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8 Fun Things to Do in Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville isn’t just for Cavaliers. It’s for beer enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs, small town seekers and anyone in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of bigger cities. Graduate Charlottesville sits on historic Main Street just across from The Grounds, getting you close to the charm that makes Charlottesville not just a destination, but a small town to return to.

Discover the most enchanting attractions in Charlottesville starting with our eight top things to do, see, and eat.


Carter Mountain Orchard

Apple picking is just one of the many activities you’ll find at Carter Mountain Orchard. Partake in this tradition to treat yourself to another of Charlottesville’s most unique events. Snack on apple cider donuts or buy a whole batch to make their apple cider donut bread pudding. 

Carter Mountain Orchard hosts events almost every day of the week. Meander the orchard or settle in for their Wind Down Wednesdays or springtime Sunset Series featuring food trucks, live music, and some of the best views in Charlottesville.

Insider Tip

If you’re traveling to Charlottesville by way of car, make sure to take advantage of their Pick-Your-Own offerings and bring a taste of this little city home with you!

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Pippin Hill Vineyard

Sip Charlottesville’s finest wines at Pippin Hill Vineyard. Located in the heart of Virginia wine country, Pippin Hill rivals even Napa’s best estates for their bold wines and welcoming atmosphere. Both wine and food are on the menu at Pippin Hill, so you can come for a tasting then stay for a meal. 

Gather around the vintner’s table to learn about everything on your plate as well as the wine Pippin Hill pairs it with. They also operate a wine club so you can enjoy their wine wherever you go.

Insider Tip

Stop in for a wine flight, stay for the scenic views of the vineyard.

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Asado Taco

Wings and tacos coexist at Asado Taco so you’ll never have to choose between your favorite snacks. Asado Taco opened in 2018 after perfecting their take on both tacos and wings. Choose from seven unique dry rubs for your rings before chowing down on jumbo tacos piled high with toppings like pineapple and teriyaki shrimp, smoked brisket, or buffalo sauce-drenched cauliflower or chicken. 

Though their menu is packed with mouthwatering options, don’t let the food steal the show. Charlottesville locals rave about their specialty cocktails, extensive beer list, and their margarita with a Sour Patch rim.

Insider Tip

Looking for a vegan-friendly meal while you’re in town? Snag a side of Papas Bravas with your Spicy Portabella taco.

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street tacos

Bodo’s Bagels

You don’t have to travel to New York to sink your teeth into a world-class bagel. Bodo’s Bagels brings NYC’s boiled bagels to Virginia, satisfying Charlottesville’s taste for their carby creations. Though the bagels are their biggest claim to fame, their menu is actually quite extensive. 

Choose from ten types of bagels, several types of shmear, and more specialty toppings like lox and cream cheese or cinnamon sugar and butter. Keep it simple or upgrade to a salad or sandwich on, you guessed it, a bagel.

Insider Tip

Try the Everything Bagel with the Honey Pecan cream cheese for a sweet & savory combo!

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Three Notch’d Brewery

Three Notch’d Brewery gives a whole new meaning to patio beers. Covered with yellow metal chairs and twinkly lights, their patio is the perfect place to soak up the sun or simply sip on a beer in the great outdoors. Three Notch’d prides themselves on pouring the freshest beer in the Commonwealth, ranging from citrusy IPAs to malty reds. 

Though it’s the beer that brings locals to the taproom, Three Notch’d also features a kitchen where they cook up beer-friendly favorites like burgers, sliders, and pretzel bites.

Insider Tip

We recommend the Firefly Nights Summertime Ale if you’re traveling to C’ville in the summer months.

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The Paramount Theater

Treat yourself to a night on the town at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater. This unique venue shows movies, plays, and more, inviting locals and students alike to soak up stories new and old. 100,000 visitors fill up the Paramount’s seats every year, brought in by their community events and historic charm. 

Get close to the performing arts, revisit beloved films, and even attend educational events. There’s no better place to see a show than a historic theater like this one.

Insider Tip

Show your student ID and get a 50% discount on any remaining tickets 45 min prior to show time!

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Refresh your wardrobe at SCARPA, a women’s clothing boutique with an imaginate view on fashion. Shoes, tops, pants, and more, line the shelves, inviting women from Charlottesville and beyond to try on a whole new look. Stock up on staples, replace a piece you may have left at home, or simply treat yourself to something you might not have otherwise tried on. 

SCARPA also gives back to Charlottesville by supporting several charitable organizations that serve the city’s underserved communities. Shop confidently knowing that you’re also doing good.

Insider Tip

Check their Facebook before you go to see what trunk shows might be happening that day.

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clothes on a hanger

Historic Downtown Mall

Though the word “mall” might have you imagining food courts and enclosed spaces, the Historic Downtown Mall is actually a pedestrian mall where Charlottesville locals and students alike shop, dine, and have a good time. Though you can simply stroll the mall, there’s so much there to see and do. 

Window shop until you drop, savor some of Charlottesville’s best flavors, or people watch to your heart’s content. The Paramount Theater and IX Art Park are also near the mall so you can extend your outing well into the evening.

Insider Tip

Plan to spend a few hours walking in and out of the local shops, especially if the weather is nice.

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