Virginia Beach, VA

Population: 449,733 livability score shield

Key findings

  • Virginia Beach has a Livability Score of 79/100, which is considered exceptional
  • Virginia Beach crime rates are 3% lower than the Virginia average
  • Cost of living in Virginia Beach is 4% higher than the Virginia average
  • Virginia Beach real estate prices are 6% higher than the Virginia average
  • Rental prices in Virginia Beach are 11% higher than the Virginia average

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      Virginia Beach, VA

      Virginia Beach, Virginia is located along the Atlantic Ocean on the southeastern side of Virginia. It has close to 450,000 individuals living in the metropolis that is the most populous city in the state. Not only is this beach town located along the ocean, it is also located along the Chesapeake Bay. There are many tourists that frequent this area, showcased through its rows rows of hotels, shops and restaurants.

      As mentioned, Virginia Beach has significant recreational opportunities through its beachfront and bay front. There is a boardwalk where statues and works of art line the beach, as well as amusement parks, restaurants and stores. There are also parks, including state parks such as First Landing State Park. Finally, there are many historical locations like DeWitt Cottage, the Military Aviation Museum and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

      When moving to Virginia Beach, it is important to consider that the town becomes busier, especially in the summer months, due to tourism. The tourism industry is the primary source of income for many individuals living in Virginia Beach. There is also a large military presence in the city as well, with multiple military bases scattered throughout.

      No matter the industry you work in, however, there is public transportation available to assist you in avoiding tourist traffic and getting to work. There is a Greyhound bus center located at Laskin Road. The Hampton Roads Transit is also localized in Virginia Beach, allowing for locals to travel between Virginia Beach and other cities in the Hampton Roads area. Virginia Beach is easily walkable as well, especially along the boardwalk and oceanfront areas.

      Transportation costs are low in Virginia Beach due to these qualities. Housing costs in the city are significantly higher than those in the rest of the country and even in those in Virginia. Many apartments are oceanfront, allotting for a much more expensive cost. Most of the single family homes are also in prime location neighborhoods, offering a more expensive price as well.

      The cost of living in Virginia Beach is lower than the rest of the country in the groceries index. It is on par in utilities, however. This includes gas, electricity and internet prices. These costs are often dependent upon your own personal preferences as well in running your utilities.

      Moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia could be a great choice for you and your family. You are able to quickly walk to the ocean or bay for lounging in the sun and enjoying the water. You can visit historical locations throughout as well to truly appreciate all that the city has to offer. The higher housing prices are worth it when considering all that Virginia Beach has to offer.

      Top Rated Schools in Virginia Beach

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Old Donation School2 - 81,18199%
      North Landing Elementary SchoolPK - 546197%
      Kingston Elementary SchoolPK - 552697%
      Tallwood Elementary SchoolPK - 559995%
      Red Mill Elementary SchoolPK - 564195%
      Frank W. Cox High9 - 121,85895%
      Rosemont Elementary SchoolPK - 544394%
      John B. Dey Elementary SchoolPK - 581794%
      See all Virginia Beach schools

      Virginia Beach Reviews

      Write a review about Virginia Beach Tell people what you like or don't like about Virginia Beach…
      This is my review
      I didnt stay here long, but I found it to be an amazing place to live. Highly recommend it to other people as a great place!
      4 -1
      Exploiting visitors and taxes
      The city and rental property squeeze every penny out of you they can with taxes and fees and the exuberant cost to rent. To pay rent here you have to make $20.00 an hour. But the labor jobs here most pay under $12.00. The roads here with the recent snow storm of about 6" were ridiculous. It will be 7 days before kids were back in schools simply because the street dept refused to put the blades down on plows. They salted and sanded after the first day praying for warm weather while the roads froze over night for five nights. It was stupid and the department must be ran by morons. They spent a lot of money and sand salt and fuel but need to realize that those blades on the front of those trucks are for opening the roads.
      6 -8
      This town sucks. I grew up here and never will return. Nothing like it used to be. This place has become nothing but a revenue stream for the corrupt city and state government and a poor excuse for a beach town. They tax everyone who passes through and god forbid stays for more than a minute. Residents who live there are leaving in droves because they can't afford to live there anymore because they get taxed for taking a s**t. Vacationers get taxed for driving on the roads, taxed for eating subpar food, taxed for parking their car, big brother cameras are everywhere (not for your protection, just so some pimple faced kid can look for violations to tax you some more). Crime rate is insane so its not safe to stay there. Don't get me started on the traffic- not because people love to be there, its because the road situation has not changed in over 50 years, but because the corrupt government officials pocket the money for infrastructure improvements. Nasty, nasty place.
      8 -12
      Virginia Beach VA Great Vacations For Past Four Years !!!
      We "Were" Myrtle Beach Vacationers !!! I am so glad that we changed to VA Beach !!! We are looking forward to our fifth year !!! No problems with anything. The city even has signs posted, NO CUSSING !!! Great boardwalk, always something going on !!! Love the chance to say THANK YOU to our military !!! We stay at Kamla Condos at 23rd Street. But, there are so many places to stay. The people are friendly and helpful. It safe to go out at night. The police department are on the job. They clean and wash the streets down. No trash on the beach. You just cannot ask for much more. !!! THANK YOU VIRGINIA BEACH !!!
      2 -1
      A Terrible Experience
      We drove over 7 hours to get to Virginia Beach. When we were at the beach, we were immediately attacked by someone doing surveys. Most websites give compensation, and we didn't get anything for being forced to take their stupid survey.When we got back to the car, it had a ticket for facing the wrong direction, which we didn't know, and when we called, the officer said there was nothing he could do once the citation was written.It has been clearly indirectly communicated that Virginia Beach is all about targeting tourists and vacationers and extracting as much money and whatever they can get out of them as possible. Terrible experience. Wouldn't come again. There are plenty of different beaches to enjoy where we aren't attacked by someone taking surveys and a police officer during the first hour of arrival.
      1 -3
      I Lived In Virginia Beach, VA
      When I lived in Virginia Beach, VA, I enjoyed a variety of wonderful things to see and do. The attractions in Virginia Beach include the beach, the amusement parks, the fun boardwalk and a lot more. For people that are visiting, the best thing to do is to stay at a hotel close to the beach. This way they can walk to a lot of the attractions in the area and be close to the all the action that the area provides for residents and visitors alike. With all there is to do and see, the place kept me busy after work and on weekends the whole time that I lived there.

