Tag: Charlottesville Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

A- Overview:
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Charlottesville is an area of unique beauty and a bastion of history. Each year over half a million travelers visit the Charlottesville area, enjoying the natural beauty of the mountains, Skyline Drive, Monticello, and the University of Virginia (UVA).

For those who enjoy history, there are few more richly endowed settings than Charlottesville. The area is identified with Thomas Jefferson and his legacy of leadership and free thought, which laid the foundation for what Charlottesville is today. The values and traditions of Jefferson, the nation’s third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, are on display at his home, Monticello, and at the University of Virginia.

It was in Charlottesville that Thomas Jefferson designed and built his magnificent mountaintop home, Monticello, and created what he described as his “academical village,” the University of Virginia. It was Jefferson’s belief that the college experience should take place within a place where shared learning infused daily life. Plans were developed for ten Pavilions, which were stately, neoclassical faculty homes with living quarters upstairs, and classrooms downstairs that were attached to two rows of student rooms and connected by an inward-facing colonnade. The buildings face a long lawn, anchored at one end by a Pantheon-inspired Rotunda. Each Pavilion was identified with a subject to be studied and inhabited by the professor who taught that subject.

Jefferson corresponded with scholars in America and Europe, seeking the best faculty to teach in the areas of philosophy, the arts, foreign languages, science, law, and medicine. In March, 1825, the University of Virginia opened to serve its first 123 students. Through the years, the University has grown and developed from its original composition of white males (sons of wealthy plantation owners) to include men and women of all ethnic and economic backgrounds with the emphasis on academic excellence and adherence to an individual and communal “Code of Honor”.

In 1993, U.S. News and World Report ranked UVA the nation’s best public university. It has remained at the top of that annual list ever since. The University of Virginia consistently ranks well whether judged by popularity with students, retention and graduation rates, or overall excellence and remains committed to fulfilling the vision of its founder. Regularly scheduled official tours of the university are offered. One of the tour points is the university’s West Range, where Woodrow Wilson and Edgar Allan Poe each lived when they were students

Monticello is located just 3 miles southeast of town. Thomas Jefferson was an inventor, and some of his discoveries are displayed at Monticello. Among these are: a seven-day calendar clock; semiautomatic glass doors; and a built-in bed that Jefferson could enter from his bedroom, on one side, or his study, on the other. Jefferson’s memory is honored at the family cemetery on the Monticello grounds.

Slightly more than two miles from Monticello is Ash Lawn-Highland, the restored home of America’s fifth president, James Monroe. This 550-acre estate features gardens, farm-craft demonstrations, and a hiking trail. The scene of many special events such as the Summer Festival, It now hosts tours, concerts and occasional wine tastings.

Also in Charlottesville can be found the home of James Madison, fourth president and author of the Constitution. Charlottesville and Albemarle County proudly display their historical treasures: Monticello; the grounds of the University of Virginia; Historic Court Square; Michie Tavern, and countless others. Tours, special events, and educational programs for the entire family attract many visitors to the area.

The university’s influence on the town of Charlottesville is evident in the number of art galleries, musical venues, bookstores, and trendy restaurants that line the brick streets of downtown. The town has even adopted the university’s famous honor policy: yellow bicycles are left at major intersections for anyone to use, provided they return them when they are finished. (Biking is a great way to get around Charlottesville.) The town offers the best in dining, shopping and education in a sophisticated, small town atmosphere.

Charlottesville borders Shenandoah National Park, whose 300 square miles stretch out along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, serving as a reminder of the great hardwood forests that once blanketed the northeastern United States and of the wildlife that inhabited them. The park offers protection to the animals and plants that thrive within its boundaries. A roadway bisects the park affording spectacular views into the valley below. This is a place to bicycle, to hike, to canoe, and to drive with the Appalachian Trail running for 100 miles through the entire park.

Take a picnic and drive into the countryside in any direction from Charlottesville and you will discover numerous Civil War sites and historical markers detailing more than two hundred years of history. Beautiful estates, bounded by split-rail fences and cedar trees, dot the rolling, hilly landscape. In and around Charlottesville, history comes alive, enriching our understanding of the past and its relationship to the present.

B- City Information:
Population: 45,049

Elevation: 594 feet

Land area: 10.3 square miles

Location: The City of Charlottesville is located in Central Virginia, approximately 100 miles

southwest of Washington, D.C. and 70 miles northwest of Richmond, Virginia.

