Local Atmosphere

Charlottesville, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$38,228 ($12,216)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Charlottesville has a great music scene. Downtown is great for a change of pace.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The downtown and the corner has pretty interesting stuff, however nothing too special.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: In stating that the cost of living is "poor" what I mean is that this area is very expensive for someone just starting out. The rent for most off-grounds places is at a minimum of $400 per room per month which, for a student in an entry position, is high. However, the locals are friendly towards students and many even open their homes as renting options for better prices.

The city attracts middle to upper-class families and while this class of people are plenty, so too are the lower-class individuals. (It is sad that for a city this unique and expensive, there are many beggars on the streets who do not get enough help).

Charlottesville is scenic and has plenty of historic attractions such as Jefferson's Monticello and the wine-tasting venues. Downtown Charlottesville is wrought with small locally-owned businesses ranging from the food to clothing industries. Chain companies are also available but these are set up towards the out-skirts of the city while the local ones take the heart.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Charlottesville is beautiful and a great place to live

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Downtown Charlottesville is very different than UVa grounds - much more liberal feeling and you stop seeing nothing but sundresses once you're a few miles away from grounds.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Haley Bryant
London, UK
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
(434) 973-4294
Movie Theaters
Downtown Mall 6
200 W. Main St.
(434) 979-7857
Movie Theaters
The Jefferson Theater
110 E Main St.
(434) 295-3321
Major Sports Teams
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 88 responses

Very poor
  • 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 89 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.
  • 75% 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 88 responses

  • 40% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 25% 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 88 responses

  • 18% No way.
  • 61% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 20% Totally.



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