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15 Best Places to Retire In Virginia | 2023

Are you seeking the best place to retire in Virginia for 2023? If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Virginia isn’t just for lovers; it’s also for retirees who want to spend their golden years in safe, affordable communities with much to do.

That’s correct.

For many retirees around the country, the “Old Dominion” is a favored getaway. Virginia offers a lifestyle unlike any other, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.

You are only a few hours away from both the mountains and the coast, no matter where you live in the state. It’s also one of the safest states in the country.

Virginia has the sixth-lowest total crime rate in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report.

So, if you want to spend your retirement climbing through the Appalachian Mountains, sunbathing in Virginia Beach, and paying lower taxes, Virginia is the place to be.

And, fortunately for you, we looked at 36 cities in total and compiled a list of the best in Virginia.

Picking towns with more than 12,000 residents, we looked at numerous crucial characteristics such as cost of living, crime, amenities, rent, and distance to the nearest national airport to select Virginia’s cream of the crop.

The competition for the greatest spot to retire in Virginia was heated. Many of Virginia’s best places to retire are also some of the state’s safest places and some of the best places to raise a family, as we know.

Poquoson and Falls Church must have something special because they keep appearing on all of Virginia’s best of the best lists and destroying their competitors.

If you’re keen about learning more places in Virginia where you can live out your retirement fantasies; we’ve put up the ultimate guide for Virginia retirees: a list of the top and best places to retire in Virginia in 2023.

Is Virginia A Good State To Retire To?

Virginia is appealing to retirees for a variety of reasons. Many states have high tax rates that you should avoid, but the Commonwealth is not one of them.

The following are some of the advantages of retiring in Virginia:

  • Social Security benefits are not taxed by the state.
  • As a senior, you can deduct up to $12,000 in retirement income and pension.
  • Crime rates are substantially below national averages, with violent crime being the third lowest.
  • It’s rich in history and offers both a city and a country experience.
  • Emergency medical treatment and primary care providers are both easily accessible.

There are 127 primary care physicians per 10,000 people in Virginia. It also has 89 full-service hospitals, which is a lot for a tiny state.

Military retirees can also get health care through the Department of Veteran Affairs, which includes medical centers in Hampton, Richmond, and Salem.

The top ten finest places to retire in Virginia are shown below. Each region offers a diverse range of activities, including recreation, entertainment, healthcare, history, and more.

Is It Cheap To Retire In Virginia?

Beautiful vistas and lower taxes await retirees in Virginia. However, the state’s cost of living is slightly greater than in other parts of the country.

You might be able to have the best of both worlds if you can discover a cheaper city with access to amenities.

Take some time to look around at the different possibilities the state has to offer before you plan your VA retirement.

You can go to the beach, the suburbs, a small town, or the mountains if you want to retire.

If you’re interested in history, the state has a lot to offer. To help you get started, here’s a list of some of our favorite Virginia places to retire in 2023.

Thinking of retiring in Pennsylvania? Check out the 10 Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania in 2023

How We Picked the Best Retirement Town in Virginia for 2023

To compile our ranking of the best places to retire in Virginia, we analyzed Census data to locate all 593 cities and towns in the Old Dominion.

Then we whittled it down to places having at least 12,000 residents that weren’t townships. We were left with 36 options from all throughout the state.

We used the following criteria from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, the National Weather Service, and OpenFlights to come up with these 15:

  • Rent is a good indicator of a low cost of living.
  • Low crime rate
  • Actions to take (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • The weather is pleasant.
  • The distance between you and the nearest international airport
  • Others who have retired (High median age)

We then scored each of these locations on a scale of one to 36 for each of the criteria, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we calculated the average rank across all of these factors. The place with the lowest average rank, in this case Martinsville, was awarded the greatest of the best, a place where you may start your second career. The data is available for download here.

15 Best Places to Retire In Virginia in 2023

Take some time to look around at the different possibilities the state has to offer before you plan your VA retirement.

