10 Best Places To Retire In Virginia For 2019


We analyzed over 36 places in Virginia to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Virginia.

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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 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.

Where exactly in Virginia is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Martinsville as the best place to hang up your cleats.

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 Martinsville don’t mind us spreading the word.

Why did Martinsville take the top spot? And where are Virginia Beach and Norfolk?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Virginia state reading:

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,551
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $629
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
More on Martinsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Staunton, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,234
Rank Last Year: 42 (Up 40)
Median Rent: $799
Distance to Closest Airport: 102 miles
More on Staunton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Staunton is an independent city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,746. In Virginia, independent cities are separate jurisdictions from the counties that surround them, so the government offices of Augusta County are in Verona, which is contiguous to Staunton.

Poquoson, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 12,068
Rank Last Year: 58 (Up 55)
Median Rent: $1,140
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Poquoson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Poquoson is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,150. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Poquoson with surrounding York County for statistical purposes.

Hopewell, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 22,332
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $820
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
More on Hopewell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hopewell is an independent city within Prince George County in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,591. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Hopewell with Prince George County for statistical purposes.

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 42,360
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $602
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,055. It is bounded by Pittsylvania County, Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina. It hosts the Danville Braves baseball club of the Appalachian League.

Review Of Danville by HomeSnacks User

Such a shame about Danville. I lived there in the 1960s, it wasn’t scary then at all.

The mills shut down, the town is slowly dying.

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,597
Rank Last Year: 61 (Up 55)
Median Rent: $1,569
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Falls Church: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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: 14,988
Rank Last Year: 56 (Up 50)
Median Rent: $1,093
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Williamsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Petersburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,997
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 6)
Median Rent: $857
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Petersburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Petersburg is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,420. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines Petersburg with Dinwiddie County for statistical purposes. It is located on the Appomattox River and 21 miles south of the state capital of Richmond. The city’s unique industrial past and its location as a transportation hub combined to create wealth for Virginia and the region.

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 49,401
Rank Last Year: 57 (Up 48)
Median Rent: $1,446
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Leesburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Leesburg is a historic town within and the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia. Leesburg is 33 miles west-northwest of Washington, D.C. along the base of Catoctin Mountain and adjacent to the Potomac River. Its population according to the 2010 Census is 42,616. The town is also the northwestern terminus of the Dulles Greenway, a private toll road that connects to the Dulles Toll Road at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,349
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 14)
Median Rent: $937
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
More on Winchester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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!

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Old Dominion for 2019

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 — 593 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 12,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 36 places from across the state.

For these 36, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 36, with the lowest number being the best.

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

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Virginia Yet…

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

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

  1. Blacksburg
  2. Fredericksburg
  3. Chesapeake

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Virginia?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Martinsville 13,551 $629
2 Staunton 24,234 $799
3 Poquoson 12,068 $1,140
4 Hopewell 22,332 $820
5 Danville 42,360 $602
6 Falls Church 13,597 $1,569
7 Williamsburg 14,988 $1,093
8 Petersburg 31,997 $857
9 Leesburg 49,401 $1,446
10 Winchester 27,349 $937

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.