Charlottesville and Albemarle County are picturesque. At its natural best, the county offers stunning views of its mountains, rivers and natural areas.
Perhaps the most easily recognizable part of the city is the Downtown Mall, a pedestrian-only mall a third of a mile long here in the heart of downtown Charlottesville.
But don't count out the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The university's grounds are beautifully maintained and immensely walkable. Consider taking a walk down the length of the lawn, the gently tiered open green behind the rotunda. The lawn, Academical Village, and Rotunda are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson, is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Nearby Carter Mountain Orchard, built atop a high mountain ridge, offers some of the best views of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. In the other direction, due east, the view is of relatively flat, wooded country. Here at the orchard, which has winter hours this year for the first time ever, you can pick your own fruit right off the trees during spring, summer and early fall. Be sure to try their apple cider donuts and other bakery items.
Especially during the warmer months of the year, early spring through the end of November, be on the lookout for hot air balloons. Some of the best views around are from above. Monticello Country Ballooning and Blue Ridge Ballooning are some of the top private flight providers in our area.
The hike to Humback Rocks can be freely accessed near the northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trailhead is an easy 30-minute drive from downtown Charlottesville. Your way will be short and steep. A 360 degree view awaits. Best enjoyed when paired with a sunrise or sunset. Added benefits include drumroll cardio and quality time with family or friends.
The I Love Charlottesville a Lot mural can be found in Belmont, a neighborhood just east of the Downtown Mall. It's one of the most popular photo ops in the city.