While not technically a “neighborhood,” the cultural hub of the City of Charlottesville is the Downtown Mall. The list of “things to do” in and around the Downtown Mall is long and varied. One of the better and more selective lists has been compiled by the University of Virginia Law School.
The cultural draw emanates from the Mall to all neighborhoods with even a peripheral or tangential relationship to the Mall. Far-flung neighborhoods are frequently marketed as “walk to the mall,” when, in all reality, that “walking distance” is more equivalent to a healthy bike ride. Some of the more popular neighborhoods that are within a reasonable walk to the Mall are: (links are to large PDFs)
Note that not all parts of all of these neighborhoods are “walkable,” but most are walkable, if not bike-able.
An interesting podcast that touches on the history of the Downtown Mall can be found at CvillePodcast.
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