Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (2022)

Lately, there have been a lot of “best of” lists going around. These lists highlight the best overall places to live in Virginia, best small towns, best cities, etc. And with so many lists out there – and so many of them using different criteria – we decided to do a little research for ourselves. What we found was the following 15 towns and cities that have gained national and statewide recognition from leading organizations like Forbes and USA Today. The resulting list is what we like to call “the best of the best.”

And so without further ado, we give you The 15 “Best of the Best” Places to Live in Virginia…

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (1)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (2)

Arlington sits just at the border of Virginia and Washington, D.C. so it’s no wonder this vibrant city scores so high in terms of things to do, economy and livability. In fact, Livability.com, a website that scores cities nationwide, ranks Arlington #3 out of their Top 100 places to live in the U.S. This “urban village” provides a unique blend of homes, apartments, neighborhoods alongside retail shopping and businesses. Great schools, diversity, a strong job market (thanks to so many government jobs), high home values (median $600k) and safety are all part of what makes Arlington so special.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (3)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (4)

While technically a city, this haven in Central Virginia is often categorized with other towns thanks to its close community feeling and small city status. Highlighted by the University of Virginia, which is also ranked one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation, Charlottesville came in #1 in Niche.com’s “Best Towns in Virginia” list. The list uses weather, safety, schools, activities, jobs, housing, and transportation to determine the scores – and Charlottesville makes the grade on all counts. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains and countryside, this town offers all of the amenities of a bigger city with excellent housing, shopping, dining and business. Plus, when it comes to history and architecture, there are few places more beautiful.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (5)

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Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (6)

Niche.com considers age demographics, school ratings, crime rates, and access to affordable housing, childcare, libraries, and grocery stores when determining the best place to raise a family. And Big Stone Gap made their highest grade for small towns in Virginia. This beautiful little town in Wise County gained national attention when local author Adriana Trigiani wrote a series of novels about the town.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (7)

Glen Allen in Henrico County received Nerdwallet.com’s vote for best place to raise a family. This Richmond City suburb was chosen for its affordability, great schools and overall prosperity. Glen Allen offers urban conveniences, but a slower pace of life and undeveloped spaces, like Crump Park shown here, make it perfect for families. With 3 Fortune 500 companies located here, the future looks bright, indeed, for Glen Allen.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (8)

According to Schooldigger.com, the small town of West Point gets big scores for their public schools. Listed as the #1 out of 129 school districts reviewed, West Point Elementary, Middle and High School came out tops for test scores based on Department of Education data from the 2013-14 school year.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (9)

K.W. Barrett / flickr

(Video) TOP 10 Best Cities to Live in Virginia

Arlington County Public Schools won the #1 spot for Niche.com’s survey of public schools in Virginia. Using parent and student surveys, as well as government data, Niche determined that Arlington schools provided the best overall experience for students, parents and teachers.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (10)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (11)

Niche.com called Alexandria the #1 city in Virginia (and #3 nationwide) for millennials, the up coming generation born in the 1980’s through 2000. With Alexandria’s vibrant urban setting and proximity to D.C., it’s easy to see why it wins top honors. Virginia Beach was also recognized by USA Today as a top spot for the college-aged millennial crowd – beautiful beaches and tons of activities make it an obvious choice. Virginia Beach was given the top spot for Virginia and a #8 ranking nationwide.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (12)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (13)

In 2014, Forbes named Blacksburg the #1 place in the nation to retire. This quaint mountain town is home to Virginia Tech University and offers a cost of living 7% below the national average, plenty of activities and groups, affordable housing and low crime rates.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (14)

The Town of Broadway / Facebook

(Video) Top 10 BEST CITIES to Live in America for 2022 (Stay to the end for extras)

The website Safewise.com uses FBI crime report data to determine safety in a community. The town of Broadway in the Shenandoah Valley came in as the #1 Safest Place in Virginia. According to Safewise statistics, you’ll have a less than 1 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of violent crime or property crime.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (15)

Business Insider provides rankings for the most affordable towns in every state – and Ferrum won top honors for Virginia. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ferrum is home to Ferrum College and offers a 94.2% affordability score for homes.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (16)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (17)

When it comes to urban activities, few places can compete with Alexandria. Loaded with history, but balanced with modern fun, Alexandria was named one of Livability.com’s top 10 choices for best downtowns around the country. Located on the Potomac, just 6 miles from Washington, D.C., Alexandria offer a beautiful historic district, museums, theaters and shopping. It was also named one of Livability.com’s Best Cities for Foodies in 2013.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (18)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (19)

Lynn Willis / flickr

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Few people who live or visit Chincoteague will argue with this one. In a recent CNN report, BudgetTravel named Chincoteague as the #2 Coolest Small Town in America. Famous for their wild ponies, Chincoteague also offers pristine beaches, amazing seafood, boat tours, home tours and an all-around chilled out beach town experience.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (20)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (21)

There are towns and then there are small towns. While Charlottesville got top billing for a town, Middleburg in Loudoun County was listed at the top of Frommer’s Best Small Towns in Virginia. Although it only takes up 6 blocks, this town is packed with history and surrounded by some of the most beautiful horse country anywhere in the nation.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (22)

Staunton is no stranger to praise. Already called one of the best small towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine, TheCultureTrip.com recently named it the most beautiful small town in Virginia, as well. Founded in 1732, this lovely little town in the Shenandoah Valley offers historic architecture, eclectic culture and a friendly down home atmosphere that makes its place in the rankings well-deserved.

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (23)

Here Are The 15 Best Places To Live In Virginia... And Why (24)

deveion acker / flickr

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Nerdwallet.com uses stress factors like income, affordability, health benefits, local economy and work-life balance in their measurements to determine the cities with the highest quality of life. Chesapeake earned Virginia’s top spot and made the Top 20 Best Cities for Quality of Life nationwide. With its perfect blend of urban amenities and acres of protected coastline, forest and wetlands, Chesapeake provides an ideal balance for work and play.

Of course, we’re all a little biased. Just because these 15 places have been determined to be “the best” doesn’t mean that your hometown isn’t! Take a minute to tell us why where you live is the best place to be. We look forward to reading your comments below!

FAQs

Why is Virginia the best place to live? ›

With a low crime rate, great quality of healthcare, and a strong economy, it is no surprise that Virginia is one of the best places to live. Surrounded by history and living in the heart of where America began is pretty cool.

Why would you live in Virginia? ›

Moving to Virginia. Virginia's slogan is, “Virginia is for Lovers,” for a reason. Virginia is for lovers of family, history, mountain, beaches, and so much more. The variety of landscapes, rich history, and other things to do in the state, attract not only tourists, but also people wanting to call the state home.

What is the safest town in Virginia? ›

1. Purcellville. Purcellville is the safest city in Virginia.

Is Virginia a good state to live? ›

(WWBT) - Virginia has been ranked in the top 10 best states in the United States by the U.S. News and & World Report. U.S. News and & World Report uses thousands of data points to measure how well states measure in certain areas, such as health care, education, economy and much more.

What is the nicest city in Virginia? ›

Best Cities To Live In Virginia: Arlington

Located in Arlington County, it is one of the most livable areas in the country. Livability.com ranks Arlington #3 on the Top 100 Places to Live in the U.S., while Niche.com has named it the Best Place to Live in Virginia and #3 in Best Cities to Live in America.

What is the richest part of Virginia? ›

Vienna is being credited as the richest town in the state of Virginia. Stacker.com compiled a list of the richest towns in all 50 U.S. states, which lists Vienna as having a median household income of $161,196 (134.6% more than the U.S. median income).

Where is the cheapest place to live in Virginia? ›

Pulaski, VA – For the second year in a row, the town of Pulaski is the number one cheapest place to live in Virginia in 2020 according to HomeSnacks.net. Housing in Pulaski is super cheap when taken as a proportion of income, whether you're renting or buying.

Where is the best place to retire in Virginia? ›

Best Places to Retire in Virginia
  1. Abingdon. Population: 8,321. Median Home Value: $217,529. ...
  2. Roanoke. Population: 98,865. ...
  3. Martinsville. Population: 13,517. ...
  4. Williamsburg. Population: 15,590. ...
  5. Virginia Beach. Population: 457,672. ...
  6. Winchester. Population: 28,136. ...
  7. Staunton. Population: 25,661. ...
  8. Colonial Heights. Population: 18,273.
13 Jul 2022

Is Virginia expensive to live in? ›

The average cost of living in Virginia is just 1% higher than in the average U.S. state. So living in Virginia is cheaper than some states (like California), more expensive than some (like Tennessee) and about the same as others (like Florida).

What are the negatives of living in Virginia? ›

List of the Cons of Living in Virginia
  • There are some traffic challenges to manage in Virginia. ...
  • You can be fined for swearing in some places when living in this state. ...
  • Some of the housing markets can be challenging to afford for some families. ...
  • Peanuts are a big deal when living in Virginia.
5 May 2019

Does Virginia tax Social Security? ›

Virginia does not tax Social Security benefits. If any portion of your Social Security benefits are taxed at the federal level, you can subtract that amount on your Virginia return. This also applies to Tier 1 Railroad Retirement.

