We may be biased, but we consider Charlottesville to be the absolute best location to spend your summer. Summer in Charlottesville includes all of the quintessential summer activities like hiking, camping, and canoeing, while also incorporating some uniquely c’ville events that locals look forward to all year long. Keep reading for the ultimate Charlottesville Summer Bucket List, complete with items for every day of the week.
Monday: Pick-your-own peaches at Chiles Peach Orchard
You know the type of summer day where your clothing sticks to your perspiring skin and intermittent gusts of wind are a saving grace against the heat? Yeah, summer days in Virginia are often just like that. Do yourself a favor and head to Chiles Peach Orchard bright and early in the morning. Pick sweet and juicy peaches long before the sun is at its peak, and enjoy them as a midday snack—the taste, a welcome reward and relief from those afternoon rays.
Tuesday: Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
There is no better way to experience Charlottesville than by exploring the classics. Tourist or longtime local, taking a deep dive into the historical and cultural scene here in Charlottesville is the perfect kickoff to your summer vacay. The Fralin Museum of Art offers free admission with over 14,000 items in its permanent collection. And we’d be remiss not to advocate for a trip to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Spend time touring the Monticello main house, explore the gardens, and get to know Charlottesville’s most notorious Founding Father.
Wednesday: Hot Air Ballooning along the Blue Ridge Mountains
There’s an unquestionable magic that accompanies the experience of seeing hot air balloons floating above. In Charlottesville, Monticello Country Ballooning makes that lifelong dream of hot air ballooning amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains a reality. This one will require getting up and out in the early morning hours, which we know goes against every vacation rule, but trust us, it is worth it.
Thursday: Thursday Evening Sunset Series at Carter Mountain Orchard
Bring a lawn chair and a picnic blanket and head up to Carter Mountain Orchard for their Thursday Evening Sunset Series. Golden hour spent sipping on Carter Mountain wine and Bold Rock Hard Cider is exactly the thing a proper summer vacation needs! Choose from your pick of food trucks and enjoy the live music to capitalize on the relaxing vibes.
Friday: Fridays After Five on the Downtown Mall
For over 30 years, Fridays After Five has been rockin’ and rollin’ on the Downtown mall every spring and summer. Fridays After Five is colloquially recognized as Charlottesville’s favorite live music series. Jam out with local bands at Ting Pavilion and maybe even hang around a little while to enjoy one, or more, of the amazing restaurants on the Downtown mall.
Saturday: Farmers’ Markets
Charlottesville is known for its farm-to-table culture. A short drive in any direction from the city center will likely reveal various farms and orchards selling locally grown goods. All around the city, restaurants boast farm-to-table meals and the temperate climate and fertile soil provide ideal conditions for growing your own fruits and veg. Which is why we definitely recommend taking advantage of Charlottesville’s many farmers markets during any visit here. On Saturday morning, grab your biggest tote bag and an equally large appetite and head to Downtown, IX Art Park, Meade Park, or Hollymead Town Center to get your farmers’ market fix!
Sunday: Roseland Polo at King Family Vineyards
After a busy week of getting out and about, it’s time for some much needed r&r to round out a successful week of Charlottesville exploring. Wine down your week with a visit to King Family Vineyards and enjoy their Sunday Roseland Polo matches. Even knowing virtually nothing about polo (besides flowy dresses, sun hats, and day drinking of course) this event is such a great way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon and is a must-do when visiting Charlottesville. Bring sunglasses, charcuterie-style snacks, and allot yourself at least two hours to watch the polo ponies strut their stuff across the field.
Whether you’re planning to visit Charlottesville for a few weeks or a few hours, we hope you’ll use our Charlottesville Summer Bucket List as a guide to exploring the wonderful city of Charlottesville. For any additional information on any of these events, or if you’d like to know more about what to do in Charlottesville, our agents are very knowledgeable about the area and can help you uncover all the wonders of Charlottesville. Get in touch with a member of our team by clicking the “Let’s Connect” button above!