Navigation Jump Links
- Richmond At-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Richmond
- Economy and job outlook in Richmond
- Real estate in Richmond
- The top neighborhoods in Richmond
- How to get around in Richmond
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Richmond
- 10 can’t miss things to do in Richmond
So you are interested in moving to Richmond, right? It’s not a sprawling big city, but it’s also far from being a tiny dot on the map. Actually, it ranks as the fifth-largest city in Virginia.
As you stroll through the city, you’ll cross paths with quite a few old buildings — standing tall through the ages, just like they’re inviting you to stick around. Because living in Richmond you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a good life. The city has lots of places to hang out, eat and play, all without the big city price tag.
And the food? You’re in for a treat. The local dining spots dish out flavors that will delight your taste bud. And if you’re the kind who loves a good outdoor adventure, you’re in luck. A short drive and you could be sculpting sandcastles at Jamestown Beach or enjoying a peaceful picnic by Lake Anna. And if you like the woods, the green trails of Shenandoah National Park are just a hop away too.
Every now and then, you might want a taste of the big city buzz. No worries, Washington D.C. is close enough for a day’s adventure. But many find that once they’ve settled into Richmond’s rhythm, the busy city buzz just doesn’t call as loud.
Care Meets Cheer in Richmond
Living in Richmond has its perks and it’s kind of a neat place to hang your hat. Virginia itself is pretty chill, known for its good work vibes and looking out for folks’ well-being, and Richmond is no different. Actually, it’s a standout city with one of the highest numbers of mental health counselors per capita. So, it’s a place that really cares about its people.
Then, when the sun finally goes down, Richmond knows how to have a good time too. It may not have the glitz of Miami or Las Vegas, but it holds its own with some cool places to hang out and unwind. And this lively social scene really helps college kids handle school stress with a bit of fun.
Talking sports, baseball is the game here. The city rallies behind the Flying Squirrels, and the excitement is contagious. There’s just something about cheering for the home team under the lights that brings everyone together. Hail to the Flying Squirrels and get ready for some fun.
Fortune 500s, Startups and Summer Jobs
Virginia often grabs headlines for being a great place for business, and Richmond is right at the heart of this buzz. Careers take off and entrepreneurs dare to dream big in this picturesque place. Here’s the deal: Richmond isn’t just a one-industry town. It’s got a whole medley of sectors thriving together.
Eight Fortune 500 companies have set up shop here, and they’re not just here for the scenic James River views. They are the drivers of a lively scene of finance gurus, healthcare heroes, retail rockstars and government pros. Oh, and let’s not forget the dynamic startup scene adding a pinch of innovation to the mix.
The truth is tech talent is flocking to Richmond like moths to a flame. And the world is taking notice. Lately, the city has been climbing the charts as a tech talent hotspot, drawing in folks who are keen on making waves in the digital world. So, if you are looking to code your way to glory, moving to Richmond might just be a good bet. And when you’re done with it all, Virginia is the best state to retire — affordable, with a good quality of life and great healthcare. What more can you want?
Unemployment rate: 3.2% (as of August 2023)
Average weekly wages for all industries: $1,379 (Q1 2023)
See Why Richmond Is a Renters’ City
Richmond’s housing scene is quite the talk of the town. First-time homebuyer? You might feel like Richmond is giving you a grand welcome. Thanks to its inviting quality of life and house prices that don’t aim for the stars like some other places. In fact, the median home value here is in line with the national figure, offering something for every budget, wouldn’t you say?
However, there’s a little snag. A lot of the older generation, the baby boomers, are quite smitten with their homes and aren’t keen on selling them just yet. This makes finding that first cozy nest a bit tough, especially in places like Chesterfield County. The slice of starter homes has shrunk there.
If a cozy spot is what you’re after, there are some condos and townhouses up for grabs. But if a spacious family home is what you’re dreaming of, the price tag might just give your wallet a scare. With the going interest rates, to snag a home priced at $365,000, you’d need a sturdy salary of $112,000.
A safer bet may be to rent. Official data show a median gross rent of $1,132, which is well in line with the national average. In fact, almost 60 percent of Richmond residents go the renting route for all the above reasons.
Old-School Charm Meets Modern Buzz in Richmond
Excited about living in Richmond? No wonder, this city’s got a charm that blends history with a youthful energy thanks to the students and young families around. And the neighborhoods? Each one tells its own story. The classic architecture in The Fan, the indie boutiques in Carytown or the historic sites in Church Hill — every corner has a tale to tell.
The Fan District
Now, if you are into a mix of old-school charm and a lively atmosphere, The Fan is your spot. It’s right next to Virginia Commonwealth University, so there’s always something buzzing. Plus, it’s a foodie’s paradise!
This neighborhood has that nice blend of history, affordable living and some fun spots to hang out when the sun goes down. It’s a go-to for young singles or anyone who enjoys a night out with friends.
Picture an old industrial area turned into a cool hangout spot. That’s Scott’s Addition for you. It’s full of craft breweries and fun little places to grab a bite. Definitely a spot for the young and adventurous.
