Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Virginia Beach is an independent city
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 located in the Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 metropolitan area of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

. Although Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in the state of Virginia, Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the state, as well as the 39th largest city in the United States, with a population of 437,994 according to the 2010 Census.

Virginia Beach is the easternmost city of Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 that make up the core of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA. This area, known as "America's First Region", also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

, Hampton
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

, Newport News
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

, Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

, and Suffolk
Suffolk, Virginia
Suffolk is the largest city by area in Virginia, United States, and is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,585. Its median household income was $57,546.-History:...

, as well as other smaller cities, counties and towns of Hampton Roads.

Virginia Beach is a resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 city with miles of beaches
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

 and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Every year the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships
East Coast Surfing Championships
The East Coast Surfing Championships is an annual surfing contest held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is one of the United States Surfing Federation’s major amateur events. The ECSC stretches over a four day period every year in late August at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront...

 as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship, a beach soccer
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

 tournament. It is also home to several state parks, several long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, two universities, Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and numerous historic sites. Near the point where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry
Cape Henry
Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia north of Virginia Beach. It is the southern boundary of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.Across the mouth of the bay to the north is Cape Charles...

 was the site of the first landing
First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia....

 of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

, on April 26, 1607.

The city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. It is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a long fixed link crossing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and connecting the Delmarva Peninsula's Eastern Shore of Virginia with Virginia Beach and the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads, Virginia...

, the longest bridge-tunnel
Bridge-tunnel
A fixed link, fixed crossing, or bridge-tunnel is a persistent, unbroken road or rail connection across water that uses some combination of bridges, tunnels, and causeways and does not involve intermittent connections such as drawbridges or ferries.The Confederation Bridge was commonly referred to...

 complex in the world.

History


Chesepians
Chesepian
The Chesepian or Chesapeake were a NativeAmerican tribe who inhabited the area now known as South Hampton Roads in the U.S. state of Virginia prior to their annihilation by the Powhatan Confederacy early in the 17th century. They occupied an area which is now the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake,...

 were the first inhabitants of the area now known as Tidewater in Virginia about whom hardly anything is known. They occupied an area which is now the independent cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.
In 1607, after a voyage of 144 days, three ships headed by Captain Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

 carrying 105 men and boys made their first landfall in the New World where the Atlantic Ocean meets the southern mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in the northeastern part of the city. They named it Cape Henry, after Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales
Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales was the elder son of King James I & VI and Anne of Denmark. His name derives from his grandfathers: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and Frederick II of Denmark. Prince Henry was widely seen as a bright and promising heir to his father's throne...

, the eldest son of King James I of England
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

. However, these English colonists of the Virginia Company of London
London Company
The London Company was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I of England on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.The territory granted to the London Company included the coast of North America from the 34th parallel ...

 left the area, as they were under orders to seek a site further inland which would be more sheltered from ships of competing European countries. They created their first permanent settlement at Jamestown.

Adam Thoroughgood
Adam Thoroughgood
Adam Thoroughgood was a colonist and community leader in the Virginia Colony who helped settle the area of South Hampton Roads known in contemporary times as the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia....

 (1604–1640) of King's Lynn
King's Lynn
King's Lynn is a sea port and market town in the ceremonial county of Norfolk in the East of England. It is situated north of London and west of Norwich. The population of the town is 42,800....

, Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

, England is one of the earliest Englishmen to settle in the area which became Virginia Beach. At the age of 18, he became an indentured servant
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

 to pay for passage to the Virginia Colony. He earned his freedom and became a leading citizen of the area. In 1629, he was elected to the House of Burgesses
House of Burgesses
The House of Burgesses was the first assembly of elected representatives of English colonists in North America. The House was established by the Virginia Company, who created the body as part of an effort to encourage English craftsmen to settle in North America...

 for Elizabeth Cittie
Elizabeth City (Virginia Company)
Elizabeth City was one of four incorporations established in the Virginia Colony in 1619 by the proprietor, the Virginia Company of London, acting in accordance with instructions issued by Sir George Yeardley, Governor.The plantations and developments were divided into four political divisions,...

 [sic], one of four "citties" (or incorporations) which were subdivided areas established in 1619.

In 1634, the Colony was divided into the original eight shires of Virginia
Shires of Virginia
The eight Shires of Virginia were formed in 1634 in the Virginia Colony. These shires were based on a form of local government used in England at the time, and were redesignated as counties a few years later...

, soon renamed as counties
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

. Thoroughgood is credited with using the name of his home in England when helping name "New Norfolk County" in 1637. The following year, New Norfolk County was split into Upper Norfolk County (soon renamed Nansemond County
Nansemond County, Virginia
Nansemond County is an extinct county which was located in Virginia Colony and the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States, from 1646 until 1972...

) and Lower Norfolk County. Thoroughgood's choice of residence after 1634 was along the Lynnhaven River
Lynnhaven River
The Lynnhaven River is a tidal estuary located in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, in the United States, and flows into the Chesapeake Bay west of Cape Henry at Lynnhaven Inlet, beyond which is Lynnhaven Roads. It has a small, developed watershed covering , terminating at Lynnhaven...

, also named for his home in England. Lower Norfolk County was quite large, and stretched all the way from the Atlantic Ocean west past the Elizabeth River
Elizabeth River (Virginia)
The Elizabeth River is a tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roads harbor at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. It is located along the southern side of the mouth of the James River, between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk...

, encompassing the entire area now within the modern cities of Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.

In 1691, Lower Norfolk County was divided to form Norfolk County
Norfolk County, Virginia
Norfolk County was a county of the South Hampton Roads in eastern Virginia in the United States that was created in 1691. After the American Civil War, for a period of about 100 years, portions of Norfolk County were lost and the territory of the county reduced as they became parts of the separate...

 and Princess Anne County
Princess Anne County, Virginia
Princess Anne County is a former county which was created in the British Colony of Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States in 1691. The county was merged into the city of Virginia Beach...

. Princess Anne, the easternmost county in South Hampton Roads, extended northward from the North Carolina border to Cape Henry at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and included all of the area fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Princess Anne County was to last from 1691 to 1963, over 250 years.

The small resort area of Virginia Beach grew in Princess Anne County, beginning in the late 19th century, particularly after the 1888 arrival of rail service and electricity and the opening of the original Princess Anne Hotel at the oceanfront near the tiny community of Seatack
Seatack, Virginia
Seatack, Virginia was located in Princess Anne County and is now part of the Oceanfront resort strip and adjacent area of the independent city of Virginia Beach. The Seatack community of Virginia Beach includes an area inland from the resort strip along present-day Virginia Beach Boulevard. Seatack...

. In 1891, guests at the new hotel watched the wreck and rescue efforts of the United States Life-Saving Service
United States Life-Saving Service
The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers...

 for the Norwegian bark Dictator. The ship's figurehead, which washed up on the beach several days later, was erected as a modest monument to the victims and rescuers along the oceanfront for more than 50 years, and later became the inspiration for the current matching Norwegian Lady Monuments in Virginia Beach and Moss, Norway
Moss, Norway
is a coastal city and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Moss. The city of Moss was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

, sculpted by Ørnulf Bast
Ørnulf Bast
Ørnulf Bast was a Norwegian sculptor and painter particularly known for his public monuments.-Background:...

.

