Things To Do In Downtown Charlottesville, VA

Things To Do In Downtown Charlottesville, VA

Have you completed your bucket list of things to in Downtown Charlottesville, VA? 

A visit to Charlottesville without a trip downtown is never complete, so better keep yourself ready.

There are so many things to see, experience, and taste in downtown Charlottesville. Whether you’re new in town as a tourist or not, or you’ve been around for a while, I have compiled a list of the most interesting spots that is worth your time when you go downtown.

Amazing Things to Do and Experience at Downtown Charlottesville, VA

From taste to touch, smell, sound and sight, there are tons of fascinating things to do and experience in downtown Charlottesville. Permit me to be your guide, let’s go downtown:

1. The Charlottesville Downtown Mall

The Charlottesville Downtown Mall is one of the most successful and beautiful pedestrian malls across the United States.

The historic mall has been around since 1974 hosting and entertaining locals and tourists for decades. Currently, the outdoor mall strip is well known for its wide variety of live theatre, music, cinema and several restaurants.

Downtown Mall

It is also worthy to mention that when you visit the mall, you’ll be walking the same eight blocks of bricks once walked by Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.

The Downtown Mall is a radiant collection of more than 30 restaurants where you can enjoy delicious and casual meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The historic mall also boasts of 120 shops in the famous building around old Main Street. The mall provides a wide variety of fascinating destinations including several art galleries, multiple venues for live music, nightclubs and several other convenient shopping spots.

2. Modern Nosh

Modern Nosh arrived in 2019 and it’s famous for being the only Jewish deli downtown. You can visit to enjoy traditional favorites such as corned beef, brisket, Reuben sandwiches, and matzoh ball soup.

Modern Nosh also offers catering services and sells homemade salads, meat, and cheese by the pound.   

Modern Nosh in Downtown

If you visit the Modern Nosh during the weekend, you can also enjoy a special breakfast menu (such as challah French toast and latke benedicts) that is served on Saturdays from 7:00 am – 11:00 am. It’s an easy spot to enjoy a tasty bite – especially when you’re headed to City Market.

Interestingly, Modern Nosh shares profits with local charities. So when you buy at Modern Nosh you’re also putting a smile on a kid’s face at the local charity.

3. Second Street Gallery

Second Street Gallery is dedicated to providing Charlottesville and the Central Virginia region trendy and contemporary art in perspective and context.

Second Street Gallery in Downtown

It is also committed to promoting a vibrant and open appreciation of art by directly tackling the issues that surround the works of the best contemporary artists in the industry.

The Second Street Gallery promotes modern artists by showcasing their works in a professional gallery. They also encourage the appreciation of modern art and culture by educating the public via workshops, tours, classes, lectures, exhibitions, and publications.

4. Jefferson Theater

The Jefferson Theater was established in 1912 and it’s housed in Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall. It is famous for being Charlottesville’s premier mid-sized music venue.

Jefferson Theater in Downtown

As a result of a wide-ranging renovation in 2009, the theater now boasts of state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems while hosting local, regional and national touring acts of all genres.

5. Kilwins of Charlottesville

If you love high-quality chocolates, confections and ice cream with a touch of impeccable customer service, head straight to Kilwins

Since 1947, Kilwins has been offering these delicacies with excellent customer service and they keep raising the bar.

Kilwins of Charlottesville

They boast of high quality in-store craftsmanship, along with sincerely friendly team members.

What’s the best part? Kilwins have successfully created a positive and lively atmosphere that will keep you visiting over and over again. Kilwins is one more reason for you to visit downtown Charlottesville.

6. South Street Brewery

South Street Brewery is the longest running pub and brewery in Charlottesville. If you love the taste of top quality brewed beer, don’t hesitate to visit South Street Brewery.

They offer expanded beer offerings which include venerated South Street originals that helped recreated the Central Virginia beer scene.

South Street brewery

South Street Brewer also offers new beers that reflect the wide variety and experimentation that is the hallmark of American beer craftsmanship.

Interestingly, South Street Brewery also offers some foods that are aimed at local artisans. These include beef, bread, tofu and anything tasty in between. Perhaps, you will consider taking a bite before or after taking some beer.

7. Charlottesville Tango

Charlottesville Tango is a budding and supportive community committed to the culture of Argentine tango including music and dancing. It was established in 2007 by a group of tango lovers in Charlottesville.


The dance studio holds events, classes, milongas (social dances) in the heart of downtown Charlottesville where their studio is located. Charlottesville tango is run as a non-profit organization.

8. McGuffey Art Center

The McGuffey Art Center is one of the oldest artist-managed cooperative art centers across the United States.

The art center is located just one block from the Downtown Mall and boasts of a whole lot of artists including those who work in the building and those with studios elsewhere.

McGuffey Art Center creates a circle of financial and artistic connections across Charlottesville, Central Virginia and beyond.


Artists participate in a whole lot if things at the art center. These include showcasing their works at the galleries, teaching classes, hosting workshops, offering free tours to groups of students, taking part in summer art camps, and investing their time and care into committee work.

There’s so much you can to at the McGuffey Art Center – a visit will be worth your time.    

9. Wine & Design (Art Studio)

Wine & Design is one of the best places to sit back, relax, or unwind and have fun. The art studio offers a plethora of reasonably priced private and public sip parties for all talents, groups, and ages.

wine and dine

If you love work events, date nights, girls’ night out, and birthday parties etc. Wine & Design is the best place to be downtown.

10. Rapture

Rapture’s menu not only features local spices, but also local flavors too. Virginia’s food is immersed with French and haute foods to create low country gourmet meals, soul and creole.


You can also enjoy a craft beer from the wide variety of available options which cut across specialty and rare items or you can opt for a bottle of wine from the vast cellar.

The Rapture also has a bar and billiards room which makes it an ideal spot to gather and meet. You can also enjoy music and dancing that R2, the chic Dance Club that features some of the best DJs in Charlottesville and beyond.

11. Virginia Discovery Museum

Since 1981, Virginia’s Discovery Museum has been Charlottesville’s only nonprofit pro-active children’s museum.


The museum brings together children within the ages of 1- 8 as well as their families to interact, excite inspirations, and explore the earth around them via engaging exhibits, inspirational play environment, as well as educational programs.

Your kids will always be glad to visit the museum anytime you go downtown.

12. Downtown Grille

If you love the finest in fresh seafood and Midwestern corn-fed beef while integrating local ingredients, the Downtown Grille is the perfect spot for you anytime you go downtown.

downtown grill

The Garage is a concert venue, a studio, a potluck dining hall, an amateur film theater, and an art space etc. The Garage also hosts art exhibitions and concerts by local and regional bands.    

13. The Garage

The Garage is located across Market Street Park, downtown Charlottesville. It is a one-stop-shop for so many fascinating things that will not only entertain you but also put a smile on your face.

the garage

The Downtown Grille has a long list of wine which has been awarded by Wine Spectator with the Award of Excellence. They have received that award since inception in 1999.  

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