On college websites and admission tours you will undoubtedly hear that UVa is known for its great academics, tremendous spirit, and beautiful architecture. A lesser-known but equally positive aspect of the school is its location in the Piedmont region of Virginia, which gives it an abundance of natural beauty. This list will please both nature-lovers and less outdoorsy-types, offering plenty of active—as well as not-so-strenuous—opportunities to appreciate the beauty of Charlottesville. From mighty mountains to stunning sunsets, Charlottesville’s surroundings provide a beautiful setting that has something for everyone.
1. Hike humpback rock
Wake up early and stumble you way through the 45 minute hike in the dark to catch the sunrise or go at a more leisurely pace later in the day. Either way you’ll get an incredible view! (And a pretty good photo-op)
2. Carter Mountain Orchard
The orchard is a gorgeous spot to pick apples, drink cider, and hang out with friends on a crisp fall day. Don’t forget to try their famous apple donuts!
3. Take a dip at the Quarry
If you’re looking to cool off during the warmer months, Schuyler Quarry is the perfect place to cool off. Take a relaxing swim or do cannonballs off of the ledges if you’re a dare-devil!
4. Watch the sunset
The sunsets in Charlottesville are always spectacular. You can watch from the lawn or find a higher location to see the sky painted with blue and orange. (Go Hoos)
The advantage to Charlottesville being a smaller city is that it makes it an ideal location for gazing at the stars! Find an open field or head up to UVa’s Observatory Hill to get a great glimpse of the night sky.
By Erin Falk