I know why I love Virginia – but that’s because I’m lucky enough to live here. So this one’s for the rest of you. The ones who are looking for a new location, but aren’t sure. Or maybe you’re in Virginia, but your best friend lives in Connecticut. Better yet, your parents have retired and you could use some babysitters – I mean, family – close by. Whoever you are, if any of these apply to you – or someone you know – then its time to call the moving trucks.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. You love all 4 seasons.
Winters are cold, sure. But the snow is pretty and it’s rarely too much – this isn’t Boston after all. Summers are hot – that’s why we have so many amazing lakes, beaches and rivers. But you can have hot or cold anywhere. In Virginia, it’s spring and fall that make all it all worthwhile.
2. You want to be at the heart of it all.
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!
3. You love the mountains.
You can reach some of the most beautiful mountains in the world within just a few hours from anywhere in Virginia.
4. But you also love the beach.
Same goes for the beach. We have some of the most amazing beaches anywhere and they’re all within a half-day’s drive, no matter where you live in the state.
5. You appreciate a good economy.
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.
6. You want the best schools for your undergrads.
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 – you can’t go wrong with a Virginia education.
7. And your under-undergrads.
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.
8. You’re looking for a great place to retire.
Maybe it’s time to be closer to the grandkids, or Florida just got too hot. 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 Reports 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?
9. You’re an entrepreneur.
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.
10. You consider shopping a valid form of exercise.
Whether you’re looking for high-fashion shopping or just a day out antiquing, Virginia has some of the best finds on the East Coast.
11. Or you take your exercise very seriously…most of the time.
For those of you with a competitive streak, Virginia hosts races of every kind – from marathons and triathlons to dress-crazy-and-jump-in the mud obstacle races. There’s something for everyone and no shortage of people to get out there and train with you.
12. Wine and cheese are two of your favorite food groups.
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. Have some cheese with that wine – we have hundreds of locally made-in-Virginia cheeses available at farmers’ markets, specialty shop and nation-wide chain grocers. The only hard part will be choosing your favorite.
13. You just like food in general. There’s down-home country cookin’ or fine dining within reach in just about every part of the state.
We have some of the best BBQ, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and country ham you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating. Or try one of Virginia’s many fine dining restaurants. Our gourmet cuisine has hit the nation’s best restaurants lists more than once – and that’s up against the likes of New York and San Francisco.
14. You don’t just like festivals. You love them.
Whether you’re looking for big city food and culture or small town celebrations, there’s a festival in just about every part of the state on any given weekend.
15. Run with the big dogs or get off the grid – your choice.
If you want the fast track, big city life, you can have it. Northern Virginia is one of the nation’s top job growth areas and offers limitless options. But if you want a quieter speed, then take your pick of beautiful small towns where life is slower, but every bit as rich.
16. You don’t want to get sick, but if you do…we have world-class healthcare.
Our hospitals are nationally ranked for care, including specialties like cardiology (Sentara Norfolk General) and neonatology (Inova Fairfax).
17. You like things that go fast. We make our horses fast and our cars faster.
Virginia horse country is not to be messed with. If you love horses, we have steeplechase, polo and countless horse shows and competitions. If NASCAR is your thing, we have the Martinsville Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway. For Formula 1 and stock car racing, VIRginia International Raceway in Alton and the Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Virginia, fit the bill.
18. You support the troops.
Men and women in uniform are part of the fabric of Virginia. We were founded on a proud tradition of protecting our beliefs and today, Virginia has more than 20 military bases representing all 4 branches of the armed services, plus a strong National Guard presence.
19. Music makes you happy.
Bristol, Virginia is called the birthplace of country music for a reason. This is where some of the first commercial recordings were made with artists like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. We’ve taken it from there and now Virginia has a diverse and eclectic music scene with festivals for almost any genre, plus large commercial venues, small clubs and everything in between.
20. You can just be you.
Virginia is for lovers – and that means no matter who you are, what you love or how you choose to live your life, Virginia has a niche where you can belong.
If you already live here, I haven’t told you anything you don’t know. So be sure to send this on to all of those friends and family members who you know would love living here as much as you do.