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Charlottesville / Albemarle

Home of Jefferson-designed University of Virginia and Monticello

LIFESTYLE

Foodies have it made in Charlottesville and Albemarle counties. The Downtown Mall has a vibrant restaurant scene, while the up-and-coming Belmont neighborhood deftly holds its own as well. Whether you seek native Italian fare or the finest local, grass-fed steaks, Charlottesville has you covered…

The gem of Central Virginia, Charlottesville enjoys all the attributes of both a small town and a metropolitan city. It was here that Thomas Jefferson established the University of Virginia, which still stands as the cultural center of a vibrant community of arts, history, and recreation.

With one of the finest public school systems in the state (as well as a plethora of award-winning private schools), Charlottesville and Albemarle County offer easy access to Shenandoah National Park, the cultural offerings of UVA and the Downtown Mall, as well as a superb local dining scene.

Photo by Rick Stillings

Local Gems

Our featured picks.

Charlottesville’s best-known historic attraction, Monticello, was the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson—third President, writer of the Declaration of Independence, and founder of the University of Virginia. The home and gardens he designed along with miles of hiking and biking trails are open to the public.

Established in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia is the centerpiece of Charlottesville culture and has more than 20,000 college and graduate students in attendance. Visitors here can take tours of the Rotunda, the Lawn, University grounds and gardens, not to mention the many sporting events throughout the year featuring the Virginia Cavaliers.

This eight-block pedestrian mall features an array of boutiques, locally owned fine-dining restaurants and cafes, and theaters—The Jefferson and Paramount among them. The Downtown Mall is also home to the Sprint Pavilion, which hosts both ticketed and free concerts throughout the year and is home base for Charlottesville’s Fridays after Five events.