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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Warrenton, VA

Written by Zach Spanton

Situated only 47 miles from the nation’s capital, the quaint four-square-mile village of Warrenton, Virginia, exudes an air of small-town appeal. This town and its neighboring ones are known as Virginia’s horse country, and the residents wholeheartedly embrace this fact. 

They also bask in the area’s rich history and picturesque surroundings of horse shows and organized hunts, which have been going strong since 1883. Residents of Warrenton’s Old Town learn about one another and the town’s history as they converse under the shade of structures that have lasted for hundreds of years, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of stepping into a bygone era.

Here are ten things you should know before moving to Warrenton, VA.

1. Washington is 45 miles away

There is no better place than Warrenton in terms of location. Warrenton is the ideal spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the metro region while still being accessible to one of the most renowned cities in the country. It is situated in the middle of Wine and Hunt Country, just 45 miles west of Washington, D.C. 

Many people consider making Warrenton their permanent home because of its small-town, peaceful charm. The town’s size—approximately 4.5 square miles—allows residents to enjoy a less hectic, more leisurely way of life.

2. The crime rate in Warrenton is lower than the national average

Warrenton boasts an impressive feature in its favor: its remarkably low crime rates. The town stands out as a safe haven, with statistics revealing that it is safer than a majority of cities across the United States. According to Area Vibes, the level of violent crime in Warrenton sits 45% below the average crime rate in Virginia and an impressive 69% lower than the national average. 

This speaks volumes about the town’s commitment to safety and security, making it an appealing choice for residents seeking a secure and peaceful environment to call home.

3. Warrenton supports small businesses

The town’s commitment to supporting local businesses is what makes Warrenton unique among prominent Northern Virginia cities. Warrenton is primarily a small business town, while it does have a few big box businesses and food chains across the outskirts. Florists, fair trade gift boutiques, and mom-and-pop restaurants and cafes dominate Main Street. 

Programs like the Old Town Warrenton Birthday Bash have been put in place by the local government in recent years to encourage locals to patronize local merchants, in an effort to preserve the small-town atmosphere. 

4. A relaxed, quaint way of life

Warrenton could be just what you’re searching for if you want to get away from the chaos of the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. Living in Warrenton is like stepping back in time. Historic homes and brick pathways surround the streets of Old Town Warrenton, exuding an air of elegance of bygone eras. People in town often meet at coffee shops or on the steps of the post office to kill time, sometimes even stopping to hear the old courthouse clock strike the hour.

In Warrenton, everyone feels like they’re part of a close-knit family, whether they’ve always lived there or are newcomers. 

5. Learn about Warrenton’s history at Fauquier County History Museum

Founded during the American Revolution, the town of Warrenton has a long and illustrious past. Walking along Main Street in Warrenton is like taking a journey down memory lane; the town is deeply committed to maintaining its heritage. Both the Old Courthouse and the Old Jail, which were constructed in the early nineteenth century and are still standing and functioning today, respectively, as the Fauquier County History Museum. 

Warrenton was home to several famous Civil War generals who continued to live there after the war ended. Notable visitors to Warrenton have included former presidents Andrew Jackson, James Monroe, and Teddy Roosevelt. Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, used to live in what is now the Warren Green Hotel. 

6. Job and entertainment opportunities are limited

Although Warrenton is a charming town, it is rather tiny in size. If you’re someone who lives in a city and is often bored, you might want to look elsewhere. Within the town center, you won’t find many entertainment options, and the majority of residents prefer to spend their leisure time with their families. 

You might consider searching elsewhere for employment if you want a job outside the home since there aren’t many opportunities in the city.

7. Mt. Vernon Community Schools serves the city

If you’re particularly interested in an excellent educational environment for your children, consider Mt. Vernon Community Schools—an outstanding, high-performing small-town district in Warrenton. This district caters to preschoolers, and elementary and middle school students, providing a range of educational options. 

Additionally, nearby George Washington University, situated in the Washington, D.C. area, offers diverse degree programs such as education and business.

8. Shop healthy food at Warrenton Farmer’s Market

Health-conscious individuals seeking the freshest produce often frequent the enduring Warrenton Farmer’s Market, which has thrived for four decades. 

This market has become a staple for locals and visitors alike, offering not only fresh foods but also a vibrant community hub where people gather to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the diverse array of farm-fresh products, seasonal delicacies, and handcrafted goods.

9. You get to experience all four seasons

Warrenton experiences a diverse climate throughout the year, typical of the mid-Atlantic region. Summers tend to be warm and humid, with temperatures averaging in the high 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit. This season often brings occasional thunderstorms and showers.

Fall showcases beautiful foliage as temperatures gradually cool down, ranging from the high 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit. It’s a pleasant time marked by colorful foliage and comfortable weather.

Winters in Warrenton can be chilly, with temperatures dropping to around freezing or slightly below. Snowfall is moderate, typically occurring a few times each winter. Spring brings a refreshing change with temperatures rising from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit. It’s a rejuvenating season with blooming flowers and trees, signaling the onset of warmer weather.

Overall, Warrenton experiences four distinct seasons, offering a variety of weather conditions throughout the year, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the changing landscapes and activities that come with each season.

10. Warrenton’s cost of living is 34% higher than the national average

With a cost of living index of 134, living expenses in Warrenton are 34% higher than the national average. The city’s median home price is $605,327.

The overall expenses encompassing housing, food, childcare, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and essential needs for an individual in Warrenton amount to $49,057 per year. This surpasses the yearly cost of living for Virginia, which stands at $44,012, and also exceeds the national average of $38,433.

To Sum it All Up

Warrenton, Virginia, radiates historical charm and a close-knit community feel just 45 miles from Washington, D.C. Its low crime rates, commitment to local businesses, and rich history attract residents seeking a safe, quaint lifestyle. 

Warrenton’s renowned schools, seasonal climates, and family-oriented attractions further add to its appeal for those seeking a serene yet vibrant small-town experience. However, limited job opportunities, higher living costs, and fewer entertainment options might pose challenges for prospective residents.

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