RV Rental Charlottesville, VA
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Charlottesville, Virginia RV Rentals
If there’s a word that sums up Charlottesville, it’s "history." This bustling city is surrounded by the natural beauty of Virginia, from lush trees and flowing waterways to the looming mountain peaks of the Appalachian Mountains. But it’s also home to a wealth of American history, from the campus of the University of Virginia to the homes of founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Charlottesville RV rentals allow you to easily access everything there is to explore in this historic region.
Whether you’re a history buff or someone who loves exploring the great outdoors, you’ll find a ton to try, see, and experience within Charlottesville’s city limits and the surrounding area. You can immerse yourself in former presidents’ lives, check out national parks that offer hidden trails and stunning vistas, or visit one-of-a-kind festivals and events all year round, all while you’re visiting different Charlottesville campsites in your RV rental.
Popular RV Destinations in Charlottesville
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most famous routes in all of Virginia, and it’s an absolute must-see when you’re renting an RV in Charlottesville. You can drive your RV along all 217 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, covering the southern edge of Shenandoah National Park all the way to the North Carolina border, stopping at campgrounds, spectacular views and overlooks, and Appalachian cultural destinations.
Wherever you head on the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are some incredible spots to see. From regional flora and fauna that’s packed with biodiversity to some of the oldest mountains in the world, you can park your RV and explore. You’ll definitely want to hike near Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain peak in the eastern U.S., and stop at Whitewater Falls and Linville Gorge, two stunning natural wonders.
No visit to Charlottesville is complete without a stop at Monticello. Whether you’re a history buff or someone who’s interested in historic architecture — or even simply someone who’s never been to Monticello before — Thomas Jefferson’s former home is a sight to behold. Part architectural masterpiece and part history lesson, Monticello is a mansion that sits on 5,000 acres of land.
From a guided tour of the house itself to walking the gardens and grounds, you can learn while you see Jefferson’s historic home. Built over the course of 40 years with Italian and Parisian styles, you can delve into the American Revolutionary period and walk where one of the country’s Founding Fathers lived. You can also learn more about Monticello’s — and Jefferson’s — role in Virginia’s history.
Shenandoah National Park
If you want to see one of the most beautiful places in all of Virginia, you can’t miss Shenandoah National Park. You’ll want to take your RV rental right down Skyline Drive, which covers 105 miles right along the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the perfect way to see some of Virginia’s most incredible natural wonders and native animal species.
Along your drive, you’ll want to stop at various points in Shenandoah National Park, too. The land sprawls over 200,000 acres, and it’s home to deer, black bears, wild turkey, and plenty of other wildlife. You can admire the natural beauty you see along 75 different overlooks, and there are a number of different trails you can hike to get up close and get in some exercise.
One of the best trails to hike in Shenandoah National Park is the Appalachian Trail. This Virginia destination is a favorite of both visitors and locals, and it first opened back in 1923. The trail covers a total of 2,000 miles and runs all the way through Appalachia, reaching all the way up to Bear Mountain in New York — but you can explore quite a few miles for yourself right in Virginia.
To get to the Appalachian Trail, you’ll need to access it from Skyline Drive; the two intersect a total of 32 times along their routes. While you’re hiking, you’ll get the opportunity to see some extraordinary views, from the mature timber and high mountain peaks of Jefferson National Forest to the swinging bridge near Route 56 to the stunning azalea rhododendron and mountain laurel that blossom in spring and summer. The Appalachian Trail gives you the opportunity to see what makes this historic stretch of land so special.
James River State Park
James River State Park is a relatively new spot to explore when you’re visiting Charlottesville. Located in a crook along the James River that connects to Branch Pond, James River State Park is the perfect place to park your RV — there are even campsites right along the riverbanks so you can stay for a day or longer. And while you’re at this Virginia state park, you can hike, canoe, and fish along some impressive scenery.
Covering a total of 1,500 acres of rolling grasslands, thick forests, and stunning vistas, James River State Park is the perfect place to relax. It’s a quiet environment, and because it’s new, it’s relatively empty during the week. This gives you the opportunity to mountain bike or hike along 20 miles of winding trails like the Cabell Trail. You can launch a boat and catch some local fish, too.
There’s another former president’s home hiding in Charlottesville, Virginia: Highland, the home of James Monroe. The fifth president of the U.S. actually lived right “next door” — or three miles south — from Thomas Jefferson, linking two important figures in American history quite close together. Highland is well worth a visit, giving you a glimpse into Monroe’s life and how people lived in early U.S. history.
Highland was first built in 1793, but it was destroyed by a fire in the mid-1800s and rebuilt. You can visit the structures that still stand, view Monroe’s plantation crops, and learn about the enslaved people who worked for Monroe and brought Highland to life. You’ll also get the chance to learn about the oral history of Highland and its residents, thanks to a new initiative by The College of William and Mary that’s present right on the grounds.
Events and Entertainment in Charlottesville
Festy is a music festival that’s held each October in downtown Charlottesville — specifically, at IX Art Park, which is located just near the Downtown Mall shopping center. This festival doesn’t bring together fans of just one particular genre of music. Festy is all about the experience, with headlining and emerging artists that cover nearly every genre from rock to blues to indie to reggae to folk to bluegrass.
