The 10 Best Places To Retire In Virginia For 2021


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

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Virginia.

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 2021.

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 36 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.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Virginia For 2021

  1. Martinsville
  2. Staunton
  3. Hopewell
  4. Poquoson
  5. Danville
  6. Winchester
  7. Leesburg
  8. Bristol
  9. Front Royal
  10. Waynesboro

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 2021? 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 2021

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,852
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $656
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
More on Martinsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Staunton, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,432
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $861
Distance to Closest Airport: 102 miles
More on Staunton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hopewell, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 22,456
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $886
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
More on Hopewell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Poquoson, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 12,090
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,222
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Poquoson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 41,070
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $682
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,897
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,054
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
More on Winchester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 52,994
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $1,624
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Leesburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bristol, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,912
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Rent: $687
Distance to Closest Airport: 118 miles
More on Bristol: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Front Royal, VA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,077
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $973
Distance to Closest Airport: 39 miles
More on Front Royal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waynesboro, VA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 22,140
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $821
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
More on Waynesboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Old Dominion for 2021

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. 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. Suffolk
  3. Chesapeake

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Virginia?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Martinsville 12,852 $656
2 Staunton 24,432 $861
3 Hopewell 22,456 $886
4 Poquoson 12,090 $1,222
5 Danville 41,070 $682
6 Winchester 27,897 $1,054
7 Leesburg 52,994 $1,624
8 Bristol 16,912 $687
9 Front Royal 15,077 $973
10 Waynesboro 22,140 $821

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.