Founded by Thomas Jefferson and located in the heart of downtown Charlottesville, the University of Virginia is set on 1600 beautiful acres, two hours south of the nation’s capital. UVA is consistently ranked amongst our country’s top public universities and is the flagship for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Across from the UVA gates, the commercial area known as “The Corner” serves as the school’s unofficial college town with tons of restaurants, bars, and shops spanning seven blocks on University Avenue. In downtown Charlottesville, approximately a mile away, you’ll arrive at the pedestrian area known as The Mall with even more shops, restaurants and performance venues. Note, at UVA no one ever says campus, it’s the “Grounds,” and you’re never a freshman, but a first year.
Visitor Information: Information sessions and walking tours are given year-round, while classes are in session. Please make a reservation online prior to your visit. Once seating capacity has been reached, the session will be closed and will no longer appear in the reservation system. We suggest that you try to make arrangements to attend another day.
Transportation: The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is located approximately eight miles from the University, and the Charlottesville Amtrak Station is just two miles from campus. Visitors should park at the Central Grounds Parking Garage and use the following GPS address, 400 Emmet Street South, Charlottesville.
School Spirit: Wahoos, or Hoos for short, is an unofficial nickname for sports teams of the University of Virginia, officially referred to as the Cavaliers. The terms are both also used by students and alumni to refer to themselves as fans and alumni of the University.
Stay: You can’t get a better location than The Graduate Charlottesville, located directly across from the Grounds on historic Main Street overlooking the Corner. Graduate Hotels are well-curated boutique properties in university towns across the country designed with a collegiate spirit, perfect when you’re touring or during Parents Weekends. The hotel’s lobby doubles as a community lounge and student study spot revolving around the coffee shop and eatery Sheepdog Cafe. The hotel’s rooftop Heirloom restaurant is one of Charlottesville’s better brunch spots; it’s especially lovely on a beautiful day if you get a table on the outdoor patio. There’s also a game room, an added plus if you have younger siblings tagging along! UVA has two hotels located right on Grounds, the Inn at Darden and the Cavalier Inn. Also owned and operated by UVA, the Boar's Head Inn is set on over 500 acres, less than 3 miles from the University. (Approximately a ten-minute drive) There’s a golf course and full spa for those who prefer a resort like setting and don’t mind driving to campus. Another nearby option, the Hyatt Place Charlottesville is just 2 miles away, part of a new shopping mall complex.
Coffee: We loved the warm, friendly vibe and outdoor seating at Grit Coffee right in The Corner, students say the chai latte gets them going before class! Another favorite Corner morning spot for UVA students is Corner Joe’s, the smaller offshoot of hip, industrial Shenandoah Joe’s on nearby Preston Avenue.
Breakfast: You can’t visit UVA without a stop at Bodos Bagels, a beloved institution in Charlottesville, serving over 6,000 bagels every day to students and locals alike. (There are three locations, with one right in the Corner.) For another Corner staple head to Pigeon Hole. New to the Corner are two healthy spots that have taken off with students: The Juice Laundry and Corner Yoga and Juice. The latter has a full menu in addition to juices that includes bowls and toasts switching to salads and sandwiches at lunchtime, and yes they offer yoga classes! In town on the weekend, Fig Bistro’s brunch menu delivers with a generous serving of New Orleans flavors.
Lunch: After the tour, it’s most convenient to eat in The Corner, an excellent place to sit back and watch the daily dance and life at UVA. Trinity Irish Pub, The Virginian and Boylan Heights, are popular student lunch spots with solid food. Mellow Mushroom is a quirky, fun pizza chain with gluten-free options available. Brave the crowds at the sandwich shop, Take It Away or head to Feast, a seasonal market, and café (just a few blocks from The Corner) and assemble a picnic to enjoy on the lawn behind the Rotunda.
Casual: It’s a debate over who has the best burgers - Citizen Burger on the pedestrian mall or the Virginian. Sushi lovers will be happy at sleek, minimalist Ten Sushi. Channeling hipster urban spots in Chicago or Brooklyn, Oakhart Social has a winning combination of great food and cocktails and a cool vibe. In nearby Belmont, two Italian restaurants have been the talk of the town: Lampo, a tiny 21-seater known for outstanding Neapolitan pizza and Tavola where the homemade pasta has locals sipping cocktails at the Cicchetti Bar while waiting for a table.
A Step Up: Parents rave about their dinners at Duner's (open Wed-Sun), a short 10 minute drive away. Enjoy cocktails and French-inspired shared plates at the casual but sophisticated Alley Light. C&O has been a big part of the Charlottesville community since opening its doors in 1976. There’s a lot of history here, and it shows-- it’s a charming place to have dinner, right off the Pedestrian Mall. Local tip: come here late night, sit at the bar and sip on a honey and black cocktail and an order of pulled pork tacos. Parallel 38 dishes up contemporary Mediterranean cuisine; make a meal of the small plates and mezes—we hear the roasted pork belly is a must order. It’s always a party at Mas Tapas, a buzzy, lively Spanish tapas restaurant housed in a modern industrial setting. For a fancy night out, fine dining The Ivy Inn is a wonderful place for a celebration.
Late Night Snack: Students line up for dumplings at Marco and Luca Dumpling Store open late on Fridays. Indulge your sweet tooth at Arch's for good FroYo. It’s a campus tradition, at least once during your four years, to have a hamburger at the end of the night with a fried egg on it from greasy spoon White Spot right on the Corner. One student told us her dad, an alum, goes every time he visits—we think its nostalgia rather than the actual burger.
Local Attractions: History buffs allow time for a visit to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville’s most famous resident. Explore the beautiful grounds while learning more about our third President and the day-to-day life of the slaves who worked on the plantation. Continue your history lesson at nearby Ash Lawn-Highland, home to President James Monroe. The countryside is beautiful, if you have the time indulge in a leisurely drive through Shenandoah National Park on the Skyline Drive it stretches for 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive is the only public road through the 200,000-acre park—its spectacularly scenic. Humpback Rock is a popular hike on the Northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be warned this is a hard, steep hike, but at the end of the trail, your rewarded with great views overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. (To help you navigate the trail click here.) There are more than 30 orchards, vineyards, and breweries in the area; we stopped by the architecturally superb Blenheim Vineyards owned by musician Dave Matthews. Once students turn 21, you’ll find them here on the weekends enjoying the outdoor patio, food trucks, and live music. For more on the best way to experience a day on the Monticello trail click here for our specialized itinerary.
Student Spotting: Opened in March 2017, the new multi purpose student center at 1515 University Avenue has already become a go-to for students on the Corner. Offering performance and rehearsal space, a game and lounge area, student art gallery, dessert cafe, meeting rooms, and ample space for students to study, socialize and unwind, 1515 is a great place to see student life at UVA.
Fun Facts: Why Charlottesville? In 2014, the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research named Charlottesville the “happiest city in America.” Travelers Today named it #1 best college town in America stating: “Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, does the best job of combining traditional metropolitan interests with the interests of the students who frequent it. The result is a harmonious whole, balancing the resources of an urban area with the desires of the students who live there. Charlottesville has it all, a place any college student would be proud to call home.”In 2016 Gallup ranked it NO. 5 for Community Well-Being and Best-selling ‘Blue Zones’ author just ranked Charlottesville Va. #3 on his list of the 25 happiest cities in the U.S.
— LIVE FROM CAMPUS —
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UVA FAST FACTS
Navy Blue & Orange
Big- 15,394 Undergraduates
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4160
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NCAA Division I
Robert F. Kennedy
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