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time Zone, Daylight Saving Time April – October.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
35.0
38.3
46.5
56.7
64.7
72.5
76.5
74.8
68.4
57.5
48.4
38.9

High temperature (°F)
44.4
48.4
57.5
68.4
75.7
83.2
87.3
85.6
79.1
68.6
58.7
48.1

Low temperature (°F)
25.6
28.1
35.5
44.8
53.7
61.8
65.7
64.1
57.8
46.3
37.9
29.5

Precipitation (in)
3.3
3.0
3.9
3.2
4.6
4.2
5.0
4.0
4.7
4.1
3.6
3.1

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
11
9
11
10
12
10
11
10
8
7
9
9

Wind speed (mph)
8.0
8.3
8.8
8.7
7.4
6.7
6.3
5.9
6.4
6.7
7.4
7.4

Morning humidity (%)
76
76
75
75
81
83
86
87
89
87
82
78

Afternoon humidity (%)
56
52
49
46
52
54
56
56
57
53
52
55

Sunshine (%)
52
56
59
63
63
67
64
63
62
62
57
53

Days clear of clouds
8
8
8
8
8
7
8
8
10
12
9
9

Partly cloudy days
7
7
9
9
10
12
12
11
9
7
7
7

Cloudy days
16
14
14
13
13
11
11
11
11
11
13
15

Snowfall (in)
5.7
5.1
3.1
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.7
2.7

Local Seasons: Charlottesville has four temperate seasons. Winters bring some snow, but the temperatures in January rarely dip below freezing. Spring warms up quickly, with temperatures in March and April averaging in the mid-40’s and 50’s. The dogwood trees are coaxed into blooming by the rising temperatures and thousands of visitors come to the area to enjoy both the blooms and the festival. Summers bring sunny days, and with temperatures averaging in the high 70’s, it’s just perfect for spending time outdoors. The fall brings magnificent vistas with foliage in hues of red, gold and orange and perfect weather for light jackets or sweaters.

Getting There:

By Car: Charlottesville is on I-64 from east or west and U.S. 29 from north or south. I-64

connects with I-81 at Staunton and with I-95 at Richmond.

By Plane: US Airways, Delta, and United fly commuter planes to Charlottesville-Albemarle

Airport, 201 Bowen Loop (434-973-8341, north of town off U.S. 29. Taxis are available, and Van on the Go (877-973-7667 or 434-975-8267) provides shuttle service into town.

By Train: The Amtrak station is at 810 W. Main St. (800-872-7245), about halfway between the commercial district and the University of Virginia.

Getting Around:

The easiest way to get between the campus and the Downtown Mall is on the free trolley operated by the Charlottesville Transit Service (CTA) (434-296). It runs along Main Street every 10 to 15 minutes Monday to Saturday from 6:30am to midnight. CTA also has bus service Monday through Saturday from 6:30am to 6:30pm throughout the city (but not to Monticello).

Parking — On-street parking is extremely limited. In the historic downtown area, you can park free for 2 hours with merchant validation (take your ticket with you and get it stamped) in the garage on Market Street between 1st and 2nd streets, or in any of the lots and two garages along Water Street. The university’s visitor parking garage is on the western side of the campus, on Emmet Street (U.S. 29 Business) a block south of University Avenue (which is the continuation of West Main Street). On the eastern side of campus, two public garages are located opposite the University Hospital on Lee Street, off Jefferson Park Avenue. The Corner has public parking on Elliewood Avenue, Wertland Street at 14th Street, and down the alleys behind the businesses fronting West Main Street.

City Layout:

Charlottesville has two commercial centers, one catering to college students; the other to grownups. Both are on Main Street (U.S. 250 Business), about a mile apart. On West Main Street, opposite the University of Virginia between 13th Street and Elliewood Avenue, the Corner neighborhood is a typical campus enclave, with student-dominated restaurants, bookstores and clothing stores, and a dearth of parking spaces. A mile to the east, Historic Downtown Charlottesville is centered on the Downtown Mall, an 8-block, pedestrian-only strip of Main Street between 2nd Street West and 8th Street East.

Getting Around:

Explore Charlottesville’s captivating downtown and the University areas the most relaxing way: on foot. Visitors and locals alike also enjoy taking advantage of Charlottesville Transit Service’s free trolley from historic downtown to the Corner and University Grounds.

Given the county’s size and geographic diversity, alternative options for travel beyond the city include private or rental vehicle, bus, limousine or if you feel daring– ballooning! Customized guided tours of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Monticello Wine Country, and beyond are available by appointment.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day: Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day: 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day: last Mon. in May

Independence Day: July 4

Labor Day: 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

Business Hours

Emergencies: Ambulance (911). Fire ( 911). Police ( 911).

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Monticello — Home of Thomas Jefferson

931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
March 1 – October 31, 8am-5pm; November 1 – February 28, 9am-4:30pm. Closed Christmas.

434-984-9800

Admission Charged. Children under 6 free.

Monticello is the home of Thomas Jefferson, third U.S. President, author of the Declaration of Independence and Statute for Religious Freedom as well as founder of the University of Virginia. In 1769 at the age of 26, Thomas Jefferson began the design and construction of Monticello. Perched on a mountaintop overlooking the city of Charlottesville, Monticello is a majestic reminder of Jefferson’s creativity and talent. No other home in the United States more accurately reflects the personality of its owner than Monticello, Jefferson’s architectural masterpiece and beloved mountaintop home. Daily tours.