Are property taxes high in Virginia? ›

Homeowners in the state of Virginia pay property tax rates that are well below the national average of 1.07%. In fact, the state's average effective property tax rate is just 0.80%, which falls in the bottom half of the nation.

What part of Virginia gets the least snow? ›

Coastal (East) Virginia

But because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, it gets less snow each year.

What state has the lowest crime rate? ›

Maine. Maine has the lowest crime rate 108.6, and the incidence Count was 1466. Maine residents aren't as concerned about their overall safety compared to the rest of the nation. Maine had no mass shooting incidences, compared to one the year before.

How is life in Virginia? ›

Virginia has a reputation for a well-educated population and a strong job market. This understandably makes it a fairly attractive state to make a move to. Of course, there's more than one way of living a Virginia life. The state features both small towns and sizable cities, conservative communities and liberal ones.

Is it cheaper to live in Virginia or Florida? ›

In fact, the cost of living in Florida is slightly less than Virginia. Of course this depends on where you live in the state, but the overall cost of living in Florida is roughly 8% lower than Virginia. What's more, the state of Florida is one of the few states that does not collect a state income tax.

Is it better to live in North Carolina or Virginia? ›

Virginia's overall score is much higher, coming in at 103.7. NC comes out as the clear winner here, with its scores grocery, housing, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous all lower than Virginia's.

Is Virginia a friendly state? ›

According to a study done by BigSevenTravel, Virginia ranks 35th among the friendliest states in America. According to the study and survey from readers, the growing diversity in Virginia adds a welcoming and friendly atmosphere to the state.

What is the most diverse city in Virginia? ›

Hybla Valley

#1 Most Diverse Suburbs in Virginia.

What part of Virginia gets the most tornadoes? ›

No part of Virginia is immune to a significant tornado strike, but the Piedmont and Tidewater regions see the most activity.

What state is the best place to live? ›

Best States 2021
  • #1. Washington.
  • #2. Minnesota.
  • #3. Utah.
  • #4. New Hampshire.
  • #5. Idaho.

What is the poorest city in VA? ›

Danville was ranked the poorest city in Virginia in a 24/7 Wall St. analysis examining U.S. municipalities where households earn less than the nation's median annual household income of $65,712.

What city is in Virginia has the most millionaires? ›

The Plains is the city with the second most billionaires with the highest combined net worth in Virginia. There is one billionaire in the city worth an estimated $28.9 billion.
...
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8 more rows

What is America's richest state? ›

The GDP per capita of New York is $88,349 which is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world, from high-profile celebrities to billionaire hedge fund managers, is the fourth most populated state in the union and the richest state in terms of median household income and GDP per capita.

What is the oldest town in Virginia? ›

Once a major East Coast port, historic Dumfries is the oldest continuously chartered town in the state. Dumfries history began as early as 1690 when Richard Gibson erected a gristmill on Quantico Creek. A customhouse and warehouse followed in 1731, and many others cropped up along the estuary by 1732.

What part of Virginia has cheapest houses? ›

Virginia cities with most affordable housing
  • Roanoke - 3.1.
  • Hampton - 3.4.
  • Portsmouth - 3.5.
  • Chesapeake - 3.5.
  • Lynchburg - 3.5.
  • Suffolk - 3.6.
  • Dale City - 3.8.
  • Newport News - 3.9.
16 Mar 2019

What's the poorest county in Virginia? ›

The state is also some of the poorest places in the U.S. Virginia's poorest county, Dickenson County, has a median annual household income of $29,932, more than $44,000 below the state median.

How much do I have to make to live in Virginia? ›

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Virginia? According to livingwage.mit.edu, a living wage calculator based at MIT, you'll need a salary of at least $26,631 if you have no children. If you are one adult with two children, you'll need $61,780 after taxes.

Is it better to retire in Virginia or North Carolina? ›

North Carolina: Which Is Better for Retirement? (2021) - Aging Greatly.
...
Virginia vs. North Carolina: Which Is Better for Retirement?
CategoryVirginiaNorth Carolina
Cost of livingAbove averageBelow average
HealthcareQuality and affordableThe health sector is slightly underdeveloped
TaxesFriendly tax systemSlightly friendly tax system
2 more rows

Is Virginia tax friendly for seniors? ›

Overview of Virginia Retirement Tax Friendliness

Social Security retirement benefits are not taxed in Virginia. Other types of retirement income, such as pension income and retirement account withdrawals, are deductible up to $12,000 for seniors. Property and sales tax rates are low.

