The 10 Drunkest Cities In Virginia For 2024

We used Saturday Night Science to determine the drunkest cities in Virginia.

Is there anything wrong with being called the drunkest city in your state?

Here’s what’s interesting about Virginia: It’s towards the back of the pack when it comes to alcohol consumption per capita. Residents average 20 beers each a year.

The divorce rate is somewhere in the bottom, too. Maybe that’s because Virginia is for lovers.

Bravo, Virginia. Especially when you consider that right next door to the 2nd drunkest place in the nation

But, while hundreds of thousands of people don’t drink a drop, the cities below more than make up for it.

How do you decide how much a place drinks? By the number of available places to buy booze, and by how often people are talking about drinking, that’s how.

Plus, we thought why not add in a stereotype? Studies have indicated that when one or both partners in a marriage are alcoholics, that couple is three times more likely to divorce.

After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as The Drunkest Cities in Virginia.

Read on below to see how your city might have fared.

For more reading on Virginia, check out:

What drunken criteria did we use?

  • Number of bars and pubs per capita
  • Number of wineries per capita
  • Number of liquor stores per capita
  • Each city’s drunk related tweets within the last week
  • Each city’s divorce rate

For geo-located tweets, we measured the following raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general area: #Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

1. Charlottesville

Charlottesville, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Billy Hathorn | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 43,233
Divorce rate: 8.7%
Bars per capita: 2nd
Liquor stores per capita: 8th

No surprises here if you’ve ever spent time at the University of Virginia. There are bars and restaurants up and down Main Street here. You can just about stumble into a bar around every corner downtown.

Some people probably do just that.

In fact, there are almost more bars per capita than anywhere else in the state of Virginia.

When you factor in the amount of drinking on campus, you can see why Charlottesville won’ this whole thing.

2. Winchester

Winchester, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Sarah Stierch | CC BY 4.0

Population: 26,230
Divorce rate: 13%
Bars per capita: 5th
Liquor stores per capita: 3rd

For such a little place, there are lots of places to take part in some real buzzy activities in Winchester.

And when you factor in one of the highest divorce rates in the state, it’s pretty clear that lots of people here are getting bleary eyed more often than not.

That’s okay. We’re not judging. Sounds like fun, actually.

Winchester is along I-81 on your way to/from West Virginia.

3. Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Jason Pratt | CC BY 2.0

Population: 439,528
Divorce rate: 11%
Bars per capita: 14th
Liquor stores per capita: 26th

There are more bars in Virginia Beach than anywhere else in the state. But because there are so many people there, Virginia Beach ranked lower on this list. Remember, we’re talking about drinkers per capita, people.

The fact is, there are thousands of people in Virginia Beach getting hammered every night. But there are hundreds of thousands of people who spend their down time at home.

Virginia Beach led the way with drunk Tweets as well. This one is pretty good:

“every time I hear certain songs now all i can think of is drunk twerking in my bikini in Virginia Beach then i hate myself”

4. Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 24,932
Divorce rate: 11.2%
Bars per capita: 1st
Liquor stores per capita: 2nd

Would you have guessed that Fredericksburg has more bars per capita than anywhere else in Virginia? It’s true. And more than a handful of liquor stores as well.

At last count, there were three breweries here as well along I-95 south of Alexandria. But we’re pretty sure all the folks in Fredericksburg know all of the back roads.

5. Bristol

Bristol, VA

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL

Population: 17,747
Divorce rate: 15%
Bars per capita: 15th
Liquor stores per capita: 5th

Bristol’s city motto is: “A Good Place To Live.” Does having lots of bars per capita mean a good place? Perhaps. Depending on what you do on the weekend.

While not overwhelmed with an abundance of booze, Bristol has plenty per person. There are lots of chain restaurants that specialize in their booze, and right next door, there are plenty of bars in Bristol, TN.

Since this smallish town is right along the Tennessee state line, there might be lots of moonshine moving across the border here as well.

6. Richmond

Richmond, VA

Source: Wikipedia User CoredesatChikai | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 205,348
Divorce rate: 12%
Bars per capita: 5th
Liquor stores per capita: 9th

There are at least 10 breweries in Richmond, and simply a ton of bars, wine bars and liquor stores in and around downtown. Considering the amount of consumption that’s occurring at VCU as well, this place really knows how to whoop it up.

We heard about lots of people drinking and driving in Richmond via Twitter, including a drunk woman who was streaming live video while driving.


7. Leesburg

Leesburg, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Wallygva | GFDL

Population: 43,208
Divorce rate: 7.75%
Bars per capita: 19th
Liquor stores per capita: 17th

Did you know there are at least 6 breweries in Leesburg? About 2 or 5 beers northeast of D.C., the people in Leesburg have plenty of opportunities to get drunk at bars as well.

What’s interesting about Leesburg is the divorce rate is so low. It’s a fairly wealthy community, so perhaps people with more money are able to keep things together easier.

There were a fair amount of drunk Tweets coming from Leesburg. This is a gem:

“Go home Leesburg, you’re drunk.”

8. Roanoke

Roanoke, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Joe Ravi | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 97,347
Divorce rate: 16%
Bars per capita: 12th
Liquor stores per capita: 19th

Holy Matrimony, Roanoke! It says, Till Death Do Us Part’ for a reason. 1 in 6 residents here is divorced, which is just about as high as you’ll see in Virginia.

We’re not saying that all of the marriages here were wrecked by booze. However, when one or both partners in a marriage are alcoholics, the marriage is three times more likely to end.

9. Abingdon

Abingdon, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Ricknightcrawler | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 8,166
Divorce rate: 15.5%
Bars per capita: 3rd
Liquor stores per capita: 2nd

Just where is this tiny town with booze up the wazoo? Abingdon is way down I-81 near Tennessee.

Here, there are the 3rd most bars per capita in the state, and the 2nd most liquor stores in VA.

Abingdon is also home to Wolf Hills Brewing Company.

10. Arlington

Arlington, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Mariordo | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 209,077
Divorce rate: 8%
Bars per capita: 3rd
Liquor stores per capita: 2nd

Here’s the deal with Arlington: It has a ton of places to get hammered, but they seem to be really responsible drinkers. The divorce rate is low, and the income levels and other economic factors are also pretty stable.

Being so close to D.C. also means there might be some spillover into the Arlington area.

But bravo to Arlington, for showing the rest of us that you can have your cake and eat it too.

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in Virginia where there are a high number of divorced people, bars and liquor stores, and where people are talking about drinking the most often, this is an accurate list.

For more reading on Virginia, check out:

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

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