      Shopping is fun at the small shops. I found plenty of great items that I used as gifts each year when I lived there. The shops come and go, but you should always check them out, especially on the boardwalk. They have unique items that can't be found anywhere else, and I loved getting things for my family back in Pittsburgh, PA when I lived there.

      Restaurants are fantastic in the area, especially if you love seafood. There are plenty to pick from. I love crab legs, so I made sure that I visited every seafood restaurant near the beach to get my fill of them. Another great thing about Virginia Beach, VA is that there are plenty of great things to do at night. From dancing to listening to bands, there is something for everyone.
      2 -1
      Nice place to live depending on what you are looking for
      I moved to Virginia Beach 2.5 years ago. Overall, it has been a pretty nice place to live. I think it really depends on what you are looking for and what your preferences are if you would like living here. Virginia Beach covers a large area, so it is very diverse. There is the Oceanfront, which has the boardwalk and is a tourist destination during the summer. There is a nice small, quiet beach community off of the Chesapeake Bay, "Town Center," a newly developed commercial area, farm land (with awesome fresh strawberries), to the south there is Sandbridge, a quieter beach without a boardwalk, and lots of other areas in between.

      I have seen reviews saying traffic is bad, but that depends on what your frame of reference is. I have lived in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, and other places where the traffic was what I would consider worse on a daily basis. So, I will take the traffic here, although I do not have to commute via any bridges or tunnels.

      Even though Virginia Beach has over 500,000 residents, don't expect there to be a "city" vibe, or any kind of downtown type atmosphere with a Main St. If you are looking for a walkable place where you don't need a car, this may not be the place for you. There are buses and you can walk and get around anywhere at the Oceanfront, but aside from there, you would need a car to get around to most places.

      Whether the cost of living is good or bad, really depends again on what your frame of reference is. Compared to most other places I have live (20+ overall), Virginia Beach has been the most affordable for me. I currently rent a 2 BR, 2BA home, one block from the beach with all appliances, off street parking for $1 per sq foot in rent.

      As for stuff to do, again, depends on what you like. Living near the water definitely has perks if you like boating activities. There are lots of parks around to walk, run, ride bikes. I do not have kids, but I think Virginia Beach is a very family friendly place with lots of family activities in all areas, especially at the boardwalk. During the summer there is free live music and shows at several locations at the boardwalk every day. Plenty of festivals and events to attend in the summer and fall. I cannot speak to the night life here, although we do go out to eat often and find there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.

      If you are visiting, enjoy the Oceanfront, find out what local events/festivals are going on, check out the aquarium and the new tree top adventure park, the petting zoo at Hunt Club Farm, rent a surrey or beach cruiser and ride the bike path at the boardwalk, visit Cape Henry Lighthouse and take a dolphin cruise out on the Chesapeake Bay.
      5 0
      A Virginia Beach Resident's Perspective
      I have lived in Virginia Beach for 25 years and it is completely different that when I first moved there. Although most people wouldn't know it, most of Virginia Beach's land is agricultural. The landscape is changing, though, as commercial shopping centers and sprawling suburbia keep expanding. Traffic is horrendous at any time of year in Virginia Beach and the surrounding cities of Hampton Roads. Parking at the Oceanfront is expensive unless you are a Virginia Beach resident.

      The citizenship in Virginia Beach is diverse but some areas should be avoided, as in any city. Crime rates and gang activity have increased over the years. The Oceanfront area is safe for families during the day. Avoid the Oceanfront at night, or park as close to your destination as possible. Crowds of people hang out on street corners and sometimes law enforcement has difficulty keeping them under control.

      I am used to finding cheap entertainment but it's difficult in Virginia Beach. There is a strong military presence so the nightlife can be a little rowdy at times. It is a tourist destination and summers are jam packed with out-of-towners, many of whom are pushy and rude. It's best to rely on word of mouth for entertainment instead of hitting the usual tourist traps, especially at the Oceanfront. The best bet is to head to the newer Virginia Beach Town Center, which is a lot of fun for both yung urban professionals and middle aged adults. Ask locals for a recommendation on non-chain restaurants.
      2 0
      Virginia Beach Is Fun in the Sun
      My wife and I love to travel to Virginia Beach. If you enjoy the beach and amenities that a friendly community can provide, then Virginia Beach is for you. Activities center on the 28-feet wide boardwalk. It runs parallel to the beach and provides two separate lanes. One is for walkers and the other for bicycles, roller blades, and surreys. Park benches scattered along it make it even more pleasant. There are also two small amusement parks for children. From Thanksgiving until Christmas, the beachfront is lavishly decorated with lights.

      We enjoy renting bicycles to ride the boardwalk and through the city, but mostly we enjoy wading in the ocean and relaxing on the beautiful, sandy beach. The best place to stay in Virginia Beach is in one of the high-rise hotels that overlook the ocean, but cheaper accommodations are available just one or two blocks away. When you get hungry, there is a wide variety of chain restaurants in Virginia Beach plus many local places.
      2 0
      Source: The Virginia Beach, VA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).