Although the resort was initially dependent upon railroad and electric trolley service, the completion of Virginia Beach Boulevard
Virginia Beach Boulevard
Virginia Beach Boulevard is a major connector highway which carries U.S. Route 58 most of its length and extends from the downtown area of Norfolk to the Oceanfront area of Virginia Beach, passing through the newly-developed New Urbanist Town Center development of the latter as it links the two...

 in 1922, which extended from Norfolk to the oceanfront, opened the way for automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s, bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

es, truck
Truck
A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile...

s, and passenger rail service, the latter of which was eventually discontinued. The growing resort of Virginia Beach became an incorporated town
Incorporated town
-Canada:Incorporated towns are a form of local government in Canada, which is a responsibility of provincial rather than federal government.-United States:...

 in 1906. Over the next 45 years, Virginia Beach continued to grow in popularity as a seasonal vacation spot, and casinos gave way to amusement parks and family-oriented attractions. In 1927 The Cavalier Hotel opened and became a popular vacation spot. Virginia Beach became politically independent of Princess Anne County as an independent city in 1952, although the numerous ties between Virginia Beach and Princess Anne remained. In 1963, after approval by referendum of the voters of the City of Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County, and with the approval of the Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members,...

, the two political subdivisions were consolidated as a new, much larger independent city, retaining the better-known name of the Virginia Beach resort.

Real estate, defense, and tourism are major sectors of the Virginia Beach economy, but the city has begun to run out of clear land available for new construction above the Green Line, an urban growth boundary
Urban growth boundary
An urban growth boundary, or UGB, is a regional boundary, set in an attempt to control urban sprawl by mandating that the area inside the boundary be used for higher density urban development and the area outside be used for lower density development.An urban growth boundary circumscribes an...

 dividing the urban northern and rural southern sections of the city.
As such, while Virginia Beach does not have a redevelopment authority, local public and private groups have maintained a vested interest in real-estate redevelopment, resulting in a number of joint public-private projects such as commercial parks. Examples of this are the Virginia Beach Convention Center, the Oceanfront Hilton Hotel, and the Virginia Beach Town Center
Virginia Beach Town Center
Virginia Beach Town Center is a group of offices, hotels, stores, and restaurants in Virginia Beach, Virginia.-Location:The Virginia Beach Town Center is located in the Central Business District of Virginia Beach across the street from Pembroke Mall...

. Using tax increment financing through creation of special tax districts and street and infrastructure construction, the City was able to assist in financing the projects making them a reality. The Town Center opened in 2003 and still has construction taking place, while the Convention Center opened in 2005.

The Alan B. Shepard Civic Center ("The Dome"), a significant building in the city's history, was constructed in 1958, was dedicated to the career of former Virginia Beach resident and astronaut Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...

, and was the first geodesic dome
Geodesic dome
A geodesic dome is a spherical or partial-spherical shell structure or lattice shell based on a network of great circles on the surface of a sphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements that have local triangular rigidity and also distribute the stress across the structure. When...

 building constructed in the continental United States — based on the design work of Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller
Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was an American systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, futurist and second president of Mensa International, the high IQ society....

. Eventually, the Dome was frequently used as a smokey bingo hall. The building was razed in 1994 to make room for a municipal parking lot and potential future development.

Infill and development of residential neighborhoods has placed a number of operating constraints on Naval Air Station Oceana, a major fighter jet base for the U.S. Navy. While the airbase currently enjoys wide support from Virginia Beach at large, the Pentagon Base Realignment and Closure
Base Realignment and Closure
Base Realignment and Closure is a process of the United States federal government directed at the administration and operation of the Armed Forces, used by the United States Department of Defense and Congress to close excess military installations and realign the total asset inventory to reduce...

 commission has proposed closure of Oceana within the next decade.

Geography and climate



Virginia Beach is located at 36.8506°N 75.9779°W.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 497.3 square miles (1,288 km²). 248.3 square miles (643.1 km²) of it is land and 249 square miles (644.9 km²) of it (50.07%) is water. The average elevation is 12 feet (3.7 m) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. A major portion of the city drains to the Chesapeake Bay by way of the Lynnhaven River and its tributaries.

The city is located at the southeastern corner of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 in the Hampton Roads area bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area
United States metropolitan area
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like...

 (officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA) is the 34th largest in the United States, with a total population of 1,576,370. The area includes the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson
Poquoson, Virginia
Poquoson is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 12,150 according to the 2010 Census...

, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

, and the counties of Gloucester
Gloucester County, Virginia
Gloucester County is within the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area in the USA. Formed in 1651 in the Virginia Colony, the county was named for Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, third son of King Charles I of Great Britain. Located in the Middle Peninsula region, it...

, Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,270 people, 11,319 households, and 8,670 families residing in the county. The population density was 94 people per square mile . There were 12,066 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile...

, James City
James City County, Virginia
James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

, Mathews
Mathews County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,978 people, 3,932 households, and 2,823 families residing in the county. The population density was 108 people per square mile . There were 5,333 housing units at an average density of 62 per square mile...

, Surry
Surry County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, and 1,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile . There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

, and York
York County, Virginia
York County is a county located on the north side of the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Situated on the York River and many tributaries, the county seat is the unincorporated town of Yorktown...

, as well as the North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 county of Currituck
Currituck County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:*Currituck National Wildlife Refuge*Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge -Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 23,547 people, 6,902 households, and 5,204 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile . There were...

. While Virginia Beach is the most populated city within the MSA, it actually currently functions more as a suburb. The city of Norfolk is recognized as the central business district, while the Virginia Beach oceanside resort district and Williamsburg are primarily centers of tourism.

Neighborhoods


When the modern city of Virginia Beach was created in 1963, by the consolidation of the 253 square miles (655.3 km²) Princess Anne County with the 2 square miles (5.2 km²) City of Virginia Beach, the newly larger city was divided into seven boroughs: Bayside, Blackwater, Kempsville, Lynnhaven, Princess Anne, Pungo, and Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach has many distinctive communities and neighborhoods within its boundaries, including: Acredale, Aragona Village, Arrowhead, Chesapeake Beach, Bay Colony, Brigadoon, Great Neck, Kings Grant, Alanton
Alanton, Virginia
Alanton is an older, upscale, residential neighborhood in the northern part of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. The community was named for Alan McCullough, a prominent Virginia architect, but developed by his father. It is bordered by Baycliff and Cape Henry Collegiate School. Alanton Elementary is...

, Green Run
Green Run, Virginia
Green Run is a residential and commercial community covering nearly six square miles in the center of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Built between 1968 and 1986, Green Run was the first Planned Unit Development built in the South Hampton Roads region and contains 36 neighborhoods, including 4200...

, Buckner Farms, Bayside
Bayside, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Bayside s one of the seven original boroughs created with the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia was formed in 1963. Bayside lies in northern Virginia Beach in the vicinity of the intersection of U.S. Route 13 and U.S. Route 60...

, Blackwater, Brighton on the Bay, Carolanne Farm, College Park, Glenwood, Croatan Beach, Church Point, Greenwich, the North End, Kempsville
Kempsville, Virginia
Kempsville was formerly an unincorporated town which was located in Princess Anne County, Virginia. In modern times, it is a community within the urbanized portion the independent city of Virginia Beach, the largest city in Virginia.-History:...

, Landstown, London Bridge
London Bridge, Virginia
London Bridge is an unincorporated community within the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. It is located in the area of Great Neck Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard, where Laskin Road begins....

, Lynnhaven
Lynnhaven, Virginia
Lynnhaven is one of the seven original boroughs created with the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia was formed in 1963. It is located in the in North Central portion of the city and is centered around the Lynnhaven Parkway.-Modern community:...

