Charlottesville : Virginia


What It Is Like to Retire in Charlottesville

Charlottesville, Virginia, the home of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello), has been ranked as the #1 city (Cities Ranked and Rated) as well as one of the best 100 places to retire. It is also home to the stately and picturesque University of Virginia, founded by President Jefferson. This college town offers a tree-lined dignity and charm that, combined with its location at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, makes it easy to see why so many 55+ retirees are planning to retire in Charlottesville.

This pleasant city of over 47,000 is also near the Shenandoah National Park. There are plenty of recreational and cultural opportunities, the latter coming from the stimulating presence of the University of Virginia. The homes of Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe are nearby.

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Where to Retire in Charlottesville and Home Prices

A number of planned active adult communities for baby boomers over 55 have been built or planned for the Charlottesville area, which increases the real estate options for people of all ages. (see link to Charlottesville Active Communities on top left).
Median home prices were remarkably stable through the recession.  In early 2022, Zillow reported the median home value to be $419,808.


What Is Special about Charlottesville

A very old and very well preserved community - University of Virginia, a classic campus and considered one of America's top public universities- Homes of 3 presidents - Blue Ridge Mountains - Wine country - Culture and entertainment - 4 seasons - Downtown Mall is one of the largest pedestrian malls with over 150 restaurants and stores - Meadowbrook Golf Course is an 18 hole course operated by the City of Charlottesville.

What Is Not Special about Charlottesville

High housing prices - Increasing traffic - a white supremacist demonstration was held here in 2017.

Who Will Like Retirement in Charlottesville

People live in Charlottesville because they like living in a college town steeped in history with a lot to do. Some 11.3% of the population is 65 or over, although the student population is probably pulling that down.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Education, medical, tourism, agriculture, construction.

Climate and Physical Environment

Charlottesville is in the Piedmont region of Virginia and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is just over 100 miles to Washington D.C. and Richmond is 70 miles to the southeast. The average July high is 86 degrees and the average January low is 24. July is the wettest month. click the map above to see the area in more detail.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As you might expect in a town with a large university, there is always something going on culturally. There are also a number or restaurants that are good. College sports are excellent, particularly lacrosse. Virginia Festival of the Book and Virginia Film Festival are both important. Paramount Theater has many productions, while the Charlottesville Pavilion is a busy outdoor amphitheater. Live Arts are available in the community theatre, and there are others in the area as well. The University of Virginia Art Museum hosts frequent exhibitions, as does the Second Street Gallery. The Senior Center has many great programs.


The crime rate is just about at the national average in Charlottesville.

Medical Facilities

The University of Virginia Medical Center is one of the top rated facilities in the country.


There is Amtrak service. The local airport is Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.

Valuable Links

Charlottesville, VA

Retire in Virginia

College Town Retirement communities


What people are saying about Charlottesville

This is a great area for retirement. C\'Ville (as it is known by locals) has something to offer just about anyone. I was familiar with the area, used to do a lot of college recruiting at UVA during my working years. Despite many trips to the area, I never learned about one of its hidden gems until I moved here....The Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia. A unique partnership between the community and the UVA School of Music, it offers an excellent repertoire of a classical subscription series, excellent holiday concerts, and is now beginning a \"Pops at the Paramount\" program at the Paramount Theatre on the Downtown Mall. Definitely worth considering!
Posted by bvr on December 28, 2016
Charlottesville visit
We visited Charlottesville during the 2008 builders Parade of Homes, in our ongoing quest for the a place to retire in the next five or ten years. It's a picturesque city, lot's of mountain views and wooded areas/neighborhoods. Also a plus to us is that it is very much a college town and has a nice active downtown area. Those two pluses on the Saturday evening that we were there combined to overload us a little though, the downtown pretty much had the strong feel of a college town, a little too much so for us. U Va would be a great university to be located near though, good competitive sports teams, but not ridiculously hard to get tickets (I don't think). The other thing that surprised us about C-Ville was how quickly while driving, that you transition from the city to "really rural".
Posted by disleib on November 29, 2008

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