The Best Places to Live in Virginia

The State of Virginia
The State of Virginia

Virginia has one of the most diverse geographies in the country. The eastern part of the state borders Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, while the western part is in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia is steeped in the nation's history for both the Revolutionary and Civil War. In 2008 CQ Press ranked Virginia as the 12th most livable state in the United States, and in 2009 Money Magazine ranked the following three areas in Virginia among the 100 best small towns to live.

Glenn Allen, Virginia

Glen Allen is a small town located around 5 miles northwest of Richmond, the state's capital, and is just off of Interstate 295. The population is less than 15,000 and the median age is 36.8. Job growth has been steady over the past several years. The median price of a home is $222,825 and the average family income is $79,391. Property taxes are reasonable as the average household pays $2,344 annually. Glen Allen's history is tied to the Civil War and one of their biggest landmarks is Walkerton Tavern, built in 1825. During the Civil War it served as a hospital for wounded soldiers, but today it is a community center. Through its recent growth, Glen Allen has maintained a small-town feel . Money Magazine ranked Glen Allen 94th out of the top 100 small towns to live.


Mechanicsville is another small town just off of Interstate 295, about 8 miles northwest of Richmond. The population is a little over 37,000 and the median age is 37.3. From 2000 to 2008 job growth has been very steady, growing around 3% each year. The median price of a home is $231,000 and the average family income is $ 77,684. Property taxes are on the low side as the average household's yearly property tax is under $2,000. Besides being affordable, the crime rate is low and the air quality is high, making Mechanicsville a desirable place to live. Located near the Rappahannock River, there are numerous recreational opportunities. Centrally located in the state, you can ski in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the winter and in the summer you are less than two hours to the beach. Money Magazine ranked Mechanicsville 84th of the top 100 small towns to live.

Cave Spring, Virginia

Cave Spring is a small community located just south of Roanoke in the southwest corner of the state. The population is 25,300 and the median age is 41.4. Several large corporations have operations in the area, providing a steady source of employment.The median price of a home is $189,500 and the average family income is $85,780. Property taxes are on the low side as is the overall cost of living as compared to many other areas in the state. For the outdoor enthusiast Smith Mountain Lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains are nearby, providing abundant year-round recreational activities. Money Magazine ranked Cave Spring 89th of the top 100 small towns to live.

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