Attractions and Activities for Your Vacation in Charlottesville
Spend your day touring magnificently preserved historic sites such as Monticello, Ashlawn Highland, and Montpelier, the homes of past U.S. presidents. Take time to explore Virginia wine country. Monticello Wine Trail is abundant with award-winning wineries near Charlottesville that offer tours and tastings for your enjoyment. Enjoy shopping and dining in historic Charlottesville's beautiful downtown pedestrian mall. Take in a play or musical performance at a local theater. The University of Virginia offers opportunities for cultural events, sporting events, and campus tours. Can't decide what to do? We'll be happy to make recommendations.
Presidents' Historic Estates:
- Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's magnificent home and gardens which he designed and built starting in 1768. Open year round, closed only on Christmas day.
- Ash Lawn-Highland, James Monroe's home and gardens, 2 1/2 miles from the home of his good friend, Thomas Jefferson.
- Montpelier, James Madison's 2700-acre, 18th century home where the National Trust for Historic Preservation is conducting a long-term research and preservation project.
- Woodrow Wilson's Birthplace, 1/2 hr drive, Staunton, VA.
- Michie Tavern, an tavern that dates from th 1700s offering a traditional southern fried chicken lunch served by staff in Colonial garb.
One of our nation's outstanding universities, Thomas Jefferson's "Academical Village" and one of his supreme architectural achievements. Information on historical and admissions tours is available here. Be sure to visit, The Rotunda and Lawn, and enjoy the grounds.
Charlottesville's Historic Downtown Walking Mall:
The Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping District near Charlottesville is one of the most beautiful and successful pedestrian malls in the nation. Eight city blocks of restored and renovated buildings with specialty retail shopping, a variety of dining options including much outdoor seating, art gallieries, theater, cinema and live music, all along the brick-paved pedestrian area.
Winery Tours and Wine Tastings:
Enjoy our scenic Virginia Wine Country as you taste fine wines and tour the wine-making operations at several nearby award-winning Virginia wineries.
View Brew Ridge Trail and Monticello Wine Trail in a larger map
These Virginia wine country locations are all near Charlottesville and Sugar Hollow.
White Hall Vineyards, Grace Estate Winery, and Stinson Vineyards are both within 5 minutes of the Inn, with Mountfair Vineyards and Glass House Winery within a total of 20 minutes along the The Appellation Wine Trail.
Also nearby, King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood, Jefferson Vineyards and Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville, Veritas Vineyards and Winery as well as Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery in Afton.
Moving a little further out, you will find Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards in North Garden, Stone Mountain Vineyards in Dyke, Keswick Vineyards in Keswick, Barboursville Vineyards in Barboursville,and Horton Vineyards in Gordonsville.
For the ultimate winery experience, consider a chauffeured and expertly guided wine tour excursion conducted by one of our local wine touring companies.
- Blue Ridge Wine Excursions - email@example.com or 434-531-5802
- Arcady Wine Tasting Tour - firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-872-9475
- Camryn Limousine Virginia Wine Tours - email@example.com or 434-990-9070
- Ambassador Limousine Service - 434-973-5466 or 888-725-5466
The Brew Ridge Trail
For excellent craft brewing, the five breweries near Charlottesville and two cideries that comprise the Trail offer award winning beer and hard cider in unique and scenic settings.
Visit Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Wild Wolf Brewing Company in the Wintergreen area, Starr Hill in Crozet, and South Street in Charlottesville. Also available in the area, Albemarle Cider Works in North Garden, and Castle Hill Cider in Keswick.
Wine Festival - Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Wine Festival
In April, the Taste of Monticello Wine Trail brings together the best vineyards the Commonwealth of Virginia has to offer under the pavilion for an unforgettable afternoon of wine sampling. Also check out the Montpelier Wine Festival in the Spring.
