Describing Life in Charlottesville & Crozet to a Friend – Part 1

A friend is trying to convince a friend to move to the Crozet or Charlottesville area; he shared with me his argument to his friend, advocating for a move to Charlottesville. For all of our area’s faults (all areas have them), Charlottesville is a fantastic place to live.

Crozet and Charlottesville

I can’t win with price. So I won’t try too hard. But heres why Crozet and Charlottesville are great – and some of these are going too be really silly reasons.

      • Access to mountains and hiking are absolutely endless. Big huge beautiful views
      • That lake we kayaked on.
      • 3 parks in Crozet. The park near my house has all the sports stuff for the kids, as well as a paved walking trail – perfect for strolling, 6 miles of running trail. Park 2 has a swimming lake with little beach. Multiple outdoor pavilions for get togethers, fishing decks, big play sets, and another 5 miles of hiking trails – very hilly. Beautiful views though. Park 3 also great.
      • Quiet. I leave my car unlocked regularly. Not intentionally. But it’s fine. People are friendly, and don’t really get in your business if don’t want them to.
        Access: 2.5 hours to DC, 1:15 to Richmond, 5hrs to Wilmington, NC.


    • Food, Shopping, Random things to do: There are 540 restaurants. There are 4 movie theaters, 2 of which you can drink beer in lol. A billion parks. Standard big box shopping areas where you will find your Target, Walmart, Best Buy, World Market, Old Navy Outdoor stores etc etc.
    • Charlottesville Downtown Mall
      Charlottesville Downtown Mall
          • The Downtown Mall (not a mall…but the bricked walk way thing)always has something going on. Whether it’s concerts at the Jefferson Theater, or all kinds of events – many of which are free and kid oriented at the Paramount Theater (a beautifully restored theatre form the 20s), Fridays After Five – free Friday night summer events in a Pavilion at the far end of the mall. There’s a children’s learning museum, . It’s small. Bakeries…this might sound silly…but *($# me…bakeries everywhere. (Jim’s note: ChandlersAlbemarle Baking Company (ABC), Marie Bette) And they are all insanely good. Ice skating rink. (*&#$ hot air balloon rides…they’re expensive….but you can do that. College football, basketball, soccer, and baseball games.
            • Alcohol: In Crozet alone, there are 4 vineyards that I can count. There are at least 2 breweries. Just 7 miles away to the west, right at the base of the mountains, “Alcohol Alley” as it’s referred to, is a road with a brewery or vineyard seemingly every half mile. Not kidding. Off the top of my head there’s 10 breweries and another 5 or 6 vineyards, a distillery, and cidery. Each one has food and most have dinner and live entertainment. Summer events that are free to attend for kids and families. Just north of Crozet, there’s another 5. Charlottesville has like 20 more…
          • Groceries: Charlottesville has Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, Giants, Food Lions, Wegmans, local small family owned joints, and über hippie grown-here stuff. Crozet has two grocery stores within 7 minute drive form my house each. Trader Joe’s is 23 minutes away.


        • Farmers Market. If you are getting breakfast downtown, with us for example, enjoying your huge plate for 11 bucks, outdoors in the fall in the perfect 69 degree weather, afterwards you can walk over to the huge farmers market and buy reasonably priced produce, goodies etc, or just have a look….and also some  mom who “makes jewelry.”


      Charlottesville Albemarle Airport
      Charlottesville Albemarle Airport

      Charlottesville Albemarle Airport

      • 37 minutes from my house. I never show up more than 45 minutes before my flight. Security has NEVER taken me more than 6 minutes. (Yes, I time it every single time because its so silly how fast it is.) All of the big 4 airlines fly form here. United, Delta, American – no Frontier, no Southwest. They fly to many places but the most common flights are to Charlotte NC which is a hub for both American and United, Atlanta for Delta, NYC, and Chicago. 95% of my flights are 1-stop at those major hubs. If you live here, there is absolutely no advantage to driving to Dulles (2hrs) to wait 2hours before flight, park and pay for that, and get on a flight that cost maybe 50 bucks less and often times more!
            • The best part is that when I return, tired, I’m already home. Flying from Charlottesville as I do a couple times a month is a breeze and total game changer for what I do. I cannot say enough good things. Cons: depending on the flight time, there might be a delay. There are a couple to always avoid.
      • Schools: Albemarle County pays comparable to northern VA county schools. Where Loudoun ranks as an A+ school district with 85% of kids proficient in math and 87% in reading, Albemarle is A- with 76% and 79%. Student ratio is 12:1. It is 15:1 in Loudoun. There are also a ton of private schools that range in appeal. A couple of Catholic schools, international schools, a quaker school etc…
      • Already have friends who, when asked if they want to hang out, can honestly reply “yes let’s do it” or “not really” and no one will get offended.
      • There is a School Counselor position available at one of the middle schools for next year…as well as a preschool Family Coordinator position….


      • (Jim’s note: this is my favorite part) This may sound stupid. But you know when you finally get familiar with a place or person and you develop habits around that? Well, the rhythms we have been able to create here are fantastic. Small example: there’s a breakfast joint we love with limited seating and it fills quickly. But if we go at 8:30ish on Sunday, we beat the crowd, enjoy ourselves, and then get groceries at Trader Joe’s in town and then back home by 10:30. Or on Tuesday I ride my bike to coffee shop up the street. It’s a 5 minute easy cruise….8 minutes for you….I get the bag for 2 dollars off and free drink on Tuesdays….so that $8.99, and a quick bike ride. My wife’s commute is 22 minutes, mostly highway. Route 64 is usually fast. Simple stuff like that is so enjoyable on the day to day stuff.


  • There are multiple CrossFit, Pure Barre, yoga, and gym locations.
  • UVA – The school feeds all kinds of life and money back into the town.
  • All the historical crap I wont list because we don’t interact with it daily


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