, Little Neck, Middle Plantation, Munden, Oceana, Ocean Lakes, Ocean Park, Pembroke Manor, Pembroke Meadows,Indian Lakes, Pembroke Shores, Hilltop, Pine Meadows, Princess Anne, Pungo
Pungo, Virginia
Pungo is a rural community located in the southern portion of the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA and was one of the seven original boroughs when the City of Virginia Beach was created in 1963. The area derives its name from a local Indian tribe, the Machipungo, a branch of the...

, Indian River Plantation, Salem, Redwing, Sandbridge, Seatack, Shadowlawn, Thalia, Thalia Shores, Thoroughgood, Windsor Woods, Witchduck Point, Oceanfront, and Magic Hollow.

Climate


The climate of Virginia Beach is humid subtropical. Winters are very mild, and snowfall is light. Summers are hot and humid with warm evenings. The "official" weather statistics are recorded at Norfolk International Airport on the extreme northwestern border of Virginia Beach. The mean annual temperature is 59.6 °F (15.3 °C), with an average annual snowfall of 8.1 inches (205.7 mm), although snowfall averages are lower to the south away from the Chesapeake Bay. Average annual rainfall is 45 inches (1,143 mm). The wettest seasons are the spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant all year round. The highest recorded temperature was 105 °F (40.6 °C) in July 2010, and the lowest recorded temperature was 4 °F (-15.6 °C) in January 1985.

Additionally, the geographic location of the city, with respect to the principal storm tracks, is especially favorable. It is south of the average path of storms originating in the higher latitudes, and north of the usual tracks of hurricanes and other major tropical storms, with the exception of Hurricane Isabel
Hurricane Isabel
Hurricane Isabel was the costliest and deadliest hurricane in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. The ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, Isabel formed near the Cape Verde Islands from a tropical wave on September 6 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean...

 in 2003

Demographics



According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Virginia Beach was as follows:
  • White or Caucasian
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 67.7% (Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 64.5%)
  • Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 19.6%
  • American Indian
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

    : 0.4%
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 6.1% (4.0% Filipino, 0.5% Chinese, 0.4% Indian, 0.4% Vietnamese, 0.3% Korean, 0.2% Japanese)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.1%
  • Some other race: 2.0%
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 4.0%
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 6.6% (2.2% Puerto Rican, 1.9% Mexican, 0.3% Dominican, 0.2% Panamanian, 0.2% Salvadoran, 0.2% Cuban, 0.2% Colombian)


Source:

As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 of 2000, there were 425,257 people, 154,455 households, and 110,898 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,712.7 people per square mile (661.3/km²). There were 162,277 housing units at an average density of 653.6 per square mile (252.3/km²).

The racial makeup of the city was: 78% White
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

 (72.46% non-Hispanic white), 12% African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, 0.38% Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, 4.91% Asian
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

, 0.10% Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander American
Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

, 1.51% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.75% from two or more races. 4.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 of any race.

There were 154,455 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.14.

The age distribution was 27.5% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $48,705, and the median income for a family was $53,242. Virginia Beach had the 5th highest median family income among large cities in 2003. Males had a median income of $33,756 versus $25,979 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $22,365. About 5.1% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.

The city of Virginia Beach has a low crime rate compared to the other cities of the Hampton Roads, Newport News, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

, Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

, have above the national average crime rates while Virginia Beach remains low. In 1999 Virginia Beach experienced 12 murders giving the city a murder rate of 2.7 per 100,000 people. For 2007, Virginia Beach had 16 murders giving the city a murder rate of 3.7 per 100,000 people. The National Average is 6.9. The city’s total crime index rate for 2007 was 221.2. The United States average is 320.9 per 100,000 people. According to the Congressional Quarterly Press '2008 City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, Virginia Beach, Virginia ranks 311th in violent crime amount 385 cities containing more than 75,000 inhabitants.
Violent crimes per 100,000 citizens
Crime Virginia Beach (2009) National Average
Murder 3.7 6.9
Rape 20.2 32.2
Robbery 127.3 195.4
Assault 98.6 340.1
Burglary 495.2 814.5
Automobile Theft 134.4 526.5

The city was also named the safest US city in 2004.

Religion


34.43% of the city's population is affiliated with religious congregations, compared to the 50.2% nationwide figure. There are 146,402 adherents and 184 different religious congregations in the city.
  • 28% Catholic Church
  • 14% Southern Baptist Convention
  • 13% United Methodist Church
  • 12% Charismatic Churches Independent
  • 33% Others

Economy



Virginia Beach is best known for its tourism but the military and agribusiness sectors contribute to the City's economy. The City's economy also contains a large retail component at places such as Lynnhaven Mall
Lynnhaven Mall
Lynnhaven Mall is an enclosed super-regional shopping mall in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. It opened in August 1981. At of gross leasable area, it is not only the largest mall in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeastern Virginia, but also one of the largest malls on the East Coast...

. Major companies headquartered in Virginia Beach include Amerigroup
Amerigroup
Amerigroup is a health insurance company headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is the largest publicly-traded company focused exclusively on meeting the needs of those enrolled in publicly-funded healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare...

, the Christian Broadcasting Network
Christian Broadcasting Network
The Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN, is a fundamentalist Christian television broadcasting network in the United States. Its headquarters and main studios are in Virginia Beach, Virginia.-Background:...

, Operation Blessing International
Operation Blessing International
Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation is a non-profit 501 non-profit humanitarian organization based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA and has an operation named Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, Inc...

, and Stihl
Stihl
Andreas Stihl AG & Company is a manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment including trimmers and blowers. Their headquarters are in Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg near Stuttgart, in Germany. The company was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, an important innovator in early chain...

 (American headquarters). Other major employers include GEICO
GEICO
The Government Employees Insurance Company is an auto insurance company. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway that as of 2007 provided coverage for more than 10 million motor vehicles owned by more than 9 million policy holders. GEICO writes private passenger automobile insurance...

, VT
VT Group
VT Group plc was a British defence and services company, formerly known as Vosper Thornycroft. The Company had diversified from shipbuilding into various engineering and support services, becoming involved in many areas of provision through five main operating groups: VT Communications, VT...

 and Navy Exchange Service Command
Naval Supply Systems Command
The Naval Supply Systems Command is a command of the United States Navy. Its primary mission is to provide the Navy with quality supplies and services....

. Virginia Beach was ranked at number 45 on Forbes list of best places for business and careers.

Tourism produces a large share of Virginia Beach's economy. With an estimated $857 million spent in tourism related industries, 14,900 jobs cater to 2.75 million visitors. City coffers benefit as visitors provide $73 million in revenue. Virginia Beach opened a Convention Center in 2005 which caters to large group meetings and events. Hotels not only line the Oceanfront but also cluster around Virginia Beach Town Center and other parts of the City. Restaurants and entertainment industries also directly benefit from Virginia Beach's tourism.

Virginia Beach has a large agribusiness sector which produces $80 million for the city economy. One hundred-seventy-two farms exist in Virginia Beach, mostly below the greenline in the southern portion of the City. Farmers are able to sell their goods and products at the City's Farmer's Market.

Virginia Beach is home to several United States Military bases. These include the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

's NAS Oceana
Naval Air Station Oceana
Naval Air Station Oceana or NAS Oceana is a military airport located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is a United States Navy Master Jet Base. It is also known as Apollo Soucek Field, named after Lieutenant Apollo Soucek, a Navy Test Pilot who set the global altitude record in 1930 by flying a...

 and FTC Dam Neck
Fleet Training Center Dam Neck
Training Support Center Hampton Roads is the current name of the facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, which was long-known as "FTC Dam Neck". It is the home of the "Fleet Combat Training Center Atlantic" of the United States Navy.- Dam Neck Mills, U.S...