Ash Lawn- Highland

1000 James Monroe Parkway, 2 1/2 miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53.

Open daily November – March 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; April – October 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

434-293-9539

Admission Charged.

Restored home of the 5th president of the United States and close friend of Thomas Jefferson. James Monroe’s 550- acre estate recreates the atmosphere of a working farm, with strutting peacocks, spinning and weaving demonstrations, open hearth cooking demonstrations and tours of the house and gardens

Of particular interest are the newly refurbished interiors, lovely herb and vegetable gardens, and a statue of James Monroe at one end of the boxwood gardens.

Michie Tavern

683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway

Michie Tavern is located less than one mile from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello on State Route 53, Monticello Mountain.

Museum is open year-round
Admission Charged (tours). Tours are 9-5 daily. Last tour: 4:20pm.
434-977-1234

Michie Tavern is a Virginia Historic Landmark which has welcomed travelers for more than 200 years. Established in 1784 by Scotsman William Michie, the Tavern served as the social center of its community and provided travelers with food, drink and lodging. In 1927, the Tavern was moved 17 miles to its present location close to Monticello, serving as a prime example of the Colonial Revival period. Today, crossing the threshold of old Michie’s Tavern, is to enter another era. This is where our 18th-century counterparts came to dine and socialize. Visitors experience the Tavern’s past through an historical journey which recreates life when Mr. Michie operated his Inn. During the afternoons, April through October, visitors may be invited to dance the Virginia Reel in the Assembly Room, drink an 18th-century tavern punch or write with a quill pen. After visiting the original Inn, the tour continues through the Tavern’s outbuildings and the Virginia Wine Museum.

The Printer’s Market (at Michie Tavern)

Seasonal Operation, hours: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Located in an historic 1822 structure, the shop features original and reproduction Early American printed items for sale including one of the most extensive offerings of period newspapers, paper currency and vintage stamps on the East Coast. A gallery setting encourages guests to browse through the books, historic prints, posters, and exhibits.

Albemarle County Courthouse

501 East Jefferson Street

Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed for state and federal holidays.

434-972-4083

Admission Free.

The courthouse was established in 1762. The grounds once held a whipping post, pillory and stocks, as was typical of the time. In addition to serving as the courthouse and sole place to vote in Albemarle County, religious services for Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptists were held in this space, which Jefferson called “The Common Temple.” Jefferson, Madison and Monroe were frequent visitors here, especially after Jefferson retired in 1809.

Court Square of Charlottesville

411 East High Street
877-386-1102

Admission Free.

The following sites can be explored in more detail on Saturday morning walking tours offered by the Albemarle Historical Society (April-October)

200 Second Street, NE.

Tours begin at 10:00 am, last for approximately one hour with donations accepted.

434-296-1492 for more information.

1. 300 Court Square, is the site of the Eagle Tavern, a simple wooden frame building which stood there in 1791 and provided food and lodging on court days, as well as public dances and victory celebrations within its spacious parlor. (the brick replacement, can be seen by visitors today). The building also was used as the headquarters of the Federal occupying forces after the Civil War. Operating as a hotel until the 1960’s, it is now office space.

2. Adjacent to “0” Court Square and 6th Street buildings visitors can see the slave block, where auctions of slaves took place. The slave block should serve as a reminder of the shameful and racist attitudes of many communities during much of our early history.

3. The influence of Jefferson’s design for the University of Virginia buildings nearby may have influenced the design of Building #0, when it was built in the 1820’s. Storehouses for merchants, as well as a small town library, a whiskey dealer and a Swiss watchmaker recruited by Jefferson were all located along 6th St.

4. The Swan Tavern was located at 300 Park Street, where a brick townhouse now stands. The tavern was made famous by Jack Jouett, whose father owned The Swan. In 1781, Jefferson and Virginia’s government quit Richmond under threat of capture by the British, and reconvened in Charlottesville. Jouett rode through the night on back roads from Louisa County to warn Governor Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and other members of the General Assembly of the approach of British forces under the command of Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Eluding capture, most legislators fled to safety in Staunton. Tarleton’s men destroyed some court records and military stores, but spared the town from destruction.

The Miller School of Albemarle

1000 Samuel Miller Loop
434-823-4805

Visitors are welcome during the day, but should check in at the Main Office in Old Main.

Admission Free.

The Miller School is one of several legacies of Samuel Miller, a native of Albemarle County who grew up in poverty but became a wealthy investor in Lynchburg. He established The Miller School in Albemarle County to provide a first-rate education for children from Albemarle County and the surrounding area, regardless of financial condition. Listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register, the Miller School complex of buildings reflect the Victorian Gothic architecture popular at the time. Situated on almost 1600 acres of land, the beautiful grounds provide ample space for the 160 students now attending the school. The Miller School, originally known as The Miller Manual Labor School, was chartered by an Act of the General Assembly approved on February 24, 1874. The architectural focal point of the campus, Old Main, was begun in 1876. It was designed by architects Albert Lybrock and D. Wiley Anderson of Richmond, and built by Thomas Woodroffe, originally from England. The school opened in 1878 with 33 students, and has been a successful boarding and day school ever since.

University of Virginia Rotunda and Central Grounds

University Ave
434-924-3239, 434-924-7969

Conducted tours of the Rotunda are offered daily at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. Closes for 3 weeks at Christmas time and during graduation in May.

Admission Free.

The original Grounds of the University, including the Rotunda and the Lawn, were designed by Jefferson to be what he called an “Academical Village.” The Academical Village includes a rectangular, terraced green space known as the Lawn; two parallel rows of buildings, the Pavilions, connected by colonnaded walkways and student rooms; and the Rotunda, which closes off the north end of the Lawn. The Rotunda, a half-scale interpretation of the Pantheon in Rome, is the signature landmark of the University and its Dome Room originally housed the University library. The Pavilions are in the Federal style and no two are alike. The top floors of the Pavilions originally served as living quarters for the professors, while the ground-level floors served as classrooms and offices.

The Gardens are enclosed by serpentine brick walls, whose curve helps to stabilize and strengthen the walls, which are remarkable for being only one brick thick. Parallel to the Lawn and behind the Gardens are the Ranges, rows of rooms in which graduate students now live. West Range No. 13 is preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe Room. A plaque over the door of No. 31 marks the room of Woodrow Wilson.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Room

University of Virginia grounds. West Range #13

434-977-1783, 877-386-1102
Admission Free.

Call for days and hours.

Author/poet’s room has been restored to 1826 time period when he was a student. Features a recording about his life.

McGregor Room of Alderman Library

Alderman Library, University of Virginia

434-924-3025

9am-9pm, Monday through Thursday; 9am-5pm, Friday and Saturday.

Call to confirm Saturday hours.

Admission Free.

The Special Collections Department’s exhibition space is located in the Tracy W. McGregor Room on the second floor of Alderman Library. Special Collections administers over 12 million manuscripts, 2.5 million items in the University archives, and 268,600 rare books, as well as approximately 4,000 maps, over 4,000 broadsides; more than 125,000 photographs and small prints.

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia

400 Peter Jefferson Place

434-244-0234
Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm.

Admission Free.

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection was a gift from An American businessman, John W. Kluge to the University of Virginia in 1997. Mr. Kluge began collecting Aboriginal art in 1988 and compiled one of the foremost private collections of Australian Aboriginal art in the world. In 1993, Kluge purchased the collection and archives of the late Professor Edward L. Ruhe of Kansas University

Frontier Culture Museum

1290 Richmond Ave., Staunton, VA. Located near I-64 & I-81 in Staunton, VA. I-81, Exit 222, Route 250 West, the museum is ½ mile on the left.

540-332-7850

Open daily, 9am-5pm; Winter hours: Dec.1- March 16, 10am – 4pm.

Museum closed New Year’s, Thanksgiving, & Christmas. Museum may close or have program changes due to weather conditions. To avoid being disappointed, call ahead.

Admission Charged

University of Virginia Art Museum

Rugby Road, located one block north of the Rotunda on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

Tuesday-Sunday, 1-5pm

434-924-3592, 434-924-7458

Admission Free.

The University of Virginia Art Museum exhibits art from around the world dating from ancient times to the present day. In addition to its permanent collection, the Museum presents an ongoing schedule of changing exhibitions, accompanied by related programs and publications.

Leander J. McCormick Observatory

McCormick Observatory on the UVA grounds.

9-11pm, Apr. – Oct, first and third Friday night.

8-10pm, Nov.-Mar., first and third Friday night.

434-924-7494

Admission Free.

Call for schedule.

Monuments/Memorials

Robert E. Lee Monument

Lee Park, Historic Court Square

434-296-1492.

This monument was commissioned in 1917 and completed nearly seven years later. In 1924, the statue was presented to the city during a Confederate reunion held at the park. More information is available from the Albemarle County Historical Society at the phone number listed above.

Stonewall Jackson Monument

Jackson Park, Historic Court Square

434-296-1492

At the time of the artwork’s unveiling in 1921, the Jackson monument was considered to be among the finest equestrian sculptures in the nation. More information is available from the Albemarle County Historical Society at the phone number listed above.

Confederate Memorial on Court Square

Albemarle County Court House in Charlottesville. Court Square

877-386-1102 or 434-977-1783

Admission Free.
Charlottesville and Albemarle County were among the last communities in Virginia to erect a monument honoring Confederate soldiers from their area. The bronze statue, whose sculptor remains unknown, is most likely a mass- produced copy of a Confederate soldier “at ready.”

Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea Statue

At the intersections of W. Main Street and Ridge Street Charlottesville. Just northwest of the downtown mall.

