6 Of Charlottesville's Best Hidden Gems

6 Of Charlottesville's Best Hidden Gems

Think you know Charlottesville? Check out these unique places.

Charlottesville is an incredible place. It has been named the best place to live by multiple publications, and it has also been named the happiest city in the country once. I am lucky enough to call it my home.

This little bright spot in central Virginia has many features that pull people from all over the world. The obvious things that attract people to Charlottesville are, of course, its historical landmarks. Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, remains a source of historical importance for historians and tourists alike. Jefferson's pride and joy, his University of Virginia at the Academical Village, is also a major draw for potential students, scholars, and researchers. The music scene has also been acclaimed as impressive for a small-scale town, attracting artists such as U2 and Paul McCartney in the last ten years. However, there are some parts of Charlottesville, lesser known to the general public, that truly make it a special place.

The Restaurants

Charlottesville has thousands of restaurants, most of which are very delicious, but there are a few hidden gems that are a MUST if you find yourself in 'The 'Ville.' Stroll the Downtown Mall and the Corner for some classic eateries. One of those can't-miss places is The Local, a rustic eatery in Belmont with a wide wine and beer list, as well as a menu constructed daily based on what is fresh. Another recommendation: Feast! on West Main Street. Feast! takes local sourcing to a new level, acquiring all their cheeses, meats, breads, and produce from exclusively local vendors. Plus, the paninis are a perfect construction of flavors that give you a healthy boost in the middle of your day.

Feast!'s artisan indoor offers fresh deli meats, cheeses, olive oils, and breads.

The Outdoors

People travel to Virginia with images of the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive in their minds. Although most visitors only try out Humpback Rock, a hike that leads to a classic Skyline view, those with more time in Charlottesville should try out Crabtree Falls. It is a slightly more difficult hike with a more unique view: a cascading waterfall with foliage surrounding its structure. Be careful with this hike, though; at least one person every year dies from a mistake on this trail.

The Quirky Boutique Shops

There is an abundance of consumerism and quirky shops in Charlottesville, selling a wide range of things from pens to pants. For all your paper needs, highly suggest Rock Paper Scissors, a small paper supply store with unique stationary, cool local crafts, and other desk decorative objects. This store could suck you in for hours to look at different color tape. Another fun, quirky shop is Roxie Daisy, a home and kitchen store with fun little additions such as handmade cards and body lotion. The workers in here are also some of the nicest I have encountered. Finally, make it to Finch, a clothing boutique on the Corner with stylish jewelry and uniquely Virginia t-shirts and posters. Plus, it is right next to the heart of the University, at the Rotunda.

The interior of Rock Paper Scissors on the Downtown Mall.

The Culture

Charlottesville has this culture, central to its heritage, that makes it a very special place. The town loves the Virginia basketball team, and rallies behind all UVA sports. From the deeply alternative music scene, to Fridays After Five swing concerts, Charlottesville offers a variety of things to do on a warm night. Foxfield, the annual horse race in April and September, can be a fun family event or a crazy day of betting with friends. The opportunities are endless, and Mr. Jefferson's hidden gem awaits!

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Live Music Is Better Than Pre-Recorded Music

Have you ever been in an arena with 15,000 people singing along to your favorite songs? It gives me goosebumps every time.

As an avid concert goer myself, sometimes going to two or more per month, I fully believe that hearing music live is way better than listening to it on Spotify.

First off, if you’re going to hear it live, you’re more than likely going with a friend. What’s better than being at the barricade singing along to your favorite songs? Nothing! Being with my best friends at a concert for an artist we all love dearly has grown to be one of my happy places.

Second, you get to hear things live that you’ll never get to hear with a pre-recorded track. Something that’s pre-recorded is the same thing over and over again, you can never change it, but with live music, it’s different every time. Some bands that I’ve seen throw in extra guitar solos or drum solos and even climb into the audience to let fans sing into their microphones, which is something you don’t get to hear on pre-recorded tracks.

There is no autotune at a concert, and if the artist is really good, they sound just like they do on the pre-recorded track. All Time Low is a great example of this - and if you haven’t seen them live, I highly recommend that you do! They are one of my favorite bands and they put on an amazing show whether it’s your first one or your one hundredth.

Acoustic songs and hearing the crowd sing the song right back is something that will always give me chills, especially big arena shows with more than 15,000 people in attendance. Nothing warms my heart more than knowing that thousands of people are there together for one night to do one thing - sing their hearts out to their favorite artists.

Getting the chance to possibly meet the artist is another added benefit of live music that I like to throw in. If you don’t have meet and greet, most artists will usually meet fans in the back by the busses! It’s one of the most exciting things about the after-concert, hoping they’ll come out and say hello.

I could go on forever about why live music is better than pre-recorded, but if I had to pick a reason over everything, I would say the memories of live music.

Sure, I can capture them on my phone and re-watch them later, but nothing beats being there with your friends and listening to all your favorite songs unfold in front of you. Nothing beats screaming the lyrics and forgetting about everything stressful in your life for awhile.

My next concert is not until June and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do until then. Attending concerts is one of my favorite past times, and this year, my friends and I will be traveling to see quite a few shows, which I can’t wait for.

Next time you attend a live show, think of all of these things discussed in this article and ask yourself which you prefer: live music or pre-recorded?

Cover Image Credit: Megan Courtney

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11 Of The Best 'Powerpuff Girls' Quotes

Sugar, spice, and everything nice

Growing up, the Powerpuff Girls was one of my favorite television shows. I spent a lot of time with my sister and cousin, watching and re-watching episodes, and running around pretending to be the amazing super-heroines we looked up to. When I watch the show again at age 20, I realize how funny, clever, and insightful some of the lines are. If you grew up watching the Powerpuff girls and you need a laugh, these 11 quotes are sure to remind you of the three wonderful girls who save the day, as well as their friends (and enemies)!

1. Bubbles: "There's nothing wrong with talking to yourself."

2. Blossom: "I'm not boring! I'm a... a fiery redhead! And who made Bubbles the cute one? I'm cute! Look at this bow!"

3. Mojo Jojo: "Annoying little girl, you must wait your turn, in which I am first and you are second, which, in essence, makes you last, since 1 is before 2."

4. Bubbles: "Goodness gracious! Sir, you are being slowly digested. We need to get you to a hospital."

5. Buttercup: "It takes a lot more than a couple of cheap shots to make us cry."

6. Princess: "QUIET. Now listen. It doesn't matter that you've got your little gadgets, or that you're the ultimate evil. All that matters is that I destroy the Powerpuff Girls, which I will because I have the most powerful power in the whole wide world. COLD HARD CASH."

7. Talking Dog: "Well, I may be able to talk, but I sure as heck can't drive!"

8. Bubbles: "What are you doing in our closet, Mr. Mayor?"

Mayor: "You mean...we're not in my house?"

Buttercup: "Sorry, Mayor."

Mayor: "Well that explains all the cool furniture!"

9. HIM: "You see, the thing about gift giving is it's the thought that counts. And obviously, thinking isn't your strong point."

10. Brick: "If you're gonna do graffiti, at least spell the words right! Sheesh! Talk about dum-BUH."

11. Professor Utonium: "Hey, where's Bubbles?"

Buttercup: "She's probably upstairs combing her hair so she'll be the 'prettiest girl at the party'!"

Bubbles (upstairs, combing her hair): "I'm gonna be the prettiest girl at the party!"

Cover Image Credit: Randall Petersen: Flickr

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