, and the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

's Fort Story
Fort Story
Formerly a sub-installation of Fort Eustis, Fort Story is a sub-installation of the United States Navy and Little Creek Amphibious Base...

 located at Cape Henry. Additionally, NAB Little Creek
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...

 is located mostly within the city of Virginia Beach but carries a Norfolk address.

NAS Oceana is the largest employer in Virginia Beach; it was decreed by the 2005 BRAC Commission that NAS Oceana must close unless the city of Virginia Beach condemns houses in areas designated as "Accident Potential Zones." This action has never been the position of the United States Navy; indeed, the Navy had not recommended NAS Oceana to the BRAC Commission for potential closure. The issue of closure of NAS Oceana remains unresolved as of May, 2008
Both NAS Oceana and FTC Dam Neck are considered to be the largest of their respective kind in the world. Furthermore, located in nearby Norfolk is the central hub of the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet
U.S. Atlantic Fleet
The United States Fleet Forces Command is an Atlantic Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval resources that are under the operational control of the United States Northern Command...

, Norfolk Navy Base
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean...

.

Culture


The city is home to several points of interest in the historical, scientific, and performing arts areas, and has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Virginia Aquarium
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, formerly known as the Virginia Marine Science Museum, is an aquarium and marine science museum located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, just south of Rudee Inlet...

 (formerly the Virginia Marine Science Museum) is a popular aquarium near the oceanfront that features the 300,000-gallon Norfolk Canyon Aquarium, containing sand tiger, nurse and brown shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

s, as well as sting rays and other large open-ocean dwellers. There is also a 70,000-gallon sea turtle
Sea turtle
Sea turtles are marine reptiles that inhabit all of the world's oceans except the Arctic.-Distribution:...

 aquarium, sea turtle hatchling laboratory, hands-on ocean exploration exhibits, jellyfish and octopus aquariums, and even a life-size model of a humpback whale. Other features include the Owls Creek salt marsh and a nature trail.

The Virginia Beach Amphitheater, built in 1996, features a wide variety of popular shows and concerts, ranging from Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney
Kenneth "Kenny" Arnold Chesney is an American country music singer and songwriter. Chesney has recorded 15 albums, 14 of which have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA. He has also produced more than 30 Top Ten singles on the U.S...

 to Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Taylor Alison Swift is an American country pop singer-songwriter, musician and actress.In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", then her self-titled debut album, which was subsequently certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America...

 to Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a British alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a...

 to Ozzfest
Ozzfest
Ozzfest is an annual festival tour of the United States featuring performances by many heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded by Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne, both of whom also organize each yearly tour with their son Jack Osbourne...

. The Sandler Center, a 1200-seat performing arts theatre, opened in the Virginia Beach Town Center
Virginia Beach Town Center
Virginia Beach Town Center is a group of offices, hotels, stores, and restaurants in Virginia Beach, Virginia.-Location:The Virginia Beach Town Center is located in the Central Business District of Virginia Beach across the street from Pembroke Mall...

 in November, 2007.

Virginia Beach is home to many sites of historical importance, and has 18 sites on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

. Such sites include the Adam Thoroughgood House
Adam Thoroughgood House
The Adam Thoroughgood House is a brick house in located within the neighborhood of Thoroughgood, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was at one time thought to have been built in 1636, but recent research has placed its construction ca. 1720. The building underwent major restorations in 1923 and in the...

 (one of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia), the Francis Land House (a 200-year-old plantation), the Cape Henry Lights and nearby Cape Henry Light Station (a second tower), Bayville Farm, DeWitt Cottage, Ferry Farm Plantation, Dr. John Miller-Masury House, Adam Keeling House
Adam Keeling House
The Adam Keeling House is a historic house in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.The house was likely built at some point after 1680. It is the second oldest surviving house in Virginia Beach...

, Old Donation Church, Pembroke Manor, Pleasant Hall, Shirley Hall (Devereaux House), Thomas Murray House, U.S. Coast Guard Station (Seatack), Upper Wolfsnare, Weblin House, and Wishart Boush House, and Wolfsnare.

The Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce was an American psychic who allegedly had the ability to give answers to questions on subjects such as healing or Atlantis while in a hypnotic trance...

 Hospital for Research and Enlightenment was established in Virginia Beach in 1928 with 60 beds. Cayce was a psychic from Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 who claimed healing abilities and made prophesies. Cayce is known as the father of the "New Age" movement of the 1960s. Cayce resided in Virginia Beach until he died on January 3, 1945. His followers are still active in Virginia Beach. The 67th street facility features a large private library of books on psychic matters, and is open to the public. The traditional beach-architecture headquarters building features massage therapy by appointment. Atlantic University
Atlantic University
Atlantic University is an American institution of higher education in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is associated with an Edgar Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment . Its offices are in the A.R.E. headquarters....

 was opened by Cayce in 1930; it closed two years later but was re-opened in 1985. Atlantic University was originally intended for study of Cayce's readings and research on spiritual subjects.

The city's largest festival, the Neptune Festival
Neptune Festival
The Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia was created by Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce President and RK Chevrolet founder Richard Kline in 1973 to celebrate the unique heritage of Virginia Beach. Since that time, the festival has grown to be one of America’s top 100 festivals and one...

, attracts 500,000 visitors to the Oceanfront and 350,000 visitors to the air show at NAS Oceana. Celebrating the city's heritage link with Norway, events are held in September in the Oceanfront and Town Center areas. Every August, the American Music Festival provides festival attendees with live music performed on stages all over the Oceanfront, including the beach on Fifth Street. The festival ends with the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Sports


Since Norfolk contains the central business district of Hampton Roads, most of the major spectator sports are located there. While the Hampton Roads area has been recently considered as a viable prospect for major-league professional sports, and regional leaders have attempted to obtain Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

, NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 and NHL
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 franchises in the recent past, no team has yet relocated to the area. The Virginia Beach metropolitan area is the largest in the United States that does not have a major sports franchise.

The Virginia Destroyers, a UFL franchise, play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex
Virginia Beach Sportsplex
-External links:[]Category:Sports venues in Hampton RoadsCategory:United Football League venuesCategory:Soccer venues in VirginiaCategory:Sports in Virginia Beach, VirginiaCategory:Visitor attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia...

. They are currently the league champions.
There are two soccer
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 teams, the Hampton Roads Piranhas
Hampton Roads Piranhas
Hampton Roads Piranhas is an American women’s soccer team, founded in 1995. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, the second tier of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada...

, a men's team in the USL Premier Development League
USL Premier Development League
The USL Premier Development League is the amateur league of the United Soccer Leagues in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, forming part of the American Soccer Pyramid...

, and a women's team by the same name in the W-League
W-League
The USL W-League is a national women's soccer league in the United States on the 2nd level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, alongside the Women's Premier Soccer League and below Women's Professional Soccer....

. The Piranhas play at the main stadium of the Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College is a small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia offering a Bachelor of Arts in many disciplines and has added Bachelor of Science programs as well...

. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex
Virginia Beach Sportsplex
-External links:[]Category:Sports venues in Hampton RoadsCategory:United Football League venuesCategory:Soccer venues in VirginiaCategory:Sports in Virginia Beach, VirginiaCategory:Visitor attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia...

 contains the central training site for the U.S. women's national field hockey
Field hockey
Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

 team.

