Charlottesville, VA downtown district

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 70
Demographics 46
Economy 58
Education 56
Health 72
Housing 53
Infrastructure 52

#5. Charlottesville, VA

Two presidents called Charlottesville, VA home — Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — but that doesn’t mean you have to be a history buff or a politician to take advantage of all this diverse city, affectionately nicknamed C’Ville, has to offer. Presidential significance aside, Charlottesville also hums with the creative and intellectual energy of the University of Virginia, multiple concert venues and theaters, farm-to-table restaurants, local wineries, and parks and open spaces. With 50,000 residents and proximity to Richmond and Washington, D.C., Charlottesville is just the right size for getting to know your neighbors while still being connected to major metropolitan areas.

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Virginia & Piedmont Virginia Community College 

Top Industries & Employers: Higher education, health care, Department of Defense and related military industries

Weekend Plans: Catch a big-name concert at Ting Pavilion or John Paul Jones Arena

Favorite Place to Feast: Michie Tavern, a circ-1784 restaurant that still uses 18th-century recipes for all of its dishes

Beloved Beverage: Any of the handcrafted cocktails at The Alley Light, a speakeasy-esque bar and restaurant tucked away among the side streets of downtown Charlottesville .

Outdoorsy Activity: Cycling a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic 469-mile road through Virginia and North Carolina.

Rooftop Bar: Common House, a membership-based social club, or Quirk Hotel, a posh, all-day hang with thin-crust pizzas.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Many of the world-class wineries in the Charlottesville area are dog-friendly. Check out Blenheim Vineyards and Jefferson Vineyards with your four-legged friends. 

Remote Work Perk: No coworkers nearby? No problem. There are tons of established social and civic clubs in Charlottesville, including sports leagues, the Charlottesville Networking Group and the Charlottesville Newcomers Club.

One More Thing … Artist Georgia O’Keeffe lived in Charlottesville for the summers between 1913 and 1916. She visited her mother, who moved to C’Ville in 1912, and also taught art classes at UVA.

– Sarah Kuta

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