Living in Virginia
Life in Virginia can be broken down into two terms: diversity and the military.
Thanks to the influx of Hispanic and Asian populations, the state’s diversity has created a place that gets referred to politically as a swing state and by real estate agents as ideal. With five geographic regions that include the Atlantic Coast, the Blue Ridge, and the Ridge and Valley, anyone relocating to the state may have a diverse selection of living options.
The American military presence can be seen everywhere here. With 27 military bases spread throughout the state, odds will be good that, even if you’re not military, you’ll quickly meet someone who is, even if you don’t move anywhere near a base.
According to the Census ACS 1-year survey, the median household income for Virginia was $71,535 in 2017. But that number has to be weighed against the cost of living, which ranks above the national average. But don’t let that deter you from considering a move to Virginia; use it to be informed about the areas of the state that would better suit your budget.
Health care professionals are in big demand, with interpreters/translators and statisticians reflecting the state’s growing diversity realities. And because of that growth, traffic can be a challenge, especially in the more populated areas. Traffic in the more rural areas should be relatively smoother, barring the occasional appearance of a runaway horse or cow heading for the cornfields.
Virginia’s climate gets classified as humid/subtropical, which means the summers will be hot while the winters will seem mild save for the occasional snow. Autumn in Virginia will be an absolute treat, especially if you’re coming from an area with a reliably steady climate: crisp air, the occasional biting wind, and the entire fall collection of Mother Nature’s paint box will be on display.
Basically, if you’ve never had the chance to engage in any stereotypical fall activities such as jumping into leaf piles and wearing jackets in October, Virginia can be ideal. We say “can be,” because Virginia experiences all four seasons and rain can fall during any one of them. But if you feel up for it, head to Shenandoah National Park and you’ll get to see the Nature’s IMAX version of fall sights and sounds.
THINGS TO DO
Just as Florida and California serve as hosts to numerous Disney parks, Virginia features the glory that is Busch Gardens. But just like Florida and California, the list of super-fun activities does not begin and end with the state’s theme parks. Virginia also offers the Virginia Aquarium, Shenandoah Caverns, and Colonial Williamsburg, the living history museum that offers exhibits and insights into colonial American life:
Quick note: Colonial Williamsburg features tour guides and employees sporting period costumes made and maintained by a small army of fashion specialists. Seeing these costumes will be like seeing the movie wardrobe of a period drama.
But if history lessons and fancy costumes don’t really seem like a fun way to spend your Saturday, consider the joys of the great Virginia wine country, which can rival California and Oregon depending on the tourist’s tastes. Bonus: some of the wineries might require a day trip and, possibly, a ride on a ferry.
And if taking a big boat isn’t really how you like to spend time near the water, there’s always the beaches. The locals may pretend some modesty about the beaches, trying to act like they don’t really measure up to the Caribbean beaches. Don’t believe them; the beaches are awesome, and you need to visit them constantly, especially if you’re coming from a landlocked state that only offered river or lake beaches. The Atlantic has waves and wildlife; don’t miss it.
Better yet, why not just go to the beach and see for yourself. The Virginia Beach boardwalk offers a variety of playgrounds, hotels, and shops for everyone to enjoy.
Because Virginia does sit next to the Atlantic, beach and seafood culture will be unavoidable, with special emphasis on blue crabs, oysters, and maple syrup. The area also has interesting takes on ham and stew, and we’ve already discussed the wine. Further inland, you’ll find a strong farming and agriculture culture. Depending on the routes you drive, you’ll either see the glories of urban living or the joys of rural lifestyles. If you’ve never been exposed to rural living, please keep in mind it’s totally normal to see churches with graveyards standing next to fields of corn. There’s nothing to fear from either the church or the fields, but if a crazy clown happens to step out of either, hit the gas and don’t look back. The clown probably can’t outrun the car…
The state also has a thing with peanuts, supplying 15 percent of the total U.S. peanut production. That may be a welcome announcement for anyone who likes a bag of peanuts at a baseball game, but bad news for those with peanut allergies. Remember to ask the restaurant if any foods were cooked in peanut oil and check the labels of anything purchased at the store.
Also, please remember to always leave the house with clothes on. Virginia may be for lovers, but its views on exhibitionism rest solely in the eyes of the judge hearing the case.
BUT IT’S STILL FOR LOVERS, SO GET OVER THERE
Sold on the idea of moving to Virginia yet? Really liking the idea of living in a state that gives you beach access and close proximity to the nation’s capital (that’s right, Washington D.C. sits just a little ways north)? Great! So what’s stopping you, the concern about the clowns (there aren’t any scary clowns; we’re pretty sure), or the idea of having to organize the relocation?
If it’s the relocation jitters, not to worry. With decades of experience, Colonial Van Lines can help make your moving experience stress free. Call a Colonial Van Lines professional and find out how easy a move to Virginia can be.
Beaches! Farming! Seafood! Seasons! What more could you want?