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Best Cities to Live in Virginia: A Comprehensive Guide

Admin | June 6, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

Virginia is home to some of the best places to live on the East Coast of the United States. With a pleasant climate, access to great jobs, top-rated schools, and plenty of amenities, many cities and towns in Virginia offer an excellent quality of life. 

This comprehensive guide explores some of the best cities to live in Virginia based on several attractive standards of living factors.


Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is routinely considered one of the top places to live in Virginia. As home to the University of Virginia, the city has a youthful, energetic vibe. The historic downtown mall provides access to art galleries, concerts, restaurants, and boutique shops.

Charlottesville offers family-friendly neighborhoods, such as Belmont, that feature tree-lined streets of Victorian homes. Excellent public and private schools, like Charlottesville High School and St. Anne’s-Belfield School, are a huge draw for families. The city also provides easy access to outdoor recreation, including hiking trails in Shenandoah National Park.

With a population around 50,000, Charlottesville provides small-town charm while still featuring amenities of a larger city. Major employers include the University of Virginia and Martha Jefferson Hospital. The median home price sits around $350,000.


Situated just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C., Arlington combines the best of urban convenience with a more relaxed pace of life. Home to major government institutions such as the Pentagon, Arlington boasts robust job opportunities.

The city is renowned for its top-rated public schools, including Washington-Liberty High School, as well as excellent private schools. Charming neighborhoods like Ashton Heights and Arlington Forest feature single-family homes on tree-lined streets, while a variety of condos and apartments are available near metro stations, providing options for every lifestyle.

The Arlington area provides ample dining, shopping, arts, and entertainment options. Outdoor recreation is available along miles of cycling and jogging trails. For sports fans, Arlington is home to several major sporting complexes. The population exceeds 230,000 with a median home price around $640,000.


Situated along the Potomac River just south of Arlington, the historic city of Alexandria provides a charming small town environment minutes from Washington D.C. Old Town Alexandria showcases cobblestone streets, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and historic homes.

Alexandria is renowned for its outstanding public school system, including notable institutions like T.C. Williams High School. The city also offers convenient access to higher education through Northern Virginia Community College. Affluent neighborhoods such as Rosemont and Del Ray boast quaint single-family homes, while a variety of condos and townhomes provide additional living options.

With a population around 160,000, Alexandria offers strong employment opportunities with major employers like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The median home price is $575,000. Alexandria’s historic charm, highly rated schools, and location make it a premier choice in the D.C. metro area.


Nestled in the rolling hills of Northern Virginia, Leesburg offers small town charm with growing amenities. The historic downtown district features boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and weekly farmers markets.

Top rated schools, preserved historic neighborhoods, low crime rates, and beautiful parks make Leesburg an idyllic place to raise a family. Neighborhoods like Fox Ridge and Potomac Station offer single-family homes in planned communities. Condos and townhomes also provide options for buyers.

The population is approximately 54,000 with median home prices around $485,000. Major area employers include United States Geological Survey and Loudoun Hospital.


Virginia offers some of the best places to live on the East Coast for individuals and families alike. The cities highlighted in this guide represent just a sample of the liveable communities available across the state.

When considering the ideal place to settle down, be sure to factor in access to employment opportunities, highly rated education systems, amenities for daily living, recreational activities, affordability, and community culture. Virginia has diverse cities and towns that can cater to all tastes and lifestyles.

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