Charlottesville Travel Guide

USA  #2 in Best Places to Visit in Virginia
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Best Times to Visit Charlottesville

The best time to visit Charlottesville is from May to July. It's a smart idea to plan a trip to the city around the academic calendar and the best wine-tasting seasons; in this case, spring is the season for wine festivals and balmy Virginia weather. Fall is also nice, particularly if you want to catch a glimpse of the region's spectacular autumn foliage. But keep in mind: other travelers have the same idea, meaning the city and surrounding Shenandoah National Park can get crowded, especially once UVA resumes classes. Winters can be biting with less-than-ideal conditions for walking around, but the chilly temps do usher in more moderate lodging and airfare rates.

Weather in Charlottesville

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
45
27
49
29
58
36
69
46
76
54
84
63
88
67
86
65
79
58
69
48
59
39
48
30
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
0.12
0.13
0.15
0.13
0.18
0.17
0.21
0.16
0.19
0.15
0.16
0.13
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

January-April

Charlottesville winters are cold, with average lows down in the mid-20s. On good days, temps can climb into the mid-40s, but you'll want to pack layers, particularly if you're planning to take a campus tour or explore one of the historic plantations. If you're a skier, winter may be enticing thanks to the nearby Wintergreen Resort, which sits just 45 miles southwest of the city. On the upside, the chilly temps do coincide with lower lodging rates.

Key Events:

May-July

Many of the area's local wine festivals occur in May and that, combined with the springtime graduation season, can make finding a reasonable hotel rate more difficult. Still, the weather is sublime. High temps are in the mid-80s come June and the gardens at Monticello are in full bloom. If you plan your visit after graduation, you'll be rewarded with a much quieter city free of UVA crowds.

Key Events:

August-September

Charlottesville summers are quiet (school's out) and muggy (average highs are in the 80s, rain showers are common). Still, this is a great time to secure a discount on a hotel, and to take a leisure trip to Mr. Jefferson's University. However, keep in mind that UVA's fall session will be in full swing by September.

Key Events:

October-December

The start of the school year and homecoming season revitalizes this tiny city, but it can also mean a substantial spike in hotel rates. Alumni pack into Charlottesville for homecoming festivities, so if you're planning a trip for early or mid-October you'll want to begin looking for a hotel room several months in advance. Fall is a great time to visit Shenandoah National Park and to enjoy the Skyline Drive, however.

Key Events:

Popular Times to Visit Charlottesville

Average Tourist Volumes

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

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