Film Festival - Virginia Film Festival
In October, this festival, hosted by the University of Virginia is a four-day celebration of film, bringing the best of national and international cinema. The festival brings major talents to Charlottesville each year and presents a rich array of panel discussions addressing both high and low budget filmmaking.
Book Festival - Virginia Festival of the Book
In March, this festival is the largest gathering of authors, writers and readers in the Mid-Atlantic region. These five days of mostly free literary events are open to the public as Charlottesville honors book culture and promotes reading and literacy for children and adults.
Beer Festival - Top of the Hops Charlottesville Beer Festival
In September, music, food and samples of craft beer from all over the world.
Photography Festival - Look3 Festival of the Photograph
In June, a 4-day festival for those who love the still image presents a program of exhibitions, workshops, interviews with world famous photographers, outdoor screenings, and special events.
Arts Festival - Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival
In October and May, this is Central Virginia's premier juried arts and crafts show featuring over 100 of the nation's finest artists and craftsmen. Door prizes, music, and dancing. Fine exhibits in pottery, textiles, leather, glass, wood, metal, photography, and much more.
Horse Racing - Foxfield Spring and Fall Steeplechase
The raucous Spring Race or the more subdued family oriented Fall Race are two options to enjoy at this location, which you will pass as you come to the Inn from Charlottesville along Barracks Rd.
Chamber Music - Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival
Presenting fine chamber music at a variety of events an venues.
Gardening - Historic Garden Week in Virginia
In April, across various backyards and estates, including many in our region.
Fitness - Charlottesville Marathon and Half-Marathon
Rated by The New York Times as one of the top marathon destinations in the country!
Food - Charlottesville Restaurant Week
Twice a year, local restaurants participate in this fun and delicious fund raising event for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Participating restuarants book early so be sure to make your reservations early!
The Paramount Theater
The newly restored Paramount Theater boasts nationally touring performances in the heart of downtown Charlottesville. Built in 1931, The Paramount Theater of Charlottesville, Virginia opened its doors as one of the last grand "movie palaces" during the golden age of cinema.
Shakespeare at the Blackfriar's Playhouse
The American Shakespeare Center is an educational and entertainment organization that makes Shakespeare accessible to all with fresh, energetic productions. They tour internationally and perform in repertory in historic Staunton, Virginia, at Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only re-creation of William Shakespeare's original indoor theatre.
The Jefferson Theater – indoors, and the nTelos Wireless Pavilion, outdoors (all events are rain or shine). Both in downtown Charlottesville.
Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Music Series
Established in 1978, the Festival's opera company, a member of Opera America Inc., presents opera and musical theater sung in English and performed in the beautifully restored 1930’s playhouse, the Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville.
Live Arts is a multi-faceted volunteer theater group that has been presenting drama, dance, comedy, music, and performance art for more than 20 years.
The University of Virginia Department of Drama and the Heritage Theatre Summer Festival. The current season’s productions in the Department of Drama. Heritage Theatre Festival is the Department of Drama's and the University's professional repertory theatre. Leading directors, designers, technicians, and actors from across the country join the company each summer to produce a season of musicals and plays. Recent productions include Damn Yankees, Ragtime, The Syringa Tree, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Miracle Worker, Guys and Dolls, Lost in Yonkers, Man of La Mancha, Carousel, Gypsy, Art, and West Side Story.
John Paul Jones Arena
Home of the Virginia Cavaliers basketball and many live events including Broadway musicals.
Old Cabell Hall
Presenting the Tuesday Evening Concert Series and the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra.
The Theatre at IX. Central Virginia’s all-volunteer, not-for-profit community theatre
Fralin Museum of Art
Offering a variety of interesting exhibitions throughout the year.
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
The only museum in the United Stated dedicated to the exhibition and study of Australian Aboriginal art.
Frontier Culture Museum
An outdoor, living history museum featuring exhibits and programs that explore the origins and history of the American people who settled the Shenandoah Valley in the early 18th century. You will see actual examples of English, Irish, German, West African and early American working farms.