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The 30 Safest Cities in Virginia

30 safest cities virginia

Dissected by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and boasting more than one hundred miles of Atlantic coastline, Virginia is a beautiful state that’s rich with history and culture. It also offers conscientious parents a number of safe cities to raise their family. We’ve found 30 of them, and here’s how we did it.

We used FBI Crime Report data from 2012 as the backbone of our report and paired it with our own thorough research. We then narrowed down the options to cities with a population of 3,000 or above. We analyze the number of Violent Crimes, consisting of aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, and robbery, as well as Property Crimes, consisting of arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Then, we then calculate the chance of these crimes happening out of one thousand in order to level the playing field for cities of varying populations. Our purpose was to get at the heart of the issue, and give you the information to answer this important question: “What is the chance of crime happening to me or my loved ones?”

We believe the FBI Crime Report is our best source for trusted, comprehensive crime statistics, however not all cities have reported complete data to the FBI and that could be why you don’t see your city on our list.

If you’d like to know more about staying safe in Virginia, check out the Virginia Home Security and Crime Prevention Center. Read on to discover why Virginia may be for lovers, but it’s also fabulous for families.

1. Broadway

The Town of Broadway earned the honor of fetching first place on our Safe Cities of Virginia list. Founded in 1888, this Tree City USA is just 1.8 square miles but offers a quality of life that you’ll get used to quickly. Situated in historic Shenandoah Valley, Broadway is especially attractive to active families. Move to Broadway and your kids will make friends quickly at the Community Park and Pool, and enjoy heading out for weekend bicycling adventures on any one of the regions vast assortment of hike and bike trails.

Broadway is served by several highways and Interstate 81, so in less than 30 minutes you can be exploring enchanting national and state parks. And rest assured, a visit to world famous Luray Caverns will never get old. Best of all, you’ll sleep soundly knowing Broadway’s small but dedicated police force is keeping crime at bay. When you call Broadway home, you’ll have a less than 1 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of violent crime, and 1 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a property crime.

Broadway,Image: Town of Broadway

2. Poquoson

Low unemployment, nominal crime, well respected schools and stunning sunrises are just a few reasons you’ll want to make the move to this special waterfront community. Poquoson residents enjoy a laid back lifestyle plus easy access to Interstate 64 and every amenity they could need. The charming city hasn’t been overlooked by the media either. In fact, “Business Week” honored Poquoson as the “Best Affordable Suburb” in Virginia and “CNBC” named it on its list of the “10 Perfect Suburbs in America.” Poquoson is also a business-friendly city where you’ll discover strong yet sensible economic growth and access to a comprehensive Business Resource Guide.

As if living on the water doesn’t offer you and your family enough opportunities for fun, Poquoson also provides an amazing assortment of recreational activities for family members of all ages. From basic crochet to women’s volleyball, boating courses, birding classes, an incredible adult learning series and every youth sport league you can think of, Poquoson’s community recreation guide is jam-packed with things to do. Watch this short video and learn more about why “Poquoson is the Place” 12,000 lucky residents call home.

Poquoson,Image: PoquosonWaterfront, CC BY 2.0

3. Purcellville

Purcellville offers an ideal blend of culture, charm and entertainment. The Loudon County city also provides your family with quaint boutiques, an assortment of locally owned restaurants and a fabulous famer’s market. When the weekend rolls in, strap on skates or jump on your bicycles are head to the popular Washington and Old Dominion Trail. This 45 mile paved rail trail leads you through dozens of charming Northern Virginia towns, and offers a parallel horse trail along much of the trail.

When you’re in the mood to listen to live jazz, enjoy the beauty of ballet, or laugh at a first-rate comedy, head to the Franklin Park Arts Center. This Purcellville gem is recognized at the leading venue for the performing and visual arts in the region and offers a wonderful selection of youth art programs. The chance of being affected by a violent crime in Purcellville is less than 1 in 1,000, and there’s a 7 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a property crime.

