Life in Charlottesville


Charlottesville is a small, thriving city of 45,000 people, with a local area population of around 150,000. Approximately 110 miles southwest of Washington DC, and 70 miles west of Richmond, Charlottesville is nestled in the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Affectionately known as “C’ville”, the city and surrounding area are home to a wide array of scenic, cultural, historical, and recreational activities. The region boasts a highly educated workforce, excellent school systems, high quality health care, and affordable living.

Residents pride themselves on our local heritage, the area’s natural beauty, and our city’s nationally-ranked reputation. Charlottesville has enjoyed rankings as #1 City in America” (Frommer’s), “Best Place to Live Among Small Cities” (Money magazine), “Top Ten Cities That Have It All” (A&E TV), “40 Best College Towns…” (Outside), “Healthiest Place to Live” (Kiplinger), “Hottest for Fitness” (Newsweek), and “Best Place to Raise a Family” (Readers’ Digest).

Charlottesville’s natural beauty is rivaled only by the scope of opportunities it creates.

Photo of Samir Panvelker, PGY3

Samir Panvelker, MD, Chief Resident

I moved to Charlottesville in 2010 and it’s been a great home during medical school and residency. The UVA Health System is anchored just off the beautiful grounds of the University, a daily reminder of the educational and historic environment in which we work. Campus comes alive during football and basketball games, as fans pull for the Cavaliers against some of the country’s top athletic teams. Living in the midst of the Shenandoah Valley provides a number of breathtaking opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast, and the many scenic vineyards and breweries nearby make for perfect places to relax after a particularly challenging hike (or day at work).

As a music enthusiast, I enjoy Charlottesville’s array of venues that makes for a consistently appealing concert calendar. Eating out is a pleasure – there’s always a new restaurant to try, though the town has done a great job establishing some local favorites. Walking through the Downtown Mall probably best encapsulates the town – a scenic area, full of restaurants and bars and family businesses, inhabited by a number of interesting personalities. Hanging out with friends on the Mall at Fridays after Five at the end of the work week has made for some of my favorite experiences here. People often comment that Charlottesville grabs a hold of you and every year it seems to draw back attendings who previously trained at UVA. At some point, my training may pull me away from C’ville, but I know it will always be a place close to my heart.

The area’s economic base centers on tourism, higher education, light manufacturing, agriculture, and retail trade. Each year thousands of tourists view the Grounds of the University of Virginia and the homes of U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley offer recreational opportunities including hiking the Appalachian Trail, mountain biking, and white water rafting. Musical and cultural venues including the Charlottesville Pavilion, John Paul Jones Arena, Paramount Theater, Jefferson Theater, The Southern, and the Virginia Film Festival bring national and international performers to town. Charlottesville-Albemarle is also host to an incredible selection of casual and fine dining establishments and an estimated 30 wineries within 30 miles of Charlottesville.

Whether visiting, interviewing, or moving and settling in, we hope you’ll explore the many attractions and services of our area.