Though at the heart of the state and a true Virginian city—after all, it’s where some of the greatest Virginians of all, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, chose to make their home—Charlottesville has a personality that diverges markedly from the surrounding regions and from Virginia’s other major cities. Thanks mostly to the presence and power of the
University of Virginia
, Charlottesville is one of the state’s most liberal, lively centers.
UVA has contributed greatly to the city’s proud artistic and literary tradition—a legacy which includes William Faulkner, who was a writer-in-residence at the university at the time of his death, and Edgar Allan Poe, who was briefly enrolled as a student. Throughout the area, and particularly in the
(the commercial and cultural center of Charlottesville and one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the country), the shops, cafés, theatres, museums and restaurants reflect both the city’s historical importance and its continued cultural vibrancy.
The mall, the university and the history have all been critical in making Charlottesville one of the best places in the nation to live (it has earned quality of life distinctions from a number of authorities in recent years), as well as a great place to visit.