434-293-6789

This impressive and historic statue commemorates the 1803-1806 journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The statue of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea was sculpted by Charles Keck, who was a prominent sculptor of his day. The statue was commissioned by Paul Goodloe McIntire and given to the citizens of Charlottesville in 1919.

Confederate Monument, University Of Virginia Cemetery

At the intersections of Alderman and McCormick Roads in Charlottesville.

877-386-1102 or 434-977-1783

Admission Free.

Unveiled on June 7, 1893, the monument is in memory of approximately eleven hundred Confederate Soldiers buried at the University of Virginia. The piece consists of a gray granite pedestal twelve feet high on which stands an eight foot bronze statue of a young Confederate solider, hat in hand and rifle at the rest position. Four encircling bronze tablets carry the names of the soldiers buried at the cemetery. Seventeen blank spaces represent unknown soldiers.

Cemeteries

Maplewood Cemetery

400 Block Lexington Avenue

7am-8pm.

877-386-1102, 434-977-1783
Admission Free.

Like many cemeteries in cities across the nation, Maplewood Cemetery offers a glimpse of the lives of past citizens. As the oldest public cemetery in Charlottesville, with interments beginning in 1777, Maplewood Cemetery is a priceless reminder of Charlottesville’s rich and varied history. At least three Confederate Generals, as well as other local citizens who distinguished themselves in the Civil War, are buried in Charlottesville’s Maplewood Cemetery.

Oakwood Cemetery

Elliot Avenue & First Street SE
434-293-6789, 434-970-3589

7am-8pm

Admission Free.

As the second-oldest public cemetery in Charlottesville, with interments beginning in 1883, Oakwood Cemetery is a peaceful and welcoming space for visitors. The graves of many prominent and historic citizens are here.

Vineyards & Wineries

Jefferson Vineyards

1353 Thomas Jefferson Parkway,

located on Hwy 53 between Monticello and Ash Lawn-Highland.

800-272-3042, 434-977-3042

Daily, 11 am to 5 pm; tours on the hour between noon and 4 pm.
Admission Free. Fee charged for tastings.

When Thomas Jefferson and Italian Filippo Mazzei decided to establish a vineyard, they chose the land between Monticello and Ash-Lawn – the site of present day Jefferson Vineyards.

First Colony Winery

1650 Harris Creek Road

434-979-7105

11am-5pm.

Open daily, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission Free.

Complimentary tours and tastings are offered at the winery. Five Wines are produced: Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Oakencroft Vineyard & Winery

1486 Oakencroft Lane

434-296-4188

Open daily, April to December, 11-5, January and February by appointment, March weekends only 11-5.

Admission Charged. (Tasting fees)

Spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are seen from the vineyards. A lake, home to five species of waterfowl, fronts the Winery Courtyard. Wines: Countryside White, Blush, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot.

McGuffey Art Center

210 Second Street, NW

Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm.; Sun., 1-5pm. Closed Mondays.

Holiday closing schedule: New Years Eve/Day, July 4th, Last two weeks in August, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day.
434-295-7973

Admission Free.

The McGuffey Art Center is a co- operative, non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1975 and is housed in the former McGuffey Elementary School building. The schoolrooms were transformed into forty studios, three galleries, and a gift shop All studios are open 17.5 hours per week in order for the public to observe work in progress.

Old Hardware Store Building

316 E. Main Street, Historic Downtown Mall
434-977-1518

Call for hours of operation.

Admission Free.

This Charlottesville landmark since 1895 is now an exciting complex of boutiques, restaurants, and art and exhibition galleries.

Fortune’s Cove Preserve

490 Westfield Road
434-295-6106

Open daily, dawn to dusk, year-round.

Admission Free

Fortune’s Cove Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) provides a challenging hike that rewards visitors with stunning mountain vistas. Fortune’s Cove straddles Virginia’s Piedmont and Blue Ridge. Here, these two ecological regions meet to form a unique collection of flora from both areas. The 5.5-mile loop trail climbs steeply from the parking area, gaining some 1,500 feet in elevation before reaching its highest point. Hikers should be in good physical condition and should allow six hours to complete the entire loop. A gravel parking area and kiosk with trail map are at the preserve entrance; there are no restrooms.

Thomas Jefferson Parkway and Kemper Park

Located on Route 53 (100 yards from Route 20S).

434-984-9822

Daily, sunrise to sunset.

Admission Free.

Visitors are invited to stroll along the Thomas Jefferson Parkway located on Route 53. The trail is 3.2 miles round-trip on a gentle grade. Limited parking is available at the base of Route 53.

Rivanna River

Winds through Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville and Fluvanna County. Access points include U.S. 29 Bridge at South Fork, Darden Towe Park, Riverview Park (fishing), Palmyra and Columbia (at James River).

434-293-6789

Admission Free.

