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Top Rated Attractions in Charlottesville

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McGuffey Art Center

A historical art school, the McGuffey Art Center is well-known all over the city for its contemporary art exhibitions by local artists as well as the numerous talks held from time to time. Not only do visitors get the chance to glimpse and even rent artworks by artists like Dominique Anderson, Judy McLeod and Rebekah Wostrel, but the art center also organizes a number of events and even summer camps for budding artists. If you are still wondering about whether you should head to this artsy corner, know that the McGuffey Art Center boasts of three galleries, guided tours and workshops among other facilities.


Spread over 5,000 acres (2023.428 hectares), Monticello is one of the most well-known attractions in the region. Designed and built by the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson himself, this courtly edifice is lodged on the fringes of Charlottesville. Monticello’s design was heavily influenced by elements of the Italian Renaissance architecture, while also featuring Neoclassical and Palladian architectural styles. Among other crops, the plantation saw the cultivation of wheat and tobacco on a large scale. Skirted by winding, unpaved paths and wide expanses of delightful gardens, Monticello sits in stark contrast, and yet blends in with its ethereal, verdant surrounds. Steeped deep in antiquity and a strong sense of presidential heritage, Monticello also doubles as a museum and a research institute. Built in 1772, and now governed by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF), Monticello is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Paramount Theater

Sporting a Greek-influenced facade, Paramount Theater is a premium entertainment venue in Charlottesville that has made watching movies a unique experience. With huge renaissance period paintings adorning the wall, this theater features a neoclassical style, adding style to the venue. Well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, Paramount Theater boasts luxurious seating arrangements and an amazing sound system. It aims to promote art and culture with theatrical performances, cultural events, and workshops. Check out this important fixture of the Charlottesville landscape on your next tour of the city.

Carter Mountain Orchard

Enjoy gorgeous views, take in the fresh summer breeze and relish recently plucked fruits at the Carter Mountain Orchard. Wine shops selling local wines made from freshly cultivated grapes and a country store stocked up on everything from jams to local handicrafts, ensures that any grocery or home decor items can be shopped from here. Musical events also take place here through the summer while the Carter Mountain Orchard also plays host to fun events like Easter Egg Hunt, Apple Harvest Celebration and the Peach Festival.

James Monroe's Highland

Home to the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe’s Ash Lawn is an historical estate spread over 535 acres (216.51 hectares). Boasting of various structures including a smokehouse, an ice house and a front porch, the historical house was built in 1799 and was even a flourishing plantation. Governed by the College of William and Mary, the alma mater of James Monroe, Ash Lawn is now a part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Jefferson Theater

Since its establishment in 1912, Jefferson Theater has hosted a variety of events ranging from silent movies to live musicals. After a complete make-over and renovation, it re-opened in 2007 to entertain the audience once again. The decor has a modern touch that manages to retain its original charm, modern acoustics that will thrill attendees, and lighting equipment that promises high-quality entertainment. Located in the Historic Downtown Mall, Jefferson Theater has two fully stocked bars where you can enjoy pre-theater drinks.

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