Now that spring is upon us and summer is on the way, what better way to enjoy these seasons than by basking in the natural world? Whether you seek a solo retreat or a place to share with friends and loved ones, several of our listings offer gorgeous outdoor spaces in which to unwind, play, and/or entertain.
Dip your toes in the pool while enjoying mountain and Rockfish River views in Nelson County. Take your meals outside on the long deck surrounded by lush leaves and you’ll feel as though you live in a treehouse.
Admire the curved mountain peaks while you put your feet up on the rustic, log porch that seamlessly aligns with the style of this Madison County home.
The rear porch at High Point Farm in Orange County provides ample room for comfortable seating on which to pass your time leisurely. During the day you’ll enjoy the sight of green pastures for miles and at night the seeming proximity of the stars unobscured by city lights.
Sip your morning tea or coffee on the charming patio of this Orange County home. Here, you are surrounded by a mature garden that allows for privacy on your 6+/- acres as you reflect on the day ahead.
At the rear of this elegant cypress log home in Louisa County, relax on the stone terrace while you listen to the tumbling current of the North Anna River. On cooler evenings, enjoy the warmth of the fire in the exterior fireplace or make S’mores with friends.
Just down the road from Charlottesville, this private paradise offers an infinity pool, wide terrace-level deck with room for lounge chairs and umbrellas, a long upper deck, and a screen porch with treetop views, all overlooking a pond with a dock.
This historic Orange County estate includes a rustic barn reimagined as an event space. Enjoy open-air evenings with friends gathering for food and music. Or for quiet afternoons, read on the wide side porch with ceiling fans to cool you in the summer heat.
In the early mornings, awaken your senses with the sight of breathtaking mountain views from the back patio of this Madison County farm, or entertain guests for an evening party. On bright mid-afternoons, enjoy the shade of the distinct, semicircular front porch with its slate tile floor.
With so many beautiful central Virginia homes to choose from, let us know how we can help find the one that’s right for you!
After a fickle, false start to spring, it appears the season might be here to stay. That means lots of outdoor activities in central Virginia for the enjoyment of all. From shopping for local foods and wares to spinning on a carnival ride, from relaxing on the grass while listening to live music downtown to hiking up a steep incline to get a breathtaking mountain view—the central Virginia area offers plenty of festive activities to celebrate the arrival of spring and the end of a long winter.
Dogwood Festival: March 24-May 5, 2018
This annual festival that honors both the official state tree and flower encompasses many community activities that span from March to May. One of these is the Dogwood Carnival (April 5-22) that takes place in McIntire Park. There are rides, games, and all the greasy food you can stomach. There is also the Dogwood Parade (April 21), in which participants will march along the pedestrian mall and loop down High Street. This year’s theme is “Candy Land” so bring your sweet tooth!
Fridays After Five: April 13-September 14, 2018
Unwind on a sunny afternoon with free live music at the Sprint Pavilion. Spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy a beer and other concessions offerings, the proceeds of which go to support local nonprofits. The music ranges from pop, hip-hop, rock, reggae, bluegrass, and folk, all played by talented local and regional musicians.
Charlottesville City Market: April 7-December, 2018
You know spring is here when the city market returns to the lot between South and Water streets! Be on the lookout for fresh produce, homemade cheese, butter, and baked goods, handcrafted jewelry, woodwork, and ceramics, and delectable breakfast & lunch items so you can nosh while you shop – including fresh tacos, dumplings, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches hot off the griddle.
Historic Garden Week: April 21-28, 2018
This special tour highlighting beautifully designed gardens spans the entire state of Virginia, giving the public access to historic estates and homes. This year’s Historic Garden Week in the Charlottesville-Albemarle Area will provide tours of Morven Estate (land once purchased by Thomas Jefferson as a gift for Col. William Short), Castle Hill (a Georgian home originally constructed in 1764), Grace Episcopal Church, Chopping Bottom Farm (a Keswick estate with contemporary style), East Belmont (an early 19th-century home with formal garden), Ben-Coolyn (a 145-acre estate on land originally part of the Meriwether Land Grant of 1730), and the University of Virginia (specifically the Pavilion and Serpentine Gardens).
National Park Week: April 21-29, 2018
National Park Week means there will be lots of things happening at nearby Shenandoah National Park to celebrate this natural resource. Entrance fees will be waived at all national parks on April 21. And on Earth Day, April 22, SNP will offer a ranger-led hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Earlier this month (January 2018), National Geographic Traveler ranked Charlottesville among the top 30 Best Small Cities in the U.S., as well as giving it the distinction of “Most Literate” among its peer cities. To determine the rankings, National Geographic teamed up with Resonance Consultancy, a branding consulting firm that has created an algorithm for ranking cities and is behind the World’s Best Cities program.
For the Best Small Cities rankings, the collaborative team analyzed social media references to cities in the U.S. and then organized them according to population size. Certain themes arose around certain cities, such as the number of coffee shops or art galleries, or—in the case of Charlottesville—the number of bookstores and college degrees. From those larger themes the team created superlatives to describe each city, rightly naming Charlottesville “Most Literate.” To learn more about our literary city, read our blog post on local bookstores. And, for all those eager readers out there, be sure to mark the dates of the upcoming Virginia Festival of the Book: March 21-25, 2018.
To read the complete list of Best Small Cities in the U.S., visit National Geographic here.
December 8-10, 2017
Are you looking for holiday activities that celebrate the season? Do you need ideas for where to find unique gifts? Here are some fun things to do this weekend that involve both!
On Friday night after work, you can catch—for one night only—the 11th annual Let There Be Light art installation at PVCC. This tradition brings together local and regional artists to celebrate the proximity of the winter solstice—the longest night of the year—with art that plays with light. (Attendees are encouraged to bring a flashlight.) Alternatively, you can stop by The Garage downtown—the single car garage across from Emancipation Park on 1st Street—and join in their Carol Sing.
Saturday morning, rise bright and early to enjoy the Holiday Market, set up in the parking lot of the seasonal City Market between Water and South Streets. There you will find holiday wreathes, garlands, ornaments, and plenty of gift ideas, such as jewelry, clothing, and handcrafted goods.
Next, be sure not to miss the McGuffey Art Center’s Winter Celebration. This festive event features jugglers, live music, donuts, open art studios with hands-on art projects, and a holiday gift shop with original, local art for sale.
If you’d like to continue your holiday shopping, head over to C’ville Craftacular at the Carver Recreation Center in the beautiful, historic Jefferson School. A tradition for 12 years running, Craftacular’s holiday show highlights the best its participating vendors have to offer in handmade wares.
On Sunday, take a break from the hustle and bustle by enjoying a screening of Elf at the Paramount. Santa himself and Buddy the Elf plan to make an appearance at 2:00 p.m.
Whatever festivities you choose, we hope you have a lovely weekend in Charlottesville! Details of suggested events follow below.
Art Installation: Let There Be Light
Friday, December 8, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
V. Earl Dickinson Building, PVCC | 501 College Drive
The Garage Carol Sing
Friday, December 8, 7:00 p.m.
1st Street, between Market and Jefferson Streets
Saturday, December 9, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
100 Water Street
Saturday, December 9, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
McGuffey Art Center | 201 2nd Street NW
C’ville Craftacular Holiday Market
Saturday, December 9, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Carver Recreation Center | 233 4th Street NW
Elf the movie
Sunday, December 10
11:30 a.m. sensory friendly | 2:00 p.m. standard + visit from Santa & Buddy | 7:00 p.m. standard
The Paramount | 215 East Main Street
In central Virginia, the time-honored tradition of selecting and cutting down your own Christmas tree is alive and well. Imagine walking among rows of conifers grown for this purpose, taking in their distinct scent that defines the season. You reach out to touch the green needles to test their spring and strength, their ability to carry the weight of memories in the form of treasured ornaments. Not only does selecting and cutting down your own tree give you a memorable experience, it ensures the freshness of your tree, too, as many pre-cut trees may have been cut weeks before being sold. And in the verdant countryside surrounding Charlottesville, there are plenty of Christmas tree farms from which to choose.
