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Cowboy riding a bull at a rodeo.

5 Fun and Out of the Box Things to Do in Charlottesville VA

You may already know that Charlottesville, VA is famous for being the home of 3 founding fathers, numerous wineries and craft breweries, and the gateway to Shenandoah National Park. Today, however, we’d like to take you off the beaten path with an unusual itinerary of five fun things to do in Charlottesville, VA. With our location being a 2 ½ hour drive from Washington, DC, these suggestions could set you on a different schedule for a visit just a bit off the beaten path.

Coordinate your calendars, book your stay, and grab your overnight bags. Get ready to forget everything that might still be on your to-do list, relax and re-focus on some fun!

1. Create Your Own Glass Art

Make a reservation at the Glass Palette to create your own glass art piece. There are many items from which to choose, including earrings, paperweights, picture frames, and bud vases. You could even get a head start on your holiday list with a gift that has a personal touch.

Don’t worry; no experience is necessary. There is plenty of free parking at the studio. All pieces are ready for pick up in a couple of weeks or can be shipped at an additional small fee.

2. Relax with Lunch

Getting your creative juices flowing stimulates the appetite! Tilman’s is the perfect place to stop if you are in the mood for wine, cheese, snacks, and maybe a sandwich. What would taste good; maybe that southern staple—Pimento Cheese, with crostini and pepper jelly, or an adult grilled cheese with sharp cheddar and Swiss on ciabatta with tomato soup? Add a wine flight for some fun.

Suppose you want to dine outdoors. In that case, Bizou has a beautiful outdoor patio. Enjoy their gorgeous salads (with locally-grown ingredients) or a fried chicken sandwich with julienne carrot and cabbage slaw, house-made pickles, and spicy firecracker mayo. Combine it with a cocktail, local cider, or glass of wine.

3. Float Away the Afternoon

Spend some time in the afternoon in a float room at Aquafloat. What is a float room? It is a pod or chamber filled with 12 inches of 93.5-degree water saturated with Epsom salts, creating a gravity-free environment. Turn off the lights, and remove most sensory input, and you can achieve a deep level of relaxation. Float rooms relieve chronic or episodic pain, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, accelerate muscle recovery, improve sleep, and enhance meditation and creativity.

If you are looking for a different type of experience, Aquafloat offers massages, an infrared sauna, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

4. Cool Off at the Ice House

Hydrate those relaxed muscles at the Ice House in Gordonsville which is only a 40 minutes drive from the inn. Their motto is to “enjoy award-winning beer paired with excellent fried chicken in a laid-back atmosphere.” No fancy stuff here, just great fried foods paired with cold beverages. It’s the perfect place to enumerate your day’s adventures before your final stop.

5. Kick Up Your Heels at the Rodeo

Be transported to one of the American West’s most enduring traditions and conclude the evening at the BLM Bull and Rodeo at Oakland Heights Farm. Even today, the cowboy (and cowgirl) skills of riding and roping are part of the life of working ranches. See bull riding and barrel racing and those crazy rodeo clowns right here in Virginia.

Looking for More Suggestions?

If these unusual and fun things to do in Charlottesville, VA, don’t strike a chord, call us! Charlottesville is our home, and we love helping visitors find the perfect ways to spend time here. From tours to restaurant recommendations, hiking trails, and shopping, we know our town inside and out.

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