Charlottesville is nestled in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bold innovation and unmatched tradition walk hand-in-hand alongside an abundance of natural beauty and intellectual challenges. The lands of Charlottesville/Albemarle County are still infused with the revolutionary ideals of the founding fathers who once called it home. Here you can walk in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson, both at his home of Monticello and at his beloved University of Virginia. Or you can blaze your very own trail toward a wide array of mind, body and soul-satisfying experiences that encompass the very best that this remarkable setting has to offer.
A half-hour to the west of Charlottesville is the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains. A three-hour drive to the east brings you to the Atlantic Ocean beaches. Richmond, the state capital, is only one hour away by car, and Washington, D.C., is just two hours north. The average July high is 88 degrees. The average January low is 26 degrees. Charlottesville averages over 200 days of sunshine a year.
Charlottesville, named for Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was established as a town in 1762. In March of 1825, a little over a year before Thomas Jefferson’s death on July 4, 1826, the University of Virginia opened its doors to serve its first 123 students. The city and The University have grown hand-in-hand for over 180 years. The enrollment at "Mr. Jefferson’s University" is now over 20,000 and the population of Charlottesville/Albemarle County is over 120,000. The Charlottesville area is often highlighted as one of the best places to live, and was rated "America’s #1 Community" in Frommer’s Cities Ranked and Rated, published in the spring of 2004.
The Historic Downtown Mall is recognized as one of the finest urban parks, and one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls, in the nation. This pedestrian mall is home to a vibrant collection of more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants located in the historic buildings on and around old Main Street Charlottesville. In addition, the Mall is home to some of the best entertainment venues in Central Virginia, including the historic Paramount Theatre and the Charlottesville Pavilion. The Paramount is a renovated historic theater that brings in comedy acts, musical theater providing full season productions, several special series, and extensive education programs. The Pavilion seats 3,500 and hosts nationally known musical talent (concerts) regularly from spring to the fall.
Enjoy dining at a number of fine restaurants, shop the unique boutiques, screen a movie, take in a play or show, take the family ice skating at the indoor arena, or simply relax and enjoy the flowers with a beverage from one of the specialty wine, coffee or tea shops.