Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Although Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction, Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia and the 41st largest city in the United States.

Virginia Beach is located at 36°51′02″N 75°58′40″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 497.3 square miles (1,288 km2). 248.3 square miles (643 km2) of it is land and 249.0 square miles (645 km2) of it (50.07%) is water. The average elevation is 12 feet (3.7 m) above sea level. A major portion of the city drains to the Chesapeake Bay by way of the Lynnhaven River and its tributaries.

Virginia Beach is the easternmost city of Hampton Roads 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, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as other smaller cities, counties and towns of Hampton Roads.

Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Every year the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship, a beach soccer tournament. It is also home to several state parks, several long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, two universities, and numerous historic sites. Near the point where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry was the site of the first landing of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown, on April 26, 1607.

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. Major companies headquartered in Virginia Beach include Amerigroup, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Lillian Vernon and Stihl (North American headquarters). Other major employers include GEICO, Michael Baker, VT and Navy Exchange Service Command. Virginia Beach was ranked at number 45 on Forbes list of best places for business and careers.

Virginia Beach is home to 210 city parks, encompassing over 4,000 acres (1,600 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.

Virginia Beach is home to the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest pleasure beach in the world, Virginia Beach is home to a diverse culture of water-lovers. City parks contribute to making this community great for families. Since the 1880s, Virginia Beach has been attracting visitors of all ages who love to get away from the stresses of daily life. Over 400,000 people call Virginia Beach home, and there is no question as to why!

The weather in Virginia each is amazing all year round, making the beach that more accessible. Golf courses, public pools and sporting fields are available in almost any area of town. virginiabeach Why not dock your boat at one of the many marinas Virginia Beach has to offer, with easy access to the ocean for fishing, water sports or a nice relaxing pontoon-boat ride. Whale watch or walk the boardwalk on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Because the city is so popular for tourists, convenience is offered to residents when it comes to daily needs. Possibilities are endless in Virginia Beach, with endless options in shopping, theater and restaurants available within the area.

The growing public school system consistently receives accolades, the two annual art shows on the boardwalk are nationally known and between the boutiques, malls and “super stores,” the shopping is terrific. The Virginia Beach Amphitheater provides the entire area with plenty of national musical entertainment. First Landing State Park, The Contemporary Arts Center of Virginia and the Virginia Marine Science Museum are just a few of the city’s attractions, as well as 28 miles of beaches.

Find out what “home” truly means in Virginia Beach. Residents new and old know the tremendous sense of community that their neighbors offer them. Enjoy a condominium on the beach or a single-family home in a neighborhood. Check out Virginia Beach real estate available today to find out how many opportunities are available in the area!

Geography & Climate

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

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 497 square miles (1,290 km2), of which 249 square miles (640 km2) is land and 248 square miles (640 km2) (49.9%) is water. It is the largest city in Virginia by total area and third-largest city land area. The average elevation is 12 feet (3.7 m) above sea level. 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 in the Hampton Roads area bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area (officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA) is the 37th largest in the United States, with a total population of 1,707,639. The area includes the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York, as well as the North Carolina county of Currituck. 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.

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 (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 sharks, as well as sting rays and other large open-ocean dwellers. There is also a 70,000-gallon sea turtle 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. virginiabeach

The Virginia Beach Amphitheater, built in 1996, features a wide variety of popular shows and concerts, ranging from Kenny Chesney to Taylor Swift to Coldplay to Ozzfest. The Sandler Center, a 1200-seat performing arts theatre, opened in the Virginia Beach Town Center in November, 2007.

Virginia Beach is home to many sites of historical importance, and has 18 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Such sites include the Adam Thoroughgood House (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, 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 Hospital for Research and Enlightenment was established in Virginia Beach in 1928 with 60 beds. Cayce was a psychic from Kentucky 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 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, 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.