Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and just over a two hour drive from the nation's capital, Charlottesville is home to nearly 50,000 residents and one of the most beautiful places in America. It has all the charm of a historic college town with the conveniences and energy of a larger city. In 2018, it was ranked No. 5 "Best Place to Live" by Livability, #4 in the U.S. for Entrepreneurship by Entrepreneur Magazine, and #14 for "More Restaurants per Capita" by Huffington Post

Charlottesville has a vibrant cultural scene and features more than 30 wineries and breweries, numerous hiking trails, Monticello and Highland—the homes of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroeand champion college sports teams. The climate year-round is temperate, and residents enjoy many outdoor activities ranging from cycling and snowboarding to farmer's markets and vineyards.  

Our Favorite Places and Things to Do

1. Rivanna River

“I have great memories of rowing in an eight when I was a member of the Rivanna Rowing Club and quiet afternoons spent with my husband kayaking.” — Andrea Kester, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and Registrar 

2. Bodos Bagels

“You can't beat high-quality, inexpensive food in the middle of all the action.” — Alex Kish, Director of Research Administration

3. Downtown Mall

“The C'ville Downtown Mall for the farmer's market, Fridays After 5, shopping, great restaurants, and breweries.” — Sue Haas, Director of IT

4. Dairy Market

“The Dairy Market is one of my favorite places as they offer a variety of culinary delights from decadent Latin flavors to traditional southern food and amazing ice cream. It's also a great spot to congregate with friends.” — Dahlia Hylton, Assistant Dean of Student Life

5. Sugar Hollow Hike

“It’s not too strenuous and in the summer you can plop down into the water to cool off.” — Phil Bourne, Stephenson Dean 

6. Saunders-Monticello Trail

“It's a beautiful walking, running, biking trail that is ideal for getting outside in any season. Another plus is the lower half is dog friendly.” — Natalie Kupperman, Assistant Professor of Data Science

7. Virginia Film Festival

“The Virginia Film Festival is a gem. I'm always surprised and thrilled with the wide range of films, documentaries, and shorts presented each year.” — Emma Candelier, Director of Communications

8. Mint Springs Park and Riverview Park

“I like to walk by the water and they're great places to bring the family.” — Siri Russell, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

9. The Lawn

“The Lawn at the University of Virginia is one of my favorite places to visit for many reasons. Many celebratory events and gatherings happen on the Lawn, like Lighting of the Lawn, Trick or Treating, and Commencement.” — Jennifer Kirkham, Manager of Faculty Affairs

10. Virginia Rugby Football Club 

“Rugby is the ultimate team sport. The club is made up of graduate students and collegiate athletes.” — Peter Alonzi, Assistant Professor of Data Science

Downtown Charlottesville
The Charlottesville Downtown Mall

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