The best places to live in Richmond
Relocating to a new city can be daunting, and a smooth transition into one's new surroundings depends much on the neighbourhood one chooses to settle in. Richmond has a huge variety, each with its own unique character, and we'd encourage new arrivals to do a thorough recce before settling on one.
Where in Richmond new residents decide to make a home will depend on preference, lifestyle, whether they have children, and how much they'd be willing to spend.
Richmond is divided into five distinct districts: Downtown, East End, North Side, Southside and West End. Each of these districts contains several neighbourhoods, the most popular of which we've listed below.
Trendy neighbourhoods in Richmond
Scott’s Addition is one of Richmond’s trendiest and fastest-growing neighbourhoods. A lovely historic district, Scott’s Addition is today known for its slew of breweries, distilleries and vibey eateries. Popular with the young crowd, this bohemian area boasts a mix of rowhouses, condos and modern apartments set in historic buildings. A lot of creatives reside here too, as the area is home to several advertising agencies, marketing firms and film studios.
Located south of the James River, Manchester is another area popular with young professionals – particularly young techies and artists – and consists mostly of apartments and single-family homes. It combines all the amenities of urban living with easy access to the outdoors and fun river-based activities. Nearby Brown’s Island and Belle’s Island are also fun to explore. Its location is conveniently close to midtown, and it’s also super bicycle friendly.
The affluent suburb of Short Pump is immensely popular. It’s a mix of residential and commercial properties, with a variety of older and modern single-family homes, apartments and rowhouses. Residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining and shopping options, including the popular West Broad Village and Short Pump Town Center, an open-air mall with high-end stores and boutiques. Short Pump residents also have a very short commute, and those with kids have a wide selection of schools to choose from.
Those newcomers who want to be right in the mix should set their sights on Downtown Richmond. The area is in the midst of a dramatic upswing and the Broad Street corridor, in particular, is highly popular. Accommodation here consists of high-rise apartments, condos and funky industrial lofts. Residents in Downtown have a host of excellent restaurants, galleries, theatres and more right on their doorstep.
Family-friendly neighbourhoods in Richmond
Lakeside is located in Henrico Country north of the city, and is the ideal area for families. The leafy neighbourhood is bordered by Joseph Bryan Park and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, so there’s plenty of opportunity for joggers, strollers and picnickers to enjoy nature. With so much space and greenery, it may surprise newcomers that Lakeside is mere minutes from the city. Housing mainly consists of spacious single-family homes, many complete with big lawns and garages.
Chimborazo oozes charm and offers splendid views of the James River. The neighbourhood is part of the Oakwood-Chimborazo Historic District and boasts plenty of historic architecture. Indeed, house hunters who like their history will be excited to learn that Chimborazo boasts a large number of late 19th and early 20th-century brick homes ranging from Late Victorian to Queen Anne and Colonial Revival. Families love to explore Libby Hill Park, while Broad Street has a host of great eateries, coffee shops and pubs. Parents will be pleased to know that the area has plenty of good schools too.
A little further afield, but compensating with an abundance of space and greenery, Wakefield lies about an hour southeast of Richmond and is perfect for families looking to avoid the city bustle. Besides more spacious homes and yards, the other upsides of Wakefield include its proximity to Virginia Beach, a great selection of schools, good restaurants, quaint shops and plenty of small-town charm.
Are you an expat living in Richmond?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Richmond. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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