Richmond, VA waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 47
Demographics 51
Economy 62
Education 60
Health 51
Housing 54
Infrastructure 45

#27. Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA is a multi-faceted city with many claims to fame: It’s home to more than 900 restaurants and a widely recognized foodie scene. It was the site of many important moments throughout our nation’s history and the Virginia state capital. What’s more, Richmond has tons of amazing amenities and a relatively low cost of living for its 230,000 residents. From whitewater rafting to festivals to charming neighborhoods, Richmond really does have it all.

Top Colleges/Universities: Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond & Reynolds Community College

Top Industries & Employers: Capital One is one of the largest employers in Richmond, followed by Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and several other health care providers.

Weekend Plans: Make it an artsy Richmond weekend: Peruse the more than 70 art galleries that call Richmond home, pop into the free Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and explore the more than 100 murals that dot the city’s walls. Also, add the First Friday’s art walk and a trip to the Institute for Contemporary Art to the calendar, too.

Favorite Place to Feast: Perly’s, a beloved Jewish deli that makes incredible latkes, matzo ball soup, corned beef hash and babka.

Beloved Beverage: The seasonally inspired cocktails at Saison, which makes its own house-hopped tonic.

Outdoorsy Activity: Spend time exploring the expansive James River Park System, which spans more than 550 acres and includes 22 miles of trails that are perfect for cycling, walking or jogging. You can also kayak, whitewater raft, birdwatch, fish, swim and go rock climbing at this wilderness oasis in the city.

Rooftop Bar: Q Rooftop Bar at Quirk Hotel, a posh bar with great views for sipping craft cocktails, beer and wine.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: The Richmond SPCA is a huge community resource, offering pet training classes, a veterinary hospital, a pet behavior helpline and resource library, lists of pet-friendly places and housing, a pet visitation program and a program that cares for animals while their human guardians get out of domestic violence situations. They also offer a “School for Dogs,” which operates much like a school for children — just drop your pooch off for the day and an experienced trainer will offer personalized lessons! 

Remote Work Perk: Richmond is home to The Collab Spot, a Black-owned coworking space focusing on social justice, community events and integrated wellness services.

One More Thing … Edgar Allan Poe lived in Richmond at various points in his life. The city pays homage to the poet’s life and legacy with The Poe Museum, located in the historic Shockoe Bottom neighborhood.

– Sarah Kuta

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