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A couple holding hands and standing in front of a large mural at one of the best places to take pictures in Charlottesville VA.


9 Best Places to Take Pictures in Charlottesville, VA (and the Surrounding Area)

July 21, 2023

Charlottesville is such a beautiful city and is one of my favorite places for photoshoots. With so many amazing places to take pictures in Charlottesville, VA, the hardest part about your shoot is going to be settling on just one location. 

From vibrant art, historic downtown areas, orchards, and parks, you can find almost any location you could want somewhere in or around the city. If you are looking for a little inspiration or a starting point for where to go for your shoot, I have got you covered. 

Let’s take a look at some of my top picks for the best places to take pictures in Charlottesville, VA, and the surrounding areas! 

Best Places to Take Pictures in Charlottesville, VA 

The Historic Downtown Mall

The historic Downtown Mall in Charlottesville is a beautiful place in Charlottesville for any photoshoot. The mall is filled with over 100 stores and countless restaurants that you can wander through during your session. 

This area has a great mix of newly renovated buildings and historic buildings that have been restored over the years, giving it an amazing charm. The mall is also on a beautiful pedestrian-only brick road that offers the perfect backdrop for any photoshoot. 

At night, the whole street is lit up perfectly, so regardless of when you want to head out for your session, you are sure to get amazing photos! 

The Blue Ridge Parkway 

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of my favorite places to shoot around Charlottesville. This scenic highway is stunning and is a great option if you are looking for somewhere that has a scenic nature view without having to go for a hike through the woods! 

There are a few different overlooks and pull-offs along the highway that give you amazing views of the mountains. Especially during the fall season, the colors that you can see from the parkway are second to none! 

IX Art Park 

The IX Art Park is a location unlike any other. Not only will you find unique art throughout the park, but there is also an immersive art space that you won’t want to miss out on. 

If you’re looking for something to do during your photoshoot (to make your photos more unique or help you relax and enjoy yourself a bit more), you can plan your session Thursday-Saturday to take part in their free art-making. You’ll get access to different materials and will be able to add your own art to the park! 

They even have a farmer’s market on Saturdays that adds even more charm to this place. However, do keep in mind that it can be a bit busy because of this! 

Darden Towe Park

Darden Towe Park is a beautiful spot to go for a photoshoot, especially if you want to bring out your fun-loving side. The park is over 100 acres and has so many spots that you can bounce around to during your session. 

Along with trails and a river that you can walk along, there is also a lot of open space and a few different sports fields that you can use at the park. If you and your partner are sports enthusiasts, you can incorporate your passion into the shoot by playing a fun game of volleyball or trying to strike each other out on the softball field! 

The Grounds at The University of Virginia 

While you may not think of a university when it comes to the best places to take pictures in Charlottesville, VA, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed with the University of Virginia. 

Around the campus, you can find some beautiful buildings, small garden areas, intimate places to escape to, and some perfectly manicured grounds. 

This is a great choice for anyone looking to explore a bit during their session and move around from spot to spot without having to travel too much! 

Boar’s Head Resort

Boar’s Head Resort is not only a beautiful resort in Charlottesville, but it is also an amazing spot for a photoshoot in Virginia. If you’re looking for the perfect spot for your session as well as a weekend getaway, then the Boar’s Head Resort may be the perfect spot for you. 

The resort has beautiful, grassy hills, a small lake on the property, and walking trails that give you plenty of room for an intimate and private session. The architecture of the buildings on the property is also beautiful and creates the perfect backdrop for you! 

To top it all off, the resort is pet friendly so you can even bring your furry friend along with you for your session (because who doesn’t want the perfect photos with their dog)! 

Rooftops Around the City 

Rooftops are always a top pick when you are looking for some of the best places to take pictures in Charlottesville, VA. With beautiful views of the city, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and so much more, rooftops are always a good option. 

There are a few rooftop bars around the city that you can visit (and not only grab some amazing pictures but also grab some drinks to enjoy during your shoot). The Quirk Hotel is one that has a great rooftop bar with a view. 

You can also always head to parking garages for a more intimate and isolated session. Many of these garages will just have a small wall around the top level which means you still get beautiful views of the city without any effort! 

Murals and Street Art

If you are looking for a pop of color for your photos, my go-to is always finding murals or street art. Not only do they provide a bright backdrop for you, but it also gives your pictures a unique edge that makes them stand out from everything else. 

What’s even better, there is no shortage of street art and murals throughout the city. Thanks to the Charlottesville Mural Project, there are bright and vibrant works of art all around Charlottesville. You can find everything from street graffiti to large-scale murals that draw on themes from throughout the city! 

Local Coffee Shops and Breweries 

Finally, if you’re looking for something indoors, check out some of the many local coffee shops and breweries around the city. There are so many different options to choose from and you are sure to find one that matches the aesthetic you are going for, from an industrial vibe to a cozy one.

I always love doing sessions in coffee shops and breweries because not only do they give you an amazing backdrop, but it’s also easy to relax in areas we are comfortable in. You can grab a latte or a pint and just have fun! Plus, a lot of breweries have small games that you can play during your photoshoot which is not only super fun but can also help bring out a more energetic and fun-loving feel to your photos.  

Final Thoughts: Charlottesville VA Photo Spots

Hopefully, this list helps you narrow down your choices and find the perfect spot for your photoshoot. Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure or the perfect view of the city skyline, you will not be disappointed by what you find here! 

Now that you know the best places to take pictures in Charlottesville, VA, all you have to do is make sure you have the perfect photographer to capture them. As someone who shoots in the city often, I would love to help make your dream session a reality, just as I have for so many other couples. Click here to get in touch and check one more thing off of your list!

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Photographer, amateur snowboarder, dive bar connoisseur,  inspired by music, good movies, and you.

I'm a Charlottesville wedding photographer and I specialize in capturing wedding days with a documentary approach. Love is pretty rad, and your photos should be, too.