Monday, June 5, 2017

Carter Mountain

Summer sunsets, each one unique, paint the Thursday night sky each week at Carter Mountain Orchard. The sun dips below the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sound of a local band strumming away while students and locals devour peach soft serve. This is my favorite part of Charlotteville's summer.  Carter Mountain is a great way to break out of the UVA bubble during the school year and explore Albemarle County, and I encourage all of you to take advantage of it.

Carter Mountain has a lot to offer year-round. In the fall their orchards are filled with apples to snack on in your dorm and pumpkins to carve on Halloween. They're also home to the Prince Mountain Wine Shop and a Bold Rock Cider Cellar (for those of you who are over 21 😉 ). The orchard has a cute little shop that sells adorable knick-knacks, great foods (apple pies, donuts, and more..) and postcards for you to send home to your parents, friends, aunts and uncles-- so they know that you've left Grounds at least once during First Year.

September-October is their peak season according to their website, probably because the foliage is ~~~ b e a u t i f u l ~~~ that time of year. If you have a friend with a car or have a car yourself (v. unlikely for First Years), go ahead and pick a weekday to visit in order to avoid their weekend rush. This is a great place to take your visiting friends and family. If you're a New England kid like myself, it's also a nice spot to go to if you're missing the trees at home.

The Thursday Evening Sunset Series is my favorite part of Carter Mountain, though it mostly occurs over the summer. The concert series began this year on May 4th and will end on September 28th-- so make sure to catch it early this fall First Years!!! Each concert has a different vibe and musical style, ranging from classic rock to Bluegrass to Reggae... It's a lot of fun. The concert is free, but definitely splurge for their peach soft serve ice cream (it's still pretty cheap). One trip last fall I had three cones-- so worth it!

Try your best to go by the end of First Year, and definitely make a point to visit before you graduate!

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