Virginia is on the east coast of the United States, bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Appalachian Mountains. Charlottesville is in the center of Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. It is bisected by a major interstate highway (I-64) and another major four-lane thoroughfare (Route 29). National bus and train stations as well as the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport (CHO) serve Charlottesville. The airport is a regional hub for American, United, and Delta Airlines.
Charlottesville is ideally located within minutes of several vineyards and outdoor recreation activities (e.g., hiking, camping, boating and golfing) and within a few hours of several large cities and recreation areas:
- 30 minutes from the Blue Ridge Mountains (hiking trails and camping)
- 1 hour from Richmond (state capitol).
- 2 hours from Williamsburg, VA (historical area with multiple theme parks)
- 3 hours from the Atlantic Ocean and beach resorts (Virginia Beach)
- 2 and 1/2 hours from Washington, D.C. (National Capital) (train, bus and plane available)
- 6 hours from New York City (train, bus and plane available)
Charlottesville is a relatively small town with a population of 45,000. The surrounding Albemarle County adds an additional 100,000 residents. Charlottesville/Albemarle County is home to the University of Virginia, founded in 1819 by the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's home, Monticello and former president James Monroe's home, Ash Lawn/Highland are located in Albemarle County, not far outside of Charlottesville, and both are open to the public for tours. Montpelier, the estate of former president James Maddison, is in neighboring Orange County. Other estates/museums of former U.S. Presidents are within two hours of Charlottesville, including Jefferson's private retreat, Poplar Forest, our first president George Washington's Mount Vernon and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum.
Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia, the host organization and site of the Symposium Venue.