Ever dreamt of a quiet, friendly neighborhood that’s just a hop away from the downtown buzz? Colonial Place is where it’s at. It’s perfect for those who appreciate a little peace and quiet after a long day’s work.
If shopping is your thing, you will absolutely fall in love with Carytown. It’s a neat little area with over 230 shops and eateries. In a way, it feels like having a mini-city within the city.
Got a soft spot for the outdoors? Woodland Heights is your place. This green wonderland is only a short drive from downtown and it’s perfect for families or anyone who loves a daily dose of nature.
More Than One Way To Get Around Richmond
Richmond is the kind of place where the word “traffic” doesn’t send shivers down your spine. Sure, things might get a bit more difficult during rush hours, but a 32 mph average isn’t that bad compared to bigger cities. You’d hardly spend more than a few extra minutes even in the so-called traffic snarls.
The GRTC Transit System is your buddy for a smooth sail through the city and some of its suburbs from the early morn’ till late night. And for the green hearts out there, carpooling or vanpooling through RideFinders is a cool way to go about it.
Plus, Richmond loves its bikers and walkers. In the heart of the city, you’ll find most spots are just a short walk or a quick bike ride away. And with plans like ConnectRVA 2045 on the horizon, it’s looking even brighter for pedestrians and cyclists.
Every School Bell Rings Opportunity
Richmond has a cool thing going with education. Being in Virginia, a state that’s all about learning, really sets the tone. Schools here are like the city’s heartbeat, keeping things lively and curious.
The University of Richmond is a big name around here and it’s got a good friend in Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). They are like two sides of the same smart coin — one is all about liberal arts and the other is a powerhouse of research and medicine. Win-win!
Public schools in Richmond are great too, making sure the young ones get their thinking caps on early. And there’s this cool place called Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, where bright minds meet to dig into topics like government and international studies.
Sample All Four Seasons With a Smile
Richmond’s weather keeps you on your toes as you’re in for a full spectrum of seasons here. The summers? They sizzle but also keep you guessing with sudden afternoon thunderstorms. It’s nature’s way of adding a dash of drama to the sunny screenplay.
When it’s winter, the city slips into a cool, frosty attire from December through March. The snowflakes make their guest appearance, especially in February, draping Richmond in a brief but beautiful white veil.
Now, living in Richmond is not all about the hot and cold. The transitional seasons here are the subtle, reliable friends amidst the fiery summer and cool, introspective winter. The time from late May to late June, then again from mid-August to early October, is the city’s open invitation to enjoy the outdoors. It’s during these months that the weather is mild and just right for exploring.
Summer average (June – Aug): 88℉ high, 67℉ low
Winter average (Dec – Feb): 50℉ high, 30℉ low
10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Richmond
After moving to Richmond, you will soon see that this is the kind of place that invites you to jump into the action, not just stand on the sidelines. The city simply wraps you up in its rich history, tosses a baseball with you and even hands you a paddle to challenge the roaring river.
There is always something buzzing, whether it’s the cheer of a baseball crowd, the strum of a banjo during a folk festival or the quiet rustle of the wind through blooming flowers at a botanical garden.
- Stroll through the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. This peaceful escape just outside Richmond has flowers and plants you might have never seen before. And when the Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights kicks in, the place turns into a twinkling fairyland.
- Take on whitewater rafting on the James River. Grab a paddle and feel the rush on the James River’s rapids. It’s a splashy, heart-racing ride right through the heart of the city, a unique thrill you won’t find just anywhere.
- Wander through Maymont. This 100-acre Victorian estate is like a step back in time. It’s got gardens to pace through, an old mansion to explore and even a farm with friendly animals to meet.
- Cheer on the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Enjoy a sunny afternoon at the ballpark with Richmond’s minor league team. It’s a friendly vibe with playful mascot Nutzy always stirring up fun.
- Explore the Science Museum of Virginia. Get ready to have your mind blown in a place where science becomes a playground, and the entire family can learn in the most fun ways.
- Drive 25 miles to Kings Dominion. For a day packed with heart-thumping rides and water-splashing fun, Kings Dominion is your go-to spot. It’s a short drive from Richmond and it’s loaded with adventures for everyone.
- Take in the exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. With every room you enter, you step into a different world and travel to a new continent, exploring thousands of years of creativity. From European to African, from ancient to modern, it’s a wild, art-filled ride.
- Attend the Richmond Folk Festival in October. Do you want a big, warm hug of diverse cultures, music, dance and storytelling? You’ve got an entire weekend in October to see and feel how Richmond celebrates the many flavors of American traditions.
- Experience something different at the Poe Museum. This is quite a spooky adventure into the life of one of the creepiest writers ever. Stroll through the Enchanted Garden and pay your respects at the Poe Shrine, unless that already sends shivers down your spine.
- Wander around Richmond National Battlefield Park. You can learn about the battles that shaped the nation, right where they happened, and you’ll almost hear the echoes from the past.