The city is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships
East Coast Surfing Championships
The East Coast Surfing Championships is an annual surfing contest held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is one of the United States Surfing Federation’s major amateur events. The ECSC stretches over a four day period every year in late August at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront...

, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world's top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America's oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $40,000.

There are also eleven golf courses open to the public in the city, as well as four country club layouts and 36 military holes at NAS Oceana's Aeropines course. Among the best-known public courses are Hell's Point Golf Club and Virginia Beach National, the latter of which hosts the Virginia Beach Open, a Nationwide Tour
Nationwide Tour
The Nationwide Tour is the developmental tour for the U.S.-based PGA Tour, and features professional golfers who have either failed to score well enough at that level's Qualifying School to earn their PGA Tour card, or who have done so but then failed to win enough money to stay at that level...

 event, each April.

The North American Sand Soccer Championship is held once a year at the beach. The tournament includes the Pro/Am competition, which brings teams from all over the world to compete in the tournament.

Virginia Beach is also home of a large Beach Volleyball following, both local and from out of town. Several local organizations and companies such as Tidewater Volleyball Association and Volleyball Virginia support competitive play from Pros to Amateurs alike. Affiliations with the AVP Tour, EVP Tour, Pro Beach East, and the Spalding Corona Wide Open have driven tourism by hosting Pro and Semi-Pro Beach Tournaments.

Virginia Beach is host to a Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon each year on Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the American Music Festival. It is one of the largest Half Marathons in the world. The final 3 miles (4.8 km) are on the boardwalk.

The Pro Footvolley Tour, presented by Bud Light Lime, also has an annual event in Virginia Beach. With great local athletes and significant interest from the soccer/beach volleyball communities; Virginia Beach is a natural host for the annual event held at 31st and the Oceanfront. The top athletes in the US and International teams converge in Virginia Beach for the event.

Parks and recreation


Virginia Beach is home to 210 city parks, encompassing over 4000 acres (1,618.7 ha), including neighborhood parks, community parks, district parks, and other open spaces. Each park is unique and offers something for everyone, from wide open spaces to playgrounds, picnic shelters, and ballfields.
Mount Trashmore Park is clearly visible from I-264 when traveling to the oceanfront. The park is 165 acres (66.8 ha). The hill is 60 ft (18.3 m) high and over 800 ft (243.8 m) long, and was created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil. It is the highest point in Virginia Beach. The park also features two lakes: Lake Windsor and Lake Trashmore. Lake Trashmore is stocked with fish, but is unsanitary to fish in. Residents can also take advantage of a skate park.

Another major park in the city is Great Neck Park, a 70 acres (28.3 ha) park located in the Lynnhaven District. Facilities include five large group shelters, mini-shelters, family picnic tables and grills, three playgrounds, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, vending machines, walking trails, four baseball fields, as well as a gazebo located at the end of a scenic walkway overlooking the Lynnhaven River.

The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Virginia is located in the independent city of Virginia Beach. Established in 1938 in isolated portion of Princess Anne County, it is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service....

, established in 1938, is an 8000 acres (32.4 km²) fresh water refuge that borders the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Back Bay on the west. The barrier islands feature large sand dunes, maritime forests, fresh water marshes, ponds, ocean beach, and large impoundments for wintering wildfowl. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia....

 and False Cape State Park
False Cape State Park
False Cape State Park is a state park in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is a mile-wide barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The park adjoins the state border with North Carolina and lies shortly north of Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge...

 are both located in coastal areas within the city's corporate limits as well. Both offer camping facilities, cabins, and outdoor recreation activities in addition to nature and history tours.

Munden Point
Munden Point
Munden Point Park is a recreational park owned and maintained by the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia located deep in the heart of the southern end of the city, right on The North Landing River. The park features five shelters, three baseball fields, a boat ramp, boat rentals, three playgrounds,...

 is a rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 park located in the deep southern end of the city.

Additionally, the famous 3 miles (4.8 km) boardwalk at the oceanfront is often packed with fascinating entertainment, outdoor cafes, concerts and people. Made of concrete, the boardwalk links forty hotels and other attractions and has a bike path.

Naval Aviation Monument Park was formally dedicated on May 6, 2006, by the Hampton Roads Squadron of the Naval Aviation Foundation Association. Planned since 1997 in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach, the park features heroic-scale statuary and reliefs to tell the history of Naval Aviation. name="Wings of Gold">Naval Aviation Monument Park. Alexandria, Virginia.: Naval Aviation Foundation, Wings of Gold, quarterly, Summer-Fall, 2006, page 58.

Government



Virginia Beach was chartered as a municipal corporation by the General Assembly of Virginia on January 1, 1963. The city currently operates under the council-manager form of government. The city does not fall under the jurisdiction of a county
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 government, due to state law. Rather, it functions as an independent city
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 and operates as a political subdivision of the state.

The city's legislative body consists of an 11 member city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

. The city manager
City manager
A city manager is an official appointed as the administrative manager of a city, in a council-manager form of city government. Local officials serving in this position are sometimes referred to as the chief executive officer or chief administrative officer in some municipalities...

 is appointed by the council and acts as the chief executive officer. Through his staff, he implements policies established by the council.

Members of the city council normally serve four-year terms and are elected on a staggered basis in non-partisan elections. Beginning in 2008, general elections are held the first Tuesday in November in even-numbered years. In previous years, elections were held the first Tuesday in May in even-numbered years. All registered voters are eligible to vote for all council members. Three council members and the mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 serve on an "at large" basis with no district residency requirement. All others are required to reside in their respective district constituencies: Bayside, Beach, Centerville, Kempsville, Lynnhaven, Princess Anne, and Rose Hall.

The mayor is elected to a four-year term through direct election. The mayor presides over council meetings, and serves as the ceremonial head and spokesperson of the city. A vice mayor is also elected by the city council at the first meeting following a council election.

In addition to the city council, residents elect members of the school board of the city's public school district, Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Virginia Beach City Public Schools is the branch of the government of the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia responsible for public K-12 education. Like all public school systems in the state, it is legally classified as a school division instead of a school district. Although Virginia school...

. The board consists of 11 members and is headed by a chairman. In addition to formulating local educational policy, the board appoints a Superintendent of Schools
Superintendent (education)
In education in the United States, a superintendent is an individual who has executive oversight and administration rights, usually within an educational entity or organization....

. School board elections are held concurrently and in the same manner as city council elections, with four at-large seats and seven seats with district residency requirements. The chairman and vice chairman are elected by the members of the board, and may be either at-large or district members.

Citizens of Virginia Beach also elect five constitutional officers, and candidates for these offices are permitted to run with an affiliated political party. Three of these offices deal substantially with public safety and justice: the Sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

, Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney is the title given to the elected prosecutor of felony crimes in Kentucky and Virginia. Other states refer to similar prosecutors as District Attorney or State's Attorney....

, and the Clerk
Court clerk
A court clerk is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining the records of a court. Another duty is to administer oaths to witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors...

 of the Circuit Court
Circuit court
Circuit court is the name of court systems in several common law jurisdictions.-History:King Henry II instituted the custom of having judges ride around the countryside each year to hear appeals, rather than forcing everyone to bring their appeals to London...

. The two other offices are concerned with fiscal policy: the City Treasurer
Treasurer
A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury of an organization. The adjective for a treasurer is normally "tresorial". The adjective "treasurial" normally means pertaining to a treasury, rather than the treasurer.-Government:...

 and the Commissioner of the Revenue.

