Things to Do in Charlottesville, Virginia

Places to visit in Charlottesville, VA.

Charlottesville, Virginia, is a lovely place to visit, with many things to do. It’s an independent city located in Albemarle County. The population is estimated to be 45,672 at the 2021 census. Interestingly, Charlottesville is the county seat of Albemarle County, and its name is derived from Queen Charlotte.

Charlottesville is an enchanting city on the outskirts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a balance between nature, fun, and relaxation. The town is also home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So if you’re a lover of history, culture, and great food, you’ll be glad to know that Charlottesville is an excellent destination for all your vacation needs.

Things to Do in Charlottesville, Virginia


The Monticello home of Thomas Jefferson is a must-see for anyone visiting Charlottesville. You can take a guided tour or explore the house on your own. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, this property is a National Historic Landmark.

Monticello was built between 1768 and 1809 by Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. In addition to being a beautiful home, it is an important research and education facility.


Located just off Interstate 64 in Albemarle County, Monticello is a short drive from Charlottesville. It offers various services for visitors, including a visitor center, museum shop, cafe, and orientation theater. Visitors can even participate in a naturalization ceremony.

In 1987, Monticello became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation reflects the significance of the plantation home as an American icon and the importance of its role in history.

Ix Art Park

There are many things to do in Charlottesville, Virginia. But if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can’t go wrong with the Ix Art Park.

This nifty little outdoor art park is located in the heart of downtown Charlottesville, and it’s worth a visit. It has a unique museum, some of the best city murals, and even a few funky sculptures. The site is open to the public seven days a week, so you can plan a family day out or a solo stroll.

Ix Art Park
Ix Art Park

The site’s most exciting feature is its 6,000-square-foot “Looking Glass” interactive art exhibit. In addition to a full-blown psychedelic cave, the exhibition includes an enchanted forest, a light show, and a nifty gizmo a la Google. And it’s all for free.

As you may know, the IX Art Park is part of a larger assemblage of properties known as the IX Project. The property is the brainchild of Monticello Associates, a company whose mission is to “transform downtown into a vibrant community of people, neighborhoods, and businesses.” So if you’re looking for a unique experience, you won’t find much better.

Ix Art Park
Ix Art Park

While the park may not be for everyone, it certainly is for those who appreciate art, science, and nature. Besides, it’s a short walk from Three Notch’d Brewery, the most incredible brewery in Charlottesville. Aside from the brewery itself, the IX Art Park is also a convenient location to attend concerts, festivals, and other events.

Carter Mountain Orchard and Country Store

If you are looking for the best way to spend a Saturday morning in Charlottesville, you might consider visiting Carter Mountain Orchard and Country Store.

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The venue boasts some of the most awe-inspiring views of the Blue Ridge mountains you’ll ever see, and it is certainly worth a trip out of town. In addition to the usual fare, the Orchard offers wine tasting, a brewery, pick-your-own produce, and a unique gift shop stocked with home decor and novelty items.

Carter Mountain Orchard Charlottesville Virginia Va.
Carter Mountain Orchard Charlottesville, Virginia, Va.

While you’re here, you might check out the many onsite activities and events that go on all the time. For example, the company’s annual Apple Harvest Festival is not to be missed. This two-day event is full of entertainment and activities for the whole family and a senior citizen discount on purchases.

The Rotunda in Charlottesville, Virginia

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia is a Palladian-style structure designed by Thomas Jefferson. It is a national historic landmark. The Rotunda is a 77-foot diameter cylinder domed on the interior with a glazed oculus on top.

Jefferson’s Rotunda was built of red brick with white wood trim. It features six columns and a domed interior space crowned with a glazed oculus.

The Rotunda (South Entrance) -- The Lawn University of Virginia Charlottesville (VA) June 2018
The Rotunda (South Entrance) — The Lawn University of Virginia Charlottesville (VA) June 2018

The Rotunda is open to visitors daily. There is an interactive exhibit inside. Visitors can learn about the history of the building and the university. A free tour of the facility is available. Tours last one hour.

The Rotunda is a beautiful tower. Several rooms have been restored to their original design. One of the restored rooms is the Edgar Allan Poe room. Another is the Woodrow Wilson room.

James Monroe’s Highland

James Monroe’s Highland in Charlottesville, Virginia, is an important historic site that features a presidential guest house, a museum shop, and a Virginia Artisans Room. It also has a collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century furnishings.

Monroe’s Highland is part of the College of William and Mary and offers a variety of educational programs, including tours. In addition, it is open to the public, and it is also a performance venue for arts and culture.

James Monroe's Highland
James Monroe’s Highland

Visitors can learn about the history of the United States and the impact of enslaved workers by visiting the Highland Museum. They can also participate in the Slavery at Highland program, which is offered from April through October.

The home of the fifth president of the United States, Monroe, is a stunning example of Federal architecture. A large wooden pavilion, exposed ceiling beams, and a beautiful grove of deciduous trees are some of the house’s main features.

Best Things to Do in Charlottesville, Virginia

Places to visit in Charlottesville, VA:

  1. Monticello
  2. Ix Art Park
  3. Carter Mountain Orchard and Country Store
  4. The Rotunda in Charlottesville, Virginia
  5. James Monroe’s Highland

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