Adventure Activities in Charlottesville -- Try if You Dare
by Roey Ebert, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Aug 31st 2010 10:27 PM
Here are a few not-so-well-known adventure activities in Charlottesville we dare you to try:
1. Ride in a big balloon
Take a one-hour hot air balloon ride over the streets and paths of Charlottesville. There are several companies to choose from, but we recommend Boar's Head Ballooning. Hot air balloon master Rick Behr will guide your craft over impressive vineyards and rolling farms. Your seven-story-high balloon will lift off from the front lawn of the Boar's Head Inn. Your ride is followed by complimentary champagne on your return to Boar's Head. Happy flying!
Meeting place: 200 Ednam Dr.
2. Cycle through the valley
Charlottesville has a wide array of bike paths scattered throughout the town; but the real challenge is cycling through the mountain passes of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. There are a great number of country paths that can accommodate bicycles. The views of the Shenandoah Valley are absolutely spectacular and will prove to be a daring and exciting day. Plan out your own path or follow a cyclist that has biked the Charlottesville area before by visiting www.dailymile.com for route planning. Happy trails!
3. Sip your way through wineries
The Charlottesville area boasts over 1,000 acres of vineyards. There are over 20 vineyards that offer tastings, as well as local music and food. All major roads in the Charlottesville area will have a sign marked with a picture of a grape bunch followed by the word "Tours."
These signs lead you to a tour starting point from which you can start your journey through the wine country on beautiful back country roads. One of interest is the Keswick Vineyards right outside of Charlottesville. The winery was the winner of the 2009 Virginia Governor's Cup Award and holds daily tastings from 9AM to 5PM. The vineyard has a spectacular view that is a sight worth seeing. Happy tastings!
1575 Keswick Winery Dr., Keswick
4. Visit exotic pets
The Natural Bridge Zoo is a space dedicated to preserving and maintaining the life of exotic animals that are endangered. Their slogan is "Take A Walk On The Wild Side," and it is definitely a fitting slogan. The zoo has two baby white tigers that were just born in May for visitors to see. Their petting zoo is unreal. An alpaca is an unusual sight for youngsters to see at a petting zoo --but the Natural Bridge Zoo has one for all to visit with. The zoo, located southwest of Charlottesville, is open daily mid-March through November. Happy petting!
Location: 5784 S Lee Highway, Natural Bridge
5. Sample some wild wings
The Wild Wing Cafe, located in the Historic Amtrak Station, is a sure thing for those of you who love chicken wings. The Wild Wing Cafe has over 33 flavors of wings, so there is bound to be a flavor for even the most adventurous. Try the Haberno Hot wings -- "something special for the insane" -- bound to give your taste buds a kick or at the very least, make them scream for a drink of water. They also feature many other menu items, such as tacos and chili, plus a Wild Child Menu that will delight even the most precocious child. Happy dipping!
Location: 820 West Main St.
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