Things to Do in Charlottesville, Virginia
You’ll never run out of things to do in Charlottesville, the home of former U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Visit the most popular Charlottesville attraction - Monticello, Jefferson’s mountain-top home and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a tour of the University of Virginia, known as one of the most historically prominent colleges in the country. All these great things to do in Charlottesville are near the Prospect Hill Plantation Inn. Let us know if you need our help in planning your trip!
For even more things to do during your visit, check out our
Charlottesville, VA Vacation Guide!
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902 - (434) 984-9822
Charlottesville is Thomas Jefferson’s town; Monticello is his home. No other home in the United States more accurately reflects the personality of its owner than Jefferson's architectural masterpiece and beloved mountaintop home. Monticello is the only home in America recognized by the U.N. as a World Heritage Site. Guided tours of the house are offered daily throughout the year.
The Lawn & Rotunda of UVA
1717 University Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903 - (434) 924-7969
Originally Thomas Jefferson’s “Academical Village”, the Lawn and the Rotunda are iconic figures in what is now one of the premier universities in the country, The University of Virginia. Named a United Nations’ World Heritage Site, the Rotunda is a half-scale tribute to Rome’s Pantheon and offers free guided tours daily.
Spectacular Virginia Wine Tours
Multiple Central Virginia locations
More than two centuries after Thomas Jefferson first took winemaking from the province of backyard hobbyists to a focus on refining exceptional varietals, Virginia winemaking has hit its stride. With over 20 Charlottesville area vineyards strewn throughout our beautiful region, and each with its own unique tasting rooms, you'll find yourself in vino heaven. Among our favorite wineries and vineyards are Blenheim, Jefferson, Trump, King Family, Pippin Hill Farms, Cooper, and Barboursville.
The Monticello Artisan Trail
The Monticello Artisan Trail is a regional trailway that connects destinations (craft artisan studios, galleries, agri-artisan farms, markets, local restaurants, and area points of interest) in Albemarle and Nelson Counties and the City of Charlottesville. Travel the Monticello Trail and discover the beauty of the mountains and valleys that local artisans call home.
James Madison’s Montpelier
11407 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957 - (540) 672-2728
Visit the lifelong plantation home of James Madison, the fourth U.S. President and the “Father of the Constitution”. Montpelier would also later become the home of his wife, Dolley, whose graciousness and hospitality inspired the term “First Lady”. Madison called this 2,700 acre estate “a squirrel’s jump from Heaven”.
James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland
1000 James Monroe Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902 - (434) 293-9539
Restored home of the 5th president of the U. S., author of the “Monroe Doctrine”, and close friend of Thomas Jefferson. James Monroe's 550-acre estate recreates the atmosphere of a working farm. Stroll through the ancient boxwood gardens, tour the charming frame and brick house, and observe spinning and weaving demonstrations as you admire the 360-degree views of this piece of Americana.
The Historic Downtown Mall
Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902 - (434) 295-9073
A visit to Charlottesville isn't complete without a stop at the Downtown Mall, one of the most beautiful and successful pedestrian malls in the nation. Ours contains a vibrant collection of more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants (many with outdoor cafés) housed in the historic buildings on and around old Main Street. Ice skate, enjoy a movie or play, or simply relax under magnificent oak trees along the red-bricked mall. Convenient parking in nearby garages makes a visit easy for guests of all ages.
The Unforgettable Shenandoah National Park
Located just West of Charlottesville, Shenandoah National Park is 500 miles of hiking trails (including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail) and 20,000 acres of recreation and re-creation. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, quiet wooded hollows... it’s all there! Skyline Drive is the scenic roadway that takes you through the park, and four separate entrances provide access. Whether it’s an exhilarating hike, a meander along Skyline Drive, or a picnic with the family, you’ll be glad you made a Shenandoah escape!
Michie Tavern (circa 1784)
683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902 - (434) 977-1234
Located 1⁄2 mile below Monticello, this historic tavern accommodated travelers with food, drink and lodging more than 200 years ago. Today, visitors experience the Tavern’s past through an historical journey which recreates 18th-century tavern life. Servers in period attire offer bountiful Colonial midday fare. The rustic tavern setting renders a dining experience rich in Southern culture and hospitality.
Bonaire Hot-Air Balloon Charters
Escape on scenic sunrise or sunset flights over the majestic and tranquil Virginia countryside. Choose private, romantic flights for two, or take a group flight and meet other adventure-lovers.
