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Charlottesville in the Fall

November 1, 2018

Written by: Linda Galvez

       Charlottesville has a very special place in my heart and as a local, I love giving anyone who plans to visit suggestions on where to eat, shop, and visit. Virginia in general is absolutely breath-taking in the fall, the simple drive up 29 North provides beautiful and tranquil scenes of fall foliage and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here are a few of my favorite things to do when I am home!

Apple Picking:

Growing up in Charlottesville means visiting Carter’s Mountain Orchard, whether with your family or on school field trips. I remember going with my elementary class and having such a fun time picking apples, which is why I love going back as an adult. The peak of apple season is from September – October and Carter’s Mountain is open from 9 am – 9 pm. If you don’t like crowds, avoid going on weekends as many locals and visitors also go up during these days. If you can make it up on a weekday, I suggest going on Thursday (also crowded) and hanging around for the sunset!


The Downtown Mall:

One of my favorite local things to do is head to the Downtown Mall. The Downtown Mall is a single strip on and around old Main Street with 130 shops and restaurants. During the colder months you won’t see many people sitting and eating outside, but grab a cup of coffee from Mudhouse and wander into the many unique and eclectic shops. You can also check out various events at The Jefferson Theater or catch a movie at The Violet Crown. If you’re hanging around for lunch, I suggest Christian’s Pizza on West Main or Revolutionary Soup on 2nd and West Main.

If you head up on a Saturday, check out the City Market on Water St. before walking over to the Downtown Mall. Your senses will immediately be hit with aromas of ethnic cuisine, fresh produce, farm raised and organic meats, cheeses and fresh bread. Sights and sounds of people of all ages and walks of life wandering through the maze of vendors. I love going to each vendor’s table and finding craft artisan jewelry, artwork, and home goods. City Market is known for its diversity in the people you meet, food you’ll try, and things you’ll find. City Market is open from 7 am – 12 pm through the month of October, and 8 am – 1 pm from November 3rd – November 17th.

Bodo’s Bagels and Hiking:

Another Charlottesville staple I suggest everyone go check out is, Bodo's Bagels. There are three locations to choose from, my personal favorite is on Emmet St., I love the simplicity of their menu and you can’t go wrong with a classic bacon, egg and cheddar on an everything bagel! After you’ve gotten your Bodo’s fix, head out for a hike to White Rock Falls. This hike starts on the Blue Ridge Parkway MP 20, and you can park at Slacks Overlook about 300 feet from the entrance. The hike is a moderate 2.5-mile loop that has a gorge with a cascading waterfall and a natural wading pool.

UVA and Monticello:

Charlottesville is rich in history, it was home to three former Presidents and is also home to the University of Virginia (Go HOOS).  If you’re a history buff, I suggest visiting the grounds of UVA as well as Monticello, home of President Thomas Jefferson for a day of learning.

       There are so many more restaurants, shops, and things to do that I could suggest, but I’ll leave the exploring to you! Charlottesville is great for exploring alone, but it’s more fun to grab a few friends and enjoy everything it has to offer together.