4. Berryville

Just 60 miles west of our nation’s capital, nestled in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, you’ll discover the safe city of Berryville. If you enjoy the arts and culture and want to give your children immeasurable opportunities to explore their creativity, Berryville could be your new hometown. Chartered in 1789, the historically rich city of Berryville is home to the bountiful Clarke County Farmer’s Market, as well as the popular Barns of Rose Hill. The top-rated performing arts venue and gallery features live music, seminars, plays and diverse programming that your family will enjoy time and again.

Berryville also offers well-known Opus Oaks, a place where pre-school, school-age and adults can explore the wonderful world of art while cultivating their talent in print making, photography, sculpture and more. Opus Oaks summer camps are a hit with kids of every age and help your child develop confidence in his or her creative side. Superb countryside, a charming downtown district and citizenry that values community service are more reasons why those who make the move to Berryville rarely leave.

Berryville,Image: DwayneP, CC BY 3.0

5. Colonial Beach

If lazy days at the beach, boating, fishing and bicycling appeal to your family, you owe it to them to explore the safe city of Colonial Beach. Situated between the Potomac River and Monroe Bay, Colonial Beach is located at the northern tip of Virginia’s Northern Neck, and is distinguished as one of the few remaining small seaport towns of the region.

When you move to Colonial Beach, you can leave your car in the garage; your golf cart will take you to almost anywhere you wish to go. Spend Sunday afternoons traversing the bicycle trails of the Northern Neck Heritage Trail Bicycling Route or visit a historic site like George Washington Birthplace National Monument where kids will enjoy exploring the colonial farm, and interpreters re-create life on an 18th-century plantation. Or head to Stratford Hall Plantation, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee. Gardening classes, wine dinners, lectures and book signings are just a few of the many opportunities this sprawling plantation offers.

ColonialImage: Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY 3.0

6. Vienna

Are you looking for a safe city that has everything to offer? You’ve found it. Vienna is a bustling northern Virginia city situated just south of the Potomac River and a mere 17 miles west of Washington, D.C. Commuters will appreciate Vienna’s location to the Metro line and Washington’s Beltway 495. From access to amazing high-end retail shops, to famous restaurants and unending entertainment, date night in Vienna will never disappoint you or your spouse.

When it’s girl’s night out, catch a show at northern Virginia’s leading outdoor performance venue, Wolf Trap National Park. Family fun abounds in Vienna too. Plan a Saturday full of laughter at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods where storytelling, music, dance and puppetry are just a few of the programs your kids will beg for.

Although Vienna is a contemporary city populated with well manicured housing developments and a myriad of shopping centers, it also provides your family the chance to explore the great outdoors. When you put down roots in Vienna you’ll have a handful of hiking trails right out your backdoor, including Pocosin Mission Hiking Trail, Powell Gap Hiking Trail, and Simmons Gap Hiking Trail which parallels a quiet stream and is the perfect place to camp or fish.

Vienna,Image: Ron Cogswell, CC BY 2.0

7. Blacksburg

Often recognized as one of the nation’s best places to live, Blacksburg is situated between the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and Alleghany Mountains, and has a reputation as an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. You might visit the Price House Nature Center, or enjoy a short jaunt or an extended travel along the Shenandoah Bike Trail. Then put Fido in the car and head to Blacksburg’s fantastic dog park, where you and your pal will meet new friends. Or stay right at home and take in amazing vistas right from your back porch.

If shopping interests you, Blacksburg won’t disappoint you. In fact, Blacksburg residents brag about their art galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty stores. The arts are abound in Blacksburg and you can expect a number of family friendly outdoor performances. Blacksburg is also part of one of the most respected public school systems in the country, Montgomery County. The chance of being affected by a violent crime in Blacksburg is less than 1 in 1,000, and there’s an 11 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a property crime.

Blacksburg,Image: EAG, CC BY 3.0

8. Lexington

Lexington not only ensures its residents enjoy safe streets, it also gives youth plenty of healthy activities to choose from. The Lexington Office on Youth serves up after-school programs for elementary through high school students as well as a popular Summer Fun Youth Program. The Rockbridge Area Recreation Association offers a huge assortment of leagues and classes, and Lexington’s domed community pool allows a slew of aquatic activities to take place year-round.

