Living in Richmond
Established as the commonwealth’s capital in 1780, Richmond, Virginia, is a vibrant mix of history, diverse culture and real-world opportunities. Its rich history is much in evidence in the architecture, the Capitol grounds and the cobblestone streets around the city. Distinct neighborhoods, cozy restaurants and cafes and quaint local markets give the city an intimate feel, but theaters, galleries, music festivals, sports attractions and a steady stream of annual events bring RVA -- as locals call the region -- to life. With the historic James River and 550 acres of parks bordering it, bike trails, wineries, breweries, a flourishing arts, entertainment and restaurant scene and affordable suburbs, this small city with a low cost of living punches well above its weight in terms of attractions and buzz. In fact, the New York Times named Richmond one of 52 places in the world to visit in 2020.
Richmond’s location in the middle of the state allows for day or weekend trips to the beach, the Blue Ridge Mountains or Virginia’s many wineries (Travel + Leisure magazine named Virginia one of its five wine regions in the world to visit now). Richmond’s location places VCU within a two-hour drive of Washington, D.C., and a multitude of excellent institutions of higher education. It is within a day’s drive of 50 percent of the nation’s population and is in the path of growth in the mid-Atlantic metropolitan corridor. The Richmond metropolitan area is also home to 10 Fortune 1000 companies, a broad base of financial companies, hospitals and media firms, high-tech manufacturing companies and state and local government agencies. TIME magazine’s No. 2 city in the United States for attracting millennial talent, Richmond is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country.
Beyond Richmond, CNBC has named Virginia as the No. 1 state in the country to do business. It has accomplished this by bringing in over $18.5 billion in capital investment and over 50,000 new jobs; investing in education; expanding access to quality healthcare for all; making sure everyone has access to opportunity; and more. Suffice to say, Virginia is full of growth and opportunity.
According to the Center for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index, Q3 2019, the region’s overall cost of living is over five percent below the national average, 94.4 and 100.0, respectively. Housing costs, which account for 29 percent of the index, are nearly 16 percent lower in the Richmond area than the national average.
The Richmond region offers many options for transport, both around the city and to other areas in the state. Learn more below about the GRTC bus and rapid bus transit systems and travel available through Richmond International Airport and Amtrak, as well as information on bike transport.
Getting around in Richmond
Richmond offers many housing options and unique neighborhoods. The resources below offer a starting place to learn more about options for searching for property to buy or rent in Richmond.
Real Estate Costs
About the Community
Metro Richmond consists of the City of Richmond, Henrico County, Chesterfield and Hanover County, which represents about 75% of the approximately 1.3M people in the region. Interstates 95, 64 and 295 connect the region with the James River providing Richmond commerce, entertainment and relaxation.
Use the menus below to explore information from our most-asked questions about Richmond.
Established as the commonwealth’s capital in 1780, Richmond, Virginia, is a vibrant mix of history, diverse culture and real-world opportunities. Its rich history is much in evidence in the architecture, the Capitol grounds and the cobblestone streets around the city. Distinct neighborhoods, cozy restaurants and cafes and quaint local markets give the city an intimate feel, but theaters, galleries, music festivals, sports attractions and a steady stream of annual events bring RVA to life.
Bisected by the James River, Richmond is a collection of many neighborhoods, both residential and commercial (and mixed-use) largely built from the early/middle 1800’s into the middle 1950s.
Richmond is surrounded by multiple counties, each with a rich history. Learn more about some of the surrounding counties using the links below:
Richmond is approximately 100 miles from Washington, DC, about 100 miles from Virginia Beach, 180 miles from the Outer Banks of NC, 70-90 miles from Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Research Triangle of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is about 2.4 to 3 hour car ride, Charlotte NC is about 4-5 hour car ride and New York is about an hour flight or a 6 hour train ride.
The greater Richmond area has many options for both childcare, eldercare and schools, including both public and private options.
Childcare and eldercare resources
Schools and surrounding counties
Richmond is known for its cultural, historic, and arts attractions. Whether you enjoy museums, gardens, walking and bike trails or outdoor festivals, the greater Richmond area has something for everyone.
Recreation Arts and Entertainment - Tourist Attractions
- 12 Top Rated Tourists Attractions in Richmond VA
- Museums in Richmond
- Trip Advisor - 10 Best Zoos & Aquariums in Virginia
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
- Recreation and Leisure - Greater Richmond Partnership
Art and Cultural Activities - Historic Landmarks
Richmond has an expansive number of restaurants, with new dining options opening constantly. The greater Richmond area is also home to a thriving nightlife scene and opportunities locally and within driving distance for shopping and outdoor recreation.
Richmond has a multitude of options for outdoor activities and recreation, including options in the surrounding counties.
The state of Virginia is committed to supporting veterans and military families, including benefits and care.