Charlottesville Named "Happiest City" in the Nation

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

A group of Harvard researchers has named Charlottesville the "happiest city" in the country.

According to the Harvard Gazette, the researchers used a life satisfaction survey and looked at health data to rank the locations. Charlottesville led the list, followed by Rochester, Minn., Lafayette, La., and Naples, Fla. The cities ranked "unhappiest" included Scranton, Penn., and Detroit.

People in Charlottesville say food is a big reason that they are happy to live here.

"Charlottesville is such a unique place, especially for food," said Tim Gearhart, the owner of Gearhart's Chocolates. Gearhart was putting on a chocolate-making class Tuesday night at The Happy Cook.

"There's not a lot of people that get to do what I get to do," Gearhart said.

"Charlottesville really supports local," said Rachel Salatin, the manager of The Happy Cook. "That's the whole mentality. We want to keep our local businesses going."

The Downtown Mall was busy Tuesday night with other people supporting local businesses, including Karen Ohen, who just moved to Charlottesville from Washington, D.C.

"I am totally 100 percent happier here," Ohen said. "It's beautiful. It's picturesque. People are friendly. People are just so pleasant to meet."

Lisa and Jim Sheffields have lived all over the country, and the world, but they have stayed put in Charlottesville for the past eight years because they feel like it's a great place to raise a family.

We looked up and down the East Coast for places to live and I love the diversity of being in Charlottesville," Lisa said. "We love the outdoors and we wanted to be able to take our kids on hikes and swimming holes and camping and Charlottesville has a lot of unique opportunities for that."

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