Moving to Virginia? Check out our guide to Starting a Business in Virginia.
Virginia has several distinct regions: the quaint, peaceful coastal communities of Chesapeake Bay and coal mining towns in the western mountainous regions are worlds apart from Northern Virginia, which is strongly within Washington D.C.’s sphere of influence. Where you choose to live in Virginia depends on your tastes, but reading our overview of Old Dominion’s five best cities to live in should help you narrow down your choice.
Virginia’s best city to live in is Reston, a community of about 60,000 in Fairfax County with a unique origin as part of the Garden City movement, a push to design communities with the perfect balance of homes, businesses, and parks. Today, Reston fulfills that promise with its beautiful homes, thriving businesses, and marvelous tree canopy.
Although many refer to it as a city (and for most intents and purposes it is one), #2 Arlington is technically a county. Arlington is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States because of its booming economy housing many governmental agencies and contractors.
Herndon, also located in Fairfax County, is a modestly sized suburb of Washington, D.C. with low unemployment and a high median household income due to the presence of many large tech companies in what is known as the Dulles Technological Corridor.
For the #4 spot on the list, we head southwest to Christiansburg, a delightful little community in Montgomery County. In its early history, George Washington, Davy Crockett, and Daniel Boone all spent time in Christiansburg.
Henrico is another “technically a county but essentially a city” entry. The presence of financial companies like Capital One and Bank of America keep its economy chugging along.
Best Cities to Live in Virginia
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We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).