Greene Meadows Christmas Tree Farm
487 Crow Mountain Road, Stanardsville, VA | 434-990-1999
Open November 24-December 23 | Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Run by the Ensor family, this farm has over 7 acres of planted Christmas trees to choose from. The five species of evergreens they offer are White Pine, Scotch Pine, White Spruce, Canaan Fir, and Leyland Cypress, each priced according to species, rather than by size. At the Christmas Shop you will be welcomed with complimentary hot chocolate or cider and a candy cane while you peruse gift items, ornaments, wreaths, and the farm’s homemade preserves, jellies, and relishes. On the weekends, local youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts will be nearby selling hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas, and baked goods to benefit their operations. And there is also a miniature petting zoo of sheep and lambs eagerly awaiting their human visitors.
Stonehearth Christmas Tree Farm
367 Kirtley Road, Leon, VA | 540-547-2576
Open November 24-December 23
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. | Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.
Just off 29 North in Madison County, Stonehearth Christmas Tree Farm sells White Pines, Scotch Pines, Red Pines, Virginia Pines, and Canaan Firs, all priced at $35 each. Their wreaths are made from White and Scotch Pine in varying sizes. Each visitor to the farm will receive a complimentary hot chocolate, hot apple cider, or coffee, and each child will receive a free candy cane and coloring book. The farm will be open on the weekends, and during the week purchases may be made at the gray house.
Miller Farms Market
12101 Orange Plank Road, Locust Grove, VA | 540-850-5009
Open November- December 23
Monday–Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
In Orange County, Miller Farms Market is an operational farm that offers a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program 33 weeks out of the year, hosts pick-your-own events during berry season, and sells many local and regional products in their Marketplace year-round. During the holiday season, they add evergreens to their list of homegrown goods for sale. You can choose from White Pine, Canaan Fir, Douglas Fir, Norway Spruce, and Colorado Blue Spruce. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop, too!
912 Elk Creek Road, Mineral, VA 23117 | 540-872-3817
Open November 24-25, December 2 & 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This family farm has been planting Christmas trees since 1984 and has expanded in acreage and offering, while remaining environmentally sustainable. Available species now include Canaan Fir, Nordman Fir, Concolor Fir, and White Pine. Upon arrival, you can view samples of each kind to get a better sense of what you might like. Their gift shop, the Gathering Barn, is stocked with Virginia products, ornaments, and accessories. In good weather you can enjoy a wagon ride on the farm. Please see above for open hours.
Foxfire Christmas Tree Farm
451 Foxfire Road, Scottsville, VA | 434-286-3445
Open November 19- December 22
Thursday-Monday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Owned and operated by the Samuels family since 1968, this family farm sells fresh Douglas Fir, Norway Spruce, and White Pine trees as well as handmade wreaths and garlands. They encourage families to make a day of it and bring a picnic if the weather is nice. You can even bring your dog, so long as s/he is leashed. Please note, on weekdays there is limited assistance with baling and loading so you may be required to do that labor yourself.
Saunders Brothers Farm Market
2717 Tye Brook Highway, Piney River, VA 22964 | 434-277-5455 x 37
Open November 24- December 16
Saturdays only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This family-run farm has operated as an apple orchard since 1915! Throughout the year, Saunders Brothers grows fruits and vegetables, and every year following Thanksgiving they open their tree farm to the public. Conifer selections include Canaan Fir, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce, White Pine, and Scotch Pine. Their Farm Market—across the road from the tree farm—offers wreaths and garlands, as well as a place to warm your hands by the fire.
Boys Home Christmas Tree Farm
1118 Bear Wallow Flat, West Augusta, VA | 540-939-4106
Open November 24-December 23
Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m-4 p.m.
