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Nearby Attractions in Charlottesville

As the place of residence for both Thomas Jefferson and President Monroe, as well as the birthplace for major artists, like the Dave Matthews Band, Charlottesville is booming with unique museums and attractions to explore.  

Love history? Step into the life of Jefferson at his long-time historic residence-turned-public attraction, Monticello, where you’ll have the chance to explore the grounds and history of this 6,000-acre property and the slaves that helped maintain it. 

Looking for something creative? Check out classes at The Glass Palette, where you’ll get the opportunity to learn how to create your own colorful glass lampshades.  

Regardless of what you like to do, here’s five of the best museums and attractions to try in Charlottesville, VA. 


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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Located just 15 minutes from the University of Virginia is Monticello, the long-time home of Thomas Jefferson. Monticello offers a variety of tours to explore it all – the life of Jefferson, home, gardens and, of course, the people who made it possible.

With so many guided options you can tailor your experience on the grounds to exactly what you’re looking for, whether you have three hours to wander or thirty minutes to learn something new. 

Insider Tip

Monticello even has its own on-property café in case you get hungry.  

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The Glass Palette

Ready to try your hand at a new creative outlet while you’re in Charlottesville? Take a class at The Glass Palette, an interactive glass art studio where anyone can take their handywork to the next level.

From kiln-forming and sand-etching to lampworking and glass fusing, The Glass Palette has offerings for everyone. Bonus: experience level doesn’t matter. If you’re a novice or well-versed creative, The Glass Palette will help you create your project from start to finish. 

Insider Tip

Check out their website for information and hours.

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Glass Palette

James Monroe’s Highland

The lesser-known neighbor of Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland is nestled in the hills of Albemarle County, roughly 20 minutes southeast of The Grounds at UVA. Highland was first erected as the home of President James Monroe, and today serves as a true window into history.

Through many years of differing owners, renovations and discoveries, Highlands is now a part of William & Mary. Now, visitors can spend their visits simply walking the trails or touring the house and the grounds where Monroe once lived. 

Insider Tip

Don’t forget to visit the museum gift shop on your way out. 

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James Monroe Highlands

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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