Local Area

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Local Area


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5 College Sophomore

Local Area: Charlottesville itself was actually one of the motivations behind choosing UVa for me because of the diversity of activities and accessibility.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Very oriented towards UVA, scenery of mtns. pretty

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: There are great opportunities for outdoor activities in the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains! Hiking Old Rag is a must do and there are always clubs going to pick apples at Carter's Mountain in the fall! Without a car it can be hard to get to these places but the Outdoor Club helps with transportation. The downtown mall is a great place for shopping and small concerts. JPJ, our basketball arena, has big concerts with Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: At first it seems like there is a lot to do off-grounds, and there is, but there's not much variety and I can tell I might have to do some serious searching for things to do that I haven't done five million times before.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: UVA is located in Charlottesville, Virginia which is a mid-sized town with more attractions and far more populated than other in-state schools like James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. If you enjoy hikes and seeing nature there are many areas around UVA where you can go. It is located about 2 hours from Washington, DC and 1 Hour from Richmond so UVA students have convenient access to big cities as well.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 114 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 114 responses

  • 6% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 81% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 11% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 1% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 2% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 114 responses

  • 34% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 28% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 38% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 113 responses

  • 19% Totally.
  • 58% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 23% No way.



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