Blacksburg, Virginia

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What's it like to live in Blacksburg?

Life in Blacksburg?

Been living in Blacksburg since 2014 so hopefully i can still offer some insight.

Blacksburg's a very nice place overall. It's currently hard to comment on the quality of the downtown atmosphere given…current events. Some restaurants and shops have either already failed or may in the future. Before covid i can say that the downtown space was small but quite lively. VT and Blacksburg have a unique configuration where the campus and downtown are pretty seamlessly connected. Previously this helped create a great energy downtown on evenings and weekends even in the summer.

One benefit in Blacksburg is that while the town its self is on the smaller side, you still have access to all the more common shops and chain restaurants/etc because the metro area is larger when you include Christiansburg, Radford, and the rest of the NRV(New River Valley).

Housing is kind of all over the place from what i can tell. VT has chosen to grow its student body massively the last 4-6 years. The result has been that housing supply has not really kept up and rent has risen at some places. There are definitely some great rent deals out there still. Apartments right next to campus are limited and are the most expensive.

The traffic is pretty bad for a town this size IMO. Its another consequence of a growing university and a town which wasn't prepared for it.

The local bus system is pretty good all things considered and(depending on where you live) you do not have to own a car if you do not want to.

Blacksburg vicinity has a massive amount of nearby outdoor recreation which may or may not be a plus for you.

Winters here are cold and windy compared to the rest of the south but probably a lot nicer than Indiana. In turn the summers here are cooler and far less humid when compared to other southern areas due to altitude.

One thing I feel i must mention is that i have heard second and third hand accounts of the dating and socializing scene for older students and younger faculty being really rough(hear some people feel the need to move away for better social and romantic opportunities). I don't have personal experience in this area but i have heard enough stories for it to be more than purely coincidence. Sounds like you are young enough to avoid this issue but Id say its at least something you should ask current members of the department about and maybe they can give you a clearer picture.

All in all i really like living in Blacksburg. You get a smallish town feel(and rural recreation) while having most of the amenities of a larger metro area. Hopefully these points were somewhat useful.

moving to the blacksburg area?

Do you have a car? Blacksburg has a great bus service, but if you have a car, you can move out to Christiansburg where it's a little cheaper.

Virginia is weird. There are cities and counties. Christiansburg and Blacksburg are towns in Montgomery County. So you may want to do a search by zip code - 24060 for Blacksburg and 24073 for Christiansburg. Everything Blacksburg and Everything Christiansburg are great FB sources. A lot of student housing gets taken pretty quickly because of the stupid amount of people VT is letting in. However some apartment complexes have professional/graduate areas. I know Foxridge is one.

As for jobs, depends on what you want to do. You can always find a job as a server somewhere. There are several local coffee shops and Starbucks if you want to stay that route. Blacksburg Transit usually is hiring. VT also has a lot of job opportunities.

I know you didn't ask, but I recommend Companion Animal Clinic for your cats. VT has a great vet school as well!

Feel free to message me. I was a student from 90-94 and have not left the area. I have lived in both Christiansburg and Blacksburg.

I lived in Blacksburg from Summer 2008 to Summer 2019, for work, school, more school, than work again. Then I moved in to a house next to the New River in Giles County with my girlfriend, and I'm never going back. I currently work in Blacksburg and it's a 20-25 minute commute each way.

I spent a lot of time while in Blacksburg hanging out with grad students and young professionals (the few of us that stuck around after school), and the only thing I truly miss about living in town is being able to bike everywhere, I think I put maybe 6000 miles on my car over 10 years, most of that long trips or visiting family. I can still bike to work, but it takes about two hours with the mountains.

What I don't miss about living in Blacksburg:

Undergrads, sorry, I've been y'all and I hope you have a great experience while at VT and in Blacksburg, I definitely did, but I don't want to live next to or near you.

Constantly rising rent prices, less space, and the continuing Virginia Tech-ification of the town. Can't start a small business when the college owns 80% of the town and surrounding area, and you have to make a deal with one of the three real estate magnates in the area for the other 20%. And they just want to keep building more Retreat mini mcmansion style complexes.

Traffic. I know, it's nothing compared to Richmond, Philly, or Boston, but it's still annoying because the traffic infrastructure isn't keeping up with the expansion of the town and University.

I would definitely recommend living or looking for places just outside of Blacksburg, you'll get a lot more for your money, but if you rely on Uber for most of your weekend travel, gonna want to start looking for a place in Blacksburg now, as others have suggested.

To actually answer some of your questions though!

  1. Really depends on the industry, white collar is mostly the breweries (Eastern Divide, Moon Hollow, Rising Silo, Wine Lab), service industry/blue collar more towards the Cellar, Champs, Pub (when it re-opens). Honestly except for the very college bars, which haven't changed since you were in school, you'll find locals at most places hanging out, pre-Covid.

  2. I never had luck with the local meet up groups, buy that may have changed in the past few years. I spent most of my time in Blacksburg hanging out with service industry people, as most people my age were in the process of starting families or looking to move out of town.

  3. I don't have any input on LGBT issues, I've personally never seen anyone say anything because of how they identify in my entire time in bburg, and when anyone has acted shitty, there's always a majority of people telling them to shut up and leave. The further out you travel from Blacksburg you may get sideways looks occasionally, but even that has mostly disappeared in the past decade. If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me a question.

Where to live in Blacksburg VA