An hour from Charlottesville, in the Allegheny Highlands, Boys Home offers a residential educational and care facility for boys aged 6-18. For over 20 years, part of their program of instilling responsibility and discipline has included teaching their students tree farming, from planting seedlings to shearing, harvesting, and assisting customers with their tree selections. Among the conifer varieties they offer are White Pine and Norway Spruce. And the money from sales goes right back into supporting Boys Home.
Long Meadow Tree Farm
296 Miller Road, Waynesboro, VA | 540-649-4307
Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This family farm has been in operation since 1981. Their planted conifers include White Pine, Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, Norway Spruce, and Blue Spruce. They also sell handmade wreaths and table arrangements (made from fresh cut greenery and one or two candles), along with winter squashes, honey, homemade apple butter, and farm fresh eggs.
Curious about the cost of real estate taxes in Central Virginia? We’ve made it easy for you by compiling the 2017 tax rates for Charlottesville and its surrounding counties and municipalities into one table. The real estate tax rate is measured as “cents per 100 dollars,” as represented by the decimals in the second column. Tax rates are updated every 1-6 years when the county supervisors or commissioners take a vote. The list below is current as of November 2017. Please contact each county/municipality directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
0.67 = COUNTY plus 0.10=IF TOWN
0.53 (+.32 EXTRA TAX IF TUCKAHOE WATER/SEWER LINES)
This month, Charlottesville ranked # 3 in happiest cities in the United States in an article published by NationalGeographic.com! The rankings were the result of a study conducted from 2014-2015 in 190 U.S. metropolitan areas. Author Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People) and social scientist Dan Witters of Gallup joined forces to create an index that measures features of happiness. Witters established 15 metrics, which included financial security, healthy diet, vacation time, intellectual growth, civic engagement, and—of all things—dental checkups. Meanwhile, Buettner observed that happiness often manifests as “pleasure, pride, and purpose,” which contribute to a robust sense of wellness.
But another key factor, as George Stone of National Geographic reports, is place. He writes, “In happier places, according to Buettner, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals.”
While the article doesn’t reveal what all 15 metrics were, or go into detail about to what degree they aligned with the ranked cities, it’s not hard to imagine what metrics contribute to the happiness of Charlottesville residents.
In 2016, HealthLine ranked Charlottesville one of the top 10 Healthiest Small Towns in the U.S. Our small city has several gyms, a plethora of yoga studios, as well as other boutique fitness studios, and a thriving farm-to-table movement. In addition, we have two excellent hospitals: the University of Virginia Hospital and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.
Buettner says, “There’s a high correlation between bikeability and happiness in a city.” Charlottesville has recently established new bike lanes that help accommodate our two-wheeled citizens. There is also a reliable transit system affectionately known as the CAT (Charlottesville Area Transit) and a free trolley that runs a loop from downtown to the university, which help cut down on traffic. The City maintains lots of green space as well in the form of numerous public parks and walking trails. And certain regulations protect our beautiful skyline from being obscured by billboards.
As Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia approaches its bicentennial (2019), it continues to rank well in the U.S. News & World Report, recently snagging # 3 for Top Public Schools. Likewise, Albemarle County ranks # 3 and Charlottesville City # 6 in Best School Districts in Virginia, according to www.niche.com.
Charlottesville provides ample opportunity to volunteer for a cause you believe in and help your neighbors. Whether your passion is education, housing, the arts, domestic violence prevention, or advocacy and social justice, Charlottesville has numerous organizations in need of volunteers who want to make a difference in their community.
Pleasure, Pride, & Purpose
Our modest metropolis has a reputation for being fertile ground for cultivating the arts. Theaters, galleries, art studios, dance studios, and a writing center can all be found here. And while some may wonder what the point of art is, many would argue that envisioning and completing a painting or play or choreographed dance and sharing it with the community can fill one with a sense of pleasure, pride, and purpose. For others, it may be viewing a sculpture, film, or musical set that inspires these responses. Either way, the opportunity to experience this kind of happiness abounds in our artistic city.
