Virginia, often called the “Old Dominion,” is rich in history, culture, and geographical diversity. With its significant role in shaping early American history, the Commonwealth offers a captivating blend of the past and present. Cities like Richmond, the state capital, and Alexandria add to Virginia’s allure, providing residents and visitors alike with a tapestry of historical landmarks, modern amenities, and natural beauty. So, if you’re considering a move to the state, this Redfin article will guide you through the biggest cities in Virginia.
1. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Living in Virginia Beach means enjoying miles of sandy beaches, a vibrant boardwalk, and a bustling oceanfront. The city’s coastal location offers a variety of water activities, from surfing to paddleboarding. Virginia Beach also hosts numerous festivals and events, such as the Neptune Festival and the American Music Festival, providing entertainment for its residents.
2. Chesapeake, Virginia
With its expansive parks, waterways, and nature reserves, residents of Chesapeake enjoy a lifestyle that embraces the outdoors. The scenic views along the Great Dismal Swamp Canal can exemplify this. The city is complemented by top-rated schools and community events, making Chesapeake a welcoming home.
3. Arlington, Virginia
Arlington’s proximity to Washington, D.C., provides residents easy access to cultural attractions, dining, and entertainment. The city’s diverse neighborhoods offer a range of housing options, from historic homes to modern high-rises. Arlington’s extensive trails and parks, including the Mount Vernon Trail and the Potomac Overlook Regional Park, make it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk’s rich maritime history is evident in its waterfront neighborhoods and the world’s largest naval base. The city’s arts district, NEON, showcases a vibrant arts scene with murals, galleries, and live performances. Residents can also explore the historic Ghent district or stroll along the Elizabeth River Trail.
5. Richmond, Virginia
Richmond’s historic charm and modern amenities offer a unique living experience. Residents of the capital city benefit from the cobblestone streets of Shockoe Slip, where historic charm meets modern boutiques and restaurants. With its thriving cultural events, such as the Richmond Folk Festival and the renowned Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond provides a dynamic living environment.
6. Newport News, Virginia
Newport News offers a mix of historical landmarks and modern developments, with attractions like the Mariners’ Museum and the Virginia Living Museum. The city’s proximity to the water provides fishing, boating, and waterfront dining opportunities. Residents can also explore Newport News Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country.
7. Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria presents a delightful fusion of historic charm and cosmopolitan flair just minutes from the nation’s capital. The city’s Old Town, characterized by cobblestone streets and well-preserved 18th and 19th-century architecture, provides a captivating backdrop for residents. With a bustling waterfront, boutique shopping, and a diverse culinary scene, Alexandria offers a sophisticated urban lifestyle.
8. Hampton, Virginia
Home to NASA Langley Research Center and the Hampton History Museum, Hampton celebrates its role in the space program and the nation’s early colonial days. Residents of Hampton enjoy a coastal lifestyle, exemplified by the scenic Buckroe Beach and the waterfront dining options along the Hampton River.
9. Roanoke, Virginia
Roanoke, known as the “Star City of the South,” combines scenic beauty and rich history. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke offers outdoor enthusiasts access to the famous Appalachian Trail and the iconic Mill Mountain Star, providing breathtaking panoramic views. The city’s vibrant downtown, historic market, and diverse dining options exemplify Roanoke’s commitment to community engagement.
10. Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth, situated along the Elizabeth River, is a historic and maritime gem in the Hampton Roads region. The city’s Olde Towne district boasts well-preserved 18th-century architecture, creating a charming backdrop for residents. Portsmouth has a strong military influence with its proximity to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and the presence of the Naval Medical Center.