Charlottesville, Virginia, also known as C’ville, is the county seat of Albermale County. Charlottesville was founded in 1762 and was named after Queen Charlotte who was Queen of Great Britain and Ireland at the time of the city’s establishment. According to the 2020 census, the population of Charlottesville was 45,663. Charlottesville is a part of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, along with Albermale, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties. Other nearby cities include Lynchburg, Staunton, and Fredricksburg.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory headquarters, a federally funded research and development center, is located in Charlottesville and is one of the city’s top employers along with the National Ground Intelligence Center, Crutchfield, PepsiCo, and SNL Financial.
Three different Presidents of the United States lived in the Charlottesville area at some point in their lifetimes: Thomas Jefferson, who served as the third President, James Madison who served as the fourth President, and James Monroe who served as the fifth President. Today their homes draw many visitors to the Charlottesville area. More contemporarily, Charlottesville is also the home city of the Dave Matthews Band and the city has a number of large venues to accompany its lively music scene. Other points of interest include the Shenandoah National Park, a park that encompasses some of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Shenandoah is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, and camping.
Other visitors come to experience the Sunlight Drive, a 105-mile scenic roadway that runs the entire length of the park. Another scenic drive that includes the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Blue Ridge Parkway, but that drive is 469 miles and extends all the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Blue Ridge Parkway eventually turns into Sunlight Drive, and this point is just 22 miles from downtown Charlottesville. Also located in downtown Charlottesville is Downtown Mall. This outdoor pedestrian mall, which runs for a total of eight blocks, is one of the longest in the United States and includes the Virginia Discovery Museum and the Ting Pavillion. The annual Virginia Film Festival is hosted in Charlottesville, and the city has a number of orchestral groups including the Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra, Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia, and the Charlottesville Orchestra at the University of Virginia.
The University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, a university that was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson also designed the Academical Village at the University of Virginia, also known as The Lawn, which is a terraced, grassy court that has been applauded for its architecture. It includes a number of buildings including the Rotunda, one of the area’s most famous aspects. The Lawn as a whole has been designated a United States National Historic Landmark District.
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