"We are about to establish a College near Charlottesville on the lands formerly Colo Monroe’s, a mile above the town. we do not propose to erect a single grand building, but to form a square of perhaps 200 yards, and to arrange around that pavilions of about 24. by 36.f. one for every professorship & his school. they are to be of various forms, models of chaste architecture, as examples for the school of architecture to be formed on."
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Dinsmore, April 13, 1817
Named for the wife of Kng George III, and home to three founding fathers Charlottesville and its surrounding areas are steeped in history. Now, far from Colonial times, the city and surrounding areas are known as a perennial favorite of superlatives including "happiest", "best", and "top" places to live an work in the nation. In 2014, Charlottesville was named America's Happiest city.
- America's Happiest City, 2014 More
- Among America's 5 New Foodie Cities, 2014 More
- No. 9 America's Favorite Mountain Towns, 2014 More
- No. 6 Best College Towns for People Who Aren't in College, 2014 More
- Top 5 College Towns in the Country, 2014 More
- No. 1 America's Best Small Towns for Food, 2013 More
- No. 4 Best (Small) City for Working Women, 2013 More
- One of the Travel Channel's Top College Towns, 2013 More
- One of the South's Best College Towns, Southern Living, 2012 More
- No. 2 Overall Wellbeing (No. 1 for College Towns), Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 2011 More
- Best College Town of the South, Southern Living Magazine, 2011 More
- Healthiest Place to Live, Men's Journal, 2010
- No. 1 City in America, Frommer's "Cities Ranked and Rated," 2004
Location and Climate
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 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 more than 200 days of sunshine a year.
Estimates as of July 1, 2013:
Quality of Life
- Quality of Life at a Glance (Charlottesville.org)