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Old 02-05-2008, 10:08 AM
 
78 posts, read 425,031 times
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We moved to Harrisonburg a little over two years ago. It is a nice place but not what we are looking for. We need more to do and I feel like every time I take my kids out for errands that I'm in and out of the car several times because every place in Harrisonburg is broken up in different areas. I like how Charlottesville has a main shopping area.

We are very liberal and not very religious. My husband has struggled with how much of a bible belt Harrisonburg is. We would like to move somewhere that is accepting and has more to do.

Are the schools good in Charlottesville? We have two young children.
What is there to do that isn't in the downtown mall?
It's very important to us that there are a lot of activities. We are soooo bored here and wish there was more to do with the children that doesn't require a 45 minute drive.

Thanks so much and please please please respond.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:18 AM
 
168 posts, read 815,194 times
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Reading between the lines. Yes, Charlottesville is infinitely more "hip" than Hburg, and in some areas the shopping is much better organized. But ofcourse in the burbs, you will still need to drive to the dept. store, then drive to Hdepot, then drive to the grocery store.

Schools? Well,...like most places,...depends where you move,..some schools are better than others. And ofcourse their are private schools as well.

Activities? Well,....thats pretty broad. I imagine Cville has 'most' activities. Ofcourse, I would have guessed Hburg did too. What are you looking for?

I do find it interesting that you talk about Hburg being 'accepting'? I recently bought a place in Elkton, and although I do not live there day to day, I have met alot of people and have never felt 'unaccepted' and I am not religious in the slightest.
Curious as to what you are experiencing?
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:44 AM
 
78 posts, read 425,031 times
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Thanks for your reply.

As for activities, we are looking for everything from concerts to children's activities. There are things to do here some weeks, but others it is quite dead. Even the community events they have some evenings here, I have attended and there were hardly any people that showed up for it. We need more going on, more people, more choices.

As far as acceptance, our opinions haven't been very accepted. Although we are a straight couple, we have been appalled at how unaccepted our gay friends are. We are not very religious and come from a place where religion was never even a topic of discussion, whereas here, it is truly a bible belt. Everything revolves around religion, 90% of preschools are in the churches and so on. In fact, we feel like the only thing to do here is go out to eat and go to church. HA HA.

We just want to live somewhere that we can make friends, live our lives, good schools for our children, low crime, and plenty to do. We don't want a HUGE city, but have found Harrisonburg to be much too small.

I hope this helps. I know I've been quite vague, but please feel free to ask more questions. I appreciate your help.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:26 AM
 
168 posts, read 815,194 times
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Interesting.
We do not have children, so child based issues and activities are unknown to us.
I would agree about events and such. Unless you are willing to do that 45 minute drive to Staunton, or up to Luray,..etc.....I imagine it would get quite old in Hburg.
As far as the attitude towards your gay friends,...unfortunately I would expect that 'most' places in VA, except for the more progressive areas. But anywhere rural?...I would expect it.

Go out to eat and go to church?...Pretty funny. We never thought about it. From your situation I would guess you are correct. VA is the bible belt 'in general' too. So again, aside from the larger more metropolitan areas, that is what to expect.

Enough with what you dont want and dont like about Hburg.
I wish I was more familiar with Cville, but from my limited experience it is a very charming area, quite progressive, good mix of people. Lots to do, culture, history...etc. Ofcourse, it is quite more $$$ than hburg.
It is not 'huge' at all. Bigger than Hburg, yes. But I would imagine that after 6 months you would have done everything there is to do. But hopefully, some of those things you would be content to do frequently.
You are about 2.5 hours to the beach, and only 40 minutes or so from the mountains...so that is a good central location.

Everything else I am familiar with is very rural and isolated,...so hopefully someone with more metro area knowledge will speak up.

Best of luck.

and btw - I cant stand Hburg either! Too plastic and commercial. I'll stick with my mountain solitude :-)
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:04 AM
 
847 posts, read 3,248,899 times
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Charlottesville has a little children's "museum" (more of an interesting play area with different good activities for smaller children) and a year-round indoor ice-rink at opposite ends of their downtown strip. The shopping on the strip tends to be more up-scale (like really upscale, and expensive) but they have some really cute childrens' toy/book/gift stores, and some funkier things. They have an interesting, hip pizza place on the strip, and a cool collegy tea house in an upstairs space. They have outdoor concerts on and just next to the strip in the summer time. So, for a small town, there's plenty to do right there.

