People settle in Gloucester for one major reason - to be close to the water and Chesapeake Bay. Visually – it is framed by a mixed landscape of open pastures, forest, farmland, and, of course, lots of waterfront. This gives it a semi-rural, homey feel as if it were Mayberry on the Chesapeake. Gloucester definitely has its own vibe. It serves as the center of a bedroom community that feeds into the Greater Hampton Roads metroplex. The community is on the Eastern Flyway making it ideal for all kinds of bird watchers, duck hunters, and nature lovers. That, along with some of the most affordable waterfront homes anywhere from Florida to Maine, makes Gloucester an ideal place for sportsmen, families, nature lovers, and retirees. This is the place to splurge and own a boat. Weather is mostly mild in the winter, perfect in spring and fall, hot & humid in summer. I live on the water in a rustic farmhouse that was built in 1880. I can walk out the front door, grab my fishing pole, walk another hundred feet to a pier where I dock my boat, and be catching sea trout, rockfish, or corvine on the Ware River almost any time I want. Local waters are brimming with fat, healthy blue crabs and oysters. Across the river is an oyster aquaculture business that raises these delicious shellfish right here - growing spat to full grown marketable adult oysters in under two years. So, in Gloucester - home grown seafood is a passion shared by hundreds of households and encouraged by Virginia wildlife & fisheries policies. I love this place - it's an outdoorsman's dream! Cost of living is not markedly higher or lower than central Virginia - but it is lower than northern Virginia (D.C.). Housing is affordable but good rental properties move fast. Good jobs in town are difficult to come by. The surrounding county is transitioning from agricultural to service industries. Most workers drive a half-hour or more across the Coleman Bridge to work in the Hampton Roads Metro area. Many who did that for decades have retired here and plenty of others move here after retirement from cities up North. There is a small but fairly new hospital serving Gloucester and there are excellent large medical centers in Norfolk and Williamsburg. Dining out and the night life leave much to be desired - but, the city of Norfolk, along with Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and Newport News provide plenty of diversion and variety less than an hour's drive away. It's easy living in Gloucester - people are friendly and welcoming. It is quiet at night and on holidays. You will not feel 'lost in the crowds' - since you will rarely encounter a crowd around town - except during the Daffodil Festival in April and on Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. Gloucester has a spiffy, traditional Main Street district that is one to two miles from the 'business' and shopping district along U.S. Highway 17. The big box stores along Highway 17 will take care of your everyday needs. For special purchases you may need to drive into Williamsburg or Newport News where there are many more retail sites. Cultural and recreational opportunities abound - but are scattered throughout the region and too numerous to list. It's fair to say that there's a lot to do if you have the wheels to get you where you need to go. Two downsides of living in Gloucester are the lack of public transportation options and the over-reliance on Highway 17. It is the single, main road that leads to the Coleman Bridge over the York River to the larger communities in Hampton Roads. Driving Highway 17 south is not as stressful as being on a busy interstate freeway – but, it’s no picnic either.