Downtown Historic Staunton at sunset, birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson. Image credit MargJohnsonVA via Shutterstock.

10 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in Virginia

With rising costs of living year after year, it is becoming increasingly important for retirees to settle in a place that will comfortably accommodate their fixed source of revenue. Luckily, Virginia offers plenty of retirement communities that allow pensioners to live a high quality of life without breaking the bank. From laidback coastal villages to beautiful Shenandoah Valley hamlets, they are the perfect destinations to spend your after-work years.

But low-cost living is not all that pensioners benefit from. These little gems harbor a rich part of state history with safe, friendly locals who take pride in a strong sense of community. Retirees have access to a variety of outdoor opportunities to keep them engaged in their old age and essential social and health amenities. If you are in the market for an affordable place to retire in Virginia, the following towns will make a great starting point.


River in the forest, The Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, Virginia. Image credit FotoKina via Shutterstock
River in the forest, The Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, Virginia. Image credit FotoKina via Shutterstock.

Abingdon is a charming community in Washington County where retirees can enjoy affordable living with a welcoming and hospitable group of people. Designated a Virginia Historical Landmark, it harbors a rich heritage that shines through its 20-square block historic district, housing gems like the Fields Penn 1860 House Museum. A broader perspective of the town's storied legacy can be acquired with a tour of the Historical Society of Washington County. Through the years, Abingdon has developed a bustling art scene that promises to keep seniors entertained with exquisite live shows staged at the historic Barter Theater.

Pensioners will also enjoy warm interactions during the weekly Abingdon Farmers Market, with a chance to make new acquaintances while shopping for farm-fresh produce. And when they want something for their recreational needs, they will find plenty of activities at the Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center. Finally, Abingdon's home median value is only $321,900, which is below the United States average.


Big Rocky Bow view in Amherst, VA.
Big Rocky Bow view in Amherst, VA.

Amherst was once a regional hub for the timber, milling, and mining industries, a growth that was spurred by the passing railroad through the town. Today, it maintains a small-town appeal in a community of about 2,000 residents. Incoming retirees can find out more about Amherst's past with an easygoing tour of the Amherst County Museum and Historical Society, which houses artifacts chronicling the history and genealogy of the region. Alternatively, stopping by the Amherst County Visitor Center offers a great idea of what to expect from the town, including all its amenities and top points of interest.

Quality moments in the open spaces can be spent reveling in the serene atmosphere of Ankida Ridge Vineyards, which sits atop Chestnut Ridge, with breathtaking panoramas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While there, you can use the opportunity to sample award-winning wine varieties produced in the establishment. When it comes to investing in a home, the average cost of real estate in Amherst is $369,500.


Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Editorial credit: Bryan Pollard /
Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Editorial credit: Bryan Pollard /

Senior citizens who dream of going back to school will have a fantastic opportunity to realize their aspirations in Lexington, home to Washington and Lee University. Thanks to the college, the local arts community received a boost, allowing connoisseurs to stay entertained with awesome art exhibitions at venues like the University Chapel & Galleries. Lexington has a couple of historical sites that make for interesting indoor pursuits, highlighted by the Jackson House Museum. This 19th-century homestead belongs to Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a former Confederate general.

To stay healthy and active, the Chessie Nature Trail provides a scenic route through a beautiful and natural section that seniors can explore on foot or a bike. Alternatively, getting on horseback with the Lexington Carriage Company offers an easier way of exploring the great outdoors. Buying a home in Lexington costs an average of $449,000, which is relatively price-friendly.


Wilburn Valley Overlook at Angel's Rest.
Wilburn Valley Overlook at Angel's Rest, beginning in Pearisburg.

Seniors in Pearisburg enjoy all the perks that come with small-town living, from low-cost retirement and a safe living environment to plenty of outdoor opportunities. Being the seat of the county, Pearisburg is home to the Giles County Historical Society, where retirees can go for a vivid look into the historical and cultural background of their new community. They also benefit from generous recreational opportunities at the Pearisburg Recreation Department, which provides vital amenities like a gym, community center, and sports facilities.

For those looking to explore the great outdoors, visiting JBR Vineyards is an opportunity to savor a tranquil green space with an inviting atmosphere, as well as sip tasty local wines. With a median home listing price of around $275,000, Pearisburg is one of the cheapest places to retire in Virginia.


Seven Bends State Park near Woodstock, Virginia.
Seven Bends State Park near Woodstock, Virginia.

Plenty of outdoor recreation and exciting historical experiences await retirees in this humble community in Shenandoah County. Woodstock addresses all senior needs for recreational activities with Seven Bends State Park. Residents gather here to enjoy fun activities like hiking, biking, camping, and fishing in the Shenandoah River. The small town maintains a strong sense of community, which is possible through constant social interactions at Mowery Orchard LLC, where locals converge to trade for locally produced goods in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Art lovers can admire various artistic creations at The Art Spot, which exhibits an impressive collection of artists worldwide. Meanwhile, history enthusiasts will enjoy an insightful journey back in time at Woodstock Museum, featuring several 18th-century structures representing old-world Woodstock. To buy a house in the town, it requires about $319,900, which is the median property listed value.


