A Day In the Great Outdoors
Any getaway can benefit from an unexpected detour - and sometimes, it's those very detours that can make for the most memorable experiences
- Where to Wander:
- Go For a Drive: Albemarle County has some of the most scenic, winding roads with breathtaking views of the countryside, just waiting to be enjoyed. After you've explored the pastoral landscapes, head over to the iconic Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, or steer to the south for a leisurely drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Explore the Trails: If it's a more relaxed stroll you're looking for, check out the Saunders-Monticello Trails, just a few minutes south of downtown Charlottesville. Slowly ascending a gentle hill and meticulously maintained, these trails meander through pristine woodlands and scenic vistas, ending at the visitor center of Monticello.
- Hiking options abound in nearby Shenandoah National Park, with more than 500 miles of available trails. If you're seeking an adrenaline rush, Humpback Rocks (a 30-minute drive from Charlottesville) is a short, but strenuous hike, leading you to jagged rocks perched high above the valley below. The effort is well worth it, as you'll find sweeping panoramic views and excellent photo opportunities for Instagram and Snapchat.
- Where to Eat & Drink:
- Start your day off right and grab a cup of joe at one of the area's many locally owned coffee shops, like Shenandoah Joe. Pro tip: fuel up for your day of enjoying the great outdoors with a stop by the legendary Bodo's Bagels. These bagels are so good that some New Yorkers even say when they want a real bagel, they go to Charlottesville!
- After your day of outdoor adventure, you're sure to have worked up quite the appetite. Luckily for you, the Charlottesville area is a foodie paradise and has even been described as "the locavore capital of the world!" Many of the restaurants found here have patio dining options available, so you can nosh on some delicious food, while enjoying plenty of fresh air.
- Where to Stay: When it's time to turn in for the night, take your pick from one of many cozy, quaint inns and bed & breakfasts. Take your pick of inns with a city view or keep to the theme of your trip and settle into an inn with views of the countryside in Albemarle County. Be sure to check out other resources we've put together, such as Things to Do and our list of Hotels. You'll find no shortage of trails, scenic drives and natural landmarks here in our part of Virginia, but there's plenty else to do besides. Reference some of our other itineraries if you'd like to learn more about what Charlottesville proper has to offer.