A Top-Ranked City
A Great Place to Live for Students and Families Alike
In 2014, Charlottesville made top-10 lists for "best college towns in the country" (More) and even "best college towns for people who aren't in college" (More).
- No. 2 Most Exciting City in Virginia, 2015 More
- No. 8 Best Places to Retire, 2015 More
- No. 21 Top 100 Best Places to Live, 2015 More
- America's Happiest City, 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 little more than two hours north. The average July high is 87 degrees. The average January low is 27 degrees. Charlottesville averages more than 219 days of sunshine a year.
Estimates as of July 1, 2015:
- Charlottesville Population: 48,210
County Population: 105,051
- Combined City and County Population: 153,261
- Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area Population: 231,244
- Data Table - Virginia Cities and Counties
- U.S. Census Bureau Statistics (including age, gender, race)
As a $2.8 billion a year business (all divisions), the University is the area's number-one employer, with about 15,000 faculty and staff in the areas of information technology, engineering, research and development, business, finance, administration, public relations, athletics and facilities management. UVA encompasses a vast complex of schools, a level-one trauma center and teaching hospital and research facilities, as well as arts and athletic venues.
With a total student body of 22,000 and a faculty of more than 2,100, the University of Virginia has achieved national prominence in many disciplines and for four of the last eight years has been ranked as the nation’s top public university, a judgment based on faculty strength, student achievement, satisfaction of alumni and numerous other factors.
Odds & Ends
Charlottesville was named for Princess Charlotte, wife of George III.
Charlottesville was the filming location for 1991 movie, "True Colors" (which focuses on friends from law school) and 1995 movie, "Major Payne." The nearby Miller School was the location for "Toy Soldiers."
Charlottesville and its surrounding areas have their share of celebs, including Sissy Spacek, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Howie Long; authors John Grisham, Tami Hoag (mysteries), Jan Karon (the Mitford series), and Rita Mae Brown (Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries); and former poet laureate Rita Dove.
Georgia O'Keefe called Charlottesville home during the summers of 1913 through 1916 when she taught art at the University. Her mother moved to Charlottesville in 1909 and O'Keefe lived with her on and off beginning in 1912.
Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe all called Charlottesville or nearby environs home, as did explorer Meriwether Lewis.
The Dave Matthews Band put in its time as a college band in Charlottesville and some of its band members still call the town home. DMB manager Coran Capshaw is a major real estate developer in Charlottesville.