Local Atmosphere

Location
Charlottesville, VA
Undergrads
14,928
Tuition (in-state)
$38,228 ($12,216)
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I LOVE living in Charlottesville. The dining is amazing and a free trolley runs from UVA to downtown everyday. There are also lots of nature-type things to do on the weekends - hiking Humpback or Old Rag, swimming in Blue Hole, tubing on the James, etc.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There's so much to do around Charlottesville, in fact, it was even named the number one college town!

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The atmosphere surrounding the campus is amazing. There is a lot of pride in the University from the local community so most people are really kind to anyone sporting school logos.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Wonderful area. Lots of things to do.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I think of Charlottesville as the perfect college town. The shopping, restaurants, and concert venues are great and it's right by the mountains if you like outdoorsy activities!

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Haley Bryant
Hometown
London, UK
Major
Media Studies
View all previous student authors

Charlottesville is surrounded by the beautiful hills and mountains of the Blue Ridge, which alone have much to offer—from hiking and picnicking, to a simple stroll along Skyline Drive. There are plenty of lakes and ponds just outside of town where students like to lay out and cool off in the summer and spring. The real cultural center of Charlottesville is mainly in and around the Downtown Mall, where there are many art galleries, music clubs, bookstores, and theaters. There is a great artistic tradition in Charlottesville. Many writers, musicians, and artists reside and work in and around the town, which no doubt inspires them. Despite all there is to do and see in Charlottesville, many students neglect to recognize the town’s rich culture and numerous opportunities. UVA students sometimes arrogantly forget that they are in the greater Charlottesville community and get too wrapped up in being a part of the University. As a result, there seems to be quite a bit of tension between students and locals. The University certainly makes up a large part of Charlottesville, and many students take this as an excuse not to explore the area.

The town remains vibrant and intellectual, but also laid-back. Charlottesville has a unique feel to it. It is the ultimate small city and complements UVA perfectly. It is simultaneously artsy and preppy, wild and laid back. It has the ability to keep you captivated and engaged for all four years, but if you ever get bored and want a little adventure, Washington D.C., is only a two-hour drive away.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Charlottesville is the home of the Dave Matthews Band-both where they started and where they live now (when they're not out on tour).
  2. The Virginia Film Festival comes to Charlottesville every October and is hosted by the University, bringing with it famous actors, directors, producers, and screenwriters. In recent years, Sigourney Weaver, Anthony Hopkins, Nicolas Cage, Roger Ebert, and Sissy Spacek have all taken part in the festival.
  3. During the summer months, there is a Farmer's Market that takes place every Saturday morning right next to the Downtown Mall.
  4. Charlottesville was named "#1 Small City in the South" by Money magazine.
  5. Monticello, the hilltop home of Thomas Jefferson, is not only known for its amazing architecture, but also for the former president's many showcased inventions.
Notable Natives
  • Katie Couric
  • John Grisham
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Jessica Lange
  • Dave Matthews (and his band)
  • Sam Shepherd
  • Sissy Spacek
  • Sparky's Flaw
Local Slang
  • C-ville: The town of Charlottesville
  • The Grounds: The UVA campus
  • Legit: As in, "Brah, those wayfarers are legit!"
  • Natty: Natural Light Beer; in context, "Dude, beer me a Natty."
  • NoVa: Northern Virginia
  • Srat: Sorority
  • Townies: The sometimes sketchy Charlottesville locals who do not go to UVA
Points of Interest
  • Beaver Creek
  • The Blue Ridge Mountains
  • The Downtown Mall
  • The Farmer’s Market
  • Humpback Rock
  • The James River
  • Mince Springs
  • Monticello
  • Wintergreen
Shopping Centers
  • The Barracks Shopping Center
  • The Downtown Mall
  • Fashion Square Mall
Movie Theaters
Carmike 6 Theater
1803 Seminole Trail
Charlottesville
(434) 973-4294
Movie Theaters
Downtown Mall 6
200 W. Main St.
Charlottesville
(434) 979-7857
Movie Theaters
The Jefferson Theater
110 E Main St.
Charlottesville
(434) 295-3321
Major Sports Teams
None:
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Richmond: VA: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Washington: D.C.: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 94 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 93 responses

  • 2% Painfully remote.
  • 1% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 13% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 76% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 8% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 92 responses

  • 39% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 26% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 35% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 92 responses

  • 18% No way.
  • 62% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 20% Totally.

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