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Shenandoah Valley

Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro are located in the Shenandoah Valley, a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia.

The Shenandoah Valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians (excluding Massanutten Mountain), to the north by the Potomac River and to the south by the James River.

The cultural region covers a larger area that includes all of the valley plus the Virginia highlands to the west, and the Roanoke Valley to the south. It is physiographically located within the Ridge and Valley province and is a portion of the Great Appalachian Valley.

Augusta County

Augusta County is a county located in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia. It is the second-largest county in Virginia by total area, and it surrounds the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. The county seat of Augusta is Staunton, although most of the administrative services have offices in neighboring Verona.

The county was created in 1738 from part of Orange County, and was named after Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. It was originally a huge area, but many parts of Augusta County were carved out to form other counties and several states, until the current border was finalized in 1790.

As of the 2010 census, the county population was 73,750, which represented an increase of more than 34 percent over the 1990 figure.

Augusta County is home to several notable industrial entities, including McKee Foods, Hershey Chocolate of Virginia, Target Distribution, McQuay and Hollister.

Staunton

Staunton, founded in 1747, is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and lies between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountain ranges at the intersection of Interstate 81 and Interstate 64.

Staunton, referred to as the Queen City of the Shenandoah, has a 250-year heritage and is known for its historic architecture that incorporates a revitalized Victorian downtown and boasts six separate historic districts.

Staunton’s celebrated downtown has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic preservation as a “Great American Main Street” and a “Distinctive Destination.”

Staunton is home to several historic educational institutions that are still flourishing today – Mary Baldwin University, Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, and Stuart Hall lead the list.

Staunton is also the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson, which is home to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. Staunton is the first city to adopt a city manager form of government.

The Staunton YMCA meets the city’s health and fitness needs. Golf enthusiasts can choose between the Staunton Country Club, Ingleside Resort and Gypsy Hill.

Waynesboro

A charming destination, Waynesboro is centrally located in the eastern portion of Virginia’s scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley, just 90 miles northwest of the state capital of Richmond and 125 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and situated in the eastern portion of the Shenandoah Valley only minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. The city covers an area of approximately 15 square miles.

Named in 1797 after Revolutionary War hero Mad Anthony Wayne, the area was first recognized by the state of Virginia in 1801.  Although many travelers passed through the area, the city was slow to grow until two railroads were constructed that crossed each other near the city, giving it the nickname, “iron cross.”  This picturesque city has retained the charm of the Valley while embracing modern progress.

Each spring, Waynesboro hosts the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival on the banks of the South River, a southern tributary of the Shenandoah River, that runs directly through the city. Each October, the Shenandoah Valley Art Center hosts the Fall Foliage Festival in downtown Waynesboro. Artisans from across the country and Canada are represented at this nationally renowned festival of the arts, food, and music.

Waynesboro boasts prime access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail, and an urban trout fishery in the South River that runs adjacent to the downtown district.

Waynesboro is also home to the P. Buckley Moss Museum , the Wayne Theatre/Ross Performing Arts Center, the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, and the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

The Waynesboro YMCA fills the health and fitness needs for local residents, and golf enthusiasts can play a round at the Waynesboro Country Club.

The summers feature baseball games with the Waynesboro Generals, the 2013-2014 champions in the Valley League, whose notable MLB alumni include former #1 draft pick Denny Walling and 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell.

Waynesboro is also home to Fishburne Military School.  Founded in 1879, Fishburne is an all-male, college preparatory, JROTC military private day and boarding school serving grades 7-12 and postgraduate.  Fishburne boasts small class sizes (6:1 ratio), a warm and caring faculty, varsity athletics for all cadets, and a 100 per cent college acceptance rate.

Local businesses of note include Lumos Networks, a leading fiber-based service provider in the Mid-Atlantic region, Invista, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications, Polymer Group Inc. (PGI), a leading global engineered materials company, focused primarily on the production of nonwovens for the hygiene, wipes, medical, and industrial markets, and Reo Logistics, which provides global freight brokerage services as well as a variety of warehousing, distribution, transportation, freight management, and third-party logistics services.

Charlottesville Area

The Charlottesville Area is a historic, scenic, and sought-after place to live.  Information below will give you and overview of our town and links to even more information that will help you decide if Charlottesville should be YOUR

monticello
Thomas Jefferson’s, Monticello

home.   You may also view popular neighborhoods in the area from the AREA dropdown menu.

Tourism plays an important role in the City’s economy, much of it based on its rich historical legacy. Two million travelers visit the area each year to see the area’s historic sites and the spectacular scenery of Central Virginia.

Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, sits on a nearby mountain overlooking the city and offers tours and special events and ceremonies.  Ash Lawn-Highland, home of James Monroe, features beautiful gardens and furnishings reflecting the Federal style is just a mile down the road from Monticello.  Montpelier, the home of James and Dolly Madison, recently reopened to the public for tours, tastings, and horseracing.
 
