Located in the ridge and valley and the Blue Ridge portion of the Appalachian Mountains, Southwest Virginia was one of the last parts of Virginia to be settled. It is only during the last decade that the region began to share its rich cultural heritage of music and craft. These cultural riches, along with the many outdoor recreation opportunities form what is a creative economy and has created an industry of tourism that is vital to the region. Cities in the area include Roanoke, Blacksburg and Bristol. Real estate in Southwest Virginia can be an excellent investment for a multitude of reasons.
Strikingly beautiful, SWVA has large amounts of public land providing access to the outdoor activities that attracts thousands of visitors each year. But it is the distinctly Appalachian heritage of music and craft that makes the region special and residents are dedicated to preserving and sharing that heritage. Visitors can stop in at Heartwood, a 29,000-square-foot artisan sales center for local crafts, in Abingdon, just off Interstate 81 in Abingdon. Round the Mountain is a large artisan network, and Appalachian Spring is and initiative working to link together recreation destinations.
For music lovers, music can be heard at eight sites on The Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail, where music jams happen almost every night. One of the stops on the Crooked Road is The Carter Family Fold, which honors the memory of the clan known as the first family of country music and like many of the organizations in the area preserves and honors the memory of the artists who paved the way for others.
Numerous festivals, along with historic frontier and civil war attractions provide more fun and educational opportunities. Abingdon, VA is also home to The Barter Theatre, one of the longest running professional theatres in the country. It is the state theatre of Virginia and one of the last year-round professional resident repertory theatres in the country.
There are many colleges and universities in the area. The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (better known as Virginia Tech),is the largest University. Emory and Henry College, a highly respected private college near Abingdon. Professional schools -- including schools of law and pharmacy -- have been developed in recent years in Southwest Virginia's coalfield region. Community colleges and other educational institutions are making efforts to ensure more young residents attend college after high school.
For those thinking of buying real estate in Southwest Virginia, the region provides a high quality of life and low cost of living.
Southwest Virginia Facts and Figures
Metro Areas and Cities in Southwest Virginian
SWVA is comprised of 19 counties and four independent cities
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford and Roanoake are the two MSA’s (Metropolitan Statistical Areas)
Roanoake is the largest city in the region
Located in the ridge, valley and Blue Ridge portion of the Appalachian Mountains