If you’re relocating a business to Lexington, you’ll be glad to know this safe Virginia city is just an hour southwest of Charlottesville, and conveniently located near the intersection of Interstates 64 and 81. Main Street Lexington is the place to head for everything you need to know about opening up shop. The volunteer-based organization is just one year old but it’s already making great strides in preserving, enhancing and promoting downtown.


9. Smithfield

When the “Virginia Review” claims a community is “without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Virginia” there’s a good chance it has a lot to offer. That’s just what has been said about Smithfield. Good schools, safe streets, affordable housing and a small town vibe are just a handful of reasons why Smithfield is not only beautiful, it’s a great place to raise a family. A full schedule of parades, and other family oriented events only add to its appeal. Smithfield also recently opened Smithfield Center. This modern, fresh, state-of-the-art community and conference center is earning Smithfield lots of kudos and is the perfect outlet for a class reunion, wedding or corporate program.

It’s clear Smithfield is looking to the future, but not at the expense of its past. In fact, it offers a well-recognized revitalized downtown, streets flaunting architecture dating back to the 1700 and 1800s, and has long been home to Fortune 500 Company Smithfield Foods, Inc. It was also one of the first 20 communities designated as a Preserve America Community thanks to its efforts to preserve its unique culture and heritage.

More than 260 years old and growing strong, our bet is Smithfield will entice you. When you make your home in Smithfield, there’s a 1 in 1,000 chance you or a loved one will be a victim of a violent crime and a 12 in 1,000 chance you or a loved one will be a victim of a property crime.


10. Strasburg

Founded in 1761, Strasburg is situated in a picturesque valley between Massanutten Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located in the midst of several battlefields, Strasburg is known for its exciting Civil War history. But it also boasts centuries-old passion for pottery, a cornucopia of architectural styles and a rich agricultural heritage.

Although times have changed since the city was chartered in 1761, its appreciation of its fertile land hasn’t. In fact, the city’s Signal Knob middle school was recently honored by the Future Farmers of America (FFA) as the number one FFA middle school chapter in America. Previously, the school was named as the number one chapter in Virginia for its generous community service and environmental projects. If you want to surround your children with clean air, hardworking people and safe streets, Strasburg could be your next move. There’s less than 2 in 1,000 chance of a violent crime and 13 in one chance of a property crime in Strasburg.

Strasburg,Image: Strawser, CC BY 3.0

11. Dumfries

Located in Prince William County, Dumfries is a petite city that measures just 1.6 square miles, but it’s overflowing with innovation and welcoming neighbors. If you’re considering making the move to Dumfries you’ll undoubtedly benefit from its comprehensive newcomers guide and be glad to learn the city offers a thriving business environment.

Noted as the oldest continuous chartered town in Virginia, Dumfries enjoys a long history as a bustling commercial center. Today it offers residents close proximity to the finest health care, an abundance of recreational opportunities and pioneering programs such as its recently launched “Know Your Worth” program for middle school and high school aged girls. When your family is ready to get some fresh air, you’ll want to head for Prince William Forest National Park. Noted as the most expansive forest in the Washington, D.C. region, the park offers nearly 40 miles of hiking trails and 21 miles of bicycle friendly roads and trails. Small and friendly, you’ll get to know your Dumfries neighbors in no time.

Dumfries,Image: Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY 3.0

12. Bridgewater

A focus on environmental protection, main street beautification and recreation make Bridgewater a sure-bet for any family. Summer concerts, community wide yard sales, lawn parties and running races are just a few of the activities you can look forward to in Bridgewater. From crime prevention tips to local history highlights, the city’s newsletter “Current” is a must-read for newcomers. The planned Generations Park will offer your family even more things to do. Featuring a farmer’s market, ice skating rink, pedestrian-friendly shopping and retail space, there’s no doubt it will quickly become a community gathering place.

Settle in Bridgewater and your family will not only enjoy more than 10 parks covering nearly 100 acres, they’ll have a blast peddling on or off road on one of the area’s bicycling trails. And don’t forget to pack your clubs, because Bridgewater is home to Sandy Bottom Park. This fun par three, nine-hole course skirts the North River and it’s free!

