Attractions & Museums
Steeped in American history, Charlottesville is home to many world-class attractions and museums. From famous tourist attractions like Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Michie Tavern to local favorites like the University of Virginia Art Museum. Even just strolling Charlottesville's charming Historic Downtown Mall there are places to see and things to do for everyone. Be sure to visit the following attractions and museums on your next trip to Charlottesville.
Carter Mountain, Chiles and Spring Valley Orchards
Spring Valley Orchard has juicy cherries from May through June. With springtime strawberries, summertime peaches, and autumn apples and pumpkins, Chiles Peach Orchard is open three seasons out of the year! Find veggies lovingly grown by our neighbors, local crafts and photography, fresh goodies baked in our kitchen, and our own homegrown fruit here. Enjoy Carter Mountain year 'round with delivered-to-the-door fruit butters, jams, gourmet foods, and gift items. Shop our Online Orchard and visit
chilesfamilyorchards.com for more information.
Families visiting Charlottesville on their vacation will love the events and resources found in
CharlottesvilleFamily's Bloom magazine, everything from fun to fill an afternoon to practical help like babysitters and pediatricians. CharlottesvilleFamily's Bloom is an award-winning bimonthly magazine dedicated to serving families in Charlottesville-Albemarle with engaging feature stories on parenting, education, health and recreation as well as useful resources designed to help "Make Parenting Easier & Growing Up Fun."
America's oldest continuously operated show cave, voted #2 in America by Parade magazine, and a National Natural Landmark, Grand Caverns is a stately and powerful example of nature's handiwork. Gigantic stalactites point down from above. Equally imposing stalagmites thrust upward from the caverns floor. Cathedral Hall measuring 280 feet long and over 70 feet high is one of the largest rooms of any cavern in the east. Massive columns, beautiful draperies, rippling flowstone, and hundreds of rare "shield" formations create a variety of fascinating sights. Come and experience the unique beauty of this cavern and the unparalleled hospitality of park staff.
James Monroe's Highland
Explore the estate of James Monroe, the United States’ fifth president and last founding father. Thomas Jefferson encouraged Monroe to purchase the land adjoining Monticello in rural Albemarle County. Monroe owned the plantation from 1793 until 1826. Today visitors can stroll through the historic boxwood gardens, visit with farm animals, admire breathtaking panoramic views, and learn about Monroe’s contributions to the early American republic over 50 years of public service, including a two-term presidency and more elected public offices served than any other president before or after him. Owned by the College of William & Mary, Monroe’s alma mater.
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA is the only museum outside Australia dedicated to Indigenous Australian art. With a collection of more than 1900 objects and an active residency program that brings Indigenous artists to Charlottesville, exhibitions change frequently and programs are dynamic and one-of-a-kind. While drawing on traditions that are hundreds and thousands of years old, Indigenous Australian art is also contemporary, and exhibitions usually include a diversity of artworks, from paintings on bark and canvas to sculpture and films. A free guided tour is offered every Saturday at 10:30 am.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers year-round beauty on a historic property with more than 40 acres of spectacular gardens, dining and shopping. A classical domed Conservatory is the only one of its kind in the mid-Atlantic. A Children's Garden offers a wheel-chair accessible Tree House, WaterPlay, an International Village and more. More than a dozen themed gardens include a Healing Garden, Sunken Garden, Asian Valley and Victorian Garden. With easy access off I-64, I-95 and I-295, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a must-see destination and one of the most-visited attractions in Richmond.
Michie Tavern, circa 1784, served as the social center of its community and accommodated travelers with food, drink and lodging. Located 1/4 mile from Jefferson's Monticello, this Virginia Landmark captures 18th-century Tavern life through bountiful southern fare, continuous self-guided tours and four unique shops. June 1-August 30 children receive $4 discount on lunch buffet per each paying adult. Coupons required and available at www.michietavern.com under "Coupons." Lunch buffet offered daily 11:15-3:30 April-October, 11:30-3 November-March. Ask about tours featuring Mr. Michie's Treasure Hunt.
Enter the world of Thomas Jefferson by exploring the iconic house and scenic grounds of Monticello, his mountaintop plantation and autobiographical masterpiece, designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than forty years. Experience the renovations to the dining room, kitchen and wine cellar, and the exhibition "The Crossroads." Be sure to watch the introductory film and see the children's discovery room at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center. Reserved tickets are available online.
Natural Bridge Zoo
At Natural Bridge Zoo Park there are always numerous baby animals and typically a special exotic baby animal to have your picture take with. This spring, have your picture taken with baby tigers! Enjoy an African Elephant ride. Encounter mountain lions, White Tigers, Asiatic bears, zebra, and a large variety of monkeys. Many of the Natural Bridge Virginia Zoo animals are bottle fed from birth which creates closer, more friendly encounters than you have ever experienced. Have too much fun while feeding a herd of giraffe, camels, donkeys, pigs, deer and goats. Hundreds of animals to feed, pet and photograph.
Virginia Discovery Museum
The Virginia Discovery Museum brings young children and families together to engage minds, excite imaginations and explore the world around them. In the garage, you can build your own automoblox racecar and test its speed on our downhill track. After you finish with all things industrial, spend some time in our expanded Virginia Frontier area built around our Showalter log cabin. Harvest corn, cabbage, carrots, and more in the garden. Enjoy the permanent exhibits, A-Mazing Airways, the Toddler Room/Pirate Ship and the Open Studio.
Copyright © 2018
Ivy Publications, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.
Above photos credited to and including all rights reserved to (from left to right): 3. Monticello: Leonard Phillips, courtesy Thomas Jefferson Foundation. 5. UVA's Scott Stadium, courtesy Virginia Athletics Media Relations.
7. Blue Ridge Parkway, Robin Bethke.
Lower section (homepage): 1. Monticello: Monticello/Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. 2. Wedding Directory cover photo: Jen Fariello. 3. University of Virginia Rotunda: Jennifer Jones.