Charlottesville, Virginia


Looklyloo Score: 84

View Full Profile


What's it like to live in Charlottesville?

Moving to Charlottesville in a month. Tell me about the good, the bad, the ugly and the weird.

The Good: Vibrant local community full of young people, more restaurants and food options than you will ever need, breweries, concerts, & wineries galore. The City Market (open Saturdays spring/summer/fall) is one of the better farmers markets in VA (and I have been to them all over the Commonwealth). Friday's After Five on the mall is a free concert series that goes for most the summer and early fall and is a lot of fun. The Jefferson Theater hosts a constant bill of revolving mid-level bands and musical acts. The Southern does a great job of hosting smaller and more intimate shows. John Paul Jones Arena is where UVA men's basketball team plays home games and hosts all the top-tier musicians coming through town.

If you hike, bike, run, or row you will love it here as well. The Shenandoah National Park (SNP) is within a 30 minute drive and the city itself is rife with small parks. The Rivanna reservoir is open for rowing/boating (not swimming though).

If you are an american history buff…congrats, you are moving to one of its epicenters. Monticello is breathtaking and is right outside of Town (Mr. Jefferson watches over C'Ville at all times). Pretty much every significant battle fought in Virginia during the Civil War was fought within an hour or two drive of C'Ville and the area is replete with local and American history.

One of my favorite things about Charlottesville is its tradition of public art. The City's "Art in Place" program has seeded the city with statues, murals, and other public art that provides character, culture, and beauty in a time when neon signs are more prevalent on the landscape of America than marble statues and iron sculptures.

C'Ville is centrally located in VA. You can be at the beach in 3-5 hours, Washington D.C in 2.5 hours, and the mountains are at your doorstep. Flights from C'Ville connect to Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago, DC, and NY and you can be in any of those cities in a couple hours if you're the jet setting type who occasionally needs a more urban environment.

The views are amazing. The blue ridge mountains are within view as you move about town and the surrounding countryside is flat out gorgeous. It is the east coast equivalent of CA wine country except we have horses and beer too (no redwoods unfortunately).

The Bad: Traffic occasionally sucks. Housing costs are going up because C'Ville is becoming a very popular place to live. Gentrification is a thing here now and people aren't exactly happy about it. Expect lots of wrangling at the local level on this subject in the coming years. Regarding the students, if you socialize with the college kids you will meet great people, you will also potentially meet entitled "daddy's money" pricks and prep squad tough guys--it has been my experience that they are the exception, not the rule though.

The Ugly: Anything having to do with city council, Route 29, Jason Kessler/Wes Bellamy, a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Landmark Hotel, Dewberry, Parking Garages, and occasional violent crime. Whatever you do, don't let Facebook comments sully your view of the area. Any local news article is automatically brigaded by out of town conservatives spewing snowflake and safe space invectives who think that C'Ville could be the perfect southern city if it were not for its progressive politics and lack of of an Olive Garden. You are moving to a dot of blue swimming in a sea of red, once you get outside the city, the culture changes drastically. I personally think this part of what makes the Commonwealth great but it can be too much for some out of state folks.

Lastly, to end this on a good note, welcome to C'Ville! We are happy to have you! You will experience friendliness wherever you go in this town (and the surrounding countryside), it oozes southern hospitality and charm.

Moving to Charlottesville in a month. Tell me about the good, the bad, the ugly and the weird.

It has a ton of wonderful (and culturally varied) food for any price range, several great breweries, a distillery, and tons and tons of cheap or free arts, music, film, history, and other cultural resources that are basically inexhaustible. It's surrounded by wineries, cideries, and breweries, and if you don't drink, then it's also surrounded by hiking, nature trails, and even more easily accessible and cheap (or free) historic buildings, museums, battlefields, etc. The traffic here is ten trillion times better than it is in NoVA/DC/MD suburbs, and there aren't as many hipsters as there are in Richmond. The public schools are nice, and so are the private schools (though of course they're really pricey).

The bad? The road layout is a bit confusing, there are some relatively sluggish and inconvenient construction projects going on indefinitely, instead of hipsters there are DMB-worshipping dudebros, there's not enough parking downtown (seriously, stop with the flat, open lots and just put in some more garages), and it's significantly more expensive to rent or buy here than most anywhere in a 60-mile radius because of the presence of UVA and all of the above cool stuff (and I guess people think Richmond is sketchy? But that's dumb). Also we have a white supremacist douchebag named Jason Kessler who keeps shitting up local politics.

Think Asheville, NC but without the hippies and not literally on a mountain.

Is Charlottesville a good place to live as a young adult ?

I had a blast living in cville from 23-26, but I do feel like moving away at 26 was the right choice. It is tough to be single in cville once you're over 25 because lots of people are paired up by that point, and once you've dated around for a few years the options become even more limited (you'll also awkwardly see your exes all over town). However, cville's demographics don't really skew old in my experience - there's still tons of people under 40, especially in cville proper (the older crowd tends to move to albemarle/ivy/crozet). If you're in a relationship, you've got nothing at all to worry about.

This thread is pretty negative overall, so I want to call out some more positive things about cville.

You won't get a better music scene in a town this small. If you like jam, bluegrass, indie rock, americana, etc you're in great shape. And since it's a smaller town tickets are usually cheaper and sellouts are more rare. However, if you like punk, metal, hip-hop, edm, house, or techno you're out of luck.

Outdoor activities galore. Great hiking & biking trails, disc golf courses, river activities (tubing, kayaking), skiing, hunting, sports leagues, basically anything you'd want to do outside you can do easily in cville. It's also only 2-3 hours from the beach.

Breweries and wineries. They're all over the place, and usually pretty high quality.

I loved the size of cville. Literally everything is within a 15 minute drive from everything else, with plenty of the city being walkable. The downtown mall is a really special little place, and Belmont also has a really cool vibe. I'm not a UVA grad, so I can't speak as well to that side of town.

Is Charlottesville a good place to live as a young adult ?

Cville can be somewhat tough in that age range if you don't know anyone, although that can vary depending on the type of people you'd be working with (i.e. if your office also has people around your age who like to socialize together) and what types of extra-curriculars you're into. For example, I've met several people through my rugby team who didn't know a soul here before they moved to town and are now some of my best friends.

Having grown up here and then moved back right after graduating from college I'll say that I found it tougher in my early 20's than my late 20's because most of my friends that I'd grown up with had moved away and I felt I had to more or less start over with regards to making new friends, but ymmv. It just seems like more people in their late 20's/early 30's are moving here for jobs or other reasons and so there's more of a pool of people your own age to meet and hang out with so it gets a little easier.

As for the people who find that Charlottesville doesn't have a lot going on - I can see how it might feel that way if you're from out of town and don't know many people (and are opposed to, say, going to a concert by themselves), but for a town this size there are a tremendous amount of activities going on, especially this time of year. I'm finding that I don't have enough free time for all the stuff I want to do/concerts I want to see/etc. before the end of summer

Living In Charlottesville VA | Things They Don't Tell You

I've collected some fun facts about Charlottesville that you may not have already known! Whether you've lived here for multiple years or you're new to town, here are some things they don't tell you about living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now you have some great trivia questions for your guests!