James River “Reeling & Rafting”
265 Ferry Street, Scottsville, VA 24590 - (434) 286-4386
Tube, canoe, kayak, or raft down the historic James River. Choose between Class 1, 2 or 3 rapids, with trips spanning from 4 to 12 miles. Enjoy nature as you observe deer, herons, osprey, and bald eagles... and then end your adventure with on-sight hot showers.
James River Runners, LLC
10092 Hatton Ferry Road, Scottsville, VA 24590
Offering exciting tubing, canoeing, kayaking, rafting and camping trips down the scenic James River, this is the oldest and largest tubing company on the James River.
Spring Creek Golf Course
109 Clubhouse Way, Gordonsville, VA 22942
Spring Creek Golf Course is a Nationally Recognized golf facility (Golf Digest has rated Spring Creek #58 on its America's 100 Greatest Public Courses List)! Only 4 miles from Prospect Hill, this award-winning course offers a strategic challenge in a placid setting, giving the golfer a feeling not found anywhere else in the country.
Lake Monticello Golf Club
51 Bunker Boulevard, Palmyra, VA 22963 – (434)-589-3075
This beautiful year-round, semi-private, course features 18-holes (par 72) with four sets of tees. Thoughtfully designed to flow with the natural contours of Piedmont Virginia's rolling landscapes. State-of-the-art golf cart are available, but walking is permitted.
Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library
160 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904 - (434) 243-1776
Within the University Archives, this library administers over 12 million manuscripts; 2.5 million items; 300,000 rare books; 4,000 maps; 4,000 broadsides; 125,000 photographs and small prints; 8,000 reels of microfilm and microfiche; and substantial holdings of audio recordings, motion picture films, and ephemera. Open Monday through Saturday.
Battle of Trevilian Station
Louisa Road and Trevilian Square, Louisa, Virginia 23090
Identified by a commemorative roadside marker, this site memorializes the largest all-cavalry battle of the Civil War. At this spot, on June 12, 1864, Sheridan’s cavalry, coming from Trevilians, attacked Wade Hampton, who had taken position across the road. A bloody engagement followed. Fitz Lee joined Hampton, and the Union cavalry was driven back. That night Sheridan retired eastward. Nearby, Custer positioned himself between Fitz Lee’s division and the rest of Wade Hampton’s cavalry, capturing wagons. The Confederates recaptured the wagons but withdrew to the west after a fierce conflict.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Room
McCormick Road, UVA Campus, West Range #13 - Charlottesville, VA 22902
The iconic author and poet’s room, restored to the 1826 time period, when he was a student at the University of Virginia. Features an historical recording about his life.
Walton’s Mountain Museum
6484 Rockfish River Road, Schuyler, VA 22969 - (434) 831-2000
Step back in time with a visit to the quaint childhood village of Earl Hamner, Jr. (the creator of “The Walton’s” television program). The museum includes 4 rooms replicating the TV sets of “Ike Godsey’s Store”, “John Boy’s Room”, and more.
10120 Hatton Ferry Road, Scottsville, VA 24590 - (434) 296-1492
Experience times past, and cross the James River on the Hatton Ferry, the only poled ferry still operating in the United States. Under ideal conditions, a round-trip crossing takes about 30-45 minutes, and no more than two cars and six people can be taken at one time. The Hatton Ferry operates free of charge (subject to river levels).
Jack Jouett’s Ride (Historic Marker)
East High Street & Park Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
This road-side marker commemorates the site of the historic Cuckoo tavern. It was from this tavern, on June 3, 1781, that Jack Jouett rode to Charlottesville, by the Old Mountain Road, in time to warn the members of the Virginia government of the coming of Tarleton’s British cavalry.
Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea Statue
West Main Street & Ridge Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
This impressive statue commemorates the 1803-1806 journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The statue sits upon a block of pink granite, which includes an inscription describing the explorers and their lofty mission. The figures of Lewis, Clark and Sacagewea face West, and are considered historically accurate with lovely proportions and beautiful details.
Virginia Discovery Museum
524 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902 - (434) 977-1025
An exciting world of education and fun for children and their families. The Museum has two exhibit spaces: the Back Gallery exhibit changes every six months, and the Museum's Front Gallery is full of interactive exhibits about science, history and the arts. Also of note is the historic Carousel featuring six painted “Mangells”. The last known kiddie carousel of its type in this country, the carousel revolves, but the horses do not go up and down.