A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Blue Ridge vs. Charlottesville for Food, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Blue Ridge and Charlottesville. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge is a outdoorsy, historic, and quaint town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a collegiate, southern, and proud university town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, hiking, and museums.

Blue Ridge and Charlottesville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Blue Ridge. Although Blue Ridge and Charlottesville are popular destinations, Blue Ridge has more sights and attractions for tourists. Blue Ridge is very popular for its food, hiking, and shopping, while Charlottesville attracts visitors for its museums, historical sights, and quaint atmosphere. Blue Ridge is more touristy than Charlottesville and is known for its beautiful mountain setting, miles of hiking trails, and small town atmosphere. It is also well known for Chattahoochee National Forest. Charlottesville is famous for being home to the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and serving as a gateway to Shenandoah National Park.

How is Blue Ridge different from Charlottesville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Charlottesville and Blue Ridge. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a good destination for its museums and history. However, Blue Ridge is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

Charlottesville is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. A highlight of a trip to the area is a visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The city is also famously home to the beautiful University of Virginia, which has a manicured and beautiful campus. History buffs will also appreciate visiting the Civil War Sites that are nearby as well.

Blue Ridge offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While you don't immediately think of museums in the area, there are a couple. The Dahlonega Gold Museum gives information on the gold rush and mining industry in town. In nearby Tennessee, Ducktown Basin Museum is a historic mine site that is open for tours.


Is the Food Better in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Charlottesville is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Blue Ridge has a huge number of terrific restaurants. You'll find plenty of small town restaurants serving local dishes like barbecue, trout, and biscuits with gravy. Southern food is popular, but you'll also find plenty of breweries and wineries in the area. Head downtown for an assortment of options that include southern, vegan, and even international flavors.

Charlottesville may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Head to the Historic Downtown Mall to enjoy an outdoor meal at a top rated restaurant. There are also restaurants that cater specifically to students and offer affordable and quick meals.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Nightlife?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

The nice nightlife scene is relatively similar in Blue Ridge and Charlottesville.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Blue Ridge. Head downtown for a mix of breweries, bars, and clubs where you'll find live music and a casual meal.

Charlottesville has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Charlottesville is a university town with an active nightlife. The best areas for nightlife are found around the Downtown Mall, Belmont neighborhood, the Corner, and University Ave west near the mall. Even though there are a number of activities to enjoy at night, this is still a small town and the nightlife scene reflects that.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for its Old Town?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a good destination for its historic old town. However, Blue Ridge does not have a historic old town.

Charlottesville is a good destination for visiting its old town. The Historic Downtown Mall is filled with restaurants and shops. It's a pedestrian only area with a lot of character and energy.

Blue Ridge does not have a historic old town.


Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Hiking?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a great town for hiking. Also, Charlottesville is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Blue Ridge for the hiking trails. There are miles of hiking trails in the area that take you to waterfalls and viewpoints. The starting point of the Appalachian Trail is also nearby, and another popular trail is the Benton MacKaye Trail. Options range from beginner to expert with everything in between.

Charlottesville is a good destination for hiking. Just outside of town there are plenty of hiking opportunities including in and around Shenandoah National Park. Hiking is at its best during the fall season when the leaves are changing.

Is the Shopping Better in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a great town for its shopping opportunities. However, Charlottesville is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Blue Ridge is well-known for its shopping. You'll find artisan shops, art galleries, and boutique clothing vendors. Many places are concentrated in the charming downtown area, which is fun to explore for a day or two.

Charlottesville is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Christmas?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Blue Ridge does not offer Christmas activities.

Since it has plenty to do, Charlottesville is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. From Christmas lights on campus to a festive atmosphere at the Monticello, the town is beautiful for Christmas.

Blue Ridge does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Families?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a great town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Charlottesville is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Blue Ridge is very family-friendly. Kids who enjoy hiking and playing outdoors will have fun here. There are waterfall hikes, fruit picking farms, and plenty of playgrounds. There's also a scenic railway and lots of places to sample treats.

