Charlottesville is an independent city located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains adjacent to Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The area has an incredibly rich history that draws millions of visitors every year to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, Ashlawn-Highlands, home of James Monroe, and Montpelier, home of James Madison as well as the renowned University of Virginia.
In 2004, Charlottesville was ranked the best place to live in the United States in the book Cities Ranked and Rated by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. Sperling and Sander ranked the cities based on cost of living, climate,and quality of life. Charlottesville is best known as the home of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson. Charlottesville is also home to Jeffersons’ Monticello, his renowned mountain-top home which overlooks the city from Monticello mountain. Tourists and visitors are increasingly attracted to the area’s growing wine industry as well as the increasing number of festivals and world-class entertainment. Many celebrities seeking privacy call the area home including past and present residents John Grisham, Sissy Spacek, the Dave Matthews Band, Jessica Lange, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, James Cameron, and Sam Sheppard.