After a long, hot and humid day exploring Monticello this past summer, we were exhausted and needed to relax. It had been threatening to rain all day so I was a bit worried we weren’t going to get to see what I had heard was the best sunset in Charlottesville. But as we headed up the winding road to the top of Carter Mountain, the skies were cloud covered but the rain held off.

We were visiting Carter Mountain Orchard for their Thursday evening summer concert series. Since we arrived early we got a prime parking spot and had plenty of time to stake out a picnic table — important since we hadn’t packed a blanket or lawn chairs. Carter Mountain Orchard’s country store is located at the top of the mountain, offering stupendous views of Charlottesville in the valley below. Off the back deck and on the lawn below are a scattering of picnic tables and tables with umbrellas for guests to enjoy the view. It was definitely a restful place to sit and contemplate life for a while.

What to do in Charlottesville VA with kids -- take in the view and the sunset at Carter Mountain Orchard

Enjoying the view at Carter Mountain Orchard

While visitors are able to bring their own food, the Mountain Grill at the country store also offers light snacks, like burgers, fries, and their famous pulled pork sandwiches. We weren’t very hungry so we enjoyed a yummy fruit and cheese plate.

Carter Mountain Orchard at sunset

The Lawn at Carter Mountain Orchard

Of course, there is also plenty to buy at the country store and bakery. Since peaches were in season, we sampled the peach cider (sweet than apple but still delicious) and couldn’t resist buying a few peach cider donuts (yum!!)

Peaches at the Carter Mountain Orchard

Peaches at the Carter Mountain Orchard country store

Before we settled in to enjoy the music and view, we first stopped at the Prince Michel Wine Shop at Carter Mountain Orchard. If Glenn were with us, I’m sure we would have bought a bottle to enjoy outside, but as it was I stuck with sampling. From the dry flight, I definitely preferred the whites over the reds, and especially enjoyed the Pinot Grigio and Viognier. Not surprisingly, they also offer a number of fruit-based wines as part of their sweet flight.

Prince Michel wine shop at Carter Mountain Orchard

Wine tasting at the Prince Michel Wine Shop

It was so relaxing to sit and enjoy the music and the view while sampling our goodies. If I was a local, I’d stake out my spot up on the mountain every Thursday. And based on the crowd we saw still streaming into the parking lot when we were leaving, many locals do make it a regular outing.

Thursday concert series at Carter Mountain Orchard

Thursday evening concert series at Carter Mountain Orchard

The skies remained a bit hazy and cloudy so we enjoyed the sunset, but I’m sure it is even more spectacular on a clearer night. As it was, we were so sweaty and tired that we wanted to head back to town before it was fully dark so that we could shower and hit the hay.

PIN THIS FOR LATER

The best sunset in Charlottesville, VA is found at Carter Mountain Orchard

Note: We were hosted by Carter Mountain Orchards, with the help of Visit Charlottesville. All opinions are my own.

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