The 6 Coldest Places in Virginia Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine

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Written by Joyce Nash

Published: December 22, 2023

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Virginia has five different climate regions thanks to its diverse topography, which includes coastal, piedmont, and mountainous areas. The coldest regions of the state are the Northern Virginia, Southwestern Mountain, and Western Mountain climate regions. But which cities in the state have the lowest temperatures? Keep reading to learn all about the coldest places in Virginia.

Discover the 6 coldest places in the state of Virginia which may make you shiver in your boots!

6. Charlottesville

University of Virginia Campus - Aerial View

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville was founded by Thomas Jefferson.

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Founded in 1762, Charlottesville’s past is deeply entwined with the history of the nation’s founding. Two former presidents made their homes in the Charlottesville area. Visitors can explore both Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Highland home. In addition, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is located in the central region of the state in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is among Virginia’s coldest places with average low temperatures in the winter that range from 27-30 degrees. From December through February, the city typically sees an average of 3-6 inches of snow each month.

5. Manassas

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park offers visitors the chance to explore the history of two important Civil War battles.

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The history of Manassas dates back to the early 1800s, but the city is perhaps most well known for its role during the Civil War. The history of the Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Manassas is preserved at the Manassas National Battlefield Park, which draws over 700,000 visitors each year.

In addition to its historic importance, Manassas is also among Virginia’s coldest places. During the winter months, average low temperatures range from 24-28 degrees, and average high temperatures in the winter are in the mid-40s. Although the City of Manassas encompasses only 10 square miles, the area boasts a thriving downtown with shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and multiple areas of historic interest.

4. Sterling

Dulles, USA International Airport, IAD, cityscape of Sterling with colorful sunset in Virginia evening night, buildings illuminated, airplane yellow engine

Sterling, Virginia, is just a few miles from Dulles International Airport.

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Located near the Virginia-Maryland border, Sterling — also known as Dulles — is an unincorporated community in Loudoun County. Sterling is among the coldest places in Virginia, with average low winter temperatures that range from 23-26 degrees. In addition, the area can also expect an average of 3-8 inches of snow during the winter months.

Sterling is a short distance from the Potomac River and Algonkian Regional Park. This area is a popular destination for fall leaf-viewing along the Potomac Heritage Trail. Each October, the community hosts “Sterlingfest,” a time when the streets are taken over by a massive block party featuring local vendors, artists, and restaurants.

3. Winchester

Best National Parks to Visit in April - Shenandoah National Park

The Shenandoah National Park is a short drive from Winchester, which is home to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

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Founded in 1744, Winchester is Virginia’s oldest city located west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city has played an important role in some of the country’s most historic events. During the Revolutionary War, Daniel Morgan led the 600-mile Beeline March from Winchester to Boston. Later, during the Civil War, General Stonewall Jackson established his headquarters in Winchester during the winter of 1861-1862.

That winter was probably a cold one for General Jackson and his Confederate troops, since average low winter temperatures in the city range from 20-23 degrees. During the winter months, Winchester typically sees 3-6 inches of snow. However, the city embraces its wintry weather with its annual “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” light display. This event is held in Clearbrook Park, which is transformed into a beautiful display with hundreds of twinkling lights.

2. Pembroke

The New River passes by Prince West Virginia near the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve during the Autumn leaf color change.

The Pembroke Boat Landing gives easy access to the New River.

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The coldest temperature ever recorded in Virginia was measured in Pembroke, a town located near the Virginia-West Virginia border. In January 1985, the temperature plunged to thirty degrees below zero. This is much colder than the area’s average winter low temperatures, which range from 19-21 degrees.

Pembroke is known as the “Gateway to the Cascades” due to a stunning 66-foot waterfall that’s accessible via a four-mile hiking trail. The city is home to around 1,200 people and boasts plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation at the nearby New River and Glen Alton estate.

1. Monterey

Monterey, Virginia

Monterey’s annual Highland County Maple Festival is considered by the Library of Congress to be a “Local Legacy.”

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Tucked into a northwestern corner of the state in the Shenandoah Valley, Monterey is the coldest place in Virginia. During the winter months, the average low temps range from 17-20 degrees and average high temperatures from 37-42 degrees.

Monterey sits at an elevation of 2,894 feet and is home to fewer than 200 residents. However, the city draws nearly 50,000 visitors each year to its Highland County Maple Festival in March. Monterey is the seat of Highland County, which is often called “Virginia’s Little Switzerland.”

Summary of Virginia’s Coldest Places

RankLocationAverage Low Winter Temps
#1Monterey17-20 degrees
#2Pembroke19-21 degrees
#3Winchester20-23 degrees
#4Sterling23-26 degrees
#5Manassas24-28 degrees
#6Charlottesville27-30 degrees


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About the Author

Joyce Nash is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel and geography. She has almost a decade of writing experience. Her background ranges from journalism to farm animal rescues and spans the East Coast to the West. She is based in North Carolina, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

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