COVER- <i>The Hook's</i> Summer Guy'd: A gentleman's treasure trove of summer fun
1) Eric Redinger, 25
"Extreme hiking in the Blue Ridge– 20 miles with full gear, a weighed-down pack."
2) Ian McNeill, 29
"Check out some concerts, hit up the Pavilion."
3) Eric Neff, 30
"I love to disc golf at Walnut Creek."
4) Jeff Bristol, 27
"Salsa dancing at Rapture."
5) Ben King, 18
"Ride with the Charlottesville Cycling Club."
6) Landon Perdue, 28
"Go to the Smith Mountain Lake."
7) Jon Forney, 27
8) Kyle Redinger, 26
"Attempting to golf at Farmington."
Okay, ladies, we admit it: it might seem counter-intuitive to ask a guy to make all the summer plans if you are at all hoping for a good time. At the risk of stereotyping the gentlemen in Charlottesville, men are from Mars, women are from Venus, right? And buying into that famous cliché means boys just don't seem to have the multi-tasking ability to plan a well-rounded, fully-executable day of fun in the sun. Don't men just like to play World of Warcraft, drink beer, or– horrors!– play golf?
Well, we've discovered some good news: men in Charlottesville seem to be of higher caliber (yes, we know we are biased here)– and in an area nestled against the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cvillians of both genders prove to be much more active and up for adventure. After all, this town's been consistently ranked as one of the most "energetic," healthiest, outdoorsy places in the country.
We asked some of the area's finest gentlemen to point us all in the right direction for some summer fun. Were they quick to mention golf? Of course. Do they like beer? Duh! But they didn't stop there. From yard sale-ing to wine tasting to finding hidden spots to swim, you might be surprised at the adventures they dream up.
"I primarily golf– mostly at Birdwood and Old Trail, but I'd like to expand my horizons.
Yard sale-ing on Sundays– I love going about town and trying to find cool antiques and records and old books and treasures. I'm a treasure collector.
Doing a little BBQ– if you're low-budget, you gotta go burgers, but if you're going crazy, steaks and chicken, babes and brews. Campfires are really the preferred way of grilling. You can also play bocce anywhere– have some cigars, cold beers, and good friends."
How to do it: Area consignment shops
Circa Inc: 1700 Allied Street
10am-5:30pm Mon-Sat/1pm-5pm Sun
Oyster House Antiques: 122 East Main Street
St. Peter's Attic Consignment: 3449 Ivy Road
Glad Rags: 1923 Commonwealth Drive
10am-6pm Tues-Fri/10am-5pm Sat-Sun
"I'm not telling you my age!"
Performance Artist/Pot Stirrer
"After being stuck inside for so many days this winter, it's such a relief to be able to enjoy my existential quandaries and endless concerns for the world while wading in the shallow end of my next-door neighbor's pool."
How to do it: Pool wading
McIntire Wading Pool: 1360 Rugby Road
10:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri/12pm-4pm Sat-Sun
Washington Park Pool: 1700 Rose Hill Drive
11am-6pm Mon-Thurs/11am-7pm Fri/10am-5pm Sat/11am-5pm Sun
Pool passes can be purchased at any of the above pools or the Downtown Office in the City Hall Annex. Passes range from $24-29 for an individual city resident.
Owner, Horse & Buggy Produce
"If anybody ever wants to join me– there's a death-defying natural water slide up Cedar Run. There's a big flat rock, quite a ways up Cedar Run, that dumps into a pool and looks fairly tame. Then further down the trail, there's this shoot, 60-80 feet long. Take a Therm-a-Rest, let the air out of it, fold it in half, and sit on that–- you go flying down, crash into the pool below, hydroplaning all the way.
I mostly go hiking in the Shenandoah National Park or Old Rag. There's a really nice trail called White Rock Falls, about milepost 20, that's great."
How to do it: Blue Ridge Hiking
White Rock Falls: located in Nelson County– contact the Nelson County Tourism office at 8519 Thomas Nelson Hwy, Lovingston, VA, 22949 or 800-282-8223. The trail is about 2.9 miles long and is said to be a "moderate" hike.
