Get to Know C'ville
Charlottesville is the Best Place to Be!
Charlottesville has a large series of attractions and venues. Visitors come to the area for wine and beer tours, ballooning, hiking, and world-class entertainment that perform at one of the area’s four larger venues. The city is both the launching pad and home of the Dave Matthews Band as well as the center of a sizable indie music scene. The Charlottesville area was the home of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Monticello, Jefferson’s plantation manor, is located just a few miles from downtown. The home of James Monroe, Ash Lawn-Highland, is down the road from Monticello. About 25 miles northeast of Charlottesville lies the home of James and Dolley Madison, Montpelier.
Charlottesville is host to the annual Virginia Film Festival in October, and the Virginia Festival of the Book in March. In addition, the Foxfield Races are steeplechase races held in April and October of each year. A Fourth of July celebration, including a Naturalization Ceremony, is held annually at Monticello, and a First Night celebration has been held on the Downtown Mall since 1982.
Charlottesville’s downtown is a center of business. It is home to the Downtown Mall, one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the nation, with stores, restaurants, entertainment and civic attractions. The renovated Paramount Theater hosts various events, including Broadway shows and concerts, while the nearby renovated Jefferson Theater hosts numerous concerts and private events. Other attractions on the Downtown Mall are the Virginia Discovery Museum and a 3,500 seat outdoor amphitheater, the nTelos Wireless Pavilion. Court Square, just a few blocks from the Downtown Mall, is the original center of Charlottesville and several of the historic buildings there date back to the city’s founding in 1762.
Charlottesville is also home to the University of Virginia. During the academic year, more than 20,000 students pour into Charlottesville to attend the university. Its main grounds are located on the west side of Charlottesville, with Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village, known as the Lawn, as the centerpiece. The Lawn is a long esplanade crowned by two prominent structures, The Rotunda (designed by Jefferson) and Old Cabell Hall (designed by Stanford White). The Corner is the commercial district abutting the main grounds of UVa, along University Avenue. This area is full of college bars, eateries, and UVa merchandise stores, and is busy with student activity during the school year.