Blacksburg Makes the List – Lots of Them

From Z. Kelly Queijo:

What do sports fans, outdoor enthusiasts, students, retirees, and entrepreneurs all have in common?   Roughly a 10-20 minute commute and a home in Blacksburg, Virginia, where according to the lists below, this small town in southwest Virginia delivers big.

Once known as the Most Wired Town in America, today Blacksburg is ranked:

Blacksburg, Virginia is featured on top lists for business, quality of life, outdoor recreation, and more.Most Wired Town in America, today Blacksburg is ranked:

#31 out of 179 Best Small Places for Business and Careers (, 2009)

#14 Top-20 list of America's Most Educated Small Towns (, 2009)

#43 in the 100 Best Places to Live and Launch (, 2008)

One of the Best Places to Retire(

Blacksburg is home to Mailtrust which, prior to being acquired by Rackspace, ranked #217 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in America and has been growing by more than 100 percent for each of the last five years (2007).

Education and Government Lists

Virginia Tech reports: Graduate Engineering, education, psychology, and public affairs rank high by U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2010

The Town of Blacksburg wins the Digital Governance Award for Excellence in Disseminating Government Information (2008)

Blacksburg High School is in the Top 5% of Nation's Schools: The Top of the Class (Newsweek)

And, as reported in The Virginia Tech Magazine, Fall 2005:

Since 2000, Blacksburg has been known as:

  • a top 20 retirement locale by Blue Ridge Country Magazine
  • 8th  best place to live in the nation
  • the very best in the mid-Atlantic by Men's Journal magazine
  • and cited in 50 Best Small Southern Towns and in Outside Magazine as a top 10 "dream town" for outdoor enthusiasts, and, last, but not least, ranks 61st out of 375 as a "best sports city" in The Sporting News.

Visit Virginia Tech, a campus visit mobile app, is available from Smart College Visit. (Added 4/8/2011)


Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0 and is the founder of Smart College Visit.  Smart College Visit, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.


Know other lists that include Blacksburg, Virginia?  Leave us a comment and tell us! 


For more information about life in Blacksburg, Virginia, present and future, check out the Blacksburg 2006-2046 Comprehensive Plan.  Here's All About Blacksburg from Virginia Tech and a list of New River Valley awards and accolades from the Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department.

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  1. Knowing ahead of time that you were creating this list of lists, Kelly, I began to see Blacksburg, Virginia with new eyes. I may have passed this sign more than once before I saw it, but I think knowing you were compiling visions of others of Blacksburg helped me have a new vision. Thank you.

  2. Love that photo. Always proud to live in and write about Blacksburg.

    – Z. Kelly Queijo

  3. List expanded wonderfully by Jeremy Hart at NRV Living and commenters on his post:

  4. Virginia Recognized Among ‘Five Best States to Start a Business’ – Governor Kaine highlights national ranking by U.S. News & World Report for Virginia’s “favorable and innovative climate” for entrepreneurs

  5. Thanks to ZKQ, here’s the link to the original US News & World Report on The 7 Best States to Start a Business, January, 2009:

  6. White oak in Blacksburg featured in Remarkable Trees of Virginia by Virginia Tech professor Jeff Kirwan, garden writer and lecturer Nancy Ross Hugo, and photographer Robert Llewellyn.

  7. Thanks to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, a wonderful map of the New River Valley, home of Blacksburg, is available online and in print (simply contact the NRVEDA and they’ll mail you a copy):

  8. Nice way to make the post different with interesting ideas and concepts.

  9. Has anyone ever done something like this for Christiansburg, or Radford – other areas of the Valley? That would be interesting, I think …

  10. Its very interesting to see how a small town can develop both in
    economy and culture, I wish I could say the same about our town!

  11. Thanks to the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC, for this info:

    The Milken Institute ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth and includes job, wage and salary and technology growth. Of the 200 largest metro areas, Roanoke moved up 42 spaces to #126 while Blacksburg advanced 43 places to #49 on the list of smallest metros. Full report:

  12. Blacksburg named 28th “Best Small Place for Business and Careers” by 2010

  13. Great news from U.S. News about Virginia Tech:

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