Maintained by the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department, the Historic Downtown Mall is considered one of the finest urban parks in the country. This pedestrian mall is home to a vibrant collection of more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants located in the historic buildings on and around old Main Street Charlottesville. Enjoy dining at a number of fine restaurants, shop the unique boutiques, screen a new movie, take in a play or show, take the family ice skating at the indoor arena, or simply relax and enjoy the flowers with a beverage from one of the specialty wine, coffee or tea shops. Ample garage parking is available with most merchants offering free two hour parking validation. Children and families that visit the Downtown Mall can also stop by the Virginia Discovery Museum on the East End. The Museum is interactive and encourages hands on participation in learning with many exhibits that change during the year.The Downtown Mall is also home to some of the best entertainment venues in Central Virginia. The Charlottesville Pavilion hosts a number of outside concerts from Spring to Fall featuring nationally

Blue Ridge Mountains Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains Virginia

known musical talent. The Paramount is a renovated historic theater that brings in comedy acts, musical theater, and some of the country’s best singers. Live Arts is a community theater providing full season productions, several special series, and extensive education programs.

Blue Ridge Mountains  The Blue Ridge Mountains, meandering 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, follows the Appalachian Mountains and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

A hundred species of trees, a variety of flowering shrubs and wildflowers as well 54 different mammals and 59 species of birds live along the Parkway – more than the entire European continent! Skyline Drive connects to the northernmost section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, winding along the crest of the mountains from Waynesboro northward 105 miles to Front Royal.  For more information about the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia or activities they offer, click here.

Culture and Entertainment  The City offers an impressive variety of cultural, social, and recreational opportunities. There are 26 neighborhood and jointly funded parks and an and an extensive series of walking trails that run through parkland, residential areas, and along the beautiful Rivanna River. For more information, please refer to the Parks and Recreation website.  There is also a thriving art, music and theater community that keeps the creative spirit alive in Charlottesville. A recently opened 4,000 seat Charlottesville Pavilion amphitheater draws big named acts into the downtown area and hosts a weekly Friday After Five concert in the spring through the fall, a local favorite to kick off the weekend. The downtown pedestrian mall is one of the most successful of its kind in the country and boasts over 150 shops and award-winning restaurants. A magnet for art, music, dining, shopping and entertainment, the mall is now home to a newly renovated Paramount Theater, one of few community-supported restorations of historic extensive theaters in the country. The 1,200 seat theater has hosted nationally-known entertainers. The 16,000 seat John Paul Jones Arena (JPJ) opened in 2006 and has already hosted national caliber events such as The Dave Matthews Band, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffet, The Police and Cirque du Soleil. JPJ was recently voted as the Best New Entertainment Venue in the Country.

Charlottesville Winery
Charlottesville Wineries

Other popular activities in the area include world-class tennis, golf, hiking, ballooning, horseback riding and racing, tubing, fishing, biking, camping, and the occasional hunting for antiques.

Wineries  The area also boasts a thriving wine touring and tasting business. The nearly 30 local vineyards make up the state’s largest collection with several wineries winning national recognition.The natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and charm of historic Charlottesville lure thousands of tourists to the Monticello area wineries. Since there are twenty-one wineries in the Monticello appellation, we have created four Wine Trails. Each Wine Trail links up to group of wineries for a fun weekend or day trip.  For a map of wineries in the Charlottesville Area, click here.

Businesses  Charlottesville has been named one of the country’s TOP FIVE CITIES FOR RETIREES by Kiplinger.com, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice from Washington, D.C. The decision was made based on many influential factors such as state tax rates, exemptions for various retirement incomes, low crime rates, access to airports, local transportation and access to leisure activities.Men’s Journal magazine recently listed the City of Charlottesville as ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST CITIES TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY. The new accounting used information compiled by Sperling’s Ranked and Rated in their Best Places to Live survey to give editors a snapshot of long term health conditions. The national magazine looked at quality of life issues that contribute to a healthier lifestyle including: availability of local farms and products, shorter commute times, sidewalk access and pedestrian friendly community, lower pollution levels, available and expanding green spaces, and mild climate and sunny days.The Milken Institute’s BEST-PERFORMING CITIES OF 2009 index ranked Charlottesville at 26th in the nation of the 124 smallest metropolitan areas. The index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. The study looks at several categories of short and long-term job, wage and high tech company growth in each region and compares them to the national average. It uses data from Moody’s Economy.com, the Census, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Charlottesville received the highest ranking of all Virginia small metros.

DowntownMall
Charlottesville Downtown Mall

Development in the City of Charlottesville
The City’s downtown has shown dramatic changes during the past decade and in particular during the past five years, as a result of both on-going public and private investment in new construction and renovation/restoration projects.  

The City’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall is thriving, with an exciting combination of residential and retail units, restaurants, a movie complex, an ice skating rink, hotels, the renovated Paramount Theater, and the new Charlottesville Pavilion, as well as a number of office complexes and financial institutions, all of which draw both local residents and tourists to the area.A major refurbishment project was completed in 2009 on the City’s 34-year old Downtown Pedestrian Mall. The multi-million dollar public project included upgrading utility work, adding wireless connectivity for mall merchants and cafes, improved streetscape amenities and lighting as well as installation of over 350,000 new bricks and granite accents throughout the length of the eight-block promenade. The completion of this significant project will help ensure the vitality of this popular destination for decades to come.
Healthcare

Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro are located within easy driving distance of four world-class hospitals – Augusta Health, Sentara-RMHSentara-Martha Jefferson and the University of Virginia.

Education

The local area is centrally located to a number of colleges and universities – including the University of VirginiaWashington & Lee UniversityVirginia Military Institute, James Madison UniversityMary Baldwin University, Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, Piedmont Virginia Community College and Blue Ridge Community College.

Local primary and secondary education links: