A Top-Ranked City
No. 1 City in America, Frommer's "Cities
Ranked and Rated"
In 2004, the Charlottesville metropolitan area, encompassing the city and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties, beat out 402 other metro areas in the United States and Canada to claim the title in Frommer's "Cities Ranked and Rated," authored by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. Charlottesville was commended for its low unemployment and crime rates, good health care, temperate climate and cultural amenities. (The Daily Progress)
- 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. 4 Best Place to Live in the Country, Kiplinger's Magazine, 2009
- No. 11 Best Town to Find a Job, Forbes Magazine, 2009
- No. 18 Safest Mid-Sized Cities in the Country (populations between 150,000 and 500,000), Farmers Insurance
- No. 9 Best Small Market for Business, Forbes Magazine, 9th Place, 2008.
- Top Ten Digital City, Center for Digital Government, 3rd 2005, 4th 2006, 6th 2007, 5th 2008, 4th 2009
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, Distinctive Destination, 2007
- Money Magazine: Best Places to Live
- Outside Magazine: One of the Best Places To Be Found 1995 and 1999, also one of Seven Dream Towns That Have It All, Best Town to Live 2006, 2008
- No. 2 Healthiest Place to Live in America, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
- Top Ten Places in the Country to Raise a Family, #7 out of 50, Reader's Digest
- Top Ten Healthiest Cities for Women, #6, American Health
- No. 1 Best Retirement City for Golfers, Golf Digest
- No. 1 Best Tennis Town, Tennis Magazine
- Best Trail Running, Outside Magazine, 2006
- Top Five Green Cities, Blue Ridge Magazine, 2006
- Best Place to Relocate, Relocate America, 2006
- 100 Best Places to Live, Money Magazine, August 2004
- Best Places to Work, Business Journal, June 2005
- AARP, Top 10 Healthiest Places to Retire, 2008
- Best Places to Retire, Black Enterprise Magazine, 2nd Place, 2008
- In 2004, Newsweek ranked UVA "Hottest for Fitness"
- In 2003 Outside magazine enlisted undergrad reporters to help its staff come up with "The 40 Best College Towns: The Coolest Places to Work, Play, Study, Party and Live." Charlottesville was ranked eighth for its beauty, good music scene, culinary perks, Jeffersonian influences and swanky wineries.
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, 2012:
Quality of Life
- Quality of Life at a Glance (Charlottesville.org)
- Housing Statistics (see Housing for information on student housing)
- Income/Income by Race
- Marital Status
- Birth Place of Residents
- School Enrollment/Education Levels
- Transportation/Commute Times
As a more than $2.25 billion a year business (all divisions), the University is the area's number-one employer, with more than 12,000 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 approximately 21,000 and a faculty of more than 2,000, 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. Nicknames for Charlottesville include "Cville" and "the Hook" (for the shape of the "C").
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, Howie Long, Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid; 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 (The Hook 2003-2004 Annual Manual).
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 its 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.