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Visitor Information

A Great Place to Visit, A Great Place to Shop

Greater Charlottesville offers discerning travelers, pursuing one of the best experiences in America, a full range of attractions and activities. The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau -- which may be found online at visitcharlottesville.org -- is the area's best source of information for visitors.  The CACVB is located on the historic Downtown Mall, just a short walk from the Chamber of Commerce.


Greater Charlottesville features -- history, culture, arts, shopping, championship Atlantic Coast Conference & NCAA sports, vineyards with award-winning wines, top-rated music and entertainment venues, art galleries, museums, festivals, hiking, biking, backpacking, rafting, skiing, Monticello, Ashlawn-Highland, Montpelier and, of course, the Blue Ridge Mountains. There's the Appalachian Trail, Skyline Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the JamesRivanna, Hardware and Rockfish Rivers.

At the other end of the spectrum there's Charlottesville's Historic Downtown Mall -- a pulsating urban pedestrian mall, home to more than 150 shops, restaurants, galleries, the Paramount and Pavilion -- with historic Court Square just a few steps away.

Downtown Patio Dining The Paramount Vidal_Glenn

Just up West Main Street from the Downtown Mall is "The Corner," across from the Rotunda at UVA, this area features a good taste of college life in old buildings. Mostly bookstores and t-shirt shops, this is where many students and their parents come to purchase university souvenirs and for coffee and food.

Barracks Road Shopping Center, located near the University of Virginia on the corner of EBarracks Roadmmett Street (US 29) and Barracks Road, has a mix of shopping opportunities sure to please any newcomer.

Seminole Square, located along US 29, just north of Hydraulic Road, also offers shoppers a variety of opportunities.

Charlottesville Fashion Square, located along US 29, just north of the City limits, is the largest enclosed shopping center in the area, and it, too, has something for everyone.

Albemarle Square, north of Charlottesville Fashion Square on US 29, also is a diverse shopping area, offering stores, restaurants and even a public library.

Hollymead Town Center, near the Charlottesville Airport exit on US 29 north, is the newest large retail center in the area. It also offers a wide variety of shopping pleasures.

Pantops Shopping Center, located east of Charlottesville on US 250, recently expanded and now includes larger stores.

The Shops as Stonefield, located on the corner of Hyrdaulic Road and US 29, opened in the Fall of 2012 and is home to restaurants, retailers, and a new movie theater!


And what about wine? Virginia is well known for its growing number of wineries and vineyards, and Greater Charlottesville -- the "Monticello" appellation, is considered the "Wine Capital of Virginia." A number of wineries are only a short, comfortable drive from Charlottesville, and most hold daily tours and tastings. Saluti!





Greater Charlottesville is synonymous with historic attractions.  Here are five "must sees":



* Monticello (434.984.9822), Thomas Jefferson's home, has been completely restored and authentically furnished by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Monticello is located three miles southeast of Charlottesville on Route 53. Open daily.

* Ash Lawn-Highland (434.293.9539), home of President James Monroe, is open daily (except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving & Christmas) 9 AM -- 6 PM, March-October and 10 AM to 5 PM November-February. Located on Route 53, 2.5 miles beyond Monticello.

* Michie Tavern (434.977.1234) is an historic 18th century tavern located on Route 53 between Charlottesville and Monticello. Open daily for tours 9 AM -- 5 PM.

* Montpelier (540.672.2728), the lifelong home of President James Madison, is located on 2,700 acres in Orange County approximately 35 miles north of Charlottesville, the property is open daily March-December and weekends January and February.

* The Rotunda & The Lawn at The University of Virginia (434.924.0311) are the central "grounds" of the University of Virginia.  Located on University Avenue, tours are available daily except during the Thanksgiving and Winter Holidays recesses and during final exams in early May.

Over the years, Greater Charlottesville's beauty, charisma and energy have lured artists and patrons alike. Charlottesville has quietly developed into a sophisticated arts savvy community. The number and variety of arts events, performances, exhibitions and festivals in the Greater Charlottesville area is impressive. Local performances are regularly sold out -- and it's commonplace to see paintings of local artists on display in coffee houses, restaurants and the lobbies of business and professional firms. And, the area has numerous supporting organizations for the pursuit of the arts.

