Music is everywhere! The University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena and the Ting Pavilion bring in big names like Earth, Wind & Fire, Cheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews, and more. Nelson County is home to the LOCKN’ Festival or catch some Bluegrass vibes at the Graves Mountain Musical Festival in Madison. Don’t miss the Charlottesville Opera Company’s season or the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival.
Thrillseekers flock to Orange County airport, home to Skydive Orange, offering flights for first time and experienced skydivers. Central Virginia skies are also great for ballooning with Blue Ridge Ballooning or Monticello Country Ballooning. Younger adventurers can chase friends and try not to get lost in the largest corn maze in the country at Liberty Mills Farm.
The best way to learn about a place is to taste its food. To get a real taste of Central Virginia, visit one of the many restaurants that feature local foods, beers, and wines. Follow a trail guide to quench your thirst – Nelson 151, Nelson 29, Brew Ridge Trail, Monticello Wine Trail, Route 231 Trail or Charlottesville Ale Trail.
Browse a local gallery on any of Central Virginia’s Main Streets. Explore Fralin Museum of Art or the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. Discover a new favorite film at the annual Virginia Film Festival or enjoy a classic at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper. Listen to authors discuss their books at Virginia Festival of the Book.
No matter where you are, you can almost always catch a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains with hiking trails to discover. Old Rag Mountain, Humpback Rocks, Crabtree Falls, and Whiteoak Canyon Falls are just a few favorites. You can even find hiking in the city around the Rivanna River Trail. If you want to mix history with your hike, try Cedar Mountain Battlefield Walk in Culpeper. For water trails, enjoy rafting, canoeing, and kayaking on the James River and Rivanna River.
Townies are proud of their Hoos! Whatever your favorite sport is, you can find it here – football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, tennis – get the latest schedules at VirginiaSports.com. Take your Cracker Jacks to a TomSox game. Tee off at one of the region’s many golf courses. Birdwood, Spring Creek Golf Club, Greene Hills, Meadows Farms, and Meadowcreek are just a few.
Three of Virginia’s five presidents called Central Virginia their home. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering family-friendly tours and programs. A second UNESCO site is the University of Virginia’s Academical Village. James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s Highland also feature tours, educational programs, and events.
Fall brings two steeplechase races to the region: Montpelier Hunt Races and Foxfield Races, which also runs in the spring. During the summer, bring your tailgate to King Family Vineyards for free polo matches on Sunday afternoons. You can watch hunter/jumper horse competitions at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, a United States Equesterian Federation Open Prix event. Follow the hounds at the Bull Run Hunt.
Weekends are for family fun! Take the kids for healthy snacks at Graves Mountain Lodge Apple Harvest Festival in Madison or Chiles Peach Orchard in Albemarle. Watch a flying circus show at the Culpeper Air Fest. Young or old, bring your skateboards and bikes to Charlottesville Skate Park. Take the family skiing at Wintergreen Resort in Nelson or snuggle with a furry friend at Caromont Farm.