Thinking of moving to Virginia? You’re not alone. When it comes to the best places to live in the United States, expect to find Virginia among the top contenders. The state has a reputation for a well-educated population and a strong job market. The Commonwealth is known for its scenic natural landscape across small towns and sizable cities. Whether you are considering a move within the state or relocating from another, here are 10 things you need to know about living in Virginia.
1. Northern Virginia is considered the epicenter of Virginia.
With its close proximity to Washington DC, it’s no surprise many people call “NoVa” home. Northern Virginia includes Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties. The City of Alexandria, City of Falls Church, City of Fairfax, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Town of Clifton, Town of Vienna and Town of Herndon are also included. Some significant areas are Ballston, McLean, Reston, Tysons Corner, Occoquan and yes, The Pentagon. From the love of local culture and beautiful mountain views to the plethora of shopping, there’s a lot to explore.
2. There’s wine country in Virginia.
Think U.S. wine country is confined to California, Oregon, Washington and New York? Think again. Virginia, specifically Loudoun County, has a growing number of wineries which provide plenty of fodder for day trips and even welcome children.
3. There’s also beer country in Virginia.
If wine’s not your thing, there’s beer and lots of it. In the last decade, the Virginia craft beer scene has exploded, creating brew trails and regions across the state where visitors can soak in some local flavor.
4. Virginia’s cost of living is above the national average.
Cost of living is typically calculated as an index that takes housing, rent, food, transportation, healthcare, and utilities into account. Of course, you can find communities with a lower cost of living, particularly in rural areas. If you’re planning to buy a home, we’ll be happy to recommend cities that fit your budget and financial goals.
5. There is plenty of U.S. History to see in Virginia.
Virginia is steeped in U.S. history. Lovers of presidential politics in particular will enjoy living in Virginia. You can tour the homes of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, William Henry Harrison, James Monroe, Woodrow Wilson and John Tyler.
6. You’ll enjoy all four seasons in Virginia.
Winters are cold, sure. But the snow is pretty and it’s rarely too much – this isn’t Buffalo, NY after all. Summers are hot – that’s why there are so many amazing lakes, beaches and rivers. But it’s spring and fall that make it all worthwhile. To enjoy the full Virginia autumn experience, head to Shenandoah National Park. You won’t be disappointed.
7. Higher education is a high priority in Virginia.
Virginia is notable for the quality of its higher education. According to US News & World Report, Virginia has 3 of the top 40 public colleges and universities in the nation: University of Virginia (#3), the College of William and Mary (#10) and Virginia Tech (#30). Whether you are considering public or private schools – you can’t go wrong with a Virginia education.
8. Virginia is for lovers…of food.
Virginia is famous for certain foods, including crab, oysters, ham, peanuts and apples, as well as Southern classics such as fried chicken. The different regions of the state provide different delicacies and the climate is favorable to growing tasty produce. If you love eating, you’ll love living in Virginia.
9. You’ll never be bored in Virginia.
If you love festivals, you’re in luck. Whether you’re looking for big city crowds and culture or small-town celebrations with the family, there’s a festival in just about every part of the state on any given weekend.
10. Virginia’s beaches are impressive.
If you like the beach, you’ll love living on Virginia’s coast. The glorious ocean views, beautiful waterfront homes and award-winning restaurants make this vacation destination a place worthy of being calling home.
Ready to join the over 8 million people who call Virginia home? Whether you’re drawn to the beautiful scenery, the rich history or the robust economy, we’re guessing you’ll find a lot to love about your new home. Contact our team of Virginia experts to find your dream home today.
SmartAsset.com, OnlyInYourState.com and US News & World Report