Are you thinking about moving to Chester, VA in the Greater Richmond area? The small town of Chester, not far from the city, offers a great quality of life with excellent job opportunities yet the feel of a small town surrounded by natural beauty and recreation. Chester is known for its Civil War history, beautiful parks, and top-rated schools which makes it a perfect place to raise a family.
How did Chester, VA get its name? The county of Chesterfield and town were named for Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield and English aristocrat. English settlers arrived in the Chesterfield County area in 1611 to establish the second permanent settlement in North America, just four years after the establishment of Jamestown. The county separated from Henrico County in 1749 and was the site of the Siege of Petersburg during the Civil War.
Today, Chester is a perfect community for families, millennials, and retirees who appreciate affordable living with nearby employment opportunities, outdoor recreation, and education. Here’s what you’re going to love about living in Chester!
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Chester, VA Population & Demographics
Chester is in Chesterfield County in the part of the county called “North Chesterfield” next to Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Bellwood and just south of Richmond.
The population of Chester is 23,414 according to the 2020 census, up from 20,987 in 2010. The community’s racial and ethnic composition is 65% white, 22% Black or African American, 9% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 3% two or more races.
Additional Chester demographics:
- Median household income: $70,519
- Educational attainment: 91% high school grad or higher; 32% bachelor’s degree or higher
- Median age: 37.6
- Sex: 54% female, 46% male
- Veteran population: 1,881 (8%)
- Homeownership rate: 72%
- Average household size: 2.7
Is Chester, VA a safe place to live? Absolutely! Virginia, on average, has less crime than the national average. The Chester crime rate is about on par with the rest of the state with 33% less violent crime than the U.S. average making Chester a very safe place to live. While living in Chester, VA, you’ll be served by the Chesterfield County Police Department.
What Is the Cost of Living in Chester, VA?
Is Chester, VA affordable? Despite being one of the more expensive places to live in the area, it’s still affordable. The average cost of living in Chester, Virginia is about 1% below the national average. Groceries, healthcare, housing, and utilities are all very close to average for the U.S. while transportation is 15% more affordable.
Are you planning to rent or buy after moving to Chester, Virginia? It helps to know what to expect! The average rent in Chester is $1,270 according to RentCafe, lower than most surrounding areas like Henrico and Richmond! The average home price is $325,000 which makes the town more expensive than Richmond. The Chester, VA real estate market is very hot with homes selling in a median of 13 days! You can see Chester, VA homes for sale here to get an idea of what you can afford with your budget.
Chester Neighborhoods | What Are the Best Places to Live in Chester, VA?
Ready to explore the best neighborhoods in Chester for families, young professionals, and millennials? No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find a great place to live in this beautiful community. Here are some of the top places that should be on your list.
Meadowville Landing – Best Neighborhood in Chester Riverfront Living & New Luxury Homes
Meadowview Landing is one of the most exciting neighborhoods in the area! This community of single-family homes offers convenient highway access with family-oriented amenities including a community pool, ponds, a clubhouse, and a river walk. Homes range from the mid $300s to more than $1 million.
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Broadwater Townhomes – Large Townhomes in Chester Popular with Renters
Planning to rent? One of the most popular places to live for renters is Broadwater Townhomes. You’ll find 3- and 4-bedroom townhomes with two-story floor plans and amenities that include in-home laundry, a swimming pool, and a fitness center.
Villages of Longmeadow – Affordable Chester, VA Neighborhood Packed with Amenities
The Villages of Longmeadow is a desirable subdivision comprised of 660 homes in multiple villages that range in size from a dozen to more than 100 homes. Popular with retirees and young families alike, the community has affordable HOA dues that pay for the clubhouse, playground, pool, and 26 acres of common grounds and walking trails. You’ll find 3- and 4-bedroom homes priced from the mid-$200s to mid-$400s.
Chester, VA Climate | What’s the Chester Weather Like?
You’ll experience rainy, hot, and muggy summers and cold winters with some snow after moving to Chester. The average temperature is 29°F to 89°F throughout the year.
Pack a raincoat before moving because the area gets about 44” of annual rainfall, more than the U.S. average! However, you’ll only get about 11” of snow per year.
The best time to visit Chester, VA is May or September and October for the most pleasant weather without the coldest winter temperatures or extreme summer heat and humidity.
Fun Things to Do in Chester, VA
Looking for things to do in Chester with kids? What about outdoor attractions, free activities, or fun date night ideas? While living in Chester, you’ll benefit from excellent amenities and outdoor activities.