Throughout Greater Charlottesville you also will find a variety of museums. Each one is dedicated to the fascinating history of the towns, counties and citizens who have influenced and shaped this region. You will find a number of these Chamber member arts organizations and museums in our online directory.

You may browse our directory on cvillechamber.com or visit visitcharlottesville.org for visitor opportunities. And, be sure to come back again and again. You are always welcome.


Albemarle County Parks & Recreation (434.296.5844) and The City of Charlottesville Parks & Recreation (434.970.3589) both offer many worthwhile and high quality services and facilities.  The City operates six recreational centers (Carver Center, Crow Center & Pool, Smith Center & Pool, Herman Key Downtown Center, Tonsler Center & Westhaven Center) which are open to the public and may be reserved for private use. Amenities may include gyms, pools and multi-purpose rooms.

Albemarle County operates three centers (Greenwood Community Center, Scottsville Community Center and Meadows Community Center) which are open to the public and may be reserved for private use. Amenities may include picnic shelters, multi-purpose rooms, and athletic facilities.

The Boar's Head


GOLF: There are a variety of golf courses in Greater Charlottesville, ranging from scenic courses set on rolling hills to mountainside courses in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Weekday, weekend and senior rates are available at most local courses. For Chamber member course listings, see our online directory.





HIKING AND FITNESS: Pen Park (open all year), located approximately 2 miles from downtown Charlottesville by way of Park Street and Rio Road, offers 250 acres and 2 miles of nature trails along the Rivanna River beginning and ending at picnic shelters. A special physical fitness course -- 1.5 mile trail provides opportunity for exercising, jogging and walkingfor all ages and abilities. Adaptable for the blind and wheelchair bound.


*Chris Greene Lake, beyond Charlottesville Airport on Route 850 off Route 606; swimming, canoe rental, picnic shelters, playground, boat launch, fishing pier; daily admission fee;

*Mint Springs Valley, Route 684, west of Charlottesville; nature trails, swimming, picnic


shelters, playground, fishing pier; daily admission fee;

*Beaver Creek, near Crozet; no swimming; boat launch;

*Totier Creek, off Route 20 south near Scottsville; no swimming; boat launch;

*Walnut Creek, off Route 631, south of Charlottesville; swimming, fishing, picnicking; beach and boat launch; daily admission fee.

U. S. Coast Guard approved boats and craft are welcomed at Albemarle County lakes; however, gasoline and fuel-oil powered motors are prohibited. Electric motors are allowed. Virginia fishing licenses are required. You may purchase a 5-consecutive-day permit to fish in waters not stocked with trout. Trout fishing requires separate licensing. Licenses may be purchased in the Clerk's Office (434.296.5851) at the Albemarle County Courthouse.

PUBLIC POOLS: Indoor pools, located at the Crow Recreation Center, and at the Smith Recreation Center, outdoor pools at Washington Park and Onesty Pool, are open from early June to Labor Day (admission fees apply). Wading pools located at McIntire Park and Forest Hills Park do not have admission fees.

James River Runners


PUBLIC RIVER TUBING: Rivanna River at the Old Woolen Mill -- tube down to the Shadwell Bridge two or three miles.

Several private firms also offer tubing excursions; use our online directory for Chamber member listings.



PICNICS: Greater Charlottesville offers parks with an abundance of services and facilities (shelters, grills, tables, athletic fields, playgrounds, trails, etc.) for picnics. In the City, consider McIntire Park or Pen Park.

Shelters (with electricity) are available for reservation at Chris Greene Lake, Mint Springs Valley, Darden Towe Park, Walnut Creek Park and Greenwood Community Center. Grilling areas are available at Chris Greene, Mint Springs and Darden Towe Park. Fees may apply. Shelters have electricity.

Additional services, facilities, attractions and entertainment may be found in our online directory or you may contact the Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau at (434.293.6789).


***Thank you to the CACVB for allowing the use of their photos for this page. visitcharlottesville.org