The beautiful and gentle Rivanna River flows through Albemarle and Fluvanna counties as well as the City of Charlottesville. Named for Queen Anne of England, the Rivanna is home to countless birds, fish, turtles and other creatures, as well as providing a wonderful place for human residents to fish, canoe, swim and boat. The river begins about six miles northeast of Charlottesville where the North and South Forks of the river are joined, and flows about 42 miles to Columbia where it joins the mighty James River. The Rivanna is considered safe for canoes in winter, spring and early summer, with few hazards, and no whitewater.

Hardware River

Carter’s Bridge on Route 20 south
434-293-6789

Admission Free.

The Hardware River begins about 15 miles south of Charlottesville, just above the Route 20 Bridge. The Hardware flows south for 26 ½ miles to join the James River just above Bremo Bluff. Typically, canoeists divide the trip into two sections, the first being from Route 20 at Carter Bridge to the Temperance Wayside at Route 6, and the second being from the Temperance Wayside at Route 6 to the James River at the take-out bridge.

The Hardware River is rich in wildlife, including deer, turkey, fish and a variety of other birds and mammals. The banks are mostly tree-lined and shady, with the high clay banks so typical of Piedmont streams. Though often crossed by roads, the traveler is certain to enjoy the peace and quiet afforded by the river.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Children’s Health Museum at UVA

University of Virginia Medical Center, on Lee Street

1st floor of the Primary Care Center of the University of Virginia Medical Center

434-924-1593

Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm.

Admission Free.

The museum was designed to teach children about their bodies, health care, and healthy choices in a way that builds self-esteem, promotes good health, and alleviates fears of doctors, hospitals, and medical procedures.

Monticello Visitors Center

600 College Drive

434-984-9822

Open daily 9am-5pm., November through February; 9am-5:30pm., March through October. Jefferson Exhibit is closed December 25.

Admission Free.

Located in the Monticello Visitors Center building is the exhibition “Thomas Jefferson at Monticello,” which explores many aspects of Jefferson’s domestic life. On display is a rich assortment of personal memorabilia, artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations, and architectural models and drawings. A film, “Thomas Jefferson: The Pursuit of Liberty,” is shown in the theatre.

Tonsler Park

1300 Pen Park Road, At the intersection of Ridge Street and Cherry Avenue.

434-970-3589

Daily, 6AM to 11PM

Admission Free.

Tonsler Park is one of the busiest parks in Charlottesville. Small children, teenagers and families gather to enjoy the recreation center, tennis courts, life-size chess board, lighted basketball courts, softball/soccer fields, large sprinkler shower and extensive playground equipment.

Virginia Discovery Museum

East end of the Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall
434-977-1025

Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 1-5pm. Closed Mondays.

Admission Charged.

An exciting world of education and fun for children ages 1 to 10 and their families. The Museum has two exhibit spaces: the Back Gallery exhibit changes every three months, and the Discovery Corner alternates every month. The Museum’s Front Gallery is full of interactive exhibits about science, history and the arts for children including twelve permanent exhibit areas.

Virginia Museum of Natural History – UVA

104 Emmet Street

434-982-4605

Monday – Thursday, 10am-4pm.

Admission Free.

The Museum offers changing exhibits on natural history which rotate periodically. The Wachovia-UVA Discovery room engages children, ages 3-93 in hands- on nature-related learning experiences. Young children may crawl into a tree snag (replica) and discover the creatures that make their home inside. A discovery box, animal tracks as well as a library allow for more exploration. Visitors may examine animal x-rays on a view box and compare them to real animal skulls and skeletons that are on display. Children can also learn about our water supply system as they connect pipes from a “reservoir” to a “sink” to a “water treatment plant” or “septic system”, and watch it flow back into the “river.” Using a marble as a water drop, children follow the flow of water through the system.

McIntire Skateboard Park

McIntire Rd & 250 Bypass
434-244-0166

Open June through December

Call for exact dates and times of operation
Admission Free

Attendant on duty during operating hours

Hours subject to change

Liability waivers are required. Helmet, elbow & kneepads are required and available at site.

Equipment consists of Skatelite ramps, jumps & boxes.

E- Events & Entertainment:
February

Japanese Family Festival

University of Virginia Art Museum

434-924-7458

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Free.

Festival events will include family activities such as origami, games, kimono wrapping and other traditional crafts, organized by the Young Friends. The gallery guild and the volunteer board will present Japanese treats and drinks, and the docents will host demonstrations of Japanese music and dance, a tea ceremony and a bonsai exhibition.

March

Virginia Festival of the Book

Events are held at the University of Virginia, in downtown Charlottesville, and around the Charlottesville/Albemarle area

434-924-6890

Admission Free (except special luncheons and receptions).

Call for dates, time and location.

Readings, panel discussions and book signings are held throughout the area during the days and evenings of the festival. There are usually about 150 total programs, including adult and children’s programming.

April

The City Market

H & R Block parking lot on Water St.

970-3371 or 970-3271
Saturdays, 7am-12noon

The Market offers fresh produce, herbs, plants, crafts & baked goods
from local vendors.

