Best Places To Live In Virginia
Which Virginia city is best?
With so many areas in Virginia ranking high on the lists of best places to live through Forbes and USA Today, it is hard to narrow it down to the top ten so here is a list of ten of the top cities and why they’re so great.
3. Big Stone Gap
4. Glen Allen
6. Virginia Beach
Arlington, located right outside of Washington, DC, is home to Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon and offers great schools, diversity and a strong job market. Whether you’re looking for an apartment or home, there are many great places to live alongside retail shopping and businesses.
Charlottesville ranked #1 on Niche.com’s Best Towns in Virginia list with its gorgeous countryside and mountains and beautiful historic architecture. Charlottesville gives you all the amenities of a bigger city with great housing, shopping, dining and businesses.
Big Stone Gap is a great place to raise a family as it offers affordable housing, childcare, high school ratings and low crime rates. The town also gained national attention as the focal point of a series of novels Adriana Trigiani wrote.
Glen Allen is a Richmond City suburb that offers urban conveniences with an abundance of undeveloped areas giving a rural feel at times. Nerdwallet.com ranked Glen Allen the best place to raise a family and the city is also home to three Fortune 500 companies.
Located along the Potomac River and only miles from DC, Alexandria offers a beautiful downtown area and is filled with history. Livability.com has ranked Alexandria as one of the best downtowns in the country and one of the Best Cities for Foodies in 2013. The town offers a beautiful historic district, theaters, museums, restaurants, and shopping.
Recognized as one of the top spots for the college-aged millennial crowd, Virginia Beach offers beautiful beaches, outdoor parks, fishing and many other outdoor activities. With an aquarium, museums, festivals and even dog friendly beaches and parks, Virginia Beach is really a great place for all ages.
Ranked #1 as the Safest Place in Virginia by Safewise.com, Broadway, located in the Shenandoah Valley, is a great place to raise a family. They offer festivals throughout the year and farmers markets May through November so you can enjoy farm fresh produce and products throughout the summer and fall.
The city of Chesapeake offers affordability, and a great work-life balance which helped it become one of the Top 20 Cities for Quality of Life nationwide. Chesapeake is made up of acres of protected coatlines, forests and wetlands while offering urban amenities as well.
Reston’s founding principles are “Live, Work, Play and Get Involved.” With it’s own association to make sure the city’s beliefs are followed through on, Reston offers many activities, park programs and ways to get involved. No wonder it was voted #7 on CNN Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in America list.
Ferrum won top honors for Business Insider’s rankings of most affordable towns in Virginia. Ferrum is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is home to Ferrum College and offers a 94.2% affordability score for homes.
Virginia is well known as one of the most beautiful states in the country, it has a rich history, and classic Virginia charm! But in order to find the top 10, we needed something a little bit more concrete. To create our list we looked at seven criteria:
We started with a list of the 50 most populous cities, towns, and Census Designated Places in Virginia, then gave each city a rank from one to 50 in the individual criteria above based on the data, with one being the best possible score. As far as amenities go, we chose distance to great hiking, because we simply had to—Virginia has some of the best hiking in the country. We chose Southern food, because Virginia is the quintessence of Southern charm—and a big part of that happens to be boiled and roasted peanuts, Virginia ham, and Shoofly pie. From there, we decided to break this category up into both amenities per person and the total number of amenities per city, because while we recognize that it’s great to have a range of choices for each person, we didn’t want to dock cities points just because they have larger populations.
After we rated each city, we averaged the criteria together and gave each city an overall score. The lower this number was, the higher the city ranked.