Home to the Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, Charlottesville is a big university town in central Virginia located in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an hour northwest of the capital Richmond and earns the distinction as one of the most livable places in the United States. For a city of its size, "C'ville" packs plenty of charms, whether historic, built or natural. Book an RV in Charlottesville, VA and discover for yourself.
An All-American Road Trip: Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway
Charlottesville is surrounded by vineyards and horse country, so you don't have to take your rental RV too far to experience the outdoors at its most alluring. Follow the Monticello Wine Trail as it winds through 30+ member wineries scattered throughout the Albemarle and neighboring counties. Expect to meet a winemaker, sample some dry whites and reds, and perhaps even attend a wine festival.
For nature at its grandest, a trip with the Charlottesville rental camper to the Blue Ridge country is in order. With the mountains so close, you would be missing out if you don't make it to the Shenandoah National Park. Follow Route 33 north to Luray to enter the park via the Thornton Gap after you've had your fill of Luray's magnificent caverns. Then drive your Charlottesville RV rental south on Skyline Drive, with the option to hop off at Route 33 to Ruckersville. Charlottesville will then just be 17 miles away. Of course, you can continue driving farther south and connect to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs for another 469 miles. Time your trip around fall and be dazzled by the autumn foliage.
If you'd rather breathe in the beauty of the mountains without the rush, find a campground along Skyline Drive and spend a few days exploring the park's 500 miles of trails. You'd be surprised at where they may lead you: maybe to a high place with sweeping views, a ridge crest, waterfalls in deep canyons, or an oak-hickory forest teeming with deer, wild turkey and black bears. Plan your hike well and you may even connect to sections of the Appalachian Trail.
Where to Park Your RV
Charlottesville KOA is 11 miles south of the city center. Look outside the city borders and you'll find another campground in Greenwood, 20 miles away, and a couple nice parks near Madison, 30 miles south. If you wish to be right in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, pull up with your Charlottesville motorhome rental to one of the campgrounds near Staunton, 40 miles to the northwest, and you'll only be minutes away from the Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah National Park.
Of course, if you wish to have a park camping experience, Shenandoah welcomes motorhomes at their Big Meadows, Mathews Arm and Loft Mountain campgrounds. While there are no hookups, the campgrounds usually provide potable water and dump stations. Should you need groceries, wood and other camping supplies for your Charlottesville travel trailer rental, you should be able to find plenty of stores and stops along I-64 and also along Highway 29 on the north end of town.
Welcome to the Home of “TJ”
Thomas Jefferson, or Mr. Jefferson to the locals, continues to exert influence on Charlottesville, even after 200 years. Look around Charlottesville and you’ll see most public buildings are Jeffersonian, with many private homes featuring colonial style architecture. Admire the culmination of the president's architectural vision at Monticello, a vast plantation five miles from downtown that to this day houses the president's mansion, servants' quarters and extensive gardens.
While you're on the presidential houses trail, don't skip Highland, the former home of the fifth US president, James Monroe. Forty minutes north of town by Charlottesville rental motorhome lies James Madison's 2,650-acre Montpelier estate, which contains his mansion, gardens, forest trails, historic buildings and even archaeological sites.
The culture of Charlottesville is anchored by the University of Virginia and the historic Downtown Mall. The university began with the vision of President Jefferson, and like his Monticello, continues to reflect his aesthetics. The campus is one of the most beautiful in the country and begs exploration. You'll need to have stout legs to walk around not only The Lawn, a part of Jefferson’s Academical Village, but also the pedestrian-friendly Downtown Mall where old brick buildings, stores, shops and restaurants converge.
Alternatively, you can take the University Transit Service bus to get you around the campus and then connect to the Downtown Mall via the trolley bus. It runs in a loop every 20 minutes. A short distance north of the Downtown Mall and you'll come face to face with the town hall and some of the oldest buildings in the city. Step into Michie Tavern, and you'll understand just how old. Dating back to 1784, the tavern is now a museum and restaurant.
“Virginia is for Lovers” and nowhere is it more fitting to fall in love with the “Mother of Statesmen” than at Charlottesville. So don’t miss out and start planning today. Search for an RV rental in Charlottesville, let it charm you, and fall madly in love.
Charlottesville, VA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Charlottesville. Outdoorsy's Charlottesville RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.