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 site. 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.
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. 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.