While many UVA students are exploring Europe or working in the New York City or D.C. business world this summer, others are back in Charlottesville getting ahead on credits by taking summer classes or working a local internship. With no club meetings or sports practices to keep you busy after class, summer is the perfect time to branch out in Charlottesville and discover all that the town has to offer. Here are 10 things to do around Charlottesville to keep your summer exciting.
1. Explore The Walking and Hiking Trails
During the year many students barely have time to go for a run at the AFC between classes, clubs and studying, but summer is the perfect time to explore the scenery around Charlottesville by going for a hike or walking the trails. Close to Grounds and aptly named the Monticello Trails, these moderate walking trails are connected to Thomas Jefferson’s historic home in Charlottesville and are great for a scenic run outside or a morning walk with friends. Maybe stop in for a tour of Monticello while you’re there! Charlottesville is also only a short 30-minute drive to Shenandoah National Park, which is home to various hiking trails with breathtaking views. Humpback Rock is a favorite of UVA students that you should definitely try this summer if you haven’t already been. The view of the sunset from the top of this trail makes for Insta-worthy pictures and an incredible bonding experience with friends. Other trails to check out are Old Rag and Spy Rock are things to do around Charlottesville.
2. Go To The Farmer’s Market Every Saturday
With fewer parties and less people to go out with on the weekends, summer is the perfect time to wake up early on a Saturday and go to the farmer’s market. Charlottesville has an incredible community farmer’s market every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon across from the Downtown Mall that you need to check out. Grab some breakfast tacos from the stand that makes their flour tortillas in front of you and stroll around the rows of vendors selling fresh produce, flowers, and other artisanal goods. Your taste buds will thank you.
3. Buy A Book From The New Dominion Bookshop
There’s nothing better than sitting in the sun on the Lawn with a new book in your hands. The New Dominion Bookshop on the Downtown Mall is a quaint old bookstore reminiscent of The Strand in New York City that is sure to have your next favorite book. Stroll into their shop and buy a few new books for the summer.
4. Eat At A Restaurant That’s Not On The Corner
Charlottesville has an incredible amount of upscale, farm-to-table and local restaurants that you might not get to try out during the school year when you have twenty minutes to grab a Roots bowl after your last class and before your meeting that night. This summer you should check out the Asian-inspired tapas at Bang next to the Downtown Mall or conquer the hour plus wait at Lampo for some of the best pizza of your life for things to do around Charlottesville.
5. See A Band At The Southern or The Jefferson
Local concert halls like The Southern and The Jefferson are great places to discover a new band and a fun alternative to going out to bars on a Friday night in the summer. Get a group of friends together and dance your heart out to throwback jams at the 2010s Dance Party at the Jefferson on June 22.
6.Find Your Favorite Vineyard
7. Stop By The Kluge-Ruhe Museum
The only museum outside of Australia solely dedicated to Aboriginal art, the Kluge-Ruhe Museum houses the whimsical and intriguing paintings of famous Aboriginal artists. Whether you’re an art history major or have only been in a museum when forced to by your parents, expand your cultural horizons this summer and explore what the Kluge-Ruhe has to offer things to do around Charlottesville.
8. Take a Dip in The Quarry
Great for a Saturday excursion with friends, there are several quarries that are a thirty-minute drive from Charlottesville. If you’re a real daredevil, there’s a 30 feet jump into the water or you can play it safe and jump from a few of the shorter locations.
9. See An Old Movie At Paramount Theater
A classic old movie theater on the Downtown Mall, the Paramount Theater screens operas, plays, and old movies annually. On a rainy summer afternoon watch Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and get lost in the Italian scenery.
10. Watch The Sun Set at Carter’s Mountain
Every Thursday Carter’s Mountain Orchard stays open to let Charlottesville locals and UVA students crowd together on its hill to eat peach ice cream, drink Bold Rock hard cider, and watch the sun set. Usually featuring live music as well, this is the best way to start your weekend early in the summertime.