Charlottesville is an independent city located within the radius of Albemarle County, Virginia, although it's wholly separate from Albemarle. Named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of the then-monarch George III, Charlottesville is a decidedly European-esque city, with excellent examples of Neo-Classical architecture that was not only the vogue of those times, but a testament to the ideologies of the individuals who helped shape the city. Aside from its architecture, Charlottesville is more famous (if not notorious) for being the hometown of two highly influential former American presidents, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, making it a highly historic area that attracts droves of tourists every year. Charlottesville is also home to the renowned University of Virginia, a highly historical educational facility that remains a hallmark of the American school system.
If you’re intending to visit Charlottesville, be prepared to experience a diverse blend of period and modern styles of architecture and aesthetics, as Charlottesville is first and foremost an old city, with the majority of its buildings redolent of the Neo-Classical style that was much in vogue during the onset of its foundation.
When visiting Charlottesville, one of the first places to see is Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello -- a beautiful and sprawling expanse of verdant green and lush, manicured gardens that serves as a backdrop for a simple yet grand Neo-Classical brick, plaster, and marble building that was designed by Thomas Jefferson himself and is one of the most well known of its architectural wonders. Another architectural marvel that you shouldn’t miss is the University of Virginia, whose campus boasts excellent examples of period architecture showing Charlottesville as an antebellum paradise.
If you’re after a slice of the arts and theatre, places like the Jefferson Theatre and the Paramount Theatre should be on your top list of sights to see while there, as they not only offer some of the best entertainment in the form of music and performance arts, but the latter also caters to your gustatory inclinations for good mixed drinks and excellent liquor. For a little piece of history in a more sedate setting, visit the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, which boasts an excellent and very sizeable selection of Australian aboriginal art that to this day remains one of the largest collections of tribal art outside of Australia.
Booking accommodations and getting grub also isn’t difficult in Charlottesville; you will find many options for Charlottesville hostels in addition to chain hotels, which all make for excellent places to crash while staying in the city. Great food is readily available -- a slew of restaurants cater to a wide variety of palates. Charlottesville can be a very busy city during football season, or during Oktoberfest, as it has its own range of brewers, so prior reservations or vacationing in non-peak months are advised if you want to steer clear of the crush of people.
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