Sports Director, WINA/Executive Producer, Virginia Sports Network
"Charlottesville is an awesome place over the summer– I enjoy the relaxed athletic aspect of life here in the summertime. I'm on the sports and social club's flag football team– it's a great group of young professionals.
I love the restaurants, it's one of the great things we have. I like Maya; I am just starting to get into Horse and Hound; Mono Loco for hanging out downtown; and Aberdeen Barn is great after you've had a pretty busy day and you really want to relax."
How to do it: The Charlottesville Sports & Social Club
Leagues include dodgeball, flipcup, football, kickball, soccer, volleyball, and wallyball.
434-825-9804 or visit www.cvillesocial.com to sign up for events and teams.
Food & Wine Entrepreneur
"This is going to be my first summer here! I'm really looking forward to outdoor nights on the Mall– the warm breeze, cool drinks, blue lights, and people passing by. Oh yeah, and Kings of Belmont at the June 25 Fridays After Five.
Also looking forward to Field Camp, at Camp Albemarle along the Moormans River, especially the 'overnight' time when I can join my kids for some evening activities."
How to do it: Field Camp
Field Camp runs from June 14-August 13 for children ages 6-16. Camp days are 9am-4pm daily, except Thursday overnight sessions. Call director Todd Barnett at 434-242-6894 or visit www.fieldcamp.net. Costs range from $350/one week enrollment, $275/per week for two week enrollments, or $225/per week for three or more weeks of enrollment.
Owner, Boylan Heights
"I have one season a year– summer is my glory days! We have pool parties every Sunday called the 'Obligatory Sunday Funday,' and that turns into going to King Family Vineyards to watch the polo matches or going bowling at Keglers.
The best thing to do is to go to Blue Hole with a big group. You bring a backpack of beers and when you get there everyone de-robes and jumps in. Hiking Humpback Rock is an experience, but Blue Hole is more of an event.
There's always wine-tasting– I like Barboursville or Jefferson Vineyards, where you can sit outside and see Monticello.
Bars and outdoor eating are always amazing in the summer, even with the students gone– I definitely love to go to the Corner or eat outside on the Downtown Mall at Blue Light or ZoCaLo. Then, when you're winding down at the end of the week, it's always good to do Sunday Brunch at Boylan– my favorite is the Cap'n Crunch French Toast."
How to do it: Roseland Polo at King Family Vineyards
Polo runs from Memorial Day through September, and matches are scheduled every Sunday, weather permitting. The season starts May 30 and matches begin at 1:30pm. Visit www.roselandpolo.com for updated schedules and times.
How to do it: Blue Hole
Blue Hole is an unofficial swimming hole near the George Washington National Forest. Go west on Barracks Road, make a left on Sugar Hollow Road in White Hall. Park past the reservoir and hike up the North Fork of the Moormans River. After crossing the river, Blue Hole is approximately 2 miles up the trail.
UVA Track & Field assistant coach
"Music is first and foremost– you can't go wrong with the Pavilion or the Southern. Some of my favorite shows from the past were the Avett Brothers, The Decemberists, or Steve Earl and Josh Ritter at the Paramount.
Brunching– either at the Nook or Blue Moon.
You can't go wrong with driving up to Skyline Drive: taking some pics, enjoying the scenary."
How to do it: Music on the Downtown Mall
The Pavilion: 700 East Main Street
434-245-4910 or www.charlottesvillepavilion.com for shows
The Southern Cafe and Music Hall: 103 1st Street South
434-977-5590 or www.thesoutherncville.com for shows
The Paramount Theater: 215 East Main Street
434-979-1333 or www.theparamount.net for shows
Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar: 414 East Main Street
434-293-9947 or www.teabazaar.com for shows
Jefferson Theater: 110 East Main Street
434-245-4980 or www.jeffersontheater.com for shows
"I wish I had a goal of trying something really new and crazy. We live in Crozet, and I love all those little creeks around Sugar Hollow, and my favorite hikes are typically up in the Shenandoah, or the Applachian Trail.
