Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia, Roanoke offers a beautiful setting on a budget. Residents' spending on healthcare and entertainment are lower than average here, and food, housing and transportation costs are surprisingly budget-friendly as well. The median home price in Roanoke? A mere $135,383.
So Roanoke is definitely affordable — but why is it a good place to live? Well, let's start with the climate. Roanoke enjoys four distinct seasons and tends to lack the extremes of other seasonal cities. It gets much less snow than average, nearly 30 fewer days of precipitation, stays a bit warmer in the winter, and has more sunny days than your average American city. And you can enjoy this climate thoroughly with a wide range of outdoor adventures at your fingertips. Roanoke has been recognized as one of America’s Best Trail Towns, and the famous Appalachian Trail runs north of the city. If you'd prefer a scenic drive, the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway can’t be beat.
For a more unusual cultural experience, locals can enjoy the fun of the Kentucky Derby in their own back yard at the Derby Day Gala, though there are plenty of museums (like the Taubman Museum of Art) and live art options (like the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra) to keep you busy, too.