10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Virginia have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Virginia.

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Virginia isn’t just any Mid-Atlantic state, it’s actually one of the most safe, family friendly states in the USA.

Ask any Virginian and they will tell you that there’s a ton of family friendly activities everywhere you turn, here. Old Dominion is just one big playground for little and big kids alike.

If you’re looking for a state with affordable, family friendly staycations, Virginia is your place. There are 37 State Parks and 20 National Parks that dot its landscape. Amusement parks like Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion will keep your family entertained for an entire weekend. And if the beach is more your style, head to Virginia’s Atlantic coast. Virginia has thousands of miles of shoreline sure to make the best vacation memories.

There are 50 distilleries and 230 wineries in Virginia. So after you drop your kids at one of Virginia’s day or overnight summer camps, you and your significant other can enjoy a break as well. Summers never end in this state. Virginia is, afterall, for lovers (too). #Score

In all seriousness, Virginia has some of the best schools in the country. Blue ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools, and colleges like Virginia State and George Mason University have been delivering the next generation to work at major Virginia companies like Hilton Hotel and Resorts HQ, Mars, Inc., and Northrop Grumman.

Now, it’s not lost on us that there are multiple cities on our 10 Best Cities to Live in Virginia for 2019 that are also on our best cities for families’ list. (It’s worth a google.) Nothin’ but the best for Virginia families!

To take a closer look at the top 10 cities on our Family Friendly Virginia cities for 2019, grab a plate of blue crab, head to a sunny spot on the Chesapeake Bay, and read on.

To narrow down the most family friendly cities in Virginia, we looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 10,000.

Drum roll…. the most family friendly city in Virginia for 2019 is Falls Church.

So, if you care about your family living where crime is low, schools are awesome, where you can lead an active, healthy lifestyle, take a look at the list below. Virginia wants you to call it home.

Or, check out some more reading about Virginia and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2019

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,843
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 32.2%
More on Falls Church: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Falls Church is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,332. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,892. Falls Church is included in the Washington metropolitan area. Falls Church has the lowest level of poverty of any independent city or county in the United States.

Williamsburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,817
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 77
Closest Major City: Norfolk
Households with kids: 20.0%
More on Williamsburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Williamsburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691.

Culpeper, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,882
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 39.1%
More on Culpeper: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Culpeper is the only incorporated town in Culpeper County, Virginia, United States. The population was 16,379 at the 2010 census, up from 9,664 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Culpeper County.

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,256
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Greensboro
Households with kids: 24.0%
More on Martinsville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,821. It is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

Review Of Martinsville by HomeSnacks User

Born and raised in martinsville, hated it nothing to do and very dangerous, but after I left for the service never thought I miss that h**l hole like I did

Watch out for rednecks there everywhere

Vienna, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,474
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 32
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 39.8%
More on Vienna: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Vienna is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in ZIP codes with the Vienna postal addresses bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to the north, and Hunter Mill road to the west.

Review Of Vienna by HomeSnacks User

I have lived all over the country from the mid-west to up and down the coats and Vienna, VA has been our favorite place. Vienna is a Wonderful area where there is a bit of everything. Great place to raise kids in a small town environment while being just 20 minutes away from the nation’s capital. Access to everything while being far away from the big city inconveniences that we all forget about.

It’s a close knit community where neighbors know each other and take pride in their town. The community is involved in a lot of activity planning and involved deeply in keeping the town beautiful.

Fredericksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,135
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 26.3%
More on Fredericksburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Eastern United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,118 in 2015. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.

Harrisonburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 53,064
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Richmond
Households with kids: 25.8%
More on Harrisonburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Harrisonburg is an independent city in the Shenandoah Valley region of the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 48,914, with a census-estimated 2016 population of 53,078. Harrisonburg is the county seat of the surrounding Rockingham County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Harrisonburg with Rockingham County for statistical purposes into the Harrisonburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a 2011 estimated population of 126,562.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 154,710
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 74
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 21.5%
More on Alexandria: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2016, the population was estimated to be 155,810. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.

Review Of Alexandria by HomeSnacks User

No crime. At all. Just silly middle school and high school kids pulling pranks. Beautiful, charming city. 7 minutes to DC. Great schools. Great community. Educated people. Diverse.

Old Town is fun and beautiful, especially by the water. Good restaurants. Arlington is right next door, and it’s a pretty awesome city, too.

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,516
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 27.9%
More on Winchester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Winchester is an independent city located in the northwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,203. As of 2015, its population is an estimated 27,284. It is the county seat of Frederick County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Winchester with surrounding Frederick County for statistical purposes.

Review Of Winchester by HomeSnacks User

We only spent a day in Winchester, but it was a sweet little town, full of heritage. The shop owners were friendly. We visited an art exhibit in a beautiful garden, and everyone was so welcoming. Housing prices are amazing.

Had gelato in a great little town square. If it wasn’t such a far drive from where we work, I’d move there!

Charlottesville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 46,487
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 69
Closest Major City: Richmond
Households with kids: 21.5%
More on Charlottesville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Charlottesville, colloquially known as Cville by locals, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2016, an estimated 46,912 people lived within the city limits. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a Charlottesville resident will list the City of Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with the County of Albemarle for statistical purposes, bringing its steadily growing population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.

Review Of Charlottesville by HomeSnacks User

Charlottesville is an amazing city nestled near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. It is home to the University of Virginia, one of the top public universities in the country, and the city has so many amazing things to offers for people of all ages.

The foodie scene in Charlottesville is incredible. No visit is complete without a visit to Bellaire Market, which doubles as a gas station. Also, be sure not to miss the hundreds of vineyards that exist throughout the city.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Virginia anyways?

To give you the places in Virginia which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Old Dominion

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Virginia, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 12,000 people. For Virginia, that meant a total of 33 cities.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Virginia ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Virginia according to the data:

  1. Bristol
  2. Roanoke
  3. Portsmouth

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Virginia?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Falls Church, VA 13,843 54
2 Williamsburg, VA 14,817 57
3 Culpeper, VA 17,882 55
4 Martinsville, VA 13,256 44
5 Vienna, VA 16,474 33
6 Fredericksburg, VA 28,135 77
7 Harrisonburg, VA 53,064 81
8 Alexandria, VA 154,710 88
9 Winchester, VA 27,516 78
10 Charlottesville, VA 46,487 70

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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