Situated in the mountains and near the Shenandoah National Park and just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is an excellent location for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, fishing, mountain biking, skiing, golf, tennis, and white water rafting. Charlottesville Parks & Recreation maintains a variety of trails in the City. There are nearly 6 miles of paved trails and about 30 miles of nature trails available for students, residents and visitors to enjoy.
In addition to Charlottesville's stunning natural beauty, it is defined by a vibrant community that is strengthened by the University and University-related activities. Charlottesville brings together the best of many worlds, offering livability and community found in smaller cities with the amenities and cultural attractions of a metropolis.
Beyond being an exceptional city in its own right, Charlottesville is also conveniently located two hours south of the nation’s capital by car and just over one hour from Richmond, VA, to the east. The Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway can be reached with a 30-minute drive from Grounds.
Just outside the city limits, Albemarle County offers a 726 square-mile area of land that is home to an unusually rich variety of cultural, natural and historic attractions. Most notable among these is Monticello, the famous home designed by Thomas Jefferson, where he spent many years of his life living, working and writing. A mere 6 miles from UVA, this UNESCO World Heritage site offers daily tours. The county also hosts President James Monroe’s Ashlawn Highland. And in nearby Orange, VA, Montpelier offers a glimpse into the life and work of President James Madison.
Charlottesville is in close proximity to major centers of the arts. Just a two-hour drive north, Washington, D.C. houses the collections of the National Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Phillips Collection, the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as the museum and library at Dumbarton Oaks.
Baltimore is three hours away and offers the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery. Just one hour east in Richmond is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, one of the few state-sponsored art museums in this country, with an impressive collection focusing on ancient, medieval, Renaissance, American, and modern French art.