Cold Harbor is heating up! It is an unincorporated community, meaning that no town or city government runs the area. Formerly known as Old Cold Harbor, Cold Harbor is best known for being the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. It is now a quaint community of commuters and students near Richmond, Virginia. It’s a nice place to live, especially if you want to get away from the hubbub of the big city.
But before you start moving to Cold Harbor, you need to learn more about living in Cold Harbor. Here is your essential guide to the community.
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Where Is Cold Harbor?
Where is Cold Harbor VA? Cold Harbor is in Hanover County. Most of the community is rural and undeveloped, despite being adjacent to Richmond VA. You can find homes and commercial buildings, especially in the western part of the community. However, most homes are on farms, and there is a substantial distance between each property.
It’s 12 miles from Cold Harbor to Richmond. Hanover County is in the Richmond metropolitan area. The Greater Richmond Transit System does not provide services to Cold Harbor, so most residents use their cars to get around. The community is near several major highways, including Interstate 295, making moving to Cold Harbor easy.
Cold Harbor Population and Demographics
The population of Cold Harbor in 2021 was 15,186, and the community has a population density of 298.6 people per square mile. The population of Hanover County grew by 10.1% between 2010 and 2020. Notable people from Hanover County include Secretary of State Henry Clay, Founding Father Patrick Henry, and musician Jason Mraz.
The demographics of Cold Harbor are:
- 52% male, 48% female
- Median age: 41.9
- Race and ethnicity: 83% White, 9% Black, 4% two or more races, 2% Asian, 1% Hispanic, 0% Indigenous and Hawaiian Islander
- Median household income: $92,443, roughly 20% higher than the state
- Educational attainment: 93.4% of residents have graduated high school, 32.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Foreign-born population: 3.5%
Richmond has very high crime rates, as can be expected in cities. Here are the figures from 2020 according to the FBI:
- Total crime rate: 3,270 offenses per 100,000 residents (96.4% higher than Virginia’s and 39.4% higher than America’s)
- Violent crime rate: 349 offenses per 100,000 Richmonders (67.2% higher than Virginia’s and 10.0% lower than America’s)
- Property crime rate: 2,921 offenses per 100,000 Richmonders (100.6% higher than Virginia’s and 49.2% higher than America’s)
Because Cold Harbor is away from the city center, residents living in Cold Harbor experience fewer crimes, so Cold Harbor is a safe place to live. The Richmond Police Department employs 846 officers, at a rate of four officers per 100,000 people.
Cost of Living in Cold Harbor
The Richmond metro area is an affordable place to live. The Richmond cost of living index is 96.1, meaning the prices of items in the city is 3.9% lower than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $92,073 a year ($7,673 a month) to live in Hanover County.
Typical Cold Harbor* Living Expenses
- 1 loaf of regular white bread: $2.26
- 12 eggs: $4.09
- 1 pound of apples: $2.39
- 1 gallon of gasoline: $3.22
- Average Cold Harbor* utilities per month: $150.94
- 1 pair of jeans: $43.68
*Expenses are for Richmond
Cold Harbor Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Cold Harbor
As an unincorporated community, Cold Harbor Virginia does not have formal neighborhoods. You can find homes to buy throughout the community, though Cold Harbor has fewer properties than most places due to how undeveloped it is.
Most of the properties available for purchase in Cold Harbor are lots. You can purchase lots of Cold Harbor real estate for more than 110 acres for less than $700,000. You can build multiple homes and commercial buildings on your grounds.
If you’re looking for a pre-built home, try looking for homes for sale in Mechanicsville VA. Mechanicsville is another unincorporated area adjacent to Richmond, and it is directly north of Cold Harbor. You can purchase three-bedroom homes covering nearly 1,500 square feet for $330,000.
Cold Harbor Weather and Climate
The Richmond metro area has a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and cold but not frigid winters. Temperatures peak in July with an average high of 88 degrees, while the winter low in January is 30.
The metro area receives 44 inches of rain every year; August is the rainiest season, with 3.6 inches of rain. However, every month experiences at least two inches of rain on average, with at least five rainy days. The area also receives an average of 11 inches of snow every year, with February seeing 4.8 inches of snow on average.
Richmond is an extremely humid city. At least 20 days in July feel muggy, if not oppressive. The best time to visit Cold Harbor is in October, when the humidity levels drop off and when the skies clear. October is the clearest month of the year, with 63% of the days being at least partly cloudy.