Virginia Beach has a Housing and Neighborhood Preservation division which aims to promote healthy neighborhoods and allow access to affordable housing. This division provides assistance to area neighborhoods including federal and state resources, support for neighborhood groups, training seminars, code enforcement assistance, and youth activities. The City police also offer resources and networking for the neighborhoods.

In the 2008 United States Presidential Election, 49.13% of Virginia Beach residents voted for Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and 49.84% for John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

.

The current Mayor of Virginia Beach is Will Sessoms
Will Sessoms
William D. "Will" Sessoms, Jr. is the current mayor, a former vice mayor, a former city councilman and businessman of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He served on the Virginia Beach City Council from 1988–2002 and served as Vice Mayor of the city from 1992–2002. In 2008, he was elected mayor...

, a long time veteran of the city's political scene and a conservative Republican representative.

Education



According to the U.S. Census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

, 28.1% of the population over twenty-five (vs. a national average of 24%) hold a bachelor's degree or higher, and 90.4% (vs. 80% nationally) have a high school diploma or equivalent.

The city of Virginia Beach is home to Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Virginia Beach City Public Schools is the branch of the government of the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia responsible for public K-12 education. Like all public school systems in the state, it is legally classified as a school division instead of a school district. Although Virginia school...

, one of the largest school systems in the state and among the 50 largest school divisions in the United States (based on student enrollment). Virginia Beach City Public Schools currently serves 69,735 students, and includes 56 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, 11 high schools which include Landstown
Landstown High School
Landstown High School and Technology Academy is a public secondary school located in Virginia Beach, Virginia which first opened in 2001.The school features a Technology Academy, one of several magnet programs in Virginia Beach...

, Princess Anne
Princess Anne High School
Princess Anne High School is one of 11 high schools in the Virginia Beach City Public School System. Opened in 1954, it is the oldest remaining high school in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States...

, Cox
Frank W. Cox High School
Frank W. Cox High School is a secondary school located in the Great Neck subdivision of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was founded in 1961 as the Northeast Junior High School, but upon opening, it was named after a former superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Frank Woodard Cox, who...

, Tallwood
Tallwood High School
Tallwood High School is a secondary school located in southwest Virginia Beach, Virginia. Tallwood was built on the site of an old colonial plantation whose manor house was Tallwood, hence the name of the school...

, Salem
Salem High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Salem High School is a secondary school located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.The school recently added a Visual and Performing Arts Academy; one of several magnet programs in Virginia Beach...

, First Colonial
First Colonial High School
First Colonial High School is a high school in Virginia Beach, Virginia. First Colonial opened in 1966 by splitting students out of the former Virginia Beach High School. Virginia Beach High then became Virginia Beach Middle School. James C. Mounie was the first principal of the new high school...

, Kellam
Floyd E. Kellam High School
Floyd E. Kellam High School is a public high school in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Located in the city's southern section, in Princess Anne the school first opened in 1962, named after judge Floyd Eaton Kellam. Kellam High School serves a large portion of the city of Virginia Beach, with the...

, Green Run
Green Run High School
Green Run High School, home of the Green Run Stallions, is a public secondary school located at 1700 Dahlia Drive of the "Green Run" area of suburban Virginia Beach, Virginia...

, Kempsville
Kempsville High School
Kempsville High School is one of eleven public high schools in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools system. It is a comprehensive high school teaching grades 9-12. Located in the western section of the city, the Kempsville HS school district covers approximately 12 sq. miles, and draws students...

, Bayside
Bayside High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Bayside High School is a secondary school located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.The school's remarkable feature is the Health Sciences Academy; one of several magnet programs in Virginia Beach. Students throughout the city interested in a health sciences education can apply...

, and Ocean Lakes
Ocean Lakes High School
Ocean Lakes High School is a public high school in Virginia Beach, Virginia and is located in the city's southeastern section.-Math and Science Academy:...

 High Schools as well as a number of secondary/post-secondary specialty schools and centers such as the Advanced Technology Center (ATC), which provides excellent courses for those trying to gain a place in the technology field. Ocean Lakes maintains a rigorous math and science academy; Bayside houses a health sciences academy, with courses in medical microbiology, genetic medicine, and pathophysiology. Salem High school houses the Visual and Performing Arts Academy, preparing students for jobs in the Fine and Performing Arts. Landstown High School contains a Technology Academy, which helps prepare students for jobs in Business Marketing, Information Technology, and/or Engineering. First Colonial High School is home to the Legal Studies Academy, with courses such as Forensic Science, Intro to Law, and Legal Research and Writing, preparing students for jobs in the law field. Tallwood High School has recently founded a world studies academy, and Princess Anne, the oldest high school in the city, is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme school. Specialized courses are offered at all these academies, even though they occasionally overlap courses offered at other specialized centers, such as Landstown and the ATC — less than 1 miles (1.6 km) away.

There are also a number of private, independent schools in the city, including Norfolk Academy, Hampton Roads Academy, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School and Parish, The Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Cape Henry Collegiate School
Cape Henry Collegiate School
Cape Henry Collegiate School is an independent coeducational school in Virginia Beach, Virginia....

, Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic secondary school in Virginia Beach, Virginia, founded as Norfolk Catholic High School in 1950 and moved to Virginia Beach in 1993...

 (formerly Norfolk Catholic), Baylake Pines School, and Virginia Beach Friends School
Virginia Beach Friends School
Virginia Beach Friends School is an independent life-skills and college preparatory day school founded in 1955 under the care of the Virginia Beach Friends Meeting...

.

Virginia Beach is home to two universities: Regent University
Regent University
Regent University is a private coeducational interdenominational Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. The school was founded by the American televangelist Pat Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University. A satellite campus located in...

, a private university founded by Christian Evangelist and Leader Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson is a media mogul, television evangelist, ex-Baptist minister and businessman who is politically aligned with the Christian Right in the United States....

 which has historically focused on graduate education but has recently established an undergraduate program as well. Atlantic University
Atlantic University
Atlantic University is an American institution of higher education in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is associated with an Edgar Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment . Its offices are in the A.R.E. headquarters....

, associated with the Edgar Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment
Association for Research and Enlightenment
The Association for Research and Enlightenment , also known as Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., was founded by Edgar Cayce in 1931 to research and explore subjects such as holistic health, ancient mysteries, personal spirituality, dreams and dream interpretation, intuition, philosophy and reincarnation...

 (ARE), offers M.A. degrees in Transpersonal Studies, with many New Age subjects thanks to its Edgar Cayce link. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University is a state university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

 and Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University is a four-year, state-supported, coed, liberal arts, historically black university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.-Academics:...

 are in nearby Norfolk and both the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

 and Virginia Tech operate satellite campuses in Virginia Beach. Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College is a two-year higher education institution in South Hampton Roads with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach — and serving approximately 46,000 students. The school is known locally by its abbreviation, TCC.-History:The school was founded...

, a major junior college, also has its largest campus located in the city. Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College is a small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia offering a Bachelor of Arts in many disciplines and has added Bachelor of Science programs as well...

, a private liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 college, is located on the border with Norfolk with the physical address of the school being in Norfolk, but the majority of the campus being in Virginia Beach. ECPI College of Technology
ECPI College of Technology
ECPI University is a private, for-profit college that serves students in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina through online and on-campus classes...

 main campus is located here as well. Additional institutions of higher education are located in other communities of greater Hampton Roads.

