Charlottesville

Charlottesville, in central Virginia, is a lovely university town of about 40,000 with lots to offer and its own local Wiki.

Understand

Charlottesville is a town steeped in history and culture. Of the eight U.S. presidents who came from Virginia, two — Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — were from Charlottesville, and two more came from neighboring counties. Central Virginia was a major battlefield during the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. Jefferson, whom locals affectionately call "Mr. Jefferson," or "TJ," continues to cast a long shadow, particularly over local architecture. Many of Charlottesville's public buildings are made of brick and built in a Jeffersonian style, and many private homes are colonial. His home at Monticello and the Jefferson-designed University of Virginia have set the tone for the communities beautiful buildings. When visiting Charlottesville, be sure to stop by the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society to learn more about the area's rich history.

The culture of Charlottesville revolves around two points: the University of Virginia and the Historic Downtown Mall. Charlottesville is a major cultural center for central Virginia, and features more fine dining, shopping, and entertainment than one might expect for a town of its size. Ensconced in beautiful Albemarle County, Charlottesville is also surrounded by vineyards and horse country - the best of all worlds.

Get in

By plane

Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, (IATA: CHO). The closest airport to Charlottesville. it is a cute, small airport with connections to major hubs of Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago O'Hare, Dulles, LaGuardia, and Philly. This airport is 8 miles from downtown, so a rental car (Avis, Hertz, or National), taxi, or hotel courtesy shuttle is required. Rental cars are available at CHO and the drive to Charlottesville is straightforward.

By train

Amtrak. Charlottesville is on the Cardinal, Crescent, and Northeast Regional routes. Two or three northbound and two or three southbound trains stop in Charlottesville each day (the number depends on the day). The station is on West Main Street, about halfway between the Downtown Mall and the University (3/4 mile to each), but within walking distance of several restaurants. Plan to call for taxi service or take the CAT bus or trolley if you are not walking.

By car

The major highways leading into Charlottesville are US-29 and I-64. I-64 is a four-lane interstate leading to Charlottesville from east and west. There is rarely traffic on I-64 near Charlottesville, and the only major hill is crossing Afton Mountain, about 30 minutes west of town. US-29 is an extremely variable road. To the south, it is a four-lane road with frequent curves and at-grade crossings, but few traffic lights. To the north, the road alternates between being a four-lane commercial center with frequent traffic lights and buisnesses and being more similar to US-29 south of town. Traffic on US-29 north of town can be slow or dense at rush hour and around special events in Charlottesville, but speeds below 25mph are rare.

Travel times from nearby cities are:

By bus

Greyhound, . The bus station is on West Main Street, about two blocks east of the Amtrak station. If you are traveling to or from Washington, DC, the train is generally faster, cleaner, and more comfortable than the bus.

Get around

University of Virginia

Getting around the University of Virginia is easy using the free University Transit System (UTS) buses. The Central Grounds area is very walkable, but some areas of campus (called "Grounds" by students) can be over a mile away. From the University to the downtown mall is a walk of 20-30 minutes and there is a free trolley bus that runs in a loop from the University to the Downtown Mall approximately every 20 minutes. It is not easy to find parking around the University area, including the Corner and between 14th Street and Rugby Road. There is a parking garage at the University Bookstore, on Emmet Street, that only fills up during certain University events (e.g., Days on the Lawn).

City of Charlottesville

The city is reasonably well connected by city buses, the Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT). Parking in nearly all areas of the city is free and easy to find. Parking at the Downtown Mall will often require paying a modest rate at a lot or parking garage.

There is a free trolley that operates along East Main Street/Water Street between downtown and the University of Virginia. Stops include:the Virginia Discovery Museum, the downtown mall, the Greyhound bus stop, Amtrak station, and the Rotunda and chapel of the University of Virginia.

Surrounding Area

Transportation outside of the city is best accomplished by car, although taxi or certain buses may be available for some locations. Main roads are well signed and in good repair, but can be hilly and curvy. If traveling to a unusual location or taking a shortcut through smaller country roads, be prepared for unpaved roads, limited signs, and frequent curves.

Taxis

With the possible exceptions of the airport and the Downtown Mall, you must call for taxi service in Charlottesville. There are several taxi companies in the city.

See

The historic First Baptist Church

Do

Wine Tours

The countryside around Charlottesville is filled with dozens of wineries. All are members of the Monticello Wine Trail. There are several companies that provide guided tours. If you're driving yourself, be sure to have a designated driver, as DUI enforcement is strict. If traveling in a large group, call ahead as some wineries have limits on maximum group size.

Dance

Social, Ballroom, Swing, Salsa

Festivals

Buy

Eat

There are a ton of great restaurants in Charlottesville, offering a variety of cuisines at reasonable prices. Main hubs of restaurants include 'The Corner,' an area of student-friendly shops in a traditional student area right next to the University, and around the downtown mall. From spring through fall, the outside seating on the pedestrian-only outdoor mall is highly recommended.

Downtown Mall

Belmont

The Corner

Shopping centers

Elsewhere

Drink

Like the eating options, the main hubs are either at 'The Corner', which has a predominantly student crowd, or downtown. Many options at both.

Sleep

Full range of options. Hotels fill up early for UVa football and basketball games and for graduation.

Go next

Routes through Charlottesville

Charleston Staunton  W  E  Culpeper Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. Culpeper  N  S  Lynchburg Charlotte
END Lynchburg  SW  NE  Culpeper Washington, D.C.
Charleston Waynesboro  W  E  Jct N S RichmondNorfolk
Washington, D.C. Jct W ECulpeper  N  S  Amherst Lynchburg


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, April 01, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.