When you live in Virginia, born and raised or otherwise, it’s easy to be a bit…well…biased when it comes to our state’s superiority. And when you talk to out-of-staters, you might be prone to bragging…just a tiny bit, of course. And perhaps, maybe, just maybe, you could be accused of exaggerating a bit…what with the aforementioned bias. But chances are, if you’re touting the merits of Virginia, then you’re not bragging, you’re just stating facts.
So for all of you out-of-staters who might accuse Virginians of bragging, we’ve put together a little list for you. Think of it as our very own little “best of Virginia”…and when you’re done, you might just want to move here yourself.
1. Best Economy
I'm not just saying that. The Washington Post calls Virginia “the best state in America” when it comes to managing budgets shortfalls. We’ve managed to keep the economy on an even keel even when the rest of the world seems to be in a spin.
2. Best Schools
Virginia has 3 of the top 40 public colleges and universities in the nation: University of Virginia (#2), the College of William and Mary (#6) and Virginia Tech (#27). But that’s saying nothing of all of other amazing schools, public and private. And for your pre-college crew, rest assured that good schools abound. Wallethub, an online financial site, ranks Virginia k-12 schools #7 in the nation.
3. Best Place for Business
Again, don't just take my word for it. Forbes has ranked Virginia as #1 for best places for business. For you big business moguls out there, 23 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here.
4. Best Place to Raise a Family
Based on factors like crime and safety, education, housing and other community factors, Niche.com rated Virginia as the #2 state in the nation to raise a family. Most of us would probably agree,
5. Best History
Virginia is the birthplace of 8 presidents, 5 first ladies, countless founding fathers, politicians and statesmen, military leaders and innovators in every field. This is where the Revolutionary War ended, more than half of the battles of the Civil War were fought and where the South surrendered at the end of the Civil War. Full of historical sites, museums, markers and homes, Virginia history lives and breathes in every corner of the state.
6. Best Place to Retire
Virginia is the perfect place to land when you’re ready to put your feet up. Forbes named Blacksburg one of its top places to retire in the nation thanks to a cost of living 7% below the national average, low crime and good housing. Williamsburg tops the U.S. News and World Report's list for historic places to retire. Did you know that senior citizens can take up to 3 free classes a year at William and Mary?
7. Best Place for Outdoor Adventures
What do you like to do? Skiing? Boating? Hiking? Virginia quite literally has every outdoor adventure you can imagine - from rock climbing to surfing to kayaking and more.
8. Best Location
When it comes to location, VIrginia is the place to be. Virginia is within a day’s drive of 50% of the U.S. population. So “but I’ll never see my old friends” is simply not an excuse to not move here immediately!
9. Best Mountains and Beaches - and everything in between
Whether you want to climb or swim, Virginia has the best of both. You can reach some of the most beautiful mountains in the world within just a few hours from anywhere in Virginia. Same goes for the beach. From quiet, pristine shores to busy boardwalks, you can find just what you're looking for within a half-day’s drive, no matter where you live in the state.
10. Best Weather
If you like all 4 seasons done to perfection, then Virginia is the place for you. Winters are cold and summers are hot, but here in Virginia, it’s spring and fall that make all it all worthwhile.
11. Best WIne
The West Coast is nice, don’t get me wrong. But Virginia wine country is beyond compare. Our award-winning wines, 230+ vineyards and incredible countryside can’t be beat.
12. Best Music
Bristol, Virginia, called the "Birthplace of Country Music," is where some of the first commercial country recordings were made in the 1920s with artists like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. As the home state of greats like Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Matthews and Pharrell Williams, Virginia's music scene is world-class Today, we have a diverse and eclectic music scene with The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail, festivals for almost any genre, large commercial venues, small clubs and everything in between.
13. Best Ham
The best ham in the world? That would be Smithfield Ham. While "Country Ham" refers to a style of curing meat and can be found almost anywhere, Smithfield Ham is Virginia's very own. Salty, flavorful and full of goodness, Smithfield is world-famous and can only be cured in the town of Smithfield by law.
14. Best State Slogan…hands down
The state slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers”, was adopted in 1969. Originally, the campaign said things like “Virginia is for History Lovers”, “Virginia is for Mountain Lovers” and “Virginia is for Beach Lovers.” But soon, it simply became “Virginia is for Lovers." Today, it’s one of the most well-known state slogans in the country, but it still means all of the things that it was intended to convey from the beginning. Virginians love their home state – and all that it stands for.
15. Best People You'll Ever Meet…truly
Like I said in the beginning, Virginians can be a little biased, but truly? Virginians are some of the best people you’ll ever meet. From transplants to born-and-bred natives, we like to have a good time, put our families and friends first and keep our hearts and our doors open.
And that, my friends, is why Virginia is the best! Did we leave anything off the list? Let us know why YOU think Virginia is the best in the comments below!