Charlottesville is a family-friendly place to visit. Wandering the campus of UVA, picking fruit at Carter Mountain Orchard or exploring the downtown mall, including the Virginia Discovery Museum are all activities that everyone can enjoy. There are also great hiking trails just outside of town.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Couples?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a great town for its romantic activities. Also, Charlottesville is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for couples.

Blue Ridge is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. If you're looking for a cozy retreat where you can relax in a cabin, take long walks through nature, and enjoy local food, then this is your place. There are plenty of bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and rustic cabins with fireplaces and simple pleasures. If you want to escape it all then the mountains are the place to be.

Charlottesville is a good town for couples to visit. The UVA campus is beautiful to explore, as is Monticello. The Downtown Mall has many great restaurants and activities that make for a nice date night and during the day, there's also beautiful hikes nearby that are at their peak during the fall season.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a great town for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Charlottesville is not known for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Blue Ridge. There are a number of campgrounds in the area as well as plenty of hikes that backpackers will enjoy. Nearby you'll also find the start of the famed Appalachian Trail.

Charlottesville is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There is camping an hiking in the area that is a good option for backpackers.


Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Students?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is an amazing university town to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Blue Ridge is not popular with students.

Charlottesville is a very popular place to visit for students. The town is home to the beautiful University of Virginia and it's a popular destination for international students as well as local students. Much of the town is focused around student life, and the city's proximity to Washington, DC means it has access to global opportunities.

Blue Ridge is not popular with students.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Blue Ridge is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Charlottesville. There is a bus system that runs between campus, downtown, and several neighborhoods in Charlottesville.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Blue Ridge. There's no real public transportation system in the area.

Is Blue Ridge or Charlottesville a more walkable city?

Blue Ridge
Charlottesville

Blue Ridge is a good destination for its high level of walkability. However, Charlottesville is not known for its ease of walking around.

Blue Ridge is a somewhat walkable place. While the downtown area is relatively walkable, if you want to hike and get out in nature, you'll need to have a car.

Charlottesville is generally not very walkable. While the University of Virginia campus and the Downtown Mall are both very walkable, most of the town is not.


For even more information, also check out Is Blue Ridge Worth Visiting? and Is Charlottesville Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Charlottesville or Blue Ridge?

How long in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Blue Ridge and Charlottesville. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Blue Ridge than in Charlottesville. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Blue Ridge, and 2-3 days is enough time in Charlottesville.

Families should spend more time in Blue Ridge than Charlottesville. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Blue Ridge, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Blue Ridge than Charlottesville. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Blue Ridge that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Blue Ridge than Charlottesville if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Blue Ridge.


  • How many days in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville? Ideal Length of Stay
    Blue Ridge 2-5 
    Charlottesville 2-3

One day in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Blue Ridge is a small town with plenty to do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With museums and nightlife around the young university town of Charlottesville, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Blue Ridge might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

With nightlife and museums around the small town destination of Charlottesville, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this university town.

Five days in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Blue Ridge is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. This town offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Charlottesville, a popular university town, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A week in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Since Blue Ridge is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Hikers are also drawn to this area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Charlottesville is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Charlottesville or Blue Ridge?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Blue Ridge is $124, while the average daily cost in Charlottesville is $154. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Blue Ridge and Charlottesville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Blue Ridge $67
    Charlottesville $80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Blue Ridge $134
    Charlottesville $160
Compare Hotels in Blue Ridge and Charlottesville

Looking for a hotel in Blue Ridge or Charlottesville? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Blue Ridge


Hotels in Charlottesville


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Blue Ridge Hotel Prices and Charlottesville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Blue Ridge $34
    Charlottesville $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlottesville

Also for Charlottesville, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlottesville Airport (CHO): $50
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Charlotteville Airport (CHO): $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Prices for flights to both Charlottesville and Blue Ridge change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Blue Ridge $35
    Charlottesville $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charlottesville

For Charlottesville, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The UVA Corner Food Tour: Private Walking Food Tour in Charlottesville: $139
  • The Downtown Mall Food Tour: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Blue Ridge $18
    Charlottesville $18

Tours and Activities in Blue Ridge

For Blue Ridge, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2 Hour Culture Tour in Helen: $25
  • 2-Hour Helen Haunts and History Walk Tour: $29

Tours and Activities in Charlottesville

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Charlottesville.