There is also plenty of convenient shopping in Chester, VA including Bermuda Square, Food Lion, Breckenridge Shopping Center, Kohls, and Target. You’re also within 15 minutes of some of the region’s top attractions like the 8,000-acre Pocahontas State Park in neighboring Chesterfield with an aquatic center and hiking and the River City Sportsplex!
Here are the top Chester attractions and activities you’ll love.
One of the best parks in Chester, this large park is also a living history museum with a recreated English Colonial settlement and costumed actors.
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One of the best family-friendly attractions in Chester, R. Garland Dodd Park is popular with sports enthusiasts with tennis and basketball courts, game fields, a playground, trails, and a floating boardwalk.
Additional attractions in Chester, VA:
Best Restaurants in Chester
From fine restaurants for celebrating special occasions to family-friendly eateries perfect for a weeknight, there are dozens of top-rated restaurants you’ll love checking out. Here are the best places to eat in Chester!
- Howlett’s Restaurant & Tavern. This casual eatery is a local favorite for steaks and sandwiches with a charming patio setting. Howlett’s Restaurant & Tavern, 3530 Festival Park Plaza, Chester, VA 23831 (804) 930-1034
- Brock’s Barbecue. Locals love this long-standing BBQ joint with all-you-can-eat Southern favorites, BBQ ribs, and seafood. Brock’s Barbecue, 11310 Iron Bridge Rd, Chester, VA 23831 (804) 796-7539
- Riptides Seafood Restaurant . When you’re in the mood for seafood, Riptides is the place to be! This lively restaurant has a fun patio, bar, and large menu with shrimp, oysters, crab, and more. Riptides Seafood Restaurant, 11212 Iron Bridge Rd, Chester, VA 23831 (804) 748-8899
Jobs in Chester, VA
How much do you need to make to live in Chester? The median household income is $70,519. According to Payscale, the average salary is $61,000 or $15.48 an hour. Wages have trended up 0.2% in a recent quarter while the cost of living declined 1%.
Ready to explore job options before moving to Chester, VA? Chesterfield County’s strategic mid-Atlantic location just outside Richmond affords it a robust and diverse economy. There are 40 international companies with operations in the county and it’s a major manufacturing center for the state. There are also many jobs in tourism, particularly sports tourism.
You’ll find jobs in not only Chester but surrounding communities like Midlothian where a new mixed-use development is in the works. Many people living in Chester even work in Richmond, just 17 miles away. Here is what the commute from Chester, VA to Richmond looks like.
Major employers near Chester, VA include:
- HCA Virginia Health System
- Anteon Corporation
- Bon Secours Richmond Health System
- Capital One Bank
- Dominion Energy
- Allianz Partners
Chester, VA Schools | Public Schools & Colleges
While living in Chester, you will be served by Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS). The district serves over 63,000 students with 64 schools. Chester students attend Thomas Dale High School or the alternative high school, Carver College and Career Academy. Carver Academy is one of the top high schools in the Richmond metro area with career and technical education (CTE) courses that are an integral part of the academics.
One of the benefits of moving to Chester is its great school district! Students have the choice to apply to a specialty center in the district, a governor’s school, or a regional technology school. Governor’s schools offer students accelerated learning and exploration in everything from math, science, and technology to international studies and government. Here are some of the excellent options available to Chester students interested in special education programs:
- Center for the Arts specialty center at Thomas Dale High offers honors-level courses with focus areas of orchestra, instrumental music, visual arts, theater, dance, and choir.
- Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology provides gifted students with a comprehensive education that supports technological and artistic visions. Focus areas include visual arts, theater, music, literary arts, dance, and technology.
- Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies is a public high school with a college preparatory program that emphasizes math, science, language, fine arts, government, and international studies. It’s been named one of the best public high schools in the U.S!
Chester students and residents have free access to the Chester Library branch of the Chesterfield County Public Library. There are also opportunities for higher education with the John Tyler Community College in the town. Virginia State University is less than 10 miles away!
Chester Statistics & Information
- County: Chesterfield, Virginia
- Area: 13.2 square miles
- Zip codes: 23831 & 23836
- Area codes: 804
- Time zone: UTC-5 (EST)
- Elevation: 174 feet
Chester, VA Map
Tips for Living in Chester
- The Chester school district is great, but make sure you look into governor’s schools, specialty centers, and regional technology schools for enhanced learning models.
- Explore job opportunities throughout Chesterfield County as well as nearby Richmond!
- Explore the top parks in the region, many within just fifteen minutes of town!
- Enjoy a cost of living close to the national average.
Does living in Chester, Virginia sound idyllic? Once you’ve settled on the right neighborhood, call our friendly Chester, VA movers to get started with a free estimate so we can help you settle in!