Charlottesville, Virginia is located 118 miles from Washington D.C. and is home to the University of Virginia. The city was also home to three United States presidents, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. One of the popular attractions in the city today is the Downtown Pedestrian Mall which is a mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and education.
The Downtown Pedestrian Mall is located both on and around old Main Street. Many of the more than 120 shops and 30 dining options are housed within the historic buildings in that area.
Many of the stores are boutique style and offer more unique choices than what may be found at a typical mall. In addition to shopping, visitors can also see a movie, attend a play or concert, visit one of the specialty wine or coffee shops or even take the family ice skating at the indoor skating rink.
The Mall area is home to both historic and new buildings. There is the Paramount, which is a historic theater that has been carefully renovated. Close by is the Charlottesville Pavilion, a new venue that hosts entertainment shows of all kinds. There is another theater called Live Arts. Live Arts is the community theater group of Charlottesville. This group is very active and puts on full productions and hosts a variety of educational programs all year long.
For the kids, the Virginia Discovery Museum is located at the east end of the mall. The museum, which is very hands-on, features many permanent exhibits such as: Walk-in Kaleidoscope, Art Studio, Rainforest Hallway, the Toddler Room Pirate Ship and the Wentzscope, which is essentially a large microscope. The Back Gallery of the museum features exhibits that change a few times a year. Some examples of the changing exhibits are The Amazing Heart and Lungs, which taught children how these vital organs work and how to take care of them, and Four Corner of the World, which aimed to recreate the rain forest, ocean, desert and the arctic.
The Mall itself is a place where many come to enjoy a stroll. This urban park is maintained by the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department. There is plenty of room for a walk as well as many spots in which one can sit and people watch or read a book.
One visitor from San Diego said, "All of the shops are locally owned and very unique. It's a pedestrian mall, meaning that no cars can come down the brick-lined street, which gives it a very, cozy, European feel.''
Special events are held at the venues located in the Pedestrian Mall throughout the year. When planning a visit, check for upcoming events and other Mall news.