Carter Mountain Orchard

#5 in Best Things To Do in Charlottesville
Carter Mountain Orchard picture
Stacy Knighton/Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau

Key Info

575 Thomas Jefferson Parkway

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Recreation, Shopping, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

According to recent visitors, fall is the best time to visit Carter Mountain Orchard, and it's not just because it's prime apple-picking season. The sweeping views of Charlottesville's autumn colors as seen from the orchard's overlook are not to be missed. In fact, some recent visitors said the views alone are worth the trip to Carter Mountain Orchard.

When you're not ogling the panoramic views, browse the country store for freshly picked fruit (from mid-August until mid-December, you can also pick your own) or other goodies like homemade apple cider doughnuts, apple pies and apple caramel cookies. Depending on the season, you can also pick your own pumpkins and hop on a hayride.

You can also make the most of the spectacular vantage point by stopping at the orchard during its free Thursday Evening Sunset Series. From mid-May through the end of September, the orchard stays open until 9 p.m. and offers dinner, live music, wine and hard cider to enjoy alongside the stunning sunset.

You'll find the orchard about 5 miles south of downtown Charlottesville. Recent visitors noted that traffic in and around the orchard can be heavy, especially on weekends and during school breaks. If your schedule allows, consider visiting during the week or in the morning to avoid the weekend afternoon rush. The orchard is open seasonally from April to mid-December. Hours vary by month, so check the orchard's website before visiting. 

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Historic Downtown Mall1 of 8
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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Historic Downtown Mall

Charlottesville's popular shops, restaurants and ambiance converge in one main area, known as the Historic Downtown Mall. Located, as you would imagine, on Main Street, this thoroughfare is home to more than 120 shops, 30 restaurants (many with outdoor seating), 10 art galleries, multiple performance venues, an ice skating rink and a Saturday farmers market. Stretching for eight blocks, this pedestrian-only area is popular with both visitors and locals, who say it's the perfect spot to shop, eat or simply people-watch.

In the spring, summer and fall, the mall's Charlottesville Pavilion hosts musical acts like Modest Mouse, Wiz Khalifa and Alabama Shakes. You can also catch free concerts at the pavilion every Friday from mid-April to mid-September as part of its Fridays After Five concert series. The mall's historical Paramount Theater is a great space to catch fine art performances like the Ash Lawn Opera. The only gripe among recent visitors? Parking. There is limited street parking (which is free), but there are plenty of spots in the Water Street Parking Garage, which charges $2 per hour.

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Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
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