advertisement

If you can afford it, the best golfing is at the Arnold Palmer-redesigned links at the private Keswick Club, which guests of Keswick Hall at Monticello can pay to play. The University of Virginia's 18-hole Birdwood Golf Course (tel. 434/293-GOLF [4653]), adjacent to The Boar's Head, is one of the top 10 collegiate courses in the country. The 18-hole Meadow Creek Golf Course, 1400 Pen Park Rd. (tel. 434/977-0615; www.charlottesville.org), is a short but challenging municipal course. Call the courses to reserve tee times and get directions. Two fine courses -- Devils Knob and Stoney Creek -- are at Wintergreen Resort, about 43 miles away.

You can go rafting and canoeing on the James River at Scottsville, a quaint, 19th-century town 20 miles south of Charlottesville via Va. 20. The river can run swiftly here -- class I or II if it has rained recently, canoeing and tubing conditions if it hasn't. Contact James River Runners (tel. 434/286-2338; www.jamesriver.com), which has been rafting the rapids, taking adventurers on overnight canoe trips, and renting canoes and inner tubes since 1979.

Charlottesville is Virginia's prime venue for hot-air ballooning, with several companies sending their craft soaring over the foothills, depending on the direction of the wind. Bear Ballooning (tel. 800/932-0152 or 434/971-1757; www.2comefly.com) takes off from the Boar's Head. Others include Blue Ridge Balloon Company (tel. 434/589-6213; www.blueridgeballoon.com) and Monticello Country Ballooning (tel. 434/996-9008; www.virginiahotairballoon.com). Contact them well in advance of coming here.

On the Downtown Mall, the Charlottesville Ice Park (tel. 434/817-2400; www.icepark.com) offers an irregular schedule of ice-skating, skating lessons, and pickup hockey games.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.