Bridgewater,Image: Strawser, CC BY 3.0

13. Manassas Park

Located just 30 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., Manassas Park is a premier Northern Virginia city. Big enough to deliver every amenity you want, but small enough that you’ll know your neighbors, the safe, family oriented city of Manassas Park offers a quality of life you’ll quickly become accustomed to. Recognized by “Money” magazine on its list of the Top 100 Best Small Cities in America in 2011, Manassas Park has enjoyed amazing growth. In fact, from 2000 to 2011, its population grew a remarkable 39 percent.

The city’s motto is “Salus Populi Suprema Lex” which means “The Welfare of the People is our Supreme Law.” To that end, Manassas Park offers residents a state-of-the-art community center and prolific recreation programming. It also boasts a number of “block parks.” Strategically located in neighborhoods, these small parks ensure you and your toddler will never have to travel far to meet pals for playdates. If your family is fortunate enough to make the move to Manassas Park, they won’t have to be preoccupied with safety. That’s because there’s just a 1 in 1,000 chance of violent crime in Manassas Park and a 15 in 1,000 chance of property crime.

ManassasImage: City of Manassas Park

14. West Point

If you’re searching for a city that’s both safe and education focused, look no further. Situated in King William County, where the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers unite, West Point has earned lots of kudos for its outstanding public school system. Not only have West Point public schools earned the “Distinguished Title I School Division” six years in a row, and the “Virginia Board of Education’s Excellence Award,” 95 percent of West Point’s high school graduates go on to college.

Move to West Point and you’ll have your choice of bicycling and hiking trails, fabulous parks, and sports facilities. And when the weekend rolls in, head out for a relaxing paddle in your kayak or take the family out for a fabulous day of fishing. Noted for its unparalleled scenery, strong focus on education and much higher than average median household incomes, West Point is waterfront living at its best.

15. Herndon

You’ll want to head for Herndon if you’re looking for strong community cohesiveness, flourishing economic development and safe neighborhoods. Located in Fairfax County, just 22 miles west of Washington, D.C and two miles from Dulles International Airport, Herndon is earning a well deserved reputation as a high-tech business hub. It also offers competitively priced office, industrial and retail space, a well educated, highly skilled workforce and a host of resources for businesses.

Herndon deserves applause for developing an ingenious brand logo and a well defined brand identity that successfully promotes it as a “Next Generation Small Town.” We weren’t surprised to discover that “Time” magazine referred to Herndon as “One of the great economic success stories of our time.” While Herndon is focused on the future, it also cherishes its past. Its downtown has long served as a genuine town center, and Herndon’s recently adopted Downtown Master Plan ensures it will continue to do so for generations to come. There’s a 1 in 1,000 chance of violent crime in Manassas Park and a 15 in 1,000 chance of property crime.

Herndon,Dion Hinchcliffe, CC BY 2.0

16. Falls Church

Falls Church is noted as an ethnically diverse, warm and welcoming city that offers boundless volunteer opportunities. From park clean-up days to long-term student mentoring, to special programs like the Neighborhood Tree Program that promotes the planting of trees to improve air quality, reduce summer temperatures and enhance neighborhood curb appeal.

Initiated by the Village Preservation and Improvement Society nearly 15 years ago, the highly successful Neighborhood Tree Program is run by an ambitious force of citizen volunteers. Dedicated to environmental harmony, Falls Church is honored as the first city in Virginia to be named an EPA Green Power Community. Move to Falls Church and you can say goodbye to those nightmare commutes.

This safe city is located along the Metro line, and offers easy access to Routes 66 and 50. If Falls Church becomes your new home, you’ll appreciate this printable newcomers’ checklist and knowing that there’s less than 1 in 1,000 chance of violent crime and 16 in 1,000 chance of property crime.

FallsImage: Payton Chung, CC BY 2.0

17. Williamsburg

Williamsburg is infamous for its rich history, but it’s also a safe place to call home. One reason the residents of Williamsburg enjoy a low crime rate is because of the city’s commitment to continuously improving the quality of life in its neighborhoods. Five years ago the city and The College of William and Mary formed the Neighborhood Relations Committee to help bring together the resources offered by various parties such as the city, students, landlords and neighbors to enhance quality of life in Williamsburg.

