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Old 08-23-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Is Blacksburg, VA rural? Lots of farms, woods, open space, etc.? Or is it more of a classic suburb?

My in-laws are thinking of retiring down there. They currently live in Spencer, MA, a "can't get there from here" farm town in Mass., one of the few really rural towns in Massachusetts. I think they are looking for something similar in character, but just a little warmer!

Last edited by Bo; 08-23-2009 at 03:55 PM.. Reason: Moved from General US. Single-city rule.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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Blacksburg is a growing city. Population of about 43,000 plus 29,000 students at Virginia Tech. However you don't have to travel very far to find much more rural countryside.

Step into Blacksburg Virginia - About our Community

Blacksburg, Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:49 AM
j1n
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,240 posts, read 4,281,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp646 View Post
Is Blacksburg, VA rural? Lots of farms, woods, open space, etc.? Or is it more of a classic suburb?

My in-laws are thinking of retiring down there. They currently live in Spencer, MA, a "can't get there from here" farm town in Mass., one of the few really rural towns in Massachusetts. I think they are looking for something similar in character, but just a little warmer!
Rural? No. Classic suburb? No as well.
Blacksburg is a college town. If you are familiar with college towns, you will likely understand the positives and negatives that come with it.
Have they looked into the Floyd, VA area?
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Loudoun Cty, Virginia
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Definitely a college town, the town centers around Virginia Tech for the most part. While class is in session, the town is almost entirely students/people from VT. The small few blocks of downtown area are mostly small mom-n-pop shops and bars/restaurants. It's a quaint little town with pretty good food. As you travel outwards from the campus and student housing, it turns into a rather rural farming area. Beautiful blue ridge mountains and scenery, there are tons of outdoorsy activities to do in the area with the New River, surrounding Jefferson Nat'l Forest, and Blue Ridge Mtns.

Christiansburg is roughly a 10-15 minute drive from blacksburg, and provides everything you need for day-to-day life - there's a mall, walmart, restaurants, grocery, everything your typical suburb has.

The region itself is extremely beautiful, I loved going to school in blacksburg, but I'm not sure it'd be the best place to look for retirement (unless you're a hokie, as I'd probably love it, haha). I'd recommend some of the surrounding towns for retired people, as the blacksburg town itself is going to be loaded with young college kids and may not bode well with retired folks lifestyle.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j1n View Post
Rural? No. Classic suburb? No as well.
Blacksburg is a college town. If you are familiar with college towns, you will likely understand the positives and negatives that come with it.
Have they looked into the Floyd, VA area?

No, what's Floyd like?
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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What towns in VA would you recommend for retired folks?
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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One with a low cost of living and a good hospital system. Maybe a small town near Roanoke, Bristol, or Lynchburg. Small towns near lakes, rivers, and Hot Springs seem to be popular as retirement destinations. I'm sure people have a long list. Smith Mtn Lake, Abingdon, Floyd, Jonesborough (TN), Lewisburg (WV), Hot Springs, etc,
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
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Blacksburg is a college town. Period. Its not a retirement mecca, suburb or even a farming community. It is made up of pseudo intellectuals who are stuck in the 1960's, multi cultural non U.S. citizens, regular "Hokie Nation" football fanatics and thats about it. Surrounding Blacksburg there are many small towns with their own regional characteristics like blue collar workers, farmers, evangelicals and many who don't welcome "yankees". May I suggest looking at the next county of Franklin around the Smith Mountain Lake area?
There they will find more retired Northeasteners and a more rural farming area over there. Another spot north of Roanoke in the county of Botetourt. There they will have a rural area with easy access of Roanoke. We have a beautiful area down here and whatever spot they pick it is very close together.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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Originally Posted by jp646 View Post
No, what's Floyd like?
I live in Floyd Co. It is very rural, under 15,000 people, about 40,000 cows and many people also grow acres and acres of x-mas trees so lots of small pines. There is one traffic light, where state Rtes 8 and 221 intersect, and that is the center of the town of Floyd. It is about 22 miles south of I-81. There are a couple of horses pastured just one block from the light.

I've been told that only about half the roads in the county are paved although many that are not are well graded and graveled and a conventional passenger car handles them just fine.

It's an interesting mix of folks here, long time farming families, aging hippies who came in the 60's and 70's and newly retired people moving in from larger metropolitan areas all over the country. It is becoming a bit of a tourist destination, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs along the southern border of the county and there are several wineries in that area.

As far as businesses and services go you can find much of what you need here, hardware store, 2 grocery stores and a good little library. The is a very vibrant music scene here, blue grass, old time, gospel and the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store is a long time tradition with folks from 3 to 83 coming out to enjoy it. In fine weather there are also lots of other musicians who gather along the street and jam together for the fun of it. The Jacksonville Center is a small art gallery/studio complex. Most artists in the area have day jobs to support their art.

Floyd Country Store » Home

A local blogger/writer who tells about life in Floyd:

Mushroom a Day: #1

Big box stores are in Christainsburg, which is just north of the interstate on Rte 8. Plenty of churches, mostly leaning toward fundamentalist but it not the sort of place where if you don't belong to a church you will not have a social life. A couple of banks. Just a handful of restaurants, one Mexican place but no Chinese for 30 miles or so. The weekly newspaper is just 16 pages and has only local news. Access to high speed internet is available via the phone co. as is cable in some of the county but not all. Cell phone reception is spotty at best. Four elementary schools for K-8, one high school and the sports teams get lots of community support. Blood bank donations at the Methodist church on the first Friday of even numbered months. Donate and you get your name in the paper. A few doctors for routine care but you'll have to go up to the bergs or to Roanoke for specialists and hospitals. One country club/golf course. One laudromat, a couple of auto parts stores, several garages and body shops, 2 dollar stores, one video rental place so lots of people subscribe to Netflix. Pick up of outgoing mail at the mail boxes is once a day.

That's it for now cause I need more coffee.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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What's Blacksburg like? I hope you like drunk college students staggering around and red plastic beer cups. Blacksburg is best described as a drinking town with a football problem.... the students belt down beer and hard liquor at binge drinking parties like nobodys business, and the town administration doesnt want to address the problem because the football parties also bring alot of money to the town.
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