You can go to the beach, the suburbs, a small town, or the mountains if you want to retire. If you’re interested in history, the state has a lot to offer.

To help you get started, here’s a list of some of our best Virginia towns to retire in 2023.

15. Bedford, Virginia

Bedford is a small town with a population of slightly over 6,000 people. However, I can see why it’s becoming a more popular retirement destination.

Hikes along the Appalachian Trail and a day at Smith Mountain Lake are just a few of the activities available.

The surrounding area’s almost 21,000 acres of national forest are ideal for the more adventurous retiree.

Bedford has six local vineyards to choose from if you prefer a good glass of wine. The “Bedford Wine Trail,” as it’s known, is a must-see for tourists visiting the area.

For history aficionados, there’s the National D-Day Memorial and Thomas Jefferson’s vacation residence to visit while you’re not sipping pinot noir.

14. Woodstock, Virginia

Woodstock, located in Shenandoah County near the West Virginia border, is a lovely town. Its primary roadway, I-81, provides convenient access to nearby cities as well as Washington, D.C.

Woodstock boasts a close-knit, dynamic, and adventurous community. The community is nestled between the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. As a result, you may go kayaking, skiing, tubing, fishing, hiking, and biking almost all year. In fact, the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest has hundreds of miles of paths.

Seven Bends State Park, with its 1,066 acres of land and natural splendor, is a recent addition to the area. The park, which has boat ramps, hiking paths, picnic spots, and more, quietly opened to the public in the fall of 2019.

13. Fredericksburg, Virginia

For various reasons, Fredericksburg is one of Virginia’s best places to retire.

The location is the first and essential consideration. Washington, D.C., and Richmond, the state capital, are less than an hour distant. It’s a self-contained city steeped in history.

Fredericksburg is proud of its history, making it a lovely backdrop for locals.

The city features more than 350 buildings originating from the 18th and 19th centuries, according to the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s amazing that Fredericksburg came on our list as one of Virginia’s top retirement towns.

12. Blacksburg, Virginia

You won’t see Blacksburg on a lot of lists. Nonetheless, it is deservedly regarded as one of Virginia’s best places to retire. Blacksburg, Virginia

As a Tech’s home team, it’s a distinctive community full of energy and activity. According to SafeWise, it is also the fourth safest city in the state.

Everything from arts to sports can be found here. Virginia Tech has a stunning landscape and plenty of activities to keep you occupied for a lifetime.

The community surrounding the university has also evolved, with a variety of businesses, restaurants, and galleries.

11. Abingdon, Virginia

The county seat of Washington County is Abingdon. It’s less than 20 miles from Bristol, near the Tennessee border.

Like the rest of Virginia, Abingdon has many historical sites, making it easier to visit museums and galleries. This is also reflected in the city’s burgeoning fine arts and crafts culture.

The Virginia Creeper Trail is great for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. Annual activities such as the Virginia Highlands Festival and numerous conventions are held in the little town.

10. Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville is a city steeped in history. It is home to one of the country’s most prestigious universities.

It’s one of Virginia’s top retirement towns.

The University of Virginia provides everything the surrounding community requires. Medical treatment, entertainment, relaxation, and the fine arts are all included.

In one of the most attractive downtown locations in the state, you can take in Charlottesville’s historic beauty. It’s also a wine lover’s paradise, with 33 wineries to choose from, each offering a unique environment for tourists.

9. Martinsville

Martinsville has affordable housing, with a median property value of $77,188, according to Zillow for late 2020.

The Smith River Trail System includes a gorgeous bluejay with 10 river access locations and 20 miles of greenway, and the small, historic town is home to several parks and trails.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History, two colleges, and the Martinsville Speedway, which stages a handful of NASCAR races each year, are all located here. Since 2005, the Martinsville Mustangs have competed in a collegiate summer baseball league.

