Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and only a two-hour drive from Washington, DC, Charlottesville offers the amenities of a large city while maintaining the aesthetic charm of a small town. Area restaurants are featured in publications such as Gourmet magazine and the New York Times. Theater, opera and music are community fixtures, and the area is home to the nationally acclaimed Virginia Film Festival and Virginia Festival of the Book. Nearby are the museum homes of four U.S. presidents, numerous cultural attractions and some of the finest golf courses in the country. The terrain is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, with the Blue Ridge Mountains—known for Skyline Drive, the Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway—only a few minutes from Grounds. The University of Virginia is also a historical treasure—it is the only university in the United States to make the United Nations World Heritage Sites list, which includes the Great Wall of China, the Grand Canyon and the Taj Mahal.
Recommended Activities in Charlottesville:
- Tour Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.
- Take a guided tour of the University of Virginia's Rotunda and Lawn, designed by Thomas Jefferson.
- Explore Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, an outdoor walking mall filled with quaint shops, galleries, theaters and restaurants.
- Visit the Charlottesville City Market on Saturday mornings (April through November) for local produce, baked goods, delicious food, crafts and more.
- Hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Crabtree Falls, Humpback Rock or Old Rag Mountain.
- Play a round of golf at Birdwood Golf Course, Stoney Creek Golf Course or Old Trail Golf Course.
- Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive, which is particularly beautiful during the autumn.
- Enjoy a hot air balloon flight from Bonaire Charters.
- Check out Fridays After Five, a free outdoor music festival on the Downtown Mall each Friday evening from mid-April through mid-October.
- Visit one of Central Virginia’s many wineries.
- Shop over 200 stores at the Downtown Mall, Barracks Road Shopping Center and Fashion Square Mall.
- Go to the movies at one of many theaters in town.
- Catch UVA sporting events at the new John Paul Jones Arena.
- Attend University and local theater productions or art galleries.
- Read 16 Things to Love about Charlottesville in Fall for ideas on autumn activities.
Charlottesville’s Awards and Recognition
Just as the Darden School of Business regularly wins accolades, so does the city of Charlottesville. Below is a list of recent awards and recognition for the city of Charlottesville:
- Cities Ranked and Rated: Best City to Live in the U.S. or Canada in 2004
- Fortune: Top 20 Best Places to Launch a Small Business in 2009
- Forbes: #9 Best Small Market for Business in 2008
- Men’s Journal: Top 5 Healthiest Place to Live in the U.S. in 2010
- Forbes: #11 Best Small Places For Business and Careers in 2009
- Outside: Top 20 Best Towns in America
- Reader's Digest: Top 10 Places in the Country to Raise a Family
- CNNMoney.com: Top 20 Best Places to Live and Launch a Small Business (2008)
- CNNMoney.com: #2 Best Place to Retire Young
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance: #2 Healthiest Place to Live in America
- E-Podunk.com: #1 Best Small College Town
- Golf Digest: Best Retirement City for Golfers
- TENNIS: #1 Best Tennis Town
Video: Charlottesville After Hours
Watch this short video to learn more about the Charlottesville community: