14 Best Places to Live in Virginia in 2024

Are you thinking about settling down in Virginia?

Virginia is an absolutely wonderful state to live in, with a lot of American history, beautiful landscapes and diverse communities with a wide range of people, backgrounds, and experiences.

You can definitely find your perfect home here, and in my guide to the top 14 places to live in Virginia, you can figure out if you’re envisioning a bustling city life, calm countryside living, or something in between.

Virginia really does have it all!

1. Arlington

Image: Lyon Park Community Center. Alan Kotok. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Situated just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Arlington is a vibrant urban community known for its diverse population, excellent schools, and thriving economy.

Residents enjoy easy access to cultural attractions, government offices, and job opportunities in the nation’s capital.

The county is home to iconic landmarks such as the Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon, as well as a variety of parks, shopping centers, and dining options.

This is really the number one choice when it comes to Virginia living for many.

2. Alexandria

Image: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Ken Lund. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

With its historic charm, waterfront setting, and lively arts scene, Alexandria offers residents a unique blend of old-world elegance and modern convenience.

The city’s cobblestone streets, well-preserved architecture, and bustling waterfront mean you are surrounded by beauty and always having something to do in town.

Residents enjoy a vibrant dining scene, boutique shopping, and a strong sense of community, all still within close proximity to Washington, D.C.

3. Charlottesville

Image: Wegmans in Charlottesville, Virginia. Eli Christman. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Home to the University of Virginia and nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville offers residents a picturesque setting with a rich cultural heritage.

The city’s vibrant downtown mall is lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, while nearby vineyards and outdoor recreational opportunities are numerous.

Charlottesville’s strong sense of community, top-rated schools, and thriving economy make it a desirable place to live.

4. Richmond

As the capital of Virginia, Richmond is a dynamic city with a rich history, vibrant arts scene, and diverse neighborhoods.

No matter what you enjoy, you’ll find it in Richmond.

Residents enjoy a wide range of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as a burgeoning culinary scene and craft brewery scene.

The city’s location along the James River provides lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation, while its historic architecture and cobblestone streets add to its charm.

5. Reston

Image: Rictor Norton & David Allen. Reston, Virginia. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Developed as a planned community in Northern Virginia, Reston offers residents a unique blend of urban convenience and natural beauty.

The community boasts extensive parkland, hiking and biking trails, and a vibrant town center with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

It’s a great option if you’re looking for a friendly group of people in a safe area.

Reston’s diverse population, top-rated schools, and proximity to Washington, D.C. make it a popular choice for families and young couples.

6. Fredericksburg

Located halfway between Richmond and Washington, D.C., Fredericksburg is a historic city with a charming downtown, scenic riverfront, and strong sense of community.

Residents enjoy a variety of cultural attractions, outdoor recreational opportunities, and locally-owned shops and restaurants.

There’s plenty of tourism here, which can be great for those who want the tourist foot traffic for their businesses.

The city’s central location and commuter-friendly amenities make it an ideal place to live for those who work in either metropolitan area.

7. Williamsburg

You’ve heard of Williamsburg before, of course!

Steeped in colonial history, Williamsburg offers residents a unique blend of heritage and modern amenities.

The city’s meticulously preserved buildings, living history museums, and scenic beauty attract visitors from around the world and make it a wonderful place to live in Virginia.

Residents enjoy a relaxed pace of life, with access to top-rated schools, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a strong sense of community.

8. Fairfax

Image: West Face of Mansion, Mount Vernon, Near Alexandria, Virginia. Ken Lund. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Located in Fairfax County, this diverse suburb offers residents a mix of urban and suburban living.

The county boasts top-rated schools, abundant green spaces, and a variety of housing options, from single-family homes to luxury apartments.

Fairfax’s proximity to major employment centers in Northern Virginia, as well as its cultural attractions and recreational amenities, make it a great place for families.

9. Virginia Beach

Image: Virginia Beach Homes. Nannette Turner. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

With its miles of sandy beaches, vibrant boardwalk, and wide array of recreational activities, Virginia Beach is a popular destination for residents and visitors who are looking to get next to the ocean.

The city offers a laid-back atmosphere, strong sense of community, and diverse housing options, from beachfront condos to suburban neighborhoods.

Virginia Beach’s thriving tourism industry, excellent schools, and abundant outdoor amenities make it an ideal place to live for those who enjoy coastal living.

10. Norfolk

Image: Waterside Norfolk Virginia. Watts. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

As a cultural and economic hub in Hampton Roads, Norfolk offers residents a dynamic urban lifestyle with waterfront living, historic neighborhoods, and a thriving arts scene.

The city’s revitalized downtown area is home to shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, while its waterfront parks and marinas mean you can enjoy the great outdoors whenever you feel like it.

Norfolk’s central location and diverse economy make it an attractive place to live.

11. Roanoke

Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke offers residents a blend of outdoor adventure, cultural attractions, and affordability.

It’s the must-live in Virginia if you’re into mountain life, as the surrounding ridges allow you to go hiking and biking, while the downtown area is filled with shops, restaurants, and arts galleries for your evenings and weekends.

Roanoke’s strong sense of community, low cost of living, and access to outdoor recreation make it an appealing place to live for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

12. Leesburg

Image: Cookie Shack. kalacaw. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Located in Loudoun County, Leesburg combines small-town charm with suburban convenience.

The town’s historic downtown area is home to shops, restaurants, and art galleries, while its surrounding countryside offers scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Leesburg’s top-rated schools, strong sense of community, and proximity to the Dulles High Tech Corridor make it a top choice on the best places to live in Virginia.

13. Blacksburg

Image: Gateway to Virginia Tech. Bill Rand. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Home to Virginia Tech, Blacksburg offers residents a college town atmosphere with a strong sense of community and access to outdoor recreation in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visit the downtown area to check out the boutique shops, family-owned restaurants and other recreational activities, or head further afield to the surrounding mountains for skiing in the winter, hiking, biking, and adventure activities.

Blacksburg’s low crime rate, high quality of life, and affordable housing options make it one of the top picks for Virginia’s best places to live.

14. Harrisonburg

Situated in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg offers residents a blend of rural beauty and urban amenities.

The city’s downtown area is home to shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, while its surrounding countryside offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

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