Martinsville is somewhat isolated, with the closest city (Greensboro, NC) being 45 miles away and Roanoke being 55 miles. Raleigh, about 95 miles distant, has the nearest large airport.

Retirees who enjoy hiking, fishing, and kayaking who want to live in a historical location with a low cost of living may appreciate living here. A library, hospital, numerous parks, a senior center, and regional transit are all available.

Furniture and textile industries are the mainstays of the economy.

The average temperature in January is 35 degrees, and the average temperature in July is 75 degrees.

Martinsville has a variety of restaurants. The Virginia Museum of Natural History, the Piedmont Arts Association, and historical districts are all part of the cultural scene.

The Martinsville Mustangs collegiate baseball team and the Martinsville Speedway conduct sporting events like the New College Institute.

The rate of crime in this area is greater than the national average.

A hospital can be found in this area.

The Piedmont Area Regional Transit (PART) system runs through parts of Martinsville and Henry County on a fixed route system.

Greensboro, NC and Roanoke, VA all have airports around 50 miles distant, and Raleigh, NC has a major international airport approximately 100 miles away.

8. Richmond

Richmond is one of the few Virginia cities that offers retirees the advantages it does.

According to Bloomberg, Richmond is the second cheapest city in the United States, but it doesn’t skimp on other factors.

The Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University (MCV/VCU) medical complex is a world-renowned research-based medical center that provides world-class care.

The mighty James River and a plethora of cultural attractions ensure that retirees are never bored.

Virginia offers many of the benefits that retirees seek, including a pleasant temperature, ease of living, excellent medical care, and a diverse range of activities.

Virginia offers retirees an experience unlike any other, whether you prefer to live on the coast or in the extensive network of mountains that run along its boundaries.

7. Bristol

According to Zillow, the median property value in Bristol in late 2021 was only $140,997. The fact that more than 40 manufactured home communities are inside the two Bristols contributes to the low property pricing.

Bristol is a little town with a rich musical heritage that is a popular tourist destination for country music fans.

It also boasts a downtown with multiple National Register of Historic Places sites, including the Bristol Railroad Station, commercial historic buildings, and many parks and big green spaces.

Bristol is a small city that is cut off from the rest of the world. The nearest major airport is in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is around 200 miles distant. Bristol isn’t known for being a walkable city.

Bristol is ideal for retirees who appreciate NASCAR, baseball, and country music and want to live in a small town with a low cost of living.

Retail and manufacturing drive the local economy.

Bristol’s average January temperature is 33 degrees. The average temperature in July is around 73 degrees.

Bristol is known as “The Birthplace of Country Music,” and State Street is lined with country music murals and monuments.

Bristol is also a famous destination on Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, The Crooked Road. The “world’s fastest half-mile” is located on the Tennessee side of the Bristol International Speedway, holding two NASCAR races yearly.

Baseball fans may cheer on the Bristol White Sox, a Chicago White Sox Advanced Rookie Team. Horseback riding, hiking, and animal watching are all available at the town’s 15 parks and recreational areas.

The closest airport is at Blountville, Tennessee, about 20 miles away; the closest international airport is in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 200 miles away; Bristol has a lower walkability rating than neighboring towns.

6. Danville

You can choose to live in the city or in the rural. According to Zillow, the median property value in early 2020 was $150,552, well below the national average.

Danville is lovely, affordable, and reasonable in size. There is a decent library on the premises. It’s in the midst of horse country. The residents appear to adore this town’s rendition of “Small town USA.”

Winters are severely chilly.

People looking for a tiny town in the middle of horse country could enjoy it here.

Education and health care drive the economy in the local area.

Danville is situated in the state’s heartland. The average temperature in January is in the low 30s, and the average temperature in July is in the mid 70s.

The Great American Brass Band Festival attracts brass bands from all over the United States. The Norton Center for the Arts, located on the Centre College campus, attracts well-known performing groups.

There are a few eateries in town, as well as others in adjacent Harrodsburg. One of two annual festivals is the Great American Brass Band Festival.

The crime rate in this community is lower than the national average.

Acute treatment is provided in town by Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. Hospitals are located between 11 and 26 miles away.

The nearest airport is Blue Grass Airport, which is 36 miles away, while the nearest international airport is Louisville, which is roughly 80 miles away.

5. Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria is a thriving suburb of Washington, D.C. and one of Virginia’s greatest retirement destinations.

Basically, Alexandria is the place to go if you want to broaden your horizons and experience a more urban and artistic lifestyle.

Because of its proximity to the nation’s capital, the city is heavily affected by Washington, D.C. Old Town Alexandria, which is the city’s crown jewel.

Some of the finest stunning architecture in the state may be seen in this historic district.

Old Town has about 200 stores, restaurants, and boutiques. At any time of year, a stroll down the King Street Mile is a must-do.

4. Arlington, Virginia

The District of Columbia is directly over the Potomac River from Arlington. You’ll “find American treasures, active neighborhoods, carefree pleasure, and a plethora of stores and eateries,” according to the official website.

What more could you want? The restaurants are well-known, the nightlife is busy, and there is always something going on.

Arlington is home to some of the country’s most stunning monuments and memorials, as well as a diverse local arts and entertainment scene.

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Best Place to Retire in Virginia on a Budget

3. Winchester, Virginia

Winchester is becoming increasingly popular among Virginia seniors. Its increase is most likely owing to national media attention.

Winchester is one of the top ten greatest small towns in America to retire to, according to Reader’s Digest.

A vibrant and developing senior community exists in the town. According to the United States Census Bureau, 15.9% of the population is over 65 years old.

Each year, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, as well as various parades and concerts, are held in Winchester.

2. Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke is one location that checks all the boxes for seniors who wish to enjoy nature and spectacular vistas of Virginia’s diverse landscapes.

Basically, Roanoke, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state’s southwest region, provides more than just breathtaking mountain views.

It also has miles of flowing rivers and gushing creeks, making it ideal for retirees who wish to maintain an active lifestyle by hiking or who want to pursue hobbies like nature photography.

The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club has a strong presence in the area, with over 100 miles of trails to maintain.

The ballet, art galleries, symphony, and opera are just a few of the city’s cultural attractions.

While some seniors complain that the retail selections should be broader, others point out that this helps keep their cost of living low — currently approximately 11% cheaper than the state average — and traffic congestion and crime at a minimum.

Roanoke also provides a variety of opportunities for retirees to meet one another and become involved in the community.

For example, the League of Older Americans assists less fortunate senior citizens, and the city’s museums are always looking for motivated volunteers.

1. Virginia Beach, Virginia

The one and only Virginia Beach takes the top rank in Virginia. With seven bases in the surrounding area, the city is established on the foundation of our strong military.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Naval Air Station Norfolk are included in this.

Virginia Beach isn’t merely a military marvel in 2020. It’s also one of the East Coast’s most entertaining and lively cities.

The list of activities is endless, including a three-mile-long boardwalk that has won national praise.

It has been featured in magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and has been named one of America’s favourite boardwalks by Discovery Channel.

Aside from the obvious entertainment benefits, Virginia Beach is one of the safest cities in the state.

This Hampton Roads city is the only one with a population of over 400,000 people among Virginia’s top 20 safest cities. Blacksburg, with a population of slightly over 45,000, is the second largest city on the list.

From our ranking, one of the nicest places to retire in Virginia is Virginia Beach.


Retirees flock to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s numerous appealing communities every year. However, other states such as Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are also popular on the East Coast.

You could also want to look into retirement towns, which are becoming increasingly popular nationwide.

Find the top retirement communities in Virginia in this article that suit your interests and requirements.

Everyone has countless chances to make the most of their retirement, from Bedford to Virginia Beach.


Editor’s Recommendations


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