Is Virginia good for seniors? ›

Virginia is tax-friendly for retirees. The state doesn't tax Social Security benefits. And you can deduct up to $12,000 in pension and other retirement income from your state taxable income if you're a senior.

What's the cheapest state to live in? ›

Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. It also has the lowest average housing costs in the nation at 33.7% below the national average.

What is the average electric bill in Virginia? ›

Electric bills in Virginia

In Virginia, the average monthly electric bill for residential consumers is $225/month, which is calculated by multiplying the average monthly consumption by the average electric rate: 1,565 kWh * 14 ¢/kWh.

Where is the warmest place to live in Virginia? ›

Madison Heights has the best weather in VA because it has:
  • 222+ sunny days, which is well above the national average!
  • Warm Summers—the average temperature in July is 86 °F.
  • Only 13 inches of snow in the winter (half the US average),

What is the nicest city in Virginia? ›

Best Cities To Live In Virginia: Arlington

Located in Arlington County, it is one of the most livable areas in the country. Livability.com ranks Arlington #3 on the Top 100 Places to Live in the U.S., while Niche.com has named it the Best Place to Live in Virginia and #3 in Best Cities to Live in America.

What state is the best place to live? ›

Best States 2021
  • #1. Washington.
  • #2. Minnesota.
  • #3. Utah.
  • #4. New Hampshire.
  • #5. Idaho.

Is Virginia expensive to live in? ›

The average cost of living in Virginia is just 1% higher than in the average U.S. state. So living in Virginia is cheaper than some states (like California), more expensive than some (like Tennessee) and about the same as others (like Florida).

What is Virginia known for? ›

Since Virginia was the site of the first permanent English settlement, the state is known as “the birthplace of a nation.” As well as the “Mother of Presidents” Eight Virginia born gentlemen succeeded to the highest office in the land, including four of the first five presidents.

Where is the cheapest place to live in Virginia? ›

Pulaski, VA – For the second year in a row, the town of Pulaski is the number one cheapest place to live in Virginia in 2020 according to HomeSnacks.net. Housing in Pulaski is super cheap when taken as a proportion of income, whether you're renting or buying.

Where is the best place to retire in Virginia? ›

Best Places to Retire in Virginia
  1. Abingdon. Population: 8,321. Median Home Value: $217,529. ...
  2. Roanoke. Population: 98,865. ...
  3. Martinsville. Population: 13,517. ...
  4. Williamsburg. Population: 15,590. ...
  5. Virginia Beach. Population: 457,672. ...
  6. Winchester. Population: 28,136. ...
  7. Staunton. Population: 25,661. ...
  8. Colonial Heights. Population: 18,273.
13 Jul 2022

What is the most diverse city in Virginia? ›

Hybla Valley

#1 Most Diverse Suburbs in Virginia.

What is the 1 best state in America? ›

Wyoming

What is the cheapest state in the United States to live in? ›

1. Mississippi. Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. It also has the lowest average housing costs in the nation at 33.7% below the national average.

Which state is the best to live in financially? ›

The five best states for your personal finances in 2022 are (No. 1 being best):
...
  • New Jersey.
  • Hawaii.
  • Connecticut.
  • Alaska.
  • Illinois.
30 Mar 2022

What is minimum wage in Virginia? ›

This is in line with the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which has not changed since 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released two consumer price index reports in late 2021 that included parts of Virginia.

Are taxes high in VA? ›

The state of Virginia has a progressive income tax, with rates ranging from 2% to a top rate of 5.75%. Of the states with a personal income tax, that top rate is slightly lower than average. The Commonwealth's sales tax ranks near the bottom of the U.S. too.

What is a good salary in VA? ›

$44,392 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $79,100 is the 75th percentile.

What is it like living in Virginia? ›

Virginia has a reputation for a well-educated population and a strong job market. This understandably makes it a fairly attractive state to make a move to. Of course, there's more than one way of living a Virginia life. The state features both small towns and sizable cities, conservative communities and liberal ones.

What type of weather does Virginia have? ›

Virginia's climate is humid, sub-tropical, enjoying pleasantly hot summers and relatively mild but crisp winters, with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Average coastal temperatures in July and August rarely exceed 90°F (32°C), while in winter there is often snow.

What is Virginia sales tax? ›

Sales Tax Rates

The sales tax rate for most locations in Virginia is 5.3%. Several areas have an additional regional or local tax as outlined below. In all of Virginia, food for home consumption (e.g. grocery items) and certain essential personal hygiene items are taxed at a reduced rate of 2.5%.

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