Trip Itinerary 3
Country and Town Adventures
Day 1 – Day of Arrival
Book a stay at Montfair Resort Farm or Misty Mountain Camp Resort. At Montfair, you can check into your cottage and immediately enjoy transitioning into vacation mode and an immersion into nature by taking a walk on the beautiful, serene grounds, exploring the trails by bike, sitting on your cabin’s front porch, fishing in a pond or putting in a canoe and gliding on the small lake. Then, cook a simple family meal in the convenient and well-equipped cottage kitchen.
At Misty Mountain Camp Resort, nestled among woodlands close to Crozet, stay in either a cabin or one of their RV or tent camping sites. Enjoy playgrounds, a jump pad, The Misty Mountain Mining Company (mine for fossils and gemstones from March – November), as well as a splash park and pool during the summer months. Wind down while roasting marshmallows around a campfire and listen to the evening sounds of the Blue Ridge unfold.
Day 2 – The Country – An Immersion in the Natural World
**Pack a lunch and water bottles for this itinerary with a plan to eat at the Wildrock Pavillion or “al fresco” on the trail. (Remember to always leave no trace and pack out any trash!)**
Start your day with a 9 am reservation for 2.5 hours of nature play on the Wildrock Nature Play and Discovery Center. Wildrock offers so much for your kids to see and learn. Start at The Barn to see a hedgehog and meet a corn snake, experience the twelve zones on the playscape (a spring-fed stream, a huge bird’s nest, a rock labyrinth!) or explore the old mountain trails, streams and forests.
Head over to Henley’s Orchard to enjoy a “pick-your-own fruit” outing or choose to buy in-season fruit (and other treats like cider, hard cider, meats) directly from “The Shed”. EIther way, a walk through the naturalized orchards, with gorgeous mountain views and fields overflowing with native wildflowers, is a treat not to be missed. During every weekend in the month of October, don’t miss Henley Fest – their autumnal, very kid-friendly celebration that includes a petting zoo, hay rides, pony rides, pumpkins and apple cider donuts.
Ready for more time out in the country? Visit Mint Springs Valley Park. The 550-acre park is only minutes from Henley’s Orchard in Crozet. In the summer, enjoy lake swimming with a sandy beach tucked away at the foot of a small mountain. (Lifeguards are on duty until 7 pm at night.) The park also boasts well-maintained trails throughout the forest and around the lake, a playground for smaller children, picnic areas and old homestead sites along mountain streams that feel as if you are going back in time.
While in Crozet, find out where the on-the-go Blue Bird Bookshop is setting up shop. Each day they set up in a different location and it is exciting to discover where you will find them. They offer a wonderful, inspired selection of books for both kids and adults.
Day 3 – The Town – The Charlottesville Experience
Begin your next day driving into historic Charlottesville, VA (about 25 minutes) and the University of Virginia. Pay homage to the enslaved workers who built the famed University at the Memorial to Enslaved Workers, nearby the UVA Rotunda. Also worth a visit is the University’s Rotunda and Lawn (with lots of room for the littles to run and play).
You will find Bodo’s Bagels directly across the street from the Memorial for tasty sandwiches and fresh salads. There are plenty of lovely spots to eat your lunch on-Grounds at the University.
The rest of the afternoon is a great opportunity to introduce your children to the moving and beautiful landscape paintings of the Australian Aboriginals. The Kluge- Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection is a truly unique opportunity to explore the bright colors, signs and symbols of an indigenous culture that has successfully lived harmoniously within their landscape and environment for thousands of years.
Other Charlottesville family spots to explore include The Downtown Mall, IX Park, sporting events at The University of Virginia (baseball, basketball, soccer!), Michie Tavern, Monticello, the farmers’ markets.
Again, head home grounded and rested from your soothing, tactile and authentic outdoor experiences, with the gift of memories with family and friends tucked away for future times to come.
A Mix of Rural Life Experiences and Outdoor Activities
The Adventure Itinerary