Court Days Crafts Festival
Downtown Historic District
434-296-8548

Admission Free.

Historic Garden Week in Virginia

Various locations in Charlottesville and Albemarle County

434-977-1783 or 877-386-1103

Admission Charged.

Call for exact date, hours and locations.

Annual Dogwood Festival

Various locations including McIntire Park and Downtown Charlottesville.
434-961-9824

Admission Charged for some events.

Call for schedule of all events.

What began in the fall of 1950 as the Apple Harvest Festival became the Dogwood Festival in April of 1958, during the peak of the Dogwood blossom season. Thousands come each year to enjoy the feature parade which usually consists of over 120 units. Some of the many other activities that comprise the festival include a golf tournament, a chicken barbeque at McIntire Park, the dogwood tree sale at Barracks Road Shopping Center, a breakfast in Charlottesville, the amusement rides at McIntire Park, the Dogwood Blues Festival on the Downtown Mall.

Fridays After Five

Downtown Mall

Every Friday, late April-early October, beginning at 5:30pm.
434-296-8548

Admission Free.

Free outdoor concerts for the whole family on the east end of Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall in the amphitheater.

Easter Egg Hunt at Kluge Estate Farm Shop

Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard | 100 Grand Cru Drive

434-977-3895

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Free.

Come for a fun-filled Easter Egg hunt. All prizes are edible!

May

Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival
Claudius Crozet Park
434-823-2211

Call for exact date and time

Admission Charged.

Virginia Wine Festival
Ash Lawn-Highland, 1941 James Monroe Parkway
434-293-9539

Call for exact date and time

Admission Charged (includes wine glass and tastings).

Important Virginia vineyards, music, gourmet food, Monroe house tours, more.

June

Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Festival

1941 James Monroe Parkway
434-293-4500

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Charged.

July

Charlottesville Fireworks Fest

McIntire Park

434-977-6100
July 4, 4-10pm

Admission Free (donations accepted).

Come for an evening of great community fun. Moonbounces, games and slides for kids, music, skydivers and lots of fireworks!

Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony

Monticello, 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville
July 4

Call for exact time.

Admission Free.

This outdoor naturalization ceremony for new citizens on Monticello’s West Lawn is one of America’s most inspiring July 4 events. Patriotic music will be performed.

African-American Cultural Arts Festival

Booker T. Washington Park (Park is located on corner of 10th Street NW and Preston Avenue, west of the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville)

Last Saturday of July

434-296-4986 or 434-979-0582
Admission Free.

This family-oriented festival opens with a grand entrance by the Spiritwalker, dancers, drums and many other exciting performers. A wide variety of crafts, foods, community organizations and artisans will be found throughout the park. Visitors can listen to the traditional African storyteller, watch musical and dance performances and discover more about local and national African American history and the contributions of African Americans to our community.

Ash Lawn Opera Festival

Boxwood Gardens of Ash Lawn-Highland

1941 James Monroe Parkway, (2 1/2 miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53).

Evening performances at 8 p.m. are outdoors at Ash Lawn-Highland; grounds open for picnicking at 6 p.m. Lectures begin at 7:15 p.m. (if applicable).

434-979-0122 or 434-293-4500

Admission Charged.
Opera and musical theater sung in English.

August

Albemarle County Fair

Fairgrounds (From Charlottesville take Route 29 south to North Garden, turn right on Route 692. Approximately 1/2 mile on right)

434-293-6396

Call for exact dates and hours of operation.

Admission Charged.

What would August in Albemarle County be without the County Fair? This week-long tradition is a great finale to summer fun. The fair provides an opportunity for visitors to understand, appreciate and enjoy the agricultural heritage that continues to sustain the area economy. A family fun-filled event featuring agricultural, livestock and craft exhibits; musical entertainment, amusement rides, commercial exhibits and a wonderful variety of food.

Plantation Days: Children’s Day

Ash Lawn-Highland

1941 James Monroe Parkway, (2 1/2 miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53).

434-293-9539

Admission Charged.

Call for exact date and time.

Work and play on an early 19th-century plantation. Special youth tours of the home of President James Monroe. Craft demonstrations, hands-on workshops, music, colonial games, more.

September

Plantation Days: Autumn on the Plantation

Ash Lawn-Highland

1941 James Monroe Parkway, (2 1/2 miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53).

434-293-9539

Admission Charged.

Call for exact date and time.

Activities to prepare for winter on an early 19th-century plantation. Craft demonstrations, hands-on workshops, music, colonial games, more.

Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival

Jefferson Theater, on the Downtown Mall

434-977-6100

Admission Charged.

Call for exact date and time.

The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival presents a series of concerts each September, featuring musicians from all over the world, in new and old chamber music repertoire.

October

Monticello Wine and Jazz Festival

Boar’s Head Inn

1486 Oalencroft Lane

434-296-4188 ext. 21

Admission Charged.