Just over ten years ago, Williamsburg became involved in the “Citizens Corp” initiative and developed Neighborhood Response Teams. Comprised of community volunteers who partner with the city to prepare for and respond to natural or manmade disasters, Williamsburg’s Neighborhood Response Teams program earns our respect for progressive thinking. And with almost 40 percent of the city being open space or protected areas, your kids will never run out of safe places to play in Williamsburg.

Williamsburg,Image: Tasma3197, CC BY 3.0

18. Fairfax

If you value the arts, you’re going to fall fast and hard for Fairfax. Created 35 years ago, the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts has done an impressive job of promoting the arts and planting the seed for artistic expression to bloom. Today, residents enjoy a wealth of art-focused events like the Annual Spotlight on the Arts Festival, and children are treated to a range of performances at Old Town Hall. Learn more about Fairfax’s creative programming by taking a peak at its impressive “Leisure Times” publication.

In addition to being safe and art-centric, this Northern Virginia city offers a variety of housing. From condos to townhomes to sprawling high-end single family homes, housing in Fairfax will exceed your expectations as will its low crime. There’s less than 1 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Fairfax, and a 19 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of property crime.

FairfaxImage: Slowking4, CC BY 3.0

19. Wytheville

Located in beautiful southwest Virginia, Wytheville exudes small town charm. Enjoy a bike ride through its historic downtown and you’ll notice wide, uncluttered streets dotted with a diverse collection of locally owned stores and more than 50 historically interesting structures. Plan a weekend getaway in your own back yard with trips to the famous wineries scattered along the Mountain Crossroad Artisan Trail, or head to the farmer’s market and prepare a fine meal made with the very freshest ingredients.

If music is your passion, you’ll be excited to learn that Wytheville is located on the Crooked Road V.A. Heritage Music Trail. From bluegrass to beach music to open mic nights, there’s always a foot-stopping music event happening in Wytheville. Adventurers will find all the thrill they can handle on New River. Offering I-IV rapids, it’s the perfect place to kayak. Or grab your fishing gear and enjoy an afternoon of reeling in Smallmouth Bass, Musky or Walleye. Whatever your pleasure, Wytheville is the place to enjoy it.

Wytheville,Image: Mark Warner, CC BY 2.0

20. Warrenton

There are plenty of reasons you’ll want to call Warrenton home, one of which is its convenient location. Situated in Northern Virginia, it will take you less than an hour to get to Washington, D.C., and it’s a mere 35 minute drive to Dulles International Airport. Warrenton is also part of affluent Fauquier County, which ranked number eight on the U.S. Census Bureau list of highest-income counties in the United States in 2011.

Warrenton receives continuous kudos for its well managed growth, and is dedication to open space. In fact, it enjoys the distinction of being recognized as a Preserve America Community. When you raise your kids in Warrenton, you can feel good knowing they have access to one of the country’s finest aquatic and fitness facilities. Built just six years ago, the nearly 60,000 square foot Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility (WARF) offers a massive fitness room, indoor competition pool, water slide, lazy river and zero depth entry pool. The area surrounding WARF features paved hiking paths, and an amazing playground that was designed to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities. An inline skating rink and skate park round-out the facility’s list of family-friendly amenities.

Warrenton,Image: Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY 3.0

21. Alexandria

There’s no doubt George Washington would be proud of his adopted hometown. Not only is Alexandria safe, it’s also focused on providing a variety of healthy things to do and offers a distinctive cosmopolitan vibe that’s incredibly alluring. From a visit to the Torpedo Factory Art Center located in Alexandria’s waterfront district along the Potomac River, to one of the city’s handful of popular farmer’s markets, to a slew of special events, every weekend can be packed with entertainment.

When it’s date night, you’ll find Alexandria offers first-class dining, a variety of pubs and bars and unique romantic treats like boat cruises. Of course, Alexandria is one of the country’s most historic cities and as such offers unique exhibits, wonderful museums and a range of historic events. In fact, Alexandria is accredited as a museum system by the American Alliance of Museums thanks to their top-notch programming and engaging programs. Located right outside the nation’s capital, this hip city is also convenient for commuters.

We were quite impressed to discover citizens of this roughly 146,000 resident city have less than 2 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, and 20 in 1,000 chance of being victim of a property crime.


