Top 10 U.Va. fall activities
1) Visit Carter Mountain Orchard
There is nothing more reminiscent of fall than apple picking and hayrides. Carter Mountain Orchard offers both. Situated in Charlottesville, the orchard is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for apple picking and dining until November. Be on the lookout for their famous apple cider donuts.
2) Pumpkin cookies at Kroger
Maybe one of the world’s best-kept secrets, the pumpkin cookies at Kroger should top your fall must-eat list. They are right up there with eating 300 pounds of candy corn. Don’t pretend you don’t do it. Skip the baked goods at Little John’s and make the trip to Kroger instead — it’s worth it.
3) Go to a wine tasting
For those 21 and older, check out Charlottesville’s many vineyards and breweries. Relax and sip wine while admiring beautiful views of Virginia’s rolling hills and colorful leaves. While you’re at it, take a trip down the Brew Ridge Trail (Blue Ridge’s alcoholic counterpart), a selection of breweries in Albemarle County.
4) Pumpkins at the Bookstore
Rumor has it, everyone’s favorite glowing vegetable is on sale at the University Bookstore. Gather some friends and carve a masterpiece to light up Grounds. Whether you’re an artist and can make a real, scary jack-o’-lantern or an amateur who’s just trying to put the eyes in the right place, pumpkins are necessary preparation for Halloween.
5) Trick-or-treating on the Lawn
This adorable University tradition gives local kids and families a chance to dress up in their best costumes and trick or treat at each Lawn room. Lawn residents and University organizations help run the event and donate candy and treats for attendees. Pumpkin decorating and face painting are additional attractions of the event. Is this cuter than Puppies and Pumpkins? You decide.
6) Hike Humpback
A local hike offering breathtaking views of the Charlottesville scenery, this is another must-do on your fall list. The actual trip is only about 30 minutes in length, perfect for people like me who are only going to take sweat-free pictures at the top so I can say “Look at me! I’m athletic!” Bring a dog, bring some friends, bring a picnic and settle down on top of Humpback Rock for a memorable time.
7) Visit Monticello
Odds are, if you go to the University or know someone who does, you can’t get enough of Thomas Jefferson. So why not take the opportunity to tour his home and plantation? Take a variety of tours, from a house tour to a garden tour, a slavery-in-Monticello tour to a tour “behind the scenes.” Impress your friends and professors with even more TJ facts because — let’s be real — what else do we learn here?
8) Go to football games
The end of the football season is upon us, and our floral dresses are quickly turning into sweater dresses. Our U.Va. orange blends in with the leaves on the trees, and it’s sunny enough to wear sunglasses but cold enough to make Scott Stadium bearable. Show your football spirit, or love for tailgates, and come out to support the Hoos for the last few games. Wahoowa!
9) Brown’s Hauntings
Another University Halloween tradition is Brown College’s haunted house. An annual event, all proceeds go to a charity chosen by the Brown residents. Not for the faint of heart, it might be a good idea to bring your favorite teddy bear, some tissues or a friend trustworthy enough to never tell anyone how much you screamed.
10) University Guide Service ghost tours
The University Guide Service offers ghost tours every October around Halloween time. A favorite of Guides and students alike, these tours expose you to the legends around Grounds. Did you know the ghosts of soldiers who died at the University during the Civil War still wander around at night? Or that Edgar Allen Poe and Thomas Jefferson are actually still here? To hear more and be really spooked out, take one of these tours. You’ll never be able to streak the Lawn the same way again.