Best Places To Retire In Virginia For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Virginia.

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If your retirement requirements involve hiking through the Appalachian Mountains, soaking up the sun in Virginia Beach, and paying less in taxes, then Virginia is for you.

That's right. Virginia is not only for lovers, it's also for people looking to spend their retirement years in safe, affordable neighborhoods with tons of stuff to do. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has created the ultimate guide for Virginia retirees: we've created a list of the top ten best places to retire in Old Dominion for 2020.

To determine Virginia's cream of the crop, we looked at several important factors like cost of living, crime, amenities, rent and distance to closest national airport for every place with over 12,000 residents. In total, we analyzed 37 cities and below is a list of Virginia's best.

The competition for Virginia's best place to retire was fierce. Heck, it's not lost on us that many of Virginia's best places to retire are also the state's safest places and some of the best places in Virginia to raise a family. And there must be something super special about Poquoson and Falls Church: they keep showing up on all of Virginia's best of the best lists and they keep crushing their competition.

Want to know the other places in Virginia where you can live the retirement dream? Keep reading.

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

If you choose to live in one of Virginia's best places to retire, you could be strolling the Dan Daniel Memorial Park in Danville or rubbing elbows with Staunton's finest on the greens at The Club at Ironwood. And if you play your cards right, you could just become a permanent resident of Virginia's number one, best place to retire.

So, what's the best place to retire in Virginia for 2020? The best place to retire in Virginia would be Martinsville according to the most recent data.

To see how your favorite Virginia cities compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more Virginia state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Virginia For 2020

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 13,101
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $671
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: 24,452
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $863
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.

Hopewell, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 22,408
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $878
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.

Poquoson, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 12,039
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,208
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.

Hampton, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 135,583
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 13)
Median Rent: $1,100
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Hampton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hampton is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America. As of the 2010 census, the population was 137,436.

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 41,512
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Rent: $659
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.

Petersburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,827
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $912
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.

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,789
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $1,011
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!

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 14,067
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,860
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.

Front Royal, VA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,240
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $925
Distance to Closest Airport: 39 miles
More on Front Royal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Front Royal is a town in Warren County, Virginia, United States. The population was 14,440 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Warren County.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Old Dominion for 2020

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 37 places from across the state.

For these 37, 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 37, 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. You can download the data here.

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. Manassas
  3. Fredericksburg

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Virginia?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Martinsville 13,101 $671
2 Staunton 24,452 $863
3 Hopewell 22,408 $878
4 Poquoson 12,039 $1,208
5 Hampton 135,583 $1,100
6 Danville 41,512 $659
7 Petersburg 31,827 $912
8 Winchester 27,789 $1,011
9 Falls Church 14,067 $1,860
10 Front Royal 15,240 $925

How Is The Area In ?

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.