If it's my own free time, I like to shoot concerts in town, either at the Jefferson or the Pavilion.
My wife and I like to try new places for dinner– there are so many great places around here. Some favorites are Mas or Tavola."
How to do it: Belmont Restaurants
Mas Tapas: 501 Monticello Road
Tavola: 826 Hinton Avenue
Opens for dinner at 5pm Tues-Sat
The Local: 824 Hinton Avenue
5:30pm-10pm Sun-Thurs/5:30pm-11pm Fri-Sat
Bel Rio: 407 Monticello Road
"Last year, I played a lot of badminton, which can be active or lazy when you're drinking mint juleps. I like to go swimming, although I haven't been to the [Onesty Pool] water park, but it's on my to-do list. I really like doing cannonballs– I can do a pretty good splash. It's really all about where you land, as long as you get the angle right. Plus, if you can get more height on your jump, that's all the better. I really prefer it to diving– diving really freaks me out, there's that slim chance I might turn my neck and the dive can go horribly wrong– maybe I'll dive too deep. I chipped a tooth once. The cannonball is safe and it has the most reaction."
How to do it: Cannonballs at the Onesty Pool
Onesty Family Aquatic Center at Meade Park: 300 Meade Avenue
Production, Starr Hill Brewing Company
"So for low-key outdoor fun, you go tubing on the James. Call ahead to the James River Runners– they always have the best info on river conditions. If you're in the know, you buy your own inner tubes at Finley's at Barrack's Road. It's $18 to get your own tube, and they give you a release valve that's super important to have, so that you can get the air out after. Go out Route 20 to Scottsville, and when you turn off towards the river, there's a shopping center with a grocery store. That's where you go to get your beer, Gatorade, and ice. Then you hit the dollar store next door for sunglasses, because you're gonna want to leave your Ray Bans in the car, or you'll lose them. Then you hit the Subway for food, and you're good to go.
Then, beer tasting. If you're starting from Charlottesville, go out Route 250 out of town to Route 240, to Starr Hill in the center of Crozet– they have awesome beer on tap that you can't get anywhere else. Get a growler, because men drink beer out of growlers. Tip: if you like the Love and the Lucy [Starr Hill's Summer Ale], you mix the two together and get the "I Love Lucy."
From there, you're going to Fardowners in Crozet for sliders– all the food is good, but you go for the sliders. Then you jump back on 250 heading West, then onto Route 151 into Nelson County. On the left is Blue Mountain Brewing Company– it's an awesome bar, you can do the sampler, but you really want to drink pints there. It's all about the Full Nelson there, and you can buy it in a can and take it tubing on the James with you.
Then you're back on the road, heading out 151 into the mountains to Wintergreen to Devils Backbone Brewery. They just dominated the World Beer Cup, took home four medals, was named the Brewmaster Small Brewery in America. Head back into Cville, finish up with dinner at South Street.
There's obviously a wine-tasting scene around here, but beer tasting is more fun to do with your boys when your girlfriend's not in town– you can always do the wine circuit when she gets back."
How to do it: Beer Tasting
Starr Hill Brewery: 5391 Three Notched Rd
Tastings: 12pm-5pm Sat & Sun/ Tours every half hour 1-4pm Sat & Sun
Blue Mountain Brewery: 9519 Critzers Shop Road, Afton
11:30-10pm Mon-Sat/11:30am-9pm Sun
Devils Backbone Brewing Company: 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland
How to do it: Tubing on the James River
James River Runners: 10092 Hatton Ferry Road, Scottsville
"This summer I'll be working to elect the next US Congressman from the 5th District. But I'll also spend a lot of time walking on the Rivanna Trails, next to Pen Park, as I prepare for my trip to Yellowstone and the Cody Stampede [Rodeo, in Wyoming].
I will make a trek out to the Fork Union Drive-In– it reminds me when I was really young and used to go.
