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Old 03-17-2013, 08:19 PM
49 posts, read 319,175 times
Reputation: 53


I think Staunton is a great place to raise a family..so much so that I am planning to move to the Shenandoah Valley myself. Rockingham county or Augusta county are also great. I attended college in the valley and fell in love with it. Because there are so many colleges around, there is quite a bit of diversity politically speaking. There are some 'hippy' stores in Staunton, some terrific farmers markets and in Harrisonburg there are some great community organizations like 'Our Community Place' that I would definitely check out and 'The little Grill". There are some great churches all around Harrisonburg from conservative to really modern with rock-band like worship to traditional mennonite to very very progressive churches. There is at least one synagogue in Staunton as well.

There are also a number of amazing local coffee shops that are perfect for a quiet morning, reading a book! Basically...I love Staunton and Harrisonburg and all the beautiful mountains in between.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:10 PM
Location: Charlottesville VA
2 posts, read 11,713 times
Reputation: 25
If you wanted a place like Charlottesville, why not just move to Charlottesville? I was born in C'ville and have lived all over (LA, Austin, NYC, Princeton NJ, Middletown CT) and much prefer Staunton.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:56 PM
475 posts, read 900,184 times
Reputation: 274
Originally Posted by strawberrykiki View Post
I grew up in Staunton and all of my family still lives there. It's a nice quiet place to live. Growing up it was pretty conservative and it is still pretty conservative in the counties outside, although I heard that the city of Staunton itself went Democratic in the last election. There's a nice downtown area with some neat shops and restaurants. A lot of the people that I know in Staunton are born and raised there, but I don't see any reason why people wouldn't be friendly and welcoming towards newcomers. I definitely think Staunton is a great place to raise kids. I'm happy to answer any specific questions you have. Good luck!
Looking at the weather info on City Data it looks like you have a good deal of snow. About the same as SE Mi -10'' in Jan. The temps run about 10 degrees higher though with an average Jan high of 40. Would you say that is accurate? Does much of the snow melt quickly? How is the driving on the hills when snowy ? It looks like a beautiful town and just the right size.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:43 AM
Location: Charlottesville VA
2 posts, read 11,713 times
Reputation: 25
Well, there is snow in the winter but this is Virginia not Michigan. It simply has not been an issue even with my under-powered front wheel drive car. We get four distinct and lovely seasons and I thank God every day for the privilege of living in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:53 AM
1 posts, read 5,716 times
Reputation: 46
Default Staunton - beneath the surface...

Life in Staunton:

Based on my own experience, I find Staunton is full of paradoxes and contradictions.

There is a lovely downtown with many historic buildings. There were more historic buildings, but city leaders, in their wisdom, elected to pull these down. The Gospel Hill area seems to be more favored and maintained since this is where more of the Staunton echelon live. There are several other historic neighborhoods where the city leaders seem to turn a blind eye to old dwellers who live in decrepit conditions while harassing new residents with lots of obstacles in renovating and improving their homes. For example, it is common to see both live and dead rats on the sidewalks in the Newtown Historic district (check out the 800 block of West Beverley) because over-filled garbage cans sit along the sidewalk instead of the city utilizing the back alleys.

There seems to be three major groups of people in Staunton - (1) "recent" residents who are generally well educated, worldly and interested in improving the city and restoring the historic nature of Staunton, (2) "old" Staunton residents with some money, a tight-knit group and who buy property at low prices (usually at auctions) with little interest in improving the properties and (3) "under-educated and under-socialzed" residents who have lived in the valley all of their lives and resent the other two groups. Expect lots of "anti-social" behavior from group 3 if you live in certain areas of Staunton... Be prepared for many old structures that have been cut up into numerous apartments with minimal upkeep performed from group 2. And since these "landlords" are often connected directly or indirectly with the city leadership, nothing is done to change this situation.

While downtown Staunton is charming, it is primarily composed of restaurants and "antique/tchatchke" shops with few other types of urban commerce. On Mondays and throughout the winter, many places are closed and the streets are empty. A walk through downtown Staunton at any time will show a constant cycle of shops closing and storefronts sitting empty for very long periods of time. The "business development" organization in the city is unproductive. And good luck getting the Staunton police to respond or patrol certain areas of the city.

Staunton is a nice place to retire - but can be extremely frustrating for anyone wishing to participate in the development of this city or living a more complete urban experience.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:09 PM
Location: Thornrose
894 posts, read 2,314,193 times
Reputation: 1308
I have to agree with the above post, however, this is something completely not unique to Staunton. I currently live in the Charlottesville area, and while the area immediately surrounding the University and most of the downtown area are pristine, most of what you complained about in Staunton happens in Charlottesville too. And pretty much every other town or city to some degree.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:15 PM
Location: Mclean, Va; West Palm Beach, Fl
513 posts, read 961,183 times
Reputation: 324
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:01 AM
Location: The Old Dominion
774 posts, read 1,693,161 times
Reputation: 1186
Staunton is a sweet little town with pros & cons, naturally.

Danville is an unmitigated pit.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:21 PM
28 posts, read 59,650 times
Reputation: 20
MaggieTolly I would love to know what you find out! We are in the same situation. We would love to be completely off grid capable eventually but still have a cute downtown mainstreet feel to the town. We are planning to visit in September. We have heard good things about Harrisonburg? I saw an amazing property for sale in Crozet (unfortunately it was over $400,000 and we aren't moving soon) but the more I looked it looked like a ton of new housig developments had just been built (read:ripped down all the trees )
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:30 PM
13 posts, read 15,797 times
Reputation: 26
Staunton has given way to fast food places all along Rt. 250. The City is also allowing real estate developers to invade the beauty of the landscape that once was. Everywhere you look you see signs by these developers advertising acres of land for sale, either for commercial purposes or residential. Trees are being cut down all over to make way. It is so sad to see this happening to what was a quaint town in the Shenandoah Valley. There once was very little traffic, now the main roads are crowded with drivers speeding along the way always in a hurry to get somewhere. This quaint town in the Valley is no more. There are so many buildings that have been abandoned and have become eyesores. Why aren't these being renovated and made use of instead of tearing down trees and building new construction. What a waste of resources. And, we have the City to blame. There is no beauty left to this town. You have to travel the back roads to see anything nice. It is becoming a city like Harrisonburg (which also was once a beautiful town. I would not advise moving here if you are looking for quiet.
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