In an agriculturally rich area like Central Virginia, there are lots of places to pick your own pumpkins in the fall. And with Halloween nearly two weeks away, now is the time to go! Here is our list of local farms that open their gates to those in search of the perfect pumpkin.
Carter Mountain Orchard
1435 Carters Mountain Trail | Charlottesville, VA
Pre-picked pumpkins for sale
3rd Annual Halloween “Spooktacular” | October 28, 2017 | Pumpkin carving contest
Silver Creek & Seamans’ Orchards
5529 Crabtree Falls Hwy | Tyro, VA | Nelson County
October 1-31, 2017
Chiles Peach Orchard
1351 Greenwood Road | Crozet, VA 22932 | Nelson County
October – November
Dickie Bros. Orchard
2685 Dickie Road | Roseland, VA | Nelson County
Layz S Ranch
2253 Thomas Jefferson Parkway | Palmyra, VA | Fluvanna County
Pumpkin Patch, corn maze, hay rides, and pony rides
Saturdays, September 30 – October 28
Sarah’s Pumpkin Patch
146 Caves Ford Lane | Orange, VA | Madison County
Pumpkin patch, hayrides, hay maze, corn hole, ladder golf
Saturdays & Sundays in October
226 Tobacco Row Lane | Monroe, VA | Amherst County
Each year the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association showcases the latest trends in residential architecture and design in the local Parade of Homes. This year’s selections ranged from Hollymead townhomes in the upper $200s, detached homes near downtown Charlottesville in the low $400s, and homes on one-acre sites near the university in the mid $600s. Our broker had the opportunity to tour some of the model homes and has shared her insights with us.
1612 Rialto Street, Charlottesville | Village at Moores Creek MLS #: 556501
Builder: Cville Real Estate & Construction, LLC. Detached 3 BR, 3.5 baths. $485,000
- Solid wood doors and hardwood floors
- Contemporary style, such as wire rails, transom lights, skylight
- Large pantry in kitchen
- Home office
- Close proximity to downtown Charlottesville
- The builder is willing to customize to reflect their clients’ unique style
735 Highgate Row, Crozet | Old Trail MLS #: 556737
Builder: Arcadia Builders. Detached 4 BR, 3.5 baths, 2-car garage. $585,000 (before upgrades)
- Craftsman style
- Mountain view
- Screen porch off of the living room
- Upstairs has loft area plus 3 BR
- Walk-in closet with built-in shelves
- Master bath has double vanities and two showerheads
- Home office
5712 Upland Drive, Crozet | Old Trail Village MLS#: 566213
Builder: Southern Development Homes. Attached 5 BR, 3.5 baths, 2-car garage. $699,900
- EcoSmart Pippin floorplan
- Mountain view
- Fantastic kitchen with quality upgrade cabinets
- Open floor plan with 1st floor master bedroom
- Screen porch off of driveway
- Study with French doors
- Finished basement with bedroom, bathroom, and recreational room
- Universal Design can receive up to $5,000 tax credit
- Includes multigenerational living
- Stairless entry from garage and front door
- Recessed shower
- Raised outlets
222 Pfister Avenue, Charlottesville | Oak Hill Farm MLS#: 564774
Builder: Stanley Martin Homes. Detached 5 BR, 4.5 baths. $774,990
- Open floor plan
- Soapstone kitchen countertops
- Screen porch
- Home office with French doors
- Oversized master suite with sitting area
- Master bath with double vanities
1411 Kendra Circle, Charlottesville | Whittington MLS #: 557294
Builder: Christopher Companies. Detached 5 BR, 4.5 baths, 2-car garage. $947,000
- Green features
- Luxury kitchen
- Beautiful stone fireplace in living room
- Built-in bar with wine cooler and bottle storage
- Two master suites, one on first floor, one on second
- Huge master baths each have shower with two showerheads
- Additional laundry site on second floor
- Unfinished basement provides potential for additional square footage
- Passive radon system installed in all new construction homes