22. Salem

You know what they say about location and Salem has got it. If you want to be surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Salem is calling you. Located in the Shenandoah Valley along the Roanoke River, Salem is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise that’s ideal for families. Salem’s Roanoke River Greenway ensures its citizens can take advantage of open space. Part of Roanoke Valley Greenways, the initiative is building an expansive multi-use trail system. Approximately four miles of the Greenway are complete, and many more are in some phase of development.

Safe and beautiful, Salem also offers your children a fantastic education. In recent years, two of Salem’s public schools have been honored by the Virginia Board of Education for their students’ performance. Pair Mother Nature with smart planning, and you’ve created the healthy city of Salem.

Salem,Image: City of Salem

23. Harrisonburg

Situated in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, Harrisonburg is just off Interstate 81 and serves as the county seat of Rockingham County. A city rich with culinary experiences, when you move to Harrisonburg and your taste buds will thank you time and time again. In fact, downtown Harrisonburg was named as Virginia’s first Downtown Culinary District. The city offers a culinary culture that you’d be hard pressed to find in cities twice its size. When you go out for dinner, you’ll enjoy a true dining experience.

In addition to the city’s nearly 30 eating establishments in the downtown district, you’ll also enjoy grabbing fresh produce at the farmers market, or shopping at the local co-op grocery store. When friends come to visit, sign up for a food tour or enjoy a sense stimulating festival such as the Taste of Downtown, or a nearby beer, wine, or food event. Harrisonburg is full of flavor!

Harrisonburg,Image: alma_mater, CC BY 3.0

24. Leesburg

Leesburg loves business and takes your child’s education seriously. Founded in 1758, Leesburg has a solid history of smart growth that has produced a stellar family-focused environment. If you’re fortunate enough to relocate to Leesburg you’ll quickly discover that it offers a variety of business assistance resources and innovative programs for youth. The popular annual Youth Career Expo is just one example. The Expo is a great place for high school and college kids to find a part-time job, or embark on their career. This year, nearly 80 businesses are expected to participate and those who attend have the chance to take advantage of interview skills training and resume writing resources.

Served by Loudoun County Public Schools, Leesburg children enjoy access to a first-rate education system. Locals take pride in the fact that “Newsweek” ranks all of Loudoun County’s eligible high schools in the best 1,000 high schools in the U.S. Leesburg also offers a technical school and impressive child care centers.

Of course, we’re honoring Leesburg as one of Virginia’s safest cities, and it could be because its police department does an excellent job of keeping citizens informed about crime. We were impressed to find that the department keeps its website up to date with crime reports, arrest reports and wanted posters in addition to a wealth of helpful crime fighting tips. Take a virtual tour of Leesburg, and you’ll fall in love!

Leesburg,Image: Dion Hinchcliffe, CC BY 3.0

25. Staunton

Although Staunton residents enjoy easy access to Richmond, Charlottesville and Washington, D.C., they usually find everything they want right at home. Located at the crossroads of Interstate 81 and Interstate 64 in the stunning Shenandoah Valley, Staunton has a charming appeal that is difficult to find these days. Want proof? “Southern Living” magazine named Staunton “One of the prettiest and most progressive towns in the South” and “Smithsonian” magazine ranked it as one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America of 2012.

Charming and safe, Staunton is also business friendly. You’ll find a welcoming business community and loads of networking opportunities. Staunton also provides a plethora of startup resources, including the helpful Staunton Creative Community Fund and the Staunton Downtown Development Association. Welcoming, charismatic and offering a relatively lower cost of living, when you move to Staunton you’ll feel like you’ve come home. You’ll also enjoy a sense of security because the there’s less than 2 in 1,000 chance of violent crime and 21 in 1,000 chance of property crime.

Staunton,Image: henristosch, CC BY 2.0 DE

26. Altavista

If you’re searching for a safe city that offers a stress-free atmosphere but plenty of opportunities, you’ve just found it. Altavista is a quaint community of less than 5,000 residents that provides your family a nearly ideal lifestyle. Tree-lined streets frame Victorian-era homes, neighborhood kids stroll along the city’s plentiful sidewalks, and locally own boutiques make for a fun shopping adventure. When it’s time to get moving, head to Altavista’s YMCA or paddle the nearby Staunton River.

