The Charlottesville area offers a wide array of historic, cultural, and natural attractions. The homes and estates of three presidents can be visited. Foremost is the Monticello home of Thomas Jefferson. Also nearby is the Ash Lawn-Highland home of James Monroe and the beautiful 2700 acre Montpelier estate of James Madison.
There are several small but worthwhile local art galleries, and Charlottesville is the center of premium wine growing in Virginia. Several local vineyards offer free tours and tastings. Area recreational opportunities include camping, fishing, golf, and horseback riding.
A number of Civil War battlefields and historic sites can be found within an approximately one hour's drive of Charlottesville, including the Confederate White House in Richmond, and the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, and Wilderness battlefield parks. The Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive) and the Blue Ridge Parkway are about 20 minutes drive to the west of town.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) is served by the express versions of Continental, United, and USAir. A taxi from the airport to the University area costs about $25.00. The Best Western Cavalier Inn offers a complimentary airport shuttle service, but note that there are no rooms available there on Friday night, 3 April.
James Monroe's 535-acre estate offers the visitor the atmosphere of an early 19th century working plantation. Hours: Mar-Oct, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Location: S. on county road 795, off Rt. 53
Postal Address: Route 6, Box 37, Charlottesville VA 22902-8722
Located near Orange, Va on a lush 2700 acre estate, guided tours are available through the home of James Madison. Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Rt. 20
Postal Address: P.O. Box 67, Montpelier Station, Va 22957
Monticello Visitors Center
Free exhibition of life on Jefferson's plantation including architectural models and archaeological artifacts belonging to Jefferson and his family.
Hours: Mar-Oct 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Location: Rt 20 & I-64
An authentically restored example from 1784 of historical tavern Americana with a 18th century luncheon menu.
Hours: Apr-Nov 11:15 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Rt. 53, near Monticello
Postal Address: 683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Oakencroft Vineyard and Winery
Closest winery to Charlottesville; tours, tasting, and sales.
Hours: Apr-Nov 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Barracks Rd., 3 1/2 miles west from Rt. 29
(for information about other local vineyards, contact the Jeffersonian Wine Grape Growers Society, (804) 296-4188)
Bayly Art Museum
Hours: Tues-Sat 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: 1 block north of the Rotunda
Postal Address: Rugby Road, Charlottesville Va 22903
McGuffey Art Center
Thirty-five artists' studios offer a wide variety of exhibits and sale of artwork.
Location: 201 Second St., NW, Charlottesville Va 22902