There's a mix of housing both close-in (lots of college students for neighbors though) and further out, including a community around an artificial lake in Palmyra (30 min away) called "Lake Monticello" that has several little sandy swimming beaches all over the neighborhood. Entire place is wooded. Very cheap too. Mostly retirees, but also several young families with kids who commute to Richmond.

Plus, there are tons of tiny little towns all around Charlottesville, each with, like 1 stop light and 3 cute little shops, surrounded by absolutely nothing. Cute, and you can get into C'ville fairly easily. But, if you want a hip, liberal vibe, stick closer to Charlottesville -- a little oasis of blue in a sea of red -- and drive through the cute towns on weekends. (Btw, Republicans can be young, hip, accepting and athiest too, just not out in the countryside. And we learn to keep our mouths shut, since otherwise we just get beat up on both sides.) Richmond isn't too far away for a weekend trip. There are some art galleries, nice architecture and a nice garden to see (with waterfalls -- remnants of some Gilded Age estate I think. Can't remember the name) but, all in all, Richmond is a bit small and dead. Good for visits, that's all.

I don't know much about the schools, but I know some pretty connected, well-off people who sent their kids to the public schools serving Lake Monticello, so they can't be that bad. Look at GreatSchools.net to narrow down areas by school quality.


I think you could be very happy in Charlottesville. I've lived in Harrisonburg too (went to JMU for a while) and I know exactly what you're talking about -- I was so bored, I couldn't even drag myself out of bed to go to class. My husband almost flunked out because the place just wore on him too. So we both transferred out and life got a lot better.

Last edited by vanyali; 02-07-2008 at 11:12 AM.. Reason: Add more info
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:23 PM
 
97 posts, read 416,049 times
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ukusmom, Charlottesville has a main shopping area, but it's hardly the kind of regular shopping where you can get all your errands done. There's no grocery, for example. You will be in and out of your car plenty.
Driving on Sunday mornings can be a pain--there are a lot of religious people, but they are pretty accepting. Being a university town there are people from everywhere who believe everything, you just have to find your niche. There is a gay community here, and I have gay friends who aren't harassed, etc the way you described in Harrisonburg.

Yes, I would say you can get an excellent education in both Charlottesville and Albemarle Co Schools.

Can you give some examples of things you'd like to do that Harrisonburg doesn't offer? With little ones, they play at the parks, the mall, children's museum . . . but I suppose Harrisonburg has all that. You should check out AlbemarleFamily - NEW for the week of Tuesday - Monday February 5 - February 11, 2008 it lists most of what's going on around town.

It sounds like Charlottesville has some of what you are looking for, but not all.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
8,574 posts, read 7,336,983 times
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I would say that charlottesville would be a pretty liberal place to live. a good majority of college towns are. it is a shame to me though that the birthplace of thomas jefferson would be a liberal town!
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,522 posts, read 8,879,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarquise View Post
I would say that charlottesville would be a pretty liberal place to live. a good majority of college towns are. it is a shame to me though that the birthplace of thomas jefferson would be a liberal town!
Why is that? Thomas Jefferson was probably the original American liberal politician!
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
8,574 posts, read 7,336,983 times
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depends chip. not to get into a political conversation, but thomas jefferson would be fiscally conservative (advocate of small government) and socially liberal (individual freedom). just like me. we're called libertarians! I was referring to the modern big government liberal thinking. Thomas Jefferson is my man!
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:09 AM
 
847 posts, read 3,248,899 times
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It's funny to see you refer to him as a "fiscal conservative" since he was such a compulsive shopper in his personal life. Wasn't he against the whole idea of establishing a central bank, wanted the country to be peopled entirely by gentleman farmers, and thought we should have new revolutions every few decades? What a funny guy he was. He sure would be surprised to see how the country turned out. I think he'd say some outraged things about it, and then sneak away to go shopping.
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