The area experiences hurricanes and floods, though most storms do not create significant damage. Cold Harbor is close to the Pamunkey River, so if you’re worried about flooding, find a property away from the water.
Things to Do in Cold Harbor
Despite its small size, Cold Harbor contains or is near many unique attractions. One must do activity is to go shopping. Brandy Creek Commons is located on Mechanicsville Turnpike, and it contains a Publix Super Market. You can also enjoy the Brandy Hill Plaza, which has several small stores, including a consignment shop.
Richmond National Battlefield Park contains 13 sites related to Civil War battles in and around Richmond, including the Battle of Cold Harbor. You can see exhibitions on military and medical history, go for walking tours, and enjoy outdoor activities along walking trails. If you want to focus on the Battle of Cold Harbor, you can visit the Cold Harbor Battlefield Visitor Center.
3215 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23223 804-226-1981
Pole Green Park is one of the best green spaces in the metro Richmond area. It contains a running course, four baseball diamonds, four pickleball courts, and a picnic shelter you can rent for parties.
8996 Pole Green Park Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23116 804-365-7150
Camp Hanover is a Christian summer camp for teens and younger children. Campers participate in Bible study, learn outdoor skills, and make friends through games and interactive programs.
3163 Parsleys Mill Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 804-779-2811
Additional Attractions in Cold Harbor
The Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department plans public events throughout Hanover County, including in Cold Harbor. You can use this calendar to find out special events, including Hanover County’s annual Hanover Tomato Festival.
Cold Harbor Restaurants
Richmond, Virginia is well-known as a top hub for Southern cuisine. But you can find many different cuisines and culinary experiences in and around Cold Harbor.
Treats and Treasures is a country store that serves fresh sandwiches, dinner specials, and baked goods in a cozy setting. The store specializes in Sunday dinners, including pork roasts and baked penne.
5912 Cold Harbor Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 804-442-2957
Cold Harbor Restaurant is a diner that serves country breakfast classics like biscuits and gravy. If you’re stopping by for lunch, you can enjoy a variety of specials, including country fried steak.
The Richmond Times Dispatch and Richmond Magazine have ranked Mexico Restaurant as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Richmond. Mexico serves burritos, nachos, chimichangas, and other favorites in a family-friendly environment.
Jobs in Cold Harbor
Most people living in Cold Harbor travel to Richmond to work. The Richmond metro area has 650,000 people working in it, and the number of jobs grew by 1.4% between 2019 and 2020. Health care and social assistance, retail trade, and educational services are the three biggest industries in the area.
According to Payscale, the average salary in Richmond is $67,000, and the average hourly rate is $19.46. Wages increased by 2.7% during the fourth quarter of 2022. Major employers in Richmond include CarMax, Dominion Energy, and Performance Food Group.
Cold Harbor Schools
Hanover County Public Schools serves students in Cold Harbor. Battlefield Park Elementary is located inside Cold Harbor along Mechanicsville Turnpike. 92% of students test at or above the proficient level for math and 82% test at or above the proficient level for reading.
Cold Harbor Elementary School is another elementary school in the community. 86% of students test at or above the proficient level for math, four percentage points higher than the state.
Cold Harbor does not have any colleges or universities, but you can find several options for them in Richmond. US News and World Report ranks the University of Richmond as one of the top 25 liberal arts schools in the country. The University of Richmond offers more than 100 majors, and the school is best known for its business and marketing programs.
The Mechanicsville Branch Library is the closest library to Cold Harbor. The library offers public computers, free Wi-Fi, and a rentable meeting room.
Cold Harbor Statistics and Information
- County: Hanover
- Cold Harbor area: 50.9 square miles
- Cold Harbor zip code: 23111
- Cold Harbor area code: 804
- Cold Harbor elevation: 180 feet
- Cold Harbor time zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Closest airport to Cold Harbor: Richmond International Airport (RIC), 10 miles away
Cold Harbor VA Map
Explore other exciting things to do, restaurants, and schools in Cold Harbor with this helpful map!
Living in Cold Harbor shouldn’t leave you cold! It’s a great community for commuters into Richmond, and it is close to beautiful green spaces, delicious restaurants, and premium elementary schools. When you’re ready to start moving to Cold Harbor, you should connect with On The Fly Moving Guys, your premier Cold Harbor movers. Get a free quote at 804-836-4954.