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Imagine a city that is small enough to offer the laid-back feel of small-town life and diverse enough to provide a plethora of things to experience. From some of the country's finest mountain views to the excitement of ACC football, Charlottesville is a city sure to capture everyone's interest.

Nestled between the flatlands of the east coast and the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking and backpacking on the Appalachian Trail are just minutes away. Stunning mountain-top views are even accessible by car via Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors wishing to ski and participate in other outdoor activities will find some of the country's finest resorts not far from Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is also home to the nationally acclaimed University of Virginia, which was founded in 1819 by then-Charlottesville-resident Thomas Jefferson. Enrolling over 12,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students each year, the University of Virginia ensures cultural enrichment of the city by hosting many events. you can attend a student theater or dance production. With an award-winning faculty, there are always lectures given by professors who have won awards for their research. For a weekend thrill, maybe you find yourself in the middle of a newly expanded football stadium cheering with the rest of the home-team crowd. 

For more historically-minded residents and tourists, Charlottesville sets itself apart from other cities with a fantastic assortment of historical sites. Charlottesville is a town rich in political history. Not far from the city, visitors can tour the homes of ex-presidents Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and James Madison. Tourists come from across the world to see Jefferson's architectural wonders, the Rotunda, serpentine walls, and his home at Monticello. Other historical sites include numerous Civil War battlefields lying west of the city. 

For a unique visitor and community experience, tourists should not miss the Downtown Mall. This shopping center is at the heart of downtown Charlottesville and offers primarily specialty shops and restaurants on a brick walk-way amid old brick buildings. An ice skating rink and movie theater complex offer entertainment for those people less inclined to shop. The Downtown Mall often has live music on the Mall or at the east end on an outdoor amphitheater. After shopping and listening to live entertainment, visitors can take an inexpensive trolley to tour the Rotunda at U.Va. or shop at "The Corner."

Tourists and residents can also ride in hot air balloons, play golf at world-class resorts, and tour about 13 local vineyards.

Charlottesville is all this and more, so take some time to become better acquainted with this exciting city. Whether you are planning a vacation or looking for a place to relocate, Charlottesville is a city worth exploring.

*Permission granted by the Charlottesville Albemarle Chamber of Commerce