  • Charlottesville Dark History Ghost Tour : $30
  • Charlottesville Historic Downtown APP/GPS Smartphone Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Ghosts of Court Square Walking Tour: $26
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Charlottetown, PE: $15
  • Shenandoah National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Blue Ridge $20
    Charlottesville $53

Sample the Local Flavors in Charlottesville

Also in Charlottesville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Private Wine Tours (Minimum 3 & Maximum 6 ) Pickup Maximum 30 Mi : $85


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Blue Ridge and Charlottesville, we can see that Charlottesville is more expensive. And not only is Blue Ridge much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Blue Ridge would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Blue Ridge and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Charlottesville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Charlottesville than you might in Blue Ridge.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Blue Ridge Expensive? and Is Charlottesville Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Charlottesville has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Blue Ridge. When comparing the sizes of Blue Ridge and Charlottesville, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Blue Ridge or Charlottesville?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Blue Ridge or Charlottesville in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Blue Ridge and Charlottesville. The summer months attract visitors to Blue Ridge because of the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Charlottesville this time of year.

In the summer, Blue Ridge is around the same temperature as Charlottesville. Typically, the summer temperatures in Blue Ridge in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Charlottesville averages at about 78°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charlottesville this time of the year. In Blue Ridge, it's very sunny this time of the year. Blue Ridge usually receives less sunshine than Charlottesville during summer. Blue Ridge gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Charlottesville receives 305 hours of full sun in the summer.

Charlottesville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Blue Ridge gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Blue Ridge usually receives around the same amount of rain as Charlottesville. Blue Ridge gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 5 inches (128 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Blue Ridge 81°F (27°C) 
    Charlottesville 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Blue Ridge or Charlottesville in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Blue Ridge as well as Charlottesville. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Blue Ridge this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Charlottesville for the hiking trails, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Blue Ridge is generally a little warmer than Charlottesville. Daily temperatures in Blue Ridge average around 63°F (17°C), and Charlottesville fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charlottesville. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Blue Ridge this time of the year. In the autumn, Blue Ridge often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Charlottesville. Blue Ridge gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charlottesville receives 221 hours of full sun.

Blue Ridge usually gets less rain in October than Charlottesville. Blue Ridge gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 3.5 inches (90 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Blue Ridge 63°F (17°C) 
    Charlottesville 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Blue Ridge or Charlottesville in the Winter?

Both Charlottesville and Blue Ridge are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Blue Ridge for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Charlottesville in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, and the cuisine.

Charlottesville can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Blue Ridge. Blue Ridge is much warmer than Charlottesville in the winter. The daily temperature in Blue Ridge averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Charlottesville fluctuates around 36°F (2°C).

Blue Ridge usually receives less sunshine than Charlottesville during winter. Blue Ridge gets 145 hours of sunny skies, while Charlottesville receives 169 hours of full sun in the winter.

It's quite rainy in Blue Ridge. In January, Blue Ridge usually receives more rain than Charlottesville. Blue Ridge gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 3.2 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Blue Ridge 40°F (5°C) 
    Charlottesville 36°F (2°C)

Should I visit Blue Ridge or Charlottesville in the Spring?

Both Charlottesville and Blue Ridge during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Blue Ridge in the spring for the small town charm and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Charlottesville for the small town charm and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Blue Ridge is a little warmer than Charlottesville. Typically, the spring temperatures in Blue Ridge in April average around 62°F (17°C), and Charlottesville averages at about 58°F (14°C).

In Charlottesville, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Blue Ridge. In the spring, Blue Ridge often gets less sunshine than Charlottesville. Blue Ridge gets 243 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charlottesville receives 265 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Blue Ridge. Blue Ridge usually gets more rain in April than Charlottesville. Blue Ridge gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Blue Ridge 62°F (17°C) 
    Charlottesville 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Charlottesville and Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge Charlottesville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 36°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (83 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm)
Mar 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 58°F (14°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 71°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)