Downing Bridge spans the Rappahannock River and connects Tappahannock, Virginia, to Warsaw, Virginia.
Downing Bridge spans the Rappahannock River and connects Tappahannock, Virginia, to Warsaw, Virginia.

Spending your retirement years in a scenic waterfront atmosphere with days of cozy, sunny weather sounds like an excellent prospect for retirees. Warsaw ticks most boxes in this regard, offering plenty of serene open spaces for seniors to meditate and enjoy some alone time. The Warsaw Town Park is an excellent place to spend time with family and friends, bringing out the charm of the outdoors with vital amenities like a dog park, gazebos, and playground.

Elsewhere, Menokin is one of the most important historical sites in Warsaw. The 18th-century plantation belonged to Francis Lightfoot Lee and offers an interesting perspective of the town's yester years. After a long day of activity, seniors can catch up with friends and peers at different hangouts in the town, including the family-friendly Relish Restaurant and Wine Bar. Lastly, the average budget for owning a home in Warsaw is around $315,000.


Downtown Historic Staunton, Virginia. Image credit Kyle J Little via
Downtown Historic Staunton, Virginia. Image credit Kyle J Little via Shutterstock.

Staunton's claim to fame is the birthplace of former American leader, President Woodrow Wilson. The town preserves the storied legacy of its famous son at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, through various artifacts and archives that explore his life and times. Retirees will find a bustling art scene in Staunton, hosting several exciting venues worth popping into. The American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse is a prime example, known for staging classical theater performances inside a rustic Elizabethan venue.

The Frontier Culture Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the historical and cultural heritage of the Staunton community. This sprawling living history museum features a cool collection of historical exhibits and covers almost 200 acres. For outdoor recreation, Gypsy Hill Park keeps retirees active with facilities like a pond, pool, playground, and ball fields. Finally, the median housing cost here is $364,900.


More details Front and western side of the former Strasburg Stone and Earthenware Manufacturing Company (now Strasburg Museum)

The former Strasburg Stone and Earthenware Manufacturing Company (now Strasburg Museum).

Rich Civil War History and unique grassroots art culture come alive in this close-knit community of Shenandoah County. Strasburg's beginnings go way back to 1761 when it was established by Peter Stover. It boasts a long-tenured legacy that can be explored at the Strasburg Museum. A vast collection of antiques and artifacts inside the building takes visitors back to the bygone eras, including colonial farms, old homes, Indian artifacts, and more.

Elsewhere, Hupp's Hill Historical Park allows seniors to have a historical experience while reveling in the beautiful outdoors. The site features lovely walking trails and hosts a Civil War museum with artifacts related to the Battle of Cedar Creek. Meanwhile, the Woodbine Farm Market presents a delightful opportunity to meet local residents and establish friendly connections. For those planning to own a home in Strasburg, the median value is about $325,000.


Street view in Bridgewater, Virginia, By Idawriter, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons
Street view in Bridgewater, Virginia. Image credit Idawriter via Wikimedia Commons.

Despite its relatively modest size, Bridgewater packs a punch of attractions to guarantee retirees a rich mix of experiences in their golden years. Outdoor opportunities abound thanks to an impressive network of park spaces in the town, including Wildwood Park and Oakdale Park. Bridgewater Mini-golf at Sandy Bottom Park will come in handy when the grandkids pay a visit, offering an excellent way to spend quality time with family. Those who prioritize healthy living can sign up for membership at Bridgewater 24/7 Family Fitness to access various gym facilities.

Meanwhile, the Bluestone Vineyard provides oenophiles with magnificent wine-tasting opportunities. The establishment is recognized for producing various award-winning wine varieties from the Shenandoah Valley region. When it comes to acquiring a property in Bridgewater, prices here average around $369,500.


Coastal view of Chincoteague, Virginia
Coastal view of Chincoteague, Virginia.

This island destination on Virginia's Eastern Shore presents the ideal setting for a high-quality retirement life. With beautiful beach surroundings, plenty of sun, and relaxed open spaces, seniors can look forward to smooth sailing into their sunset years. Chincoteague famously houses the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, perfect for seeking solace in the embrace of nature with a chance to spot a herd of wandering wild horses on the beach. Time with family can be spent playing at Maui Jack's Waterpark, which features exciting slides for all ages.

For the indoor inclined, the Museum of Chincoteague Island provides a break from the outdoor adventures, presenting a look into the people, culture, and history of the town through interesting exhibits. Lastly, real estate prices in Chincoteague average around $492,500.

Whether looking for scenic mountain getaways, charming historic towns, or close-knit rural communities to retire in Virginia, these affordable spots demonstrate that quality of life need not be compromised to live comfortably on savings. Their pleasing aesthetics and relaxed pace of life complement active aging through rich cultural and recreational offerings. Exploring one as a retirement destination promises the joyful discovery of all of Virginia's diversity while respecting retirement budgets. Relocating to any of the areas highlighted could set retirees up for many fulfilled, cost-effective years enjoying what truly matters -happy people and beautiful places.

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