Summer will be here before you know it and that means it’s time for a fun family vacation. When it comes to summer, we all enjoy recreating the feelings we had from our own memorable (and fun) vacations as children. One way to do this is to plan a family getaway to Charlottesville, VA on the 4th of July.
That’s right… while everyone else is heading to the water for Independence Day, you can take your family back in time to the founding of America! After all, that is what the holiday is all about!
The Charlottesville, Virginia area is steeped in a rich history, with 3 presidential homes and numerous other historically-significant sites, making Charlottesville one of the best places to celebrate the birthday of the United States (and a great family getaway)! So we’ve compiled this list of the best things to do in Charlottesville, VA on the 4th of July:
Here Are the Best Activities in Charlottesville, VA on 4th of July
1. July 4th at Monticello
Hands-down, this is THE 4th of July event you simply can’t miss! The home of President Thomas Jefferson hosts the “Great Birthday of Our Republic” and the 56th annual “Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony” between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon. Celebrity guest speakers address dozens of new citizens from around the world as they achieve what, for many, has been a lifelong dream… to become an AMERICAN!
2. “Celebration of Independence Day” at James Monroe’s Highland
Celebrate America’s birthday (and honor the 187th anniversary of Monroe’s passing on July 4th, 1831) at the home of this Revolutionary War veteran and fifth President of the United States. Festivities will feature live music, family games and patriotic interpretive activities, as well as free access to the grounds of Highlands. Visitors are welcome to bring picnic lunches.
3. “Happy Birthday, America” at Carter Mountain Orchard
Celebrate America’s birthday with a day of good old-fashioned family fun! Enjoy fireworks with an awesome view of Charlottesville from atop Carter Mountain! This fun, family-friendly event takes place all afternoon with a variety of events (bike parade, hayrides, sack races, water balloon toss, and even a watermelon seed spitting contest). Fireworks and live music begin at sundown, and snacks, sweet & hard cider and wine will be available as well (no outside alcohol, per state ABC law)! Get more details here.
4. Scottsville’s Historic “Independence Day Parade & Celebration”
Parades in Scottsville (just south of Charlottesville) have long been a town tradition, and there’s no better parade around than Scottsville’s annual “Fourth of July Parade” down Main Street. (This 1914 scene shows the Grand Marshal on horseback, followed by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union float)
Past festivities have included the “World’s Largest Salad,” folk music concerts, the Virginia Log Chopping Championships, indoor-outdoor antique show & flea market, fireworks, and of course… throwing of candy to onlookers. The small-town warmth and the “slice of Americana” will be strong as the morning begins with the parade, followed by afternoon music, food, and games, and ending with fireworks over the James River… it sure to be a fun time for all! Read more right here.
5. The Crozet Independence Day Parade & Celebration
Prefer a small-town atmosphere for celebrating the Independence Day holiday? Well, if you visit early (this parade is held on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm) you can enjoy these traditional small-town festivities. Crozet’s parade winds along Crozet Avenue through downtown, all the way to Claudius Crozet Park, where the celebration follows the parade, including live music, kiddie rides, and the annual ball game between the Peachtree League coaches and the Crozet Fireman. Traditional Fourth of July fare will be available (including barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, popcorn, apple pie, plus Starr Hill beers and Well-Hung Vineyard wines), as well as 50/50 raffles, and prize drawings. The day culminates with a spectacular fireworks show.
Additional 4th of July Fireworks around Charlottesville, Virginia
Of course, one of the best parts of the Independence Day holiday (beside all the great food we eat) is the impressive fireworks displays. Around Charlottesville, there are several other great places to see fireworks:
1. McIntire Park’s “Patriotism in the Park”
A local tradition, this is Charlottesville’s most-popular firework event. Gates open at 5:00 pm for an evening of family-friendly fun with food, local bands, and activities for kids of all ages (including obstacle course, bounce houses, antique firetruck, face painting, etc). The fireworks show begins at one minute after dark. This event is free, and alcohol is prohibited. Park at one of these addresses: Public lot, 828 McIntire Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902; County Office Building, 401 McIntire Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902; Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901
2. Louisa Firemen’s Fairgrounds
In the nearby town of Louisa, the Volunteer Fire Department’s annual multi-day fair (carnival rides, games, fair food) culminates with an evening fireworks display on the 4th of July at approximately 9:30 pm. (Highway 22/Main Street is the sole road through the town, so plan to stay a little while if you go).
Even More 4th of July Ideas in Charlottesville, Virginia
So you see from our list of the best things to do in Charlottesville, VA on the 4th of July, there are lots of reasons to plan your Independence Day getaway to Charlottesville, VA. But, if you’re still looking for a few more things to do, consider these ideas:
2. Browse the antique book shops in downtown Charlottesville: (Daedalus, Blue Whale, Heartwood Books)
Where to Stay During Your Charlottesville, VA on the 4th of July Getaway
So, that’s it… the best things to do in Charlottesville, VA on the 4th of July. Once you decide to visit Charlottesville for your 4th of July holiday, be sure to book a room or cottage with Prospect Hill. As a 319-year old former wheat plantation, we have our own fascinating history that predates the founding of America by more than 70 years. We are conveniently located just 4 miles from Interstate 64, and a quick 20 minutes to downtown Charlottesville. At our tranquil country inn, you have a choice of 13 unique bedrooms or cottages. Each morning our hearty gourmet breakfast is served, either in our historic dining room or delivered right to your bedroom door! And our dinners… well, they simply must be experienced to be believed! Contact us today (right here) and book your stay before America’s next birthday!