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About Virginia Beach

The city of Virginia Beach combines the elegance of a rich past with the energy of one of the most rapidly developing cities on the East Coast. Virginia Beach is part of a seven-city metropolitan area called Hampton Roads. Among the attractions of the city are 30 miles of shoreline with 28 miles of public beach, state-of-the-art medical facilities, and the ever-changing beauty of its four moderate seasons.  Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the South Hampton Roads area in the Commonwealth of Virginia, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the 39th largest city in the US, with a total population of 447,000.  It is the third largest suburban city in the United States after Long Beach, California and Mesa, Arizona, and the fourth largest in North America.

Like a few other cities in the US, Virginia Beach consists of an area more traditionally defined as a county, as the southern half consists largely of rural areas, farmland and marshes.

It is one of seven cities that are together officially known as Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA. Like the independent municipalities of Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Chesapeake, Virginia Beach is sometimes called a suburb of Norfolk despite Virginia Beach's larger population and urban areas.

Virginia Beach is best known as a major resort, with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. It is also home to several state parks, several long protected beach areas, a number of large corporations, and two universities.

Virginia Beach is also home to several United States Military bases. These include the United States Navy's NAS Oceana, the largest master jet base in the United States, FTC Dam Neck, NAB Little Creek, and the United States Army's Fort Story located at Cape Henry. NAS Oceana is the largest employer in Virginia Beach.


The weather in Virginia Beach is temperate and seasonal. Summers are hot and humid with cool evenings. The mean annual temperature is 60 F (15 C), with an average annual snowfall of 7.4 inches and an average annual rainfall of 45 inches. The wettest seasons are the spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant all year round.  The highest recorded temperature was 103F (39C) in August 1957, and the lowest recorded temperature was -11F (-24C) in January 1985.  Additionally, the geographic location of the city, with respect to the principal storm tracks, is especially favorable, as 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.


As of the census of 2000, there were 425,257 people, 154,455 households, and 110,898 families residing in the city.  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 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 is 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 income for a household in the city was $48,705, and the median income for a family was $53,242. Males had a median income of $33,756 versus $25,979 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,365.


Fun Facts

  • Virginia Beach has three Sister Cities:  Bangor, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Miyazaki, Japan, and Moss, Norway
  • Virginia Beach is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world.  (See photo)
  • Virginia Beach is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which is known as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World and is  the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world.  (See photo)
  • Yahoo ranked Virginia Beach 41st among "American's Most Wired Cities."
  • Virginia Beach has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation for cities of similar size based on FBI crime statistics.
  • Virginia Beach received the Healthy Community Award from the American Parks and Recreation Society.  (See photo)
  • The Travel Channel picked the Virginia Beach boardwalk among the top five "Best American Boardwalks."  (See photo)
  • In its annual list of "America's Ten Best Cities," Ladies Home Journal named Virginia Beach No. 1 overall among cities with a population of 300,000 or more, and No. 7 for government.
  • Virginia Beach was selected as a Top 25 Fishing Destination by Field and Stream magazine.  (See photo)
  • Sperling's Best Places ranked Virginia Beach as the eighth "Least Stressful City."
  • Virginia Beach is the home of a number of famous people including:
    • Teddy Riley musician and songwriter
    • J.R. Reid former basketball player
    • Rudy Boesch third place finalist on Survivor: Pulau Tiga (first season)
    • Maria Boren contestant on The Apprentice 2
    • Bruce Smith former football player for the Buffalo Bills
    • Evan Marriott reality television star on Joe Millionaire
    • The Neptunes (Pharrell (Williams) and Chad Hugo), hip-hop and pop music production duo superstars.
    • Brandon Noble football player for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins
    • Kendra Todd winner of The Apprentice 3
    • Sean Murphy NASCAR driver


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