The Virginia Beach Public Library System
Virginia Beach Public Library System
-External links:********...

 provides free access to accurate and current information and materials to all individuals, and promotes reading as a critical life skill. The library supports the educational and leisure needs of Virginia Beach citizens with a system of area libraries, a Central Library, a Bookmobile, a virtual library, the South Rosemont Youth Library, the Wahab Public law Library, the Municipal Reference Library and the Special Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped. The Library has a collection of more than 1,000,000 items including special subject collections.

Media


Virginia Beach's daily newspaper is the Virginian-Pilot. Alternative papers include the Port Folio Weekly
Port Folio Weekly
Port Folio Weekly is an online publication serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. First published in 1983, the newspaper is owned by Landmark Communications....

and the New Journal and Guide
New Journal and Guide
The New Journal and Guide is a regional weekly newspaper based out of Norfolk, Virginia and serves the Hampton Roads area. The weekly focuses on local and national African-American news, sports, and issues and has been in circulation since 1900....

. The Hampton Roads Business Journal
Hampton Roads Business Journal
Inside Business is a weekly newspaper serving Norfolk, Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. Its articles focus on the regional business community. Inside Business was formerly known as the Hampton Roads Business Journal.-External links:*...

focuses on local business news.

Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College is a small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia offering a Bachelor of Arts in many disciplines and has added Bachelor of Science programs as well...

 publishes its own newspaper, The Marlin Chronicle. Hampton Roads Magazine serves as a bi-monthly regional magazine for Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area. Virginia Beach is served by a variety of radio stations on the AM and FM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area.

Virginia Beach is also served by several television stations. The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

), WVEC-TV
WVEC-TV
WVEC is the ABC affiliate television station for the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, which includes Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, and the surrounding area. It is licensed to Hampton, with its main studio in downtown Norfolk. Its transmitter is located in Suffolk, Virginia...

 13 (ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

), WTPC-TV 21 (Trinity Broadcasting Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

), WGNT
WGNT
WGNT, channel 27 , is a television station licensed to Portsmouth, Virginia, USA. WGNT is the CW Television Network affiliate for the Hampton Roads television market and is owned by Local TV, which also operates WTKR , Hampton Roads' CBS affiliate...

 27 (CW
The CW Television Network
The CW Television Network is a television network in the United States launched at the beginning of the 2006–2007 television season. It is a joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of United Paramount Network , and Time Warner's Warner Bros., former majority owner of The WB...

), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV is a television broadcast syndication service in the United States, owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation...

), WVBT
WVBT
WVBT is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Hampton Roads area of Southeastern Virginia that is licensed to Virginia Beach. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 29 from a transmitter in the Driver section of Suffolk...

 43 (Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

), and WPXV
WPXV
WPXV-TV is the Ion Television owned and operated station for the Hampton Roads area, licensed to Norfolk, Virginia. The station is owned by ION Media Networks, and operates on UHF digital channel 46.-Pre-WJCB :...

 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 station is WHRO-TV
WHRO-TV
WHRO-TV digital channel 15 is the Public Broadcasting Service member Public television station for Hampton Roads, Virginia . The station is licensed to both Hampton and Norfolk with the studios at the Public Telecommunications Center for Hampton Roads next to the campus of Old Dominion University...

 15. Virginia Beach residents also can receive independent station WSKY
WSKY-TV
WSKY-TV, which was launched in October 2001, is a full-power/full market television independent station serving the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA television market and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The station, which is part of the Hampton Roads market, broadcasts on digital channel 9...

 broadcasting on channel 4 from Camden County, North Carolina. Some can also receive PBS affiliate WUND 2 (UNC-TV
UNC-TV
University of North Carolina Television, known on-air as UNC-TV, is a public television network in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is operated by the University of North Carolina, with studios located at the UNC Center for Public Television at Research Triangle Park...

) and independent WGBS
WGBS-LP
WGBS-LD is a low-power television station in Hampton, Virginia, broadcasting locally on channel 11 and serving the Greater Hampton Roads area. It is owned and operated by Joan & Kenneth Wright....

 broadcasting on channel 7 from Hampton. Virginia Beach is served by Cox Cable. DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

 and Dish Network
Dish Network
Dish Network Corporation is the second largest pay TV provider in the United States, providing direct broadcast satellite service—including satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services—to 14.337 million commercial and residential customers in the United States. Dish...

 are also popular as an alternative to cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach serves as the headquarters for the Christian Broadcasting Network
Christian Broadcasting Network
The Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN, is a fundamentalist Christian television broadcasting network in the United States. Its headquarters and main studios are in Virginia Beach, Virginia.-Background:...

, located adjacent to Regent University
Regent University
Regent University is a private coeducational interdenominational Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. The school was founded by the American televangelist Pat Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University. A satellite campus located in...

. CBN's most notable program, The 700 Club
The 700 Club
The 700 Club is the flagship news talk show of the Christian Broadcasting Network, airing in syndication throughout the United States and Canada. In production since 1966, it is currently hosted by Pat Robertson, Terry Meeuwsen, Kristi Watts, and Gordon P. Robertson, two of whom will host on any...

 originates from the Virginia Beach studios. In 2008, Virginia Beach became the home to the Reel Dreams Film Festival.

Films shot in and around Virginia Beach include Psycho Kickboxer (1997), Hearts in Atlantis
Hearts in Atlantis (film)
Hearts in Atlantis is a 2001 American/Australian drama thriller directed by Scott Hicks. It is loosely adapted from Stephen King's novella "Low Men in Yellow Coats", from his story collection Hearts in Atlantis.-Plot:...

(2001), Call This a Cry for Help (2007), Judges (2005), The Killing Kind (2004), Moving (2002), Navy SEALs
Navy SEALs (film)
Navy SEALs is a 1990 action film, directed by Lewis Teague, written by Chuck Pfarrer and Gary Goldman, and produced by Brenda Feigen and Bernard Williams with consultant William Bradley.-Plot:...

(1990), The Satan Killer (1993) and Too Young the Hero (1988; TV film). Mission Impossible 3 (2006) was filmed at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which is connects the Delmarva Peninsula to Virginia Beach.

Transportation




Virginia Beach is primarily served by the Norfolk International Airport
Norfolk International Airport
-Baggage Claims:Southwest Airlines #1,Delta Airlines #2,US Airways | American Airlines #3,Continental Airlines|United Express #5- Facilities and aircraft :...

 , which is now the region's major commercial airport. The airport is located near Chesapeake Bay, along the city limits straddling neighboring Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

. Seven airlines provide nonstop services to twenty five destinations. ORF had 3,703,664 passengers take off or land at its facility and 68,778,934 pounds of cargo were processed through its facilities. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is an airport located 9 mi northwest of downtown Newport News, Virginia, and serves the entire Hampton Roads metropolitan area along with Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk...

 also provides commercial air service for the Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 area. The Chesapeake Regional Airport
Chesapeake Regional Airport
Chesapeake Regional Airport is a public use airport located in the city of Chesapeake, Virginia and serving the Hampton Roads area. The airport is 12 nautical miles south of the central business district of Norfolk, Virginia. It is owned by the Chesapeake Airport Authority. Tidewater Flight...

 provides general aviation services and is located five miles (8 km) outside the city limits.

Virginia Beach is served by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 through the Newport News
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

 station, via connecting buses. The line runs west along the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 to Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 and points beyond. A high speed rail connection at Richmond to both the Northeast Corridor
Northeast Corridor
The Northeast Corridor is a fully electrified railway line owned primarily by Amtrak serving the Northeast megalopolis of the United States from Boston in the north, via New York to Washington, D.C. in the south, with branches serving other cities...

 and the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor
Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor
The Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor is a passenger rail transportation project in the United States to extend high speed passenger rail services from Washington, DC south through Richmond and Petersburg in Virginia through Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina and connect with the existing...

 are also under study.

