32 Small Things we like About Charlottesville, Va.

By February 10, 2011Uncategorized

I was inspired by my friend Melissa Gilliam aka MilliGFunk, and this post, Grace in Small Things, sharing what readers love about St. Louis, Missouri. I decided to put the question to my own community of Charlottesville, Va.

Here are some of the small things we love about Charlottesville:

  1. Marco and Luca dumplings
  2. The view coming down 250 from Pantops
  3. Beer Run
  4. The Whale Tails
  5. Walking on the grounds of UVa
  6. Number 904 at Saigon Cafe
  7. Seeing people you know
  8. Dogwoods in the spring
  9. Connecting with dogs’ siblings via social media
  10. Dog friendliness
  11. Being able to pick apples, ride a horse, float a river or hike the Appalachian Trail within a short drive
  12. Outdoorsy feel
  13. Big city offerings in a quaint small town
  14. Azaleas in full bloom in May along the 250 bypass
  15. The hike to Bear Fence Mountain in Shenandoah National Park
  16. Walking the downtown mall
  17. Having lunch (or even better WINE) outside on the downtown mall
  18. The fact we still have bookSTORES
  19. The independent coffee shops
  20. The Festival of the Book
  21. Pie Fest
  22. The VA Film Festival
  23. The Chocolate Festival
  24. Knowing the name of your mailman
  25. Food: specifically tons of amazing local restaurants, local farms and farmers markets and CSAs, most of the population loving local and shunning chains… I don’t know what I’d do without Spudnuts, Bodos, Beer Run, Mas, The Nook, Sticks, Christians, Horse & Buggy, Relay Foods, the Saturday market…all our awesome, awesome local businesses
  26. Iconoclastic bagel shops that won’t slice more than 3 bagels per order and will look at you like a space alien if you mention the word “toasted.” 🙂
  27. Any given day of the week, half the town is in a coffee shop. Love a bustling morning office
  28. Local eggs and other great local groceries
  29. Support for entrepreneurs. This town makes most things possible!
  30. That despite the first snow of winter there were musicians playing outside at the Downtown Mall
  31. Public observation night at UVa observatory
  32. Cafe Con Leche from Cafe Cubano

Another reader had a “like,” and a question: “I like the fact that, even in the midst of a traffic jam, it is a custom in Charlottesville to let somebody else merge into the stream of cars from the side, ahead of you. This little piece of civilized, polite behavior makes me feel good about my city. Tell me, is this common elsewhere, or is Charlottesville unique in this feature?”

What do you think?


  • Andi says:

    I love going to Barracks Road and counting Volvos. It’s such a little thing, but it makes me feel like I’m home – not because I drive a Volvo but because they say “C’ville” to me.

  • MilliGFunk says:

    I’m so glad that A Small Town Girl’s Guide could inspire Charlottesville! Thank you so much for the plug. I think I need to plan a Charlottesville getaway now!

  • Number 29 has been such a blessing for me. Not only have I met very creative, productive people, but I’ve been able to network, trade, support and share in cross-promotions with them. Numbers 2 and 31 are also favorites. Thank you for this post, Marijean. It is cause for relaxation and content at having chosen to live here.

  • Along the lines of what Andi said, I love how many Honda Elements are in this town (great car for hauling animals and camping gear). We used to count them when we were out and about (there’s even an iPhone app for keeping track).

  • Kari Rippetoe says:

    I second #32! Also love how you can get fresh roasted coffee beans at Shenandoah Joe’s. You can’t even get that in some big cities!

  • Ken Mueller says:

    This just confirms for me what I think we’ve discussed before. I think C-Ville is probably a lot like Lancaster. And I think point 13 probably sums it up best: Big city offerings in a small quaint town. Both cities seem to have a lot of great culture, art, music, etc, on the level of a big city, but without all the problems of a big city.

    So when are we gonna do the “student exchange”?

  • Laura Neidert says:

    Thanks Marijean! I’ve engaged with many of these things already, but there are still a few on this list to try! And I love Andi’s comment-quintessential Cville!

  • Don’t forget the blogging community as well! We have such a terrific group of bloggers here, and I think it’s great that we all support each other and take the time to meet each other outside of the social media outlets.

    I’d also add to #17 – Eating lunch or having wine – with your dog – on the Downtown Mall!

  • Marijean says:

    My dogs prefer beer. 🙂

    And you’re right; our blogging community is better than any blogging community, anywhere else. Of this, I am convinced.