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Surrounded by Apple Orchards Deep in the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester is a Quaint, Historic Town Brimming with Great Eateries and Lively Festivals
Surrounded by apple orchards deep in northern Virginia's lush Shenandoah Valley, a land of waterfalls and wooded hollows, Winchester is just 90 minutes west of Washington, D.C. It is a nice town, rich in history, and dates from 1729.
Civil War reenactments, museums featuring the town's Colonial roots and historic house tours, such as the one through General George Washington's headquarters, are tourist staples. Lined with trees, 18th-century buildings, fun shops and restaurants, wonderful Old Town Winchester is a step back in time. Winchester also plays host to the annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and the Bloomin' Wine Fest. Locals enjoy an all-season farmers market, and the Handley Regional Library has a writers' club, free wi-fi and book clubs. Shenandoah University (4,000 students) adds a bit of a collegiate vibe. Neighborhoods have quiet lanes bordered by ranch ramblers, Colonials, farm houses, bungalows and more. Willow Lawn Cottages is a small 55+ community with single family homes.
Population: 29,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 36%
Cost of Living: 10% below the national average
Median Home Price: $355,000
Climate: Winchester has a four season climate. Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Winters are snowy with temperatures in the 20s, 30s and 40s. The area receives 38 inches of rain and 24 inches of snow, on average, each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Split evenly down the middle
College Educated: 33%
Is Virginia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Winchester has been somewhat "discovered" and has grown 5% during the last decade. Long time locals worry about urban sprawl and increasing traffic congestion. Others say that new blood is good for a town in which many of the same families have lived for generations. Home prices have increased 2% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Commonwealth of Virginia is on the southern Atlantic coast. Nicknames include Old Dominion and Mother of Presidents (eight American presidents were born here). The motto for the state is Sic Semper Tyrannis, meaning Thus Always to Tyrants. This motto is on both the state's seal (designed in 1776) and the state's flag (first used in the 1830s).
The Virginia Company established the Colony of Virginia and Jamestown in 1607. The state was one of the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy during the Civil War. Richmond was even named the Confederate capital. Today, the Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous legislative body in the Western world.
Western Virginia has a distictly rural, southern feeling while eastern Virgina is home to military installations and northern Virginia is where many Washington, D.C. lobbyists and government workers live.
The Blue Ridge Mountains, Chesapeake Bay, the Shenandoah Valley and miles of eastern shore beaches are Virginia highlights.
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