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Old 10-29-2019, 06:26 PM
 
1,763 posts, read 2,434,585 times
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That’s a thoughtful response goofy328 and the fact that you grew up in the Midwest brings perspective to our area.

Bliss2424 – For what it’s worth, each area you listed is a good place to visit and has different sports and outdoor activities, cultural events, historic tourist attractions, and local hot spots. There are major historic sites in almost every county and wonderful outdoor opportunities, as you can get from the mountains to the ocean beaches in less than a day. You mentioned that you plan to visit in a few weeks and asked for further advice. That would mean you are visiting around Thanksgiving? If you are visiting multiple Virginia locations that means you are most likely driving (though you can get to all four locations using Amtrak). There are two main North/South corridors through Virginia – I-95 in the east and I-81 in the west. Both are brutal around the week of Thanksgiving. I-95 tends to jam heavily because of accidents or even due to no accidents at all. You can crawl along (or sit) for miles at a time. Twenty-mile (or more) backups are not unheard of. I-81 tends to move faster but has a lot of hills and curves, so you could come at speed into a pileup. Speed limits on some stretches of 81 are 70 mph, so the big trucks tend to do 80-90 in spots (and then maybe 40 up the steep grades). I regularly travel from NoVA to Roanoke but try to stay off 81 around the holidays because I get drained by the Mad Max Fury Road vibe. I prefer to wind along Route 11 (though that triples my drive time) or Rt 29 if I’m in more of a hurry. There are a lot of bridges and tunnels in the Hampton Roads area, traffic can choke very badly at times. If driving around there, it’s best to have an EZPass as a number of routes have tolls.

I recommend using a good traffic app (such as Waze) to plot alternatives to I-95 and I-81 around the holidays. Check your cell phone coverage maps – coverage for all wireless providers is good around the major metro areas but can get spotty outside of them.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,509 posts, read 8,513,342 times
Reputation: 3829
Quote:
Originally Posted by ersatz View Post
That’s a thoughtful response goofy328 and the fact that you grew up in the Midwest brings perspective to our area.

Bliss2424 – For what it’s worth, each area you listed is a good place to visit and has different sports and outdoor activities, cultural events, historic tourist attractions, and local hot spots. There are major historic sites in almost every county and wonderful outdoor opportunities, as you can get from the mountains to the ocean beaches in less than a day. You mentioned that you plan to visit in a few weeks and asked for further advice. That would mean you are visiting around Thanksgiving? If you are visiting multiple Virginia locations that means you are most likely driving (though you can get to all four locations using Amtrak). There are two main North/South corridors through Virginia – I-95 in the east and I-81 in the west. Both are brutal around the week of Thanksgiving. I-95 tends to jam heavily because of accidents or even due to no accidents at all. You can crawl along (or sit) for miles at a time. Twenty-mile (or more) backups are not unheard of. I-81 tends to move faster but has a lot of hills and curves, so you could come at speed into a pileup. Speed limits on some stretches of 81 are 70 mph, so the big trucks tend to do 80-90 in spots (and then maybe 40 up the steep grades). I regularly travel from NoVA to Roanoke but try to stay off 81 around the holidays because I get drained by the Mad Max Fury Road vibe. I prefer to wind along Route 11 (though that triples my drive time) or Rt 29 if I’m in more of a hurry. There are a lot of bridges and tunnels in the Hampton Roads area, traffic can choke very badly at times. If driving around there, it’s best to have an EZPass as a number of routes have tolls.

I recommend using a good traffic app (such as Waze) to plot alternatives to I-95 and I-81 around the holidays. Check your cell phone coverage maps – coverage for all wireless providers is good around the major metro areas but can get spotty outside of them.
Definitely. If OP needs offline maps they can use Here We Go or Google Maps. Most times Google Maps will recommend a download if it knows that you're going through areas your cellular provider does not have good coverage in. As far as Here We Go, OP will have to download the entire state of Virginia. It is worth it though; Here We Go got me around Washington DC in situations where I had no coverage whatsoever on Google Maps. There are places that GPS radio cannot reach, due to tall buildings, urban or rural caverns. Even better if the OP can get a GPS installed in his car or has a standalone unit, though few people bother with those anymore. Get a cheap 5 inch and turn the volume up; they're going for real cheap these days, and you save your cell phone battery.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado
63 posts, read 53,951 times
Reputation: 104
Great ideas! Thank you for all of the great tips so far!! We are really excited about the prospect of a move to Virginia. It seems like you really cant go wrong. There is so much beauty and history. Such nice people. And you have so many things to do close by. It seems that there really isn't a bad choice... for us though, I think we can definitely rule out Arlington because it is so expensive.
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Daleville, VA
2,285 posts, read 4,104,715 times
Reputation: 2425
Quote:
Originally Posted by ersatz View Post
I recommend using a good traffic app (such as Waze) to plot alternatives to I-95 and I-81 around the holidays. Check your cell phone coverage maps – coverage for all wireless providers is good around the major metro areas but can get spotty outside of them.
WAZE can be a big help with I-81 and other Virginia Interstates even in non-holidays. More than once it has alerted us to an upcoming slowdown and given us a temporary re-route.
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
7,670 posts, read 14,316,299 times
Reputation: 7464
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watchful View Post
WAZE can be a big help with I-81 and other Virginia Interstates even in non-holidays. More than once it has alerted us to an upcoming slowdown and given us a temporary re-route.
I like WAZE most of the time. Don't like it when drivers add everything they see meaning countless warnings. I've seen warnings of vehicles on the shoulder when in fact it was tractor trailers at the entrance to rest areas where there is at least a good lane or two separating you from the stopped trucks. 47 people reporting construction sites gets old as well.
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,509 posts, read 8,513,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bliss2424 View Post
Great ideas! Thank you for all of the great tips so far!! We are really excited about the prospect of a move to Virginia. It seems like you really cant go wrong. There is so much beauty and history. Such nice people. And you have so many things to do close by. It seems that there really isn't a bad choice... for us though, I think we can definitely rule out Arlington because it is so expensive.
I don't think you can go wrong because Virginia has something for everyone.

As far as costs, you mention Arlington; all of the major urban centers in Virginia costs are going up. If you look at a cost of living calculator Norfolk is 72% cheaper for housing than Arlington but overall Norfolk is only 45% cheaper than Arlington. Those differences are not as severe if you look at Chesapeake or Virginia Beach. Those two housing is 60% cheaper than Arlington and cost of living 36% cheaper.

Another thing to keep in mind about the more urban cities in Virginia is that home ownership rates are a lot lower, as there are more apartments in these cities. According to a source that lists the 5 largest cities in Virginia, Norfolk, Richmond, and Newport News, have considerably lower home ownership rates than Virginia Beach or Chesapeake, as a percentage of residents. Basically the majority of residents in Norfolk, Richmond, and Newport News, are renters whereas the majority of residents in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake own their home or are paying a mortgage. Most people in Arlington County are renters. Most of the land clearance for new development is for home owners; it does not take a lot of land to throw up another apartment complex. A lot of these apartment complexes are built on repurposed land, not farm land. But the detached, single family housing is built over nature. So the new apartment complexes bring density to the area and get rid of the eye sore of underutilized land or are more or less slum clearance while the new houses are creating the suburban sprawl.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:54 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
7,670 posts, read 14,316,299 times
Reputation: 7464
Monkey's? Are you kidding me?
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:37 AM
 
1,763 posts, read 2,434,585 times
Reputation: 3633
Wait, what... there's a monkey?

http://gph.is/1LMA8gu
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:58 AM
 
Location: North Raleigh x North Sacramento
5,937 posts, read 5,746,930 times
Reputation: 7222
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVA_guy View Post
I'm not interested in igniting this argument but I'm curious, how often do you visit NoVa? I was in Midlothian 2 weeks ago, super nice area (especially the area near Wegmans) but it honestly feels nothing like NoVa.


OP, I really think Roanoke would fit what you're looking for. Maybe Chesapeake as well.
Lmao after all these years, you still don't know Virginia well. There are parallels to NoVa in both Central Virginia and Tidewater...

Northern Virginia is Virginia, bro. I'd think you'd be okay admitting this at this point lol...
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:14 AM
 
Location: North Raleigh x North Sacramento
5,937 posts, read 5,746,930 times
Reputation: 7222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bliss2424 View Post
I am also curious if anyone can describe the regional cultural differences within Virginia itself? I understand that it is not nearly as homogeneous as the Midwestern states.
I'm fairly young (30), but have spent just short of half my life in Virginia, in the three urban regions of Northern Virginia, Greater Richmond, and Hampton Roads/Tidewater, ironically, in that order, too. I'm not a native of Virginia nor do I have any family here, but I consider myself a Virginian and have a wealth of knowledge, I think, on the areas where nearly 75% of Virginians reside...

The best way for me to describe the cultural differences:

Northern Virginia is suburbia that you find around essentially any major city---->New York, LA, Atlanta, Philly, the Texas cities, etc. So it has the benefits of bordering a major city, in terms of cultural venues and infrastructure, etc. By far it is the most diverse region of The Commonwealth, most traffic congested. The best public schools and the most wealth in VA is in NoVa, the most transplant heavy part, I think something like 55% of Northern Virginians arent native, may be higher...

So you get a large blast of cultural mixing there, with the international and American regional cultures of transplants mixing with standard Virginia and Mid-Atlantic cultures...

Not the friendliest of areas, but definitely not the worst. Many NoVans don't venture outside of metro DC often, so there is an air of ignorance about the rest of Virginia, though not as obnoxious as the NoVans on here are. There are distinct Virginian familiarities in NoVa that can be found elsewhere in the state, so anyone who you hear mention that NoVa is "completely different" from the rest of Virginia is either lying or doesnt know much about other areas...

Outer NoVa has rural pockets, inner NoVa has urban pockets, but overwhelmingly it is busy suburban living. The access to The District pretty much drives the culture and the economy there...

source: lived and went to school in Woodbridge and Fairfax...
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