From hiking trails in Shenandoah National Park to historical tours of Monticello, Charlottesville and the surrounding areas are full of things to do and explore. Scroll through our list of activity suggestions for what to do in Charlottesville and Crozet below or click on one of the categories to jump straight to what interests you most.
One of the more popular local hikes, Humpback Rocks is a moderate 3.8-mile loop that summits on a large rock outcropping with stunning views over the Blue Ridge. Plan for 2.5 hours for the hike—even better if you can catch a sunrise or sunset at the top!
At the end of Sugar Hollow Road, just past the reservoir, you'll find the trail for Moormans River Hike. Just over 7 km, this is great out-and-back beginner's trail follows a series of small swimming holes that ends at a picturesque waterfall. Plan for about 2 hours to complete the entire trail, and don't forget to pack shoes that can get a little wet.
For hiking trails of all levels, head to Shenandoah National Park. Blackrock Summit is a 1 mile beginner's circuit with a fantastic overlook; or make it an all-day affair and tackle Riprap, a 9.8 mile advanced circuit with beautiful views of the hollows and valleys below.
Designed by Claudius Crozet and opened in 1858, what was once the the longest railroad tunnel in North America is now a 2.25-mile gravel trail (or 4.5 miles roundtrip) through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Plan for roughly 1.5 hours to hike through the Blue Ridge Tunnel and back—and make sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp, as it is an extremely dark journey.
This 525-acre park has 15 miles of trails that are ideal for mountain biking. With a range of difficulties and 19 different trails to choose from, Walnut Creek Park offers a space for biking and more: hiking, picnicking, canoeing and kayaking, and even an 18-hole disc golf course.
Thomas Jefferson's home of Monticello offers the chance to step back in history and explore the 1772-constructed plantation of America's third president and the enslaved people who built it. To ensure your first choice of tour, purchase tickets online in advance.
Designed by Thomas Jefferson, the Rotunda stands at the North side of the UVA Lawn as a half-scale interpretation of the Pantheon in Rome and the original house of the University library. Explore its Dome Room, then wander onto The Lawn to admire each of the ten unique Pavilions and their beautiful gardens. Don't forget to pack a picnic and a frisbee to enjoy on the grass after your self-guided tour, or book an official historical tour free of charge, offered at 11:00am every day (except home football games) during the academic year.
The Downtown Mall is a vibrant collection of more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants housed in historic buildings along the city's Main Street. Come here to shop local, from popular consignment boutique Darling x Dashing to boutique gift shop O'Suzannah. Convenient parking in nearby garages and parking lots make a visit to the downtown area easy for visitors.
For a true taste of Charlottesville, head to Charlottesville City Market on Saturday mornings from 8:00am-12:00pm in April through November. This farmer's market offers everything from fresh fruits and veggies, handmade crafts, baked goods, authentic cultural foods, and much more.
Located in the historic Crozet train depot in the heart of town, the Crozet Artisan Depot features a large collection of arts, crafts, and accessories from more than 70 regional artisans. This is the perfect place to find yourself (or someone else!) a unique keepsake with distinct local flavor.
Antique and vintage lovers can uncover local treasures at Greenwood Antiques, which features a unique collection of antique, vintage, recycled and re-purposed home and garden items procured from over 50 dealers near scenic Afton, Virginia. Open from 10:00am to 5:00pm every day.