Introduction to Suffolk, Virginia

Suffolk, Virginia is 28 miles W of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Suffolk is situated in the South Hampton Roads region of Eastern Virginia. By acreage it's the biggest municipality of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads. The city was the birthplace of Mr. Peanut, the famous mascot of Planters Peanuts. It's a primary railroad and highway transportation center and is a prominent peanut processing location.

The economy is based on retail businesses, manufacturing, distribution, farming and a variety of hospitality businesses. Major employers in the city include Planters Peanuts, Lipton Tea, QVC, Unilever, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. The city consists of a large number of distinct areas. Suffolk was hit by a Tornado in 2008 which damaged more than 120 homes and 12 businesses.


In 1742 the town was established and utilized as a port along the Nansemond River. It was originally named Constance's Warehouse. The name was taken from the Royal Governor William Gooch's home of Suffolk, England. It was an important transportation center due to the railroads running through the city. