“Arriving in Charlottesville from the lush, rural Virginia countryside, you almost feel like you’ve stepped back into ancient Rome.” – The New York Times
“Just two hours from Washington DC, C-ville (as the locals call it) offers quiet country retreats and horseback rides in nearby Shenandoah National Park, the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains, as well as a wealth of history that includes the homes of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Its array of restaurants offer exceptional gastronomic variety.” – The Guardian
Not to brag or anything, but my adopted hometown of Charlottesville regularly tops all the charts: “Healthiest small towns.” “Best college towns.” “Top places to retire.” “Best tennis towns.” “Best places for book lovers.” And even “America’s happiest city.”
Locals outwardly scoff and grumble about how each new accolade will bring even more people and more traffic to our ever-expanding town. But, deep down, I think we all like knowing that we’re spending our lives in a place that doesn’t suck. Hey, if Southern Living, Travel and Leisure, CNN Traveler, and so many others think my town is the greatest, I’ll happily use that knowledge to validate my life choices.
But it’s more than just validation I seek; it’s appreciation. Because as I sit in traffic, buy my groceries, and navigate my to-do lists, it’s so easy to forget that I live in a special place. So, for all of the cynicism that might accompany them, our “best-of” lists can really serve as a nice reminder of what we have going for us.
Just now, as I did my morning Facebook scroll, I came across yet another Charlottesville superlative. “The best bagels in the world are in Charlottesville, Virginia,” the piece began. True or not, I was reminded of how lucky I am to live within walking distance of some pretty spectacular carb-bombs.
I also love reading other people’s impressions of the area, for example, this piece from the Packed Suitcase blog. It’s fun to think, “People come to my hometown for their vacation.”
Need other reminders of Charlottesville’s awesomeness? For just a few, check out:
- 43 Things to Eat Before You Die (Note that some of these things might hasten the process)
- The Charlottesville 29 – Some of the area’s best and most creative restaurants.
- The breweries in nearby Nelson County. Views and brews.
- let’s not forget the wine
- Some of the area’s prettiest views.
- And the very cool Ix Art Park
Now all this place really needs is a Wegman’s. Oh, but wait!