Charlottesville is a large, growing city in the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, a region that encompasses several Virginia counties. Despite its small geographical footprint at just over 10 square miles, Charlottesville is home to a number of well-known attractions, including local breweries, entertainment venues, top-rated restaurants and historical and natural landmarks.
The History of Charlottesville
Like much of the Virginia and D.C. area, Charlottesville is built on land that's steeped in history. The area was originally home to Native Americans and welcomed European settlers in the 1700s and 1800s. It was home to two well-known U.S. presidents, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Both men lived in Charlottesville during their terms as Virginia governors. During his time in the area, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and constructed his famous home, Monticello, just outside the city limits.
The first railroad came through Charlottesville in 1850, contributing to the area's growth and development. During the Civil War, Charlottesville was surprisingly unharmed, enjoying a far different fate from the one that befell most of its neighboring cities. The city was incorporated in 1888 and experienced a major boom that more than doubled the local population.
Living in Charlottesville
In Charlottesville, you'll find plenty of things to do and see, whether your interests are in the arts, culture, history, food or nature. Just a few miles from the city's downtown center, you can visit Monticello and Ash Lawn-Highland, the homes of Jefferson and Monroe. The University of Virginia is another historical landmark, featuring several areas designed by Thomas Jefferson himself.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, you'll appreciate Charlottesville's proximity to the Shenandoah National Park. The large preserve offers numerous hiking trails and expansive views of the beautiful natural surroundings. There are several scenic drives in the area, including the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Charlottesville also offers a rich and diverse collection of shops and restaurants, ranging from upscale eateries to casual college bars. Other popular attractions in the city include the Virginia Discovery Museum, the Paramount Theater and the University of Virginia Art Museum.
The city's schools are part of the Charlottesville City Public Schools district. Some of the programs offered throughout the district's schools include over 30 college-level courses for high school students, engineering curriculum in the middle school and a number of clubs and activities offered throughout the grades. There are also several private schools in Charlottesville, including Waldorf, parochial and special needs campuses.
Resources for Moving to Charlottesville
Here's some helpful information to make your move to Charlottesville as easy as possible:
Utilities: Dominion Virginia Power and the City of Charlottesville Department of Public Works are the area's major energy providers. The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority supplies water to the area, while services are managed by the city.
Garbage and Recycling: The city operates on a sticker and decal system for trash collection services. You can purchase either individual stickers for every bag of trash you put out for collection, or an annual sticker that's placed on a large disposal bin.
Transportation: The Charlottesville Area Transit system provides public bus service in and around Charlottesville.
Charlottesville is home to a large and active housing market, with prices that are well above the national average. For the region, however, Charlottesville is not unreasonably expensive. There are many different types of homes for sale and rent, including historical properties, townhomes and modern farmhouses on several acres of land.