Festy is about more than music, though; it’s also a mindfulness experience, meant to get people out of their usual spaces and into new environments for a more immersive, experience-driven weekend. You’ll listen to music acts like Jerry Douglas, Kendall Street Company, and Lowland Hum while being surrounded by Charlottesville’s best outdoor scenes and sights.
Fall Fiber Festival
Another exciting fall event you won’t want to miss while visiting Charlottesville in October is the Fall Fiber Festival. You really won’t find anything like it elsewhere, as this festival is all about sheep — specifically, sheep’s wool. Meant to celebrate the wool industry within Virginia, this festival first started in 1988 to celebrate all of the fiber-bearing animals that give up their coats for wool material.
During the Fall Fiber Festival, you’ll get the rare opportunity to check out sheep exhibits, watch sheepdog trials in action, and see fiber art demonstrations that show off just what sheep can offer. There are also plenty of fiber and crafts vendors, workshops for all ages, live music stages, and food booths to try. Over two days, you’ll find a ton of cool activities to watch or participate in.
Festival of the Wheel
If you love classic cars, you absolutely can’t miss Charlottesville’s Festival of the Wheel. This charitable event is held to raise money for the UVA Cancer Center Patient Care Fund, and it runs for three days over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re in town, you’ll get the opportunity to give back while getting up close with some seriously stunning classic cars.
The Festival of the Wheel also offers a lot of fun for car buffs. It kicks off on Friday night with a cocktail reception, and you can enjoy the rest of the weekend by joining events like Cars and Coffee, a scenic drive during the Jefferson Trail Tour, and even movie showings that highlight films that are all about cool cars. Bands play live music, and the entire event comes to a head with a huge fireworks display on Sunday.
Virginia Festival of the Book
Looking for something new to read, or maybe something new to learn about the book creation process? The Virginia Festival of the Book is the perfect event. Held every March, this Charlottesville festival brings together more than 20,000 book lovers and professionals, giving you the chance to mingle with and learn from writers, illustrators, agents, and publishers. It’s both educational and a lot of fun.
Hosted by the Virginia Humanities, the Virginia Festival of the Book celebrates books as well as reading and literacy for five days. It was first celebrated in 1995, and it's now a big tradition that includes famed speakers, debut authors, and the opportunity to learn from authors like David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Lois Lowry. With hundreds of panels and 200 programs for adults and kids of all reading levels and interests, this festival offers days of fun.
First Night Virginia
If you’re planning a New Year’s trip to Charlottesville, you’ll want to leave the campsite and bring your RV to First Night Virginia, an annual New Year’s Eve celebration that’s held right in downtown Charlottesville. It’s a tradition that dates back to 1982, and it gives locals and visitors the chance to ring in the new year with food, fun, and family-friendly activities.
First Night Virginia is a great alternative to your typical New Year’s Eve parties. It’s designed for all ages, and it brings hundreds of thousands of people together to catch acts like live music and performances by fire dancers, jugglers, and even local ballet dancers. There’s something for everyone, from local food favorites to artwork from local artists to activities just for kids.
Q: What are RV rentals?
An RV rental gives you the chance to explore all that Charlottesville has to offer in comfort. You’ll get the best of both worlds: You can camp at gorgeous natural campsites while enjoying all of the comforts of a bed, kitchen, bathroom, and more. With an RV rental, you can hit the road and see all of the local sights, destinations, and hotspots. And, you can rent an RV for as long as you’d like. You don’t have to invest in your own RV, and you get the opportunity to live like an RV owner for a few days, a week, or longer.
Q: How much are RV rentals?
RV rentals in Charlottesville vary in price — it depends on the size of the motorhome you’re renting, the length of your rental, the season, and other factors. On average, you’ll pay between $75 and $150 per night to rent a small camper; you can expect to pay $150 to $250 per night for a larger, full-size RV. RV rental companies do tend to offer lower per-night prices if you rent for longer periods, like a full week or more.
Q: Do I need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Charlottesville?
RV rentals in Charlottesville are typically restricted to people age 25 and older. Some rental companies may be willing to rent to younger individuals — even as young as 21 years old — but you’ll need to ask before booking. Keep in mind that renting at a younger age can come with higher fees and added insurance costs.
Q: Do I need insurance when I rent an RV?
You’ll definitely need to carry insurance in order to rent an RV. Before you pick up your rental, check with your current auto insurance policy to see if you’re covered while driving a motorhome. Most policies typically don’t include this coverage, but you’ll definitely want to double-check. If you need additional insurance, you can always buy a short-term policy just for RV rentals when you’re picking up your reserved camper.
Q: Do I need to return my rental RV with a full tank?
You should plan to take your RV rental back to the rental lot with a full tank of gas. However, it’s a good idea to check your contract before returning your borrowed motorhome. While it’s pretty standard for RV rental companies to ask for a complete fill-up, it can vary from company to company. Some RV rental companies may only need you to return with the same amount of fuel in the tank as you had when you drove off the lot. Others may fill up the tank for you for a fee.
Q: Are RVs pet-friendly in Charlottesville?
There are plenty of pet-friendly activities and adventures throughout Charlottesville, and you may be able to bring your furry friends along on your RV trip through this Virginia city. However, not all RV rental companies are pet-friendly. Make sure to check with each company to learn about their pet policy. Some may charge extra to bring dogs along; others may be entirely pet-friendly.