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Best things to do in Charlottesville

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

University
“The university that TJ built. We are not biased or anything, but it’s the best university in the world. (We understand there are arguments for and against this claim.) But, truly, if you haven’t visited UVA, you should. The Lawn and Rotunda are historic and you’ll find them very beautiful and interesting, whether or not you are a ‘Hoo. Bring a picnic and a frisbee and hang out on the Lawn, gazing at the architectural genius of our third President. When you’re done, walk down to The Corner and enjoy the used bookstores, tons of restaurants and coffee shops, and soak in the vibe of this vibrant college town. We love Roots (yummy healthy bowls), Boylan Heights (grass-fed burgers), and Mellow Mushroom for pizza. ”
97 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“It’s not a mall in the traditional sense- it’s more of an historic city street that’s been blocked off to traffic and lined with bricks- and it’s super fun and a must-do to come down here and stroll. You’ll find tons of eateries, and it’s a safe place to let kids run since there are no cars. There’s always something going on, from street performers to live music (catch Fridays After Five down at the pavilion) to interesting people watching. Get ice cream at Chap’s or gelato at Splendora’s and soak up the lively Cville vibe. ”
84 locals recommend
Tapas Restaurant
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“Hands down best tapas in town! My favorite spot. The Spanish wines are amazing!”
82 locals recommend
Bagel Shop
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“Don’t fear the long long lines! This smooth running bagel shop, a 10 minute walk from Mellow Yellow, is one of Charlottesville’s darlings. ”
58 locals recommend
Café
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“My favorite place for brunch or afternoon/ morning pastries. It’s got a European feel but they don’t take reservations, so get there early! Parking is limited.”
62 locals recommend
Speakeasy
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“HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Get several cocktails and enjoy a leisurely tapas experience. Reservation HIGHLY recommended!”
55 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“One of the largest shopping areas- includes some great restaurants, lovely boutiques as well as grocery and ABC store”
25 locals recommend
Italian Restaurant
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“Rustic Italian Classics served Bistro Style. Very popular and a small space does not take reservations. Go early!”
48 locals recommend
New American Restaurant
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“Great staff and excellent service! Located in the heart of Belmont, this is one of the oldest restaurants in Charlottesville with a charming feel and plenty of indoor space. There are small areas for outdoor seating. Portions are big and affordable. Reservations are recommended.”
49 locals recommend
Cinema
“DOWNTOWN - Upscale and lovely. Enjoy a local wine, cider or beer and good food while movie-ing. ”
44 locals recommend
Academic University Building
“Go see UVA- particularly the Rotunda and the Lawn. The Rotunda is beautiful and awe-inspiring, and it stands at the head of a gorgeous stretch of old trees and lawn perfect for kids to run around and play frisbee while you attempt to interest them in the myriad architectural styles Thomas Jefferson integrated into the collection of grand faculty homes and student rooms that line The Lawn. Then walk down to The Corner District to soak up the undergrad vibe- there’s tons of eateries and shops. You can pick up some UVA gear (go ‘Hoos!) at Mincer’s. ”
25 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“The Paramount houses so many unique events daily from musicals to classic films to a symphony. Don't miss out on this historic site!”
37 locals recommend
Music Venue
“A converted theater, this is my favorite place to catch mid-size acts in Charlottesville. There's always someone good playing, so check the event listing if you have the chance!”
40 locals recommend
Restaurant
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“Outstanding Neapolitan pizza, panuozzi, well-sourced Italian, and a stellar bar”
41 locals recommend
Bar
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“Celebrated country French fare & a deep wine list in a serene setting amid brick walls & barn wood.”
47 locals recommend
Store
“It has a great big sound-enhancing tent covering an intelligently designed seating area and lawn. You can watch the show standing right in front of the stage, sitting under the tent in a chair, or lounging on the lawn. I personally love to picnic on the lawn either by bringing in outside food (which is, amazingly, allowed!) or partaking in the food trucks inside the pavilion itself. The Pavillion brings in some great acts so make sure you check out their schedule.”
44 locals recommend