Call for exact dates and times.

Featuring wineries located in the Monticello Viticultural Area all within an hour of Charlottesville, Va. Art and craft exhibits, jazz musicians, great food and great wine. Come and enjoy the beautiful fall colors of Virginia.

Virginia Film Festival

Events are held at locations throughout the Charlottesville area.
434-924-FEST or 800-UVA-FEST

Admission Charged.

Call for exact dates and times of event.

There will be a rapid filmmaking workshop in which approximately twenty filmmakers will write, shoot, and edit their films in three days, beginning on opening night and screening on closing night.

Downtown Safe Halloween Festival

Downtown Mall

434- 970-3271
Call for exact time and date.

Admission Free.
Halloween fun for children 12 and under.

Charlottesville Cavalcade

CHS Stadium

434-295-8453.

Call for exact time and date.

Admission Charged.

High School Marching Band Competition.

November

Governor Jefferson’s Thanksgiving Festival
Historic Court Square and Downtown Mall
434-978-4466

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Free.

Over fifty activities scheduled at seven different venues around Charlottesville’s Historic Court Square and Downtown Mall are designed to let you experience what the community was like during the American Revolution between 1779 and 1781. You will step back in history and mingle with a cast of about 150 costumed people portraying famous statesmen, soldiers, merchants, clergymen and slaves who gathered during the American Revolution for a Day of Public Thanksgiving that was proclaimed by Virginia’s Governor Thomas Jefferson in November 1779. Events include: colonial folk music and dancing; children’s games; horse-drawn carriage rides; the “little militia’ at the soldier encampment; demonstrations of 18th century crafts and trades; crafts for children at the Discovery Museum; lectures on African-American history and culture; Governor Jefferson’s Ball and more.

Sounds of the Season-A Holiday Concert
Ash Lawn-Highland

1941 James Monroe Parkway, (2 ½ miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53).

434-293-9539

Call for exact dates and times.

Admission Charged.

This informal concert features holiday music followed by a candlelight tour of the historic James Monroe house.

Charlottesville Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show

Charlottesville National Guard Armory – 1640 Avon Street Extension

540-384-6047

Call for event date and hours of operation

Jewelry makers, goldsmiths and silversmiths from all over the U.S. who can reconstruct, repair, design or make original jewelry from customer-selected gems, stones, opals and crystals. Wire wrap, wire sculpture, pearls, stone beads, stone setting, amber, opal, gem tree, mineral and fossil dealers. Hourly door prizes.

Charlottesville Tradition

Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, 108 5th Street N.E.

434-961- 5846

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Free

Kick off the Holiday Season in Downtown! Charlottesville’s Mayor will pull the switch lighting up the entire Downtown Mall with brilliant holiday light for the Grand Illumination. Festive holiday music by the Charlottesville Municipal Band and local gospel groups. Children and adults alike can welcome Santa’s arrival in Charlottesville as he rides a fire truck down the mall!

December

Oratorio Society Annual Holiday Concert

Cabell Hall Auditorium, University of Virginia

434-996-3610

Call for exact date and time

Admission Charged

The Oratorio Society of Charlottesville- Albemarle (TOSCA) is a 65-member group of singers of all ages (college and beyond) who enjoy singing good music. They present holiday favorites for the whole family.

First Night Virginia

Events are held at locations throughout the downtown area

December 31

434-975-8269

Entertainment, food, and events in Downtown Charlottesville, fireworks at midnight. There are fabulous musicians, magicians, storytellers, puppet shows, and entertainers galore. The event is alcohol free.
Admission Charged (Admission buttons are sold prior to the event, call number listed above for participating stores.)

Call for hours.

Giant Menorah Lighting and Community Chanukah

Central Place on the Downtown Mall

434-293-5994

Call for exact time and date.

Admission Free

Join Chabad of Charlottesville at Central Place on the Downtown Mall for a Chanukah celebration for folks of all ages. Sing the “Dreidel Song” and “Rock of Ages” and feast on traditional holiday treats like potato latkes with all the trimmings and jelly doughnuts…plus chocolate gelt and prizes for the kids!

Spotlight at the Paramount

Charlottesville’s Downtown mall

434-979-1922

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Free.

Local performers are in the Spotlight! Spirited performances of holiday cheer will begin every half hour.

Michie Tavern’s Yuletide Feast

Michie Tavern

683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
434-977-1234

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Charged. Advance ticket purchase required. Reservations begin in November.

Strolling musicians entertain guests dining by candlelight. A banquet of Virginia favorites is served. Festive 18th century style fresh greens and fruits decorate the Tavern.

Christmas by Candlelight

Ash Lawn-Highland

1941 James Monroe Parkway, (2 ½ miles from Monticello on Route 795, off Route 53).

434-293-9539

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Charged.

Christmas candlelight tours are given by costumed interpreters. Hot cider and jumbles are served.