9 Communities in Williamsburg

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Overview 

Williamsburg is a historic city located on the Virginia Peninsula between Richmond and Norfolk. This Eastern Virginia city is popular among retirees for its focus on history, local amenities, and outdoor and water recreation. Besides this, active adults can enjoy the quaint feel of a small town with a local farmers market, small-batch breweries, and museums.

Climate & Geography 

Located between the York and James Rivers at the end of the Chesapeake Bay, Williamsburg experiences a subtropical climate typical of the south with slightly more moderate temperatures. Summers are hot and long, with Atlantic sea breezes cooling down the hottest days, and winters are mild to cool. Residents can expect a very small amount of snowfall compared to cities further inland, and slightly more rain than average. Though the area experiences all four seasons, extreme temperatures are infrequent, and it avoids the worst of both northern and southern storm tracks.

Williamsburg composes one third of the Historic Triangle with Jamestown and Yorktown, and most of the city’s borders trace U.S. Routes 199 and 60.

Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment 

Much of Williamsburg’s recreation revels in its history. Residents can visit Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic Area of the city, as well as the Jamestown Settlement and Governor’s Palace, which also act as local museums. Merchant Square, with a mixture of high-end and boutique shops, restaurants, and bars, blends modern shopping with 18th-century inspired architecture.

Outdoor recreation is also abundant. Active adults can hike and rent paddle boats at York River State Park, enjoy guided walking tours at Colonial National Historic Park, and walk through the extensive Williamsburg Botanical Garden.

In addition, Williamsburg has a large farmers market on Saturdays, several breweries throughout the city, and Williamsburg Winery, the state’s largest winery. Just an hour away from Richmond, residents have easy access to larger city life when desired.

Cost of Living & Taxes 

Williamsburg has a higher than average cost of living compared to the rest of the U.S. Housing is more expensive than the rest of the country and especially Virginia, which already has a higher median home cost. Health care is also more expensive, but other factors like utilities, transportation, and groceries are far below average.

Though Social Security is not taxed in Virginia, the state does partially tax withdrawals from retirement incomes. Property taxes in the state are fairly low, and sales taxes are among the lowest in the country. Groceries are taxed, but face lower rates. 

Health Care

Williamsburg falls under the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area, which Gallup’s Well-Being Index recently ranked as one of the top 90 communities in the country.

There are no nationally ranked hospitals in Williamsburg, but it does have the U.S. News ranked high performing Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Three other hospitals in the immediate area include Eastern State Hospital-Williamsburg, Pavilion at Williamsburg Palace, and Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg.

Nearby high performing hospitals in Newport News are Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital and Riverside Regional Medical Center.

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