On a laid-back Saturday afternoon you can take the kids to enjoy a show put on by Altavista’s theatre troupe, or enjoy one of the city’s many events, such as its famous Uncle Billy’s Day festival where you’ll be treated to a fireworks extravaganza you’ll never forget. Buy fresh produce and meat at the Trade Lot Barter every first Saturday of the month, or pack a picnic and head to the Shreve Park where your kids will skip rocks in the creek while you enjoy some well deserved relaxation.

Altavista,Image: Orygun, CC BY 3.0

27. Clifton Forge

Clifton Forge is part of the Alleghany Highlands, located at the southern tip of the Shenandoah Valley. Surrounded by boundless recreational opportunities, Clifton Forge offers your family plenty of healthy fun. Your kids will grow up hiking, biking, camping and fishing thanks to nearby Douthat State Park, Lake Moomaw, and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. They might also become trains enthusiasts, as Clifton Forge has a long railroad history and is home of the popular Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society.

Just a short drive from Clifton Forge you’ll find a handful of well-respected universities, including Dabney Lancaster Community College and Washington and Lee University. This active city also boasts a few creative community oriented programs, such as DMV on Wheels. The wireless office on wheels offers all DMV services, including the ability to apply or renew your driver’s license, obtain vehicle titles and license plates. Clifton Forge is big on the outdoors, safe and offers a strong sense of community. Go for a visit and you might stay a lifetime.

CliftonImage: WaldoJ, CC BY 3.0

28. Manassas

Manassas exemplifies 21st century hometown America. Located just 30 miles from Washington, D.C., this tight-knit 10 square mile city offers a slew of community events, art and shopping. You won’t be living in Manassas long before you find yourself attending a show at the Harris Pavilion or the Hylton Performing Arts Center, signing up for a writing workshop or other artistic program. When it’s time to get your muscles moving, the place to head is the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center. One of the city’s most popular gathering points, you’ll find every fitness class you can imagine plus a state-of-the-art fitness room, Friday Fun Nights, drama and engineering classes for kids, and a fantastic assortment of camps. Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center even offers Freedom Preschool, an early childhood education program.

When you’re craving fresh air, pack up the kids and enjoy one of the city’s 11 parks, or a fun bicycling excursion along a perfectly paved path. Dedicated to family health, Manassas is safe city that will help every member of your family feel good. When you call Manassas home, there’s 3 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, and 22 in 1,000 chance of a property crime.


29. Wise

Nestled in the magical mountains of southwest Virginia, you’ll discover wonderful Wise. Noted as a historic town that never takes it eye off the future, Wise is quickly becoming a leader in lifestyle, technology and education. Plus, its residents are exceptionally welcoming. When you call Wise home, your family will enjoy frequenting an array of local shops where you’re sure to run into neighbors and meet new friends. Or head to any number of diverse events in and around Wise including the Appalachian Children’s Theatre or Wise’s famous Fall Fling.

Packed with regional artisans, authentic mountain food, and music with unique local flare, Fall Fling draws thousands of festival-goers and is sure to be an event your kids will beg for every year. Wise is safe, rich in stunning architecture and overflowing with natural beauty. Like the name implies, Wise is a smart move.

Wise,Image: jhb 10s, CC BY 3.0

30. Covington

Covington is a city of approximately 6,000 residents who have the pleasure of living in the Alleghany Highlands region of Virginia where there is an unending supply of things to do. Dedicated to preserving its rich heritage, Covington locals are equally focused on pursuing a prosperous future. In fact, Covington is honored as a “Virginia Certified Business Location” and a “Virginia Accredited Tourism Community.”

The seat of Alleghany County, Covington is a decidedly safe city with a strong sense of community cohesiveness and pride that you’re sure to treasure. If you’re thinking of making the move to Covington, you’ll want to explore these relocation resources.

Covington,Image: Jarekt, CC BY 3.0

We found a treasure chest of amazing safe cities in Virginia. If you’re thinking of moving to the Old Dominion state, consider investing in a home security system to fortify your defense against criminals.

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