Hopefully this year, I'll get to finally go to FloydFest– it's a shame not to go to a festival like that when it's in my backyard!"
How to do it: FloydFest
June 22-25 in Floyd, Virginia
Daily tickets range from $40-60; 3-Day passes cost $130 in advance; 4-Day passes cost $140 in advance.
Performers include The Hackensaw Boys, Deer Tick, Joe Pug, William Walter & Co., Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun.
For more information, visit www.floydfest.com
How to do it: Fork Union Drive-In
Located off Route 612, Winnsville Drive, Fork Union
Hours: 7pm-12:30am Fri-Sun
"Hiking Humpback Rock– it's so close, convenient, and beautiful– normally I take the kids up there all the time.
There's also peach picking, or swimming at Onesty Pool.
Being able to [perform] outside in the summertime is the best– the vibe is great, summertime energy is awesome, the kids are out of school. I like playing at the Pavilion– [The Downbeat Project] will be playing there on the June 4th Fridays After Five– but I love playing at Maya or Devils Backbone."
How to do it: Humpback Rock
Milepost 5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Follow the approximately 2 mile trail loop to climb 740 feet up to the peak. The hike takes about 45 minutes.
Associate Publisher, Blue Ridge Outdoors
"I'm looking forward to the Blue Ridge Music Festival out at Devils Backbone– there's a mountain bike race early in the day, then it turns into a music festival.
There's always tubing on the James– why wouldn't you want to do it? It's probably the best way I've ever spent a Saturday in the summer.
I go to Walnut Creek for biking, trail running, swimming, and if you go with a group big enough, disc golfing is fun.
For rock climbing, there's a place near here called Moormans Boulders, out past Foxfield on Garth Road– it's a good place to bust some beginner moves. There's decent climbing in the Wintergreen area, and another place called Seneca Rocks [in West Virginia]– there's awesome climbing out there."
How to do it: Rock Climbing
Moormans Boulders: Head out Barracks Road towards White Hall, turn right onto Millington, drive 1.5 (approx) miles, and park on the right after crossing the large, iron bridge over Moorman's River. The boulders are on the right after the bridge.
Seneca Ridge: Take I-64 West to Staunton, then I-81 North to Harrisonburg. Exit on 247B (Route 33 West) and drive up to the Franklin, West Virginia. Continue on Route 33 to get to Seneca Rocks. For beginners, the Seneca Rocks Climbing School runs 2-3 day classes to help get you started. Call 1-800-548-0108 or visit www.climbseneca.com for more details and register for a class.
Host & Producer of "Charlottesville–Right Now!" on WINA/ Local History Expert & Best-Selling Author
"In no specific order, the top things I'll be doing for fun this summer in Charlottesville are:
Swimming– ACAC rules.
Gardening– flowers and vegetables in the backyard. It's a lot of work, but I really love just watching it come to life by the end of the summer.
My kids and I will escort our six baby ducks down to the lake and give them a big send-off.
Canoeing and fishing on our little lake in Ivy and hiking at the Blue Ridge Parkway– my son absolutely loves Humpback Rock and practically runs up.
Working out– did I say ACAC rules?
Having campfires with s'mores in the backyard, although they're less messy and taste better from a toaster oven."
How to do it: Canoeing
James River Reeling & Rafting: 265 Ferry Street, Scottsville
James River Runners: 10082 Hatton Ferry Road, Scottsville
For gear: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Ltd: 2148 Barracks Road
Musician & Bagel Technician
"On good warm nights when the Mall gets crowded or there's a show at the Pavilion, you set up whatever noisemakers you have on a corner and start busking. There are good pockets of acoustics on the Mall where you can holler and hear your voice bounce off the wall. It's a basic, interactive form of entertainment, but it can be totally lonely and thankless if you set up on the wrong night and in the wrong spot– which is why I always pick nice, balmy Cville evenings."
How to do it: Busking
Downtown Mall: East Main Street
The best places to set up and perform? Where side streets meet up to the main Mall; in front of the defunct Landmark Hotel; anywhere close to outdoor eating areas.