Ranked one of the top places to live in the United States, Charlottesville combines big city cultural amenities with beautiful scenery and outdoor activity options. In this week’s guest blog, First Year Sasha Friedman describes how living in Charlottesville compares to her previous location New York City:
“I moved to Charlottesville after spending 7 years in New York City. Not only was I coming from a big city, but I also went to undergrad in NYC, so my idea of a ‘quad’ was a public park, and to me a public park meant 80% cement, 15% grass and 5% flowers. This is not Charlottesville at all — and that’s exactly why I chose to move here and have loved every minute of it.
The first thing that people will tell you about Charlottesville is how beautiful it is, and that is definitely a great selling point. I’m sitting on my patio in the height of the fall season and I cannot stop looking at how perfectly colored the trees are on the surrounding mountains. My 6-minute walk to and from school everyday beats my walk to and from Grand Central that I made for the last 3 years.
Beyond the beautiful scenery in Charlottesville (and there is A LOT of it), there is also a lot to actually DO in Charlottesville. Of course, as a New Yorker, I was highly skeptical that any place outside of the city would have a decent bagel, but Charlottesville has Bodo’s, which is just as delicious as an H&H NYC bagel. The greater food scene is incredible as well, with such a wealth of choices, from Thai to Sushi to delicious barbeque. I never feel that I am lacking in options for where to eat and where to drink. Just last week I found a new bar on the downtown mall designed like a horse stable with their own unique copper drinking cups and innovative alcoholic concoctions. For as much as Charlottesville is not like a large city, it comes with a lot of the large city benefits, like a diverse food scene, funky bars and great concerts/performances.
My favorite part of Charlottesville though is the Shenandoah Valley and all of the activities that come with it. I went hiking 6 times within the first 3 months of school; some hikes had dozens of waterfalls, others had challenging rock scrambles and some with unbelievable views of Charlottesville. With ski season around the corner there are plenty of opportunities to go on a day trip to Wintergreen resort just outside of the city.
Of course, no day of hiking would be complete without a stop at one of Charlottesville’s breweries. If beer isn’t your thing, Virginia also has more vineyards than you will have time to visit. With Sunday polo matches at the King’s Family Vineyard, Saturday night stargazing events at Veritas vineyard and dog-friendly happy hours at Keswick Vineyard, you will have plenty of options of where to try Virginia’s famous wine.
Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman, wine connoisseur, lover of ethnic cuisine or just a fan of gorgeous scenery, Charlottesville will not disappoint.”
Sasha Friedman is a current First Year in Section B (go birds!), looking toward a career in Operations Management or Marketing. Prior to Darden, she worked as a paralegal in the corporate transactions practice of a New York City law firm. When she’s not reading cases or going to trivia with her learning team, she loves sitting out on Flagler Court and enjoying a “real” quad experience.