimly lit college watering hole. More
  • Charlottesville Pavilion

    The music scene was fertile here B.D.M.B.—that is, before the Dave Matthews Band, which formed in Charlottesville in the early 1990s. These days, a... More
  • Feast!

    Artisanal cheese from nearby farms More
  • Gearharts Chocolates

    The shop spikes its ganache bonbons with ancho chile and candied ginger. More
  • Georgie

    The shop stocks dresses by Alice + Olivia and 3.1 Phillip Lim. More
  • Kluge Estate Farm Shop

    Patricia Kluge, an heiress and philanthropist, entered Virginia's wine game in 1999, and the estate was initially dismissed by many critics as a la... More
  • Main Street Market

    A hive of shops perfect for supplying a picnic basket. More
  • Monticello

    in 1770, Jefferson sold some of the land surrounding Monticello, his sprawling Palladian home up in the hills just outside Charlottesville, to an I... More
  • Paramount Theater

    The music scene was fertile here B.D.M.B.—that is, before the Dave Matthews Band, which formed in Charlottesville in the early 1990s. These days, a... More
  • Pillow Mint

    The shop sells John Robshaw quilts and Blissliving bedsheets. More
  • Scott Stadium

    The music scene was fertile here B.D.M.B.—that is, before the Dave Matthews Band, which formed in Charlottesville in the early 1990s. These days, a... More
  • University of Virginia

    Tour this Jefferson-built institution. More

Explore things to do in The Charlottesville Area for more options.

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