Greyhound/Trailways provides service from a central bus terminal in adjacent Norfolk. The Greyhound station in Virginia Beach is located on Laskin Road, about a mile west of the oceanfront. Bus services to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 via the Chinatown bus, Today's Bus, is located on Newtown Road.

The city is connected to I-64
Interstate 64
Interstate 64 is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Its western terminus is at I-70, U.S. 40, and U.S. 61 in Wentzville, Missouri. Its eastern terminus is at an interchange with I-264 and I-664 at Bowers Hill in Chesapeake, Virginia. As I-64 is concurrent with...

 via I-264, which runs from the oceanfront, intersects with I-64 on the east side of Norfolk, and continues through downtown Norfolk and Portsmouth until rejoining I-64 at the terminus of both roads in Chesapeake where Interstate 664
Interstate 664
Interstate 664 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. The Interstate runs from I-64 and I-264 in Chesapeake north to I-64 in Hampton. I-664 forms the west side of the Hampton Roads Beltway, a circumferential highway serving the Hampton Roads metropolitan area...

  completes the loop which forms the Hampton Roads Beltway. Travelers to and from Virginia Beach can access the Hampton Roads Beltway in either direction from I-264 in Norfolk to use a choice of the two bridge-tunnel facilities to cross Hampton Roads to reach the Peninsula, Williamsburg, Richmond and points north. Other major roads include Virginia Beach Boulevard (U.S. Route 58), Shore Drive (U.S. Route 60), which connects to Atlantic Avenue at the oceanfront, Northampton Blvd (U.S. Route 13), Princess Anne Road (State Route 165), Indian River Road (former State Route 603), Lynnhaven Parkway, Independence Boulevard, General Booth Boulevard, and Nimmo Parkway. Streets in the oceanfront hotel and entertainment district are arranged in a fairly regular, grid like pattern, with Atlantic Avenue parallel to the shoreline, then Pacific Avenue, and Arctic Avenue going further inland.

The city is also connected to Virginia's Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Virginia
The Eastern Shore of Virginia consists of two counties on the Atlantic coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The region is part of the Delmarva Peninsula and is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay. Its population was 45,553 as of 2010...

 region via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT), which is the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world and known as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World. The CBBT, a tolled facility
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

 carries U.S. Route 13
U.S. Route 13
U.S. Route 13 is a north–south U.S. highway established in 1926 that runs for from Interstate 95 just north of Fayetteville, North Carolina to the northeastern suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Morrisville. In all, it traverses five states in the Atlantic coastal plain region,...

.

Transportation within the city, as well as the rest of Hampton Roads is served by a regional bus service, Hampton Roads Transit
Hampton Roads Transit
Hampton Roads Transit a.k.a. "HRT" formed in October 1999 by the voluntary merging of PENTRAN on the Virginia Peninsula and TRT Hampton Roads Transit a.k.a. "HRT" formed in October 1999 by the voluntary merging of PENTRAN (Peninsula Transportation District Commission) on the Virginia Peninsula and...

. An extension of The Tide
Tide Light Rail
The Tide is a light rail line in Norfolk, Virginia, connecting Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Newtown Road. Service began on August 19, 2011....

 light rail system from Norfolk to the oceanfront is currently being studied.

Walkability


A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Virginia Beach 39th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities.

Utilities


Water and sewer services are provided by the City's Department of Utilities. Virginia Beach receives its electricity from Dominion Virginia Power which has local sources including the Chesapeake Energy Center (a gas power plant), coal-fired plants in Chesapeake and Southampton County
Southampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,570 people, 6,279 households, and 4,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile . There were 7,058 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

, and the Surry Nuclear Power Plant. Norfolk headquartered Virginia Natural Gas, a subsidiary of AGL Resources
AGL Resources
AGL Resources, Inc. is a Fortune 1000, Forbes 2000 energy services holding company. Their principal business is distribution of natural gas in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia, providing gas for more than 2.2 million customers....

, distributes natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 to the City from storage plants in James City County and Chesapeake.

Virginia Beach receives its water from Lake Gaston
Lake Gaston
Lake Gaston is a hydroelectric reservoir in east United States of America. Part of the lake is in the North Carolina counties of Halifax, Northampton, and Warren. The part extending into Virginia lies in Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties...

. The Virginia Tidewater area has grown faster than the local freshwater supply. The river water has always been salty, and fresh groundwater is no longer available in most areas. Currently, water for the Tidewater area is pumped from Lake Gaston, which straddles the Virginia-North Carolina border along with the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers. The pipeline is 76 miles (122.3 km) long and 60 inches (1,524 mm) in diameter. Much of its follows the former right-of-way of an abandoned portion of the Virginian Railway. It is capable of pumping 60 million gallons of water per day(60MGD), Norfolk and Chesapeake are partners in the project.

The City provides wastewater services for residents and transports wastewater to the regional Hampton Roads Sanitation District treatment plants.

Healthcare


Virginia Beach is served by Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, Sentara Bayside Hospital, and by the newly created Sentara Princess Anne Medical Campus. Sentara Leigh Hospital is just across the city line in Norfolk.

Sister cities


Virginia Beach has three Sister Cities
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

:
Bangor, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Miyazaki
Miyazaki, Miyazaki
is the capital city of Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū in Japan. Located on the coast and perforated by several rivers, Miyazaki City enjoys scenic views of both ocean and nearby, verdant mountains...

, Miyazaki Prefecture
Miyazaki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Miyazaki.- History :Historically, after the Meiji Restoration, Hyūga Province was renamed Miyazaki Prefecture....

, Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 Moss
Moss, Norway
is a coastal city and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Moss. The city of Moss was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...


See also

  • List of people from Virginia Beach
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Virginia Beach, Virginia
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Virginia Beach, Virginia
    This list includes properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Click the "Map of all coordinates" link to the right to view a Google map of all properties and districts with latitude and longitude coordinates in...

  • Norwegian Lady Statues
    Norwegian Lady Statues
    Norwegian Lady Statues are located in the sister cities of Moss, a coastal town and municipality in the county of Østfold, Norway, and at the Oceanfront in the coastal resort city of Virginia Beach, Virginia in the United States...

  • Wash Woods at False Cape
    False Cape
    False Cape is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the extreme southeastern portion of Virginia. False Cape is located along the section of ocean adjacent to North Carolina and a small portion of Virginia known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic due to the many shipwrecks. It got its name...

    , one of the lost towns of Virginia
  • Virginia Beach Fire Department
    Virginia Beach Fire Department
    The Virginia Beach Fire Department is the agency that provides fire protection and non-transport Basic Life Support & Advanced Life Support emergency medical service for Virginia Beach, Virginia, as well as a section of North Carolina...

  • Virginia Beach Police Department
    Virginia Beach Police Department (Virginia)
    The Virginia Beach Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency servicing 437,994 people within of jurisdiction within Virginia Beach, VA.-Special Operations Bureau:Special Operations is a bureau under the Police Operations Division...

  • Department of EMS, City of Virginia Beach
    Department of EMS, City of Virginia Beach
    Department of EMS, City of Virginia Beach The Department of EMS, City of Virginia Beach is the primary pre-hospital emergency ambulance transport agency servicing 433,746 people plus tourists in an area of ,258.7 square miles land, water with 58 paid staff and approximately 700 volunteer staff ...


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