Best Places To Live In Virginia, From Beaches to Large Cities to Vacation Destinations
Homeownership Virginia Guide

Best Places To Live In Virginia, From Beaches to Large Cities to Vacation Destinations

February 9, 2024 at 7:06 PM PST

With high mountain ranges, beautiful beaches, amusement parks and lively cities, Virginia is a great place for young professionals, families, singles and couples. Thanks to its close proximity to major cities like Washington D.C. and a wide range of outdoor amenities, Virginia has incredible amenities to choose from. With small-town charm, large city amenities, great education, cost of living, a low crime rate and a rich history, over 8 million residents call this incredible state home.

From charming small towns to mid and large-sized cities, more families and young professionals are looking to call Virginia home. The Old Dominion state is known for its great vacation destinations like Virginia Beach and Arlington, its family-friendly suburban cities and its incredible job market.

Choosing a place to live can be an easy task with the best places to live in Virginia.

Virginia Beach

Live right by the beach in one of the best places to live in Virginia. Pictured: A skyline view of Virginia Beach

As the biggest city in the state, Virginia Beach is 38 miles of sandy beaches, sun and loud ocean waves. With diverse water activities like kayaking and surfing and a thriving nightlife scene, this city is one of the best places to live in Virginia. It’s also just a short drive to major attractions and cities like Busch Gardens, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Raleigh and more. Over 455,000 residents call Virginia Beach home because of its affordability and access to large city amenities and the beach. The average home price in this city is around $356,000, making the housing market very competitive.

  • Population: 455,618
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $356,000
  • Walkability: Moderate

For Black Families: For Black families looking to move to a Virginia city, Virginia Beach is a great place to live. It’s a fairly diverse city, with over 18 percent of Black residents. Besides spending a day at the beach, there are so many family-friendly activities to do including interactive museums, waterparks, aquariums and more.

For Young professionals: For the young person looking for a lively city in Virginia, consider moving to Virginia Beach. Not only are beach access, nightlife and fun activities a draw for young professionals, but it’s also an affordable city to live in. The average rent in Virginia Beach is around $1,600, which is less than other major cities. For those who work in real estate, tourism, military and healthcare, there’s a wide range of opportunities in these fields.

Arlington, Virginia

If you want to live close to the nation's capital, Arlington is one of the best places to live in Virginia. Pictured: A view of Arlington, Virginia

If you plan on working in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., or if you want to live by the city, Arlington is one of the best places to live in Virginia. Living in Arlington offers residents an urban feel and gives them the amenities of a large city and small town. The strong military presence, public transportation and great job market draw residents into this city. While the cost of living is higher in this Virginia area, living so close to Washington D.C. and taking advantage of the amenities make this place worthwhile. The average home price in Arlington is around $752,238, which is 40 percent higher than the state’s average.

  • Population: 234,000
  • Public School Rating: A+
  • Average Home Price: $752,238
  • Walkability: Moderate

For Black Families: Ten percent of Black residents and families call Arlington, Virginia home. This city is fairly diverse and with just a short drive to Washington D.C., there are plenty of diverse activities for Black families to enjoy.

For Young Professionals: If you plan on working in politics, healthcare, military or hospitality and tourism, Arlington is the perfect place to call home. It’s also a great option for those who want to work in the nation’s capital without living directly in the city.

Fairfax, Virginia

Fairfax is one of the best places to live in Virginia for close proximity to the mountains and outdoor activities. Pictured: A view of the mountains on a highway in Virginia

Raising a family can be a difficult task, but if you’re looking for a Virginia city with a lot of families, Fairfax is one of the best places to live. Not only is the area family-friendly, but it’s also culturally diverse, has many outdoor recreational activities and a suburban feel, and there are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, parks and bars to choose from. The cost of living in Fairfax is higher than in some Virginia cities, with the average home price around $703,084.

  • Population: 24,835
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $703,084
  • Walkability: Moderate

For Black Residents: Fairfax is a vibrant city for families. Around five percent of Black residents live in this area out of over 24,000 residents. With plenty of family fun activities like parks, access to hiking, museums and waterparks, your family will love being here.

For Young Professionals: Fairfax is a small city with a lot of amenities for young adults. From coffee shops to bars to outdoor activities and restaurants, living in a small town with a lot to do is a draw for young professionals moving to Virginia. The average rent in this area is over $2,200, making it a more expensive city to live in.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is the best place to live in Virginia for those wanting to live in a mid-sized city. Pictured: A row of homes in Richmond

Are you thinking about moving to Richmond? It’s one of the best places to live in Virginia because of the affordable cost of living, great restaurants, strong job market and amenities. As one of Virginia’s mid-sized cities, Richmond offers well-paying jobs in fields like finance and healthcare, along with access to a ton of activities right outside your door. The average home price is around $350,000, making it more affordable than other Virginia cities.

  • Population: 229,395
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $350,000
  • Walkability: Low to Moderate

For Black Families: Family-friendly, mid-sized and with plenty to do, Richmond is a great city to raise a family in. Out of its large population, it’s incredibly diverse, with over 44 percent of Black families and residents. With the lower cost of living, suburban feel and diversity, it’s no wonder families are flocking to this area.

For Young Professionals: As a young professional, choosing the right city for you is key to a successful career, social life and for your mental health. Richmond offers a wide range of amenities for young professionals to enjoy including breweries, restaurants, sports, arts and a great food scene.


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