These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Virginia


We analyzed over 54 places in Virginia to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Virginia.

But where exactly in Virginia? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Virginia that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Lexington don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Old Dominion to retire:

  1. Lexington
  2. Salem
  3. Manassas Park
  4. Vinton
  5. Vienna
  6. Hampton
  7. Lynchburg
  8. Covington
  9. Blacksburg
  10. Bristol

Why did Lexington take the top spot? And where are Virginia Beach and Norfolk? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Old Dominion

To create our list of the best places in Virginia to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Old Dominion with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 54 places from across the state.

For these 54, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 54, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Lexington, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Lexington

Lexington, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,114
Cost Of Living: 98
Distance to Closest Airport: 117 miles
Crime Per 100k: 843
Lexington ranked 1 overall thanks to its 27 place rank for cost of living and 2 place safety rank.

2. Salem

Salem, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,120
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 119 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,105
Salem ranked 2 overall thanks to its 11 place rank for cost of living and 14 place safety rank.

3. Manassas Park

Manassas Park, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,992
Cost Of Living: 120
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,160
Manassas Park ranked 3 overall thanks to its 45 place rank for cost of living and 6 place safety rank.

4. Vinton

Vinton, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,129
Cost Of Living: 91
Distance to Closest Airport: 114 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,100
Vinton ranked 4 overall thanks to its 14 place rank for cost of living and 31 place safety rank.

5. Vienna

Vienna, Virginia

Source: Flickr

Population: 16,173
Cost Of Living: 203
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,051
Vienna ranked 5 overall thanks to its 54 place rank for cost of living and 5 place safety rank.

6. Hampton

Hampton, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 136,904
Cost Of Living: 94
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,466
Hampton ranked 6 overall thanks to its 18 place rank for cost of living and 37 place safety rank.

7. Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 77,626
Cost Of Living: 91
Distance to Closest Airport: 103 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,038
Lynchburg ranked 7 overall thanks to its 14 place rank for cost of living and 29 place safety rank.

8. Covington

Covington, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,853
Cost Of Living: 79
Distance to Closest Airport: 146 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,067
Covington ranked 8 overall thanks to its 1 place rank for cost of living and 13 place safety rank.

9. Blacksburg

Blacksburg, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 43,204
Cost Of Living: 102
Distance to Closest Airport: 130 miles
Crime Per 100k: 986
Blacksburg ranked 9 overall thanks to its 33 place rank for cost of living and 4 place safety rank.

10. Bristol

Bristol, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,595
Cost Of Living: 84
Distance to Closest Airport: 118 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,046
Bristol ranked 10 overall thanks to its 6 place rank for cost of living and 30 place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Virginia goes to Lexington.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Franklin
  • South Boston
  • Ashland

For more Virginia reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Virginia

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Lexington 1 7,114 98 117 843
Salem 2 25,120 89 119 2,105
Manassas Park 3 14,992 120 12 1,160
Vinton 4 8,129 91 114 3,100
Vienna 5 16,173 203 11 1,051
Hampton 6 136,904 94 11 3,466
Lynchburg 7 77,626 91 103 3,038
Covington 8 5,853 79 146 2,067
Blacksburg 9 43,204 102 130 986
Bristol 10 17,595 84 118 3,046
Leesburg 11 46,211 156 12 1,696
Staunton 12 24,132 96 102 2,556
Roanoke 13 97,949 89 116 4,560
Manassas 14 40,436 120 13 2,144
Radford 15 16,993 91 130 2,801
Pulaski 16 8,993 83 127 2,957
Marion 17 5,931 85 116 3,962
Christiansburg 18 21,427 97 125 2,235
Richlands 19 5,698 84 138 2,808
Poquoson 20 12,103 115 10 851
Virginia Beach 21 445,623 110 12 2,349
Alexandria 22 146,422 156 21 2,210
Purcellville 23 8,350 157 19 491
Abingdon 24 8,176 101 118 2,005
Strasburg 25 6,486 97 47 1,387
Herndon 26 24,141 162 4 1,491
Wytheville 27 8,193 91 120 2,746
Hopewell 28 22,375 97 14 3,360
Dumfries 29 5,122 130 27 2,401
Smithfield 30 8,159 110 12 1,887
Harrisonburg 31 50,821 99 84 2,465
Norfolk 32 244,745 99 3 4,477
Big Stone Gap 33 5,559 86 153 3,687
Warrenton 34 9,774 132 24 1,698
Newport News 35 181,362 96 4 3,482
Colonial Heights 36 17,542 95 17 5,147
Martinsville 37 13,745 79 81 3,157
Richmond 38 211,063 95 8 4,568
Petersburg 39 32,439 99 21 3,175
Front Royal 40 14,709 106 39 3,011
Winchester 41 27,031 106 41 4,320
Portsmouth 42 96,007 92 8 5,644
Woodstock 43 5,164 98 57 2,982
Charlottesville 44 44,505 123 73 3,476
Waynesboro 45 21,177 95 94 3,248
Danville 46 42,704 81 59 4,575
Suffolk 47 85,477 106 27 2,882
Chesapeake 48 228,168 110 15 3,235
Emporia 49 5,682 84 57 5,332
Ashland 50 7,264 107 19 4,006
Fredericksburg 51 26,632 116 44 4,993
Ashland 52 7,264 107 21 4,006
South Boston 53 8,069 85 58 5,329
Franklin 54 8,534 103 39 4,944

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