Northern Neck : Virginia


What It Is Like to Retire in Northern Neck

The good life awaits 55+ adults who choose the Northern Neck, Virginia as their retirement community. Situated between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, with the Cheseapeake on the east, this area has both rural charm and instant access to the water. The Northern Neck is the northernmost of three peninsulas (traditionally called "necks" in Virginia) on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This peninsula is bounded by the Potomac River on the north and the Rappahannock River on the south. It is rich in history and very agricultural. The first Northern Neck tourist in 1608, Captain John Smith, referred to it “as a place heaven and earth never agreed better to frame man’s habitation.”

The Northern Neck is a very large geographical area including parts of 5 counties: King George, Richmond, Lancaster,  Westmoreland, and Northumberland. Kilmarnock is one of the larger of the many small towns in the Neck. Richmond is the nearest big city. The region starts near King George and Colonial Beach and goes down to the city of Lancaster. Other towns include Montross, Tappahannock, Urbanna, Hague, Callao, Lottsburg, Heathsville, and Reedville. Active adults interested in this region should also consider nearby Fredericksburg for retirement, which is located at the top of the neck. 


Where to Retire in Northern Neck and Home Prices

Average home prices vary greatly because this is such a big area. According to, the median home value for Kilmarnock was $235,658, in mid-2022. Prices will vary based on distance from Washington and Richmond, proximity to the water, and quality of housing. Some will sell in the low $100's, going into the millions for big places on the water.


What Is Special about Northern Neck

16 Historic Museums. Wine Trail. Home to 3 American Presidents. Surrounded by 2 rivers - the Rappahannock and the Potomac - plus the Chesapeake Bay.

What Is Not Special about Northern Neck

City people might find it too slow.


Who Will Like Retirement in Northern Neck

Active adults 55 +, along with young professionals in pursuit of a better, more relaxed lifestyle.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, construction, farming.

Climate and Physical Environment

The region is located between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, with the Chesapeake on the east. The average January temperature is about 40 and the average in July is in the high 70s.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are many museums and historical sites in the area. The Northern Neck is home to three of America's presidents - George Washington, James Madison, and James Monroe. The George Washington National Monument Birthplace features colonial American farmlife.



Crime in Northern Neck is lower than the national average.


Medical Facilities

Rappahannock General Hospital, along with hospitals in Williamsburg and Newport News, are the area's primary medical facilities.


Newport News/Williamsburg Airport and Norfolk are the area's major airports.


Valuable Links

Northern Neck VA


What people are saying about Northern Neck

Before this post I had never heard of Northern Neck. Seems like a strange name, and the strangest part is that there is really no town or county by that name. When we drove through though I could see the attraction. Close to several bodies of water, plenty of pretty farmland, and little tiny towns. Peaceful, hopefully not too peaceful. My question for anyone familiar with the area - are there some neat towns or developments to live in on the Northern Neck? Or are retired people just spreading out all over the place in no one particular town or region. thanks
Posted by madman on December 04, 2008

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