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Pretty Gloucester Sits Along Mobjack Bay on the Southern Virginia Coast and Brims with History and Stately Homes
Overview: Steeped in history, Gloucester, also known as Gloucester Courthouse, is situated along Mobjack Bay on the southern Virginia coast and is just 27 miles from Williamsburg via the Colonial National Historic Parkway. A pretty town, it dates from the 1600s and is proud of its many elegant homes.
Gloucester is the site of Warner Hall, the home of George Washington's grandmother, and of Abingdon Church, where presidents Washington and Jefferson attended Sunday services. An 1810 debtors' prison and one of the oldest, still-functioning courthouses are here, too. Main Street's Historic District has several well-preserved 18th-century structures, as well as specialty stores, restaurants and antique shops. Three marinas and numerous boat landings around town allow for easy access to the bay and a handful of rivers. Gloucester Arts on Main Street has exhibits by local artists and classes for the public.
Residents enjoy a fresh produce market, a farmers' market and festivals and events aplenty, including the Daffodil Parade, the Gloucester Wine Festival and the Renaissance Festival. Gloucester is popular with retired military personnel.
Population: 2,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 35%
Cost of Living: 5% below the national average
Median Home Price: $260,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. The area receives about six inches of snow and nearly 50 inches of rain annually.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, Bay Transit has a dial-a-ride van service.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Library: Gloucester County has a library branch here, and it has an interlibrary loan program, public access personal computers and laptops and free wi-fi.
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 25%
Is Virginia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Gloucester is not laid out on a grid and can be difficult to navigate at first. The population has declined 5% within the last 10 years.
Notes: The town caters to tourists but has many quiet neighborhoods. History and architecture buffs love the area.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the population loss is a concern
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.
Population - 8,411,808
Persons 65 years old and over - 15%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 88%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 36%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 9%
White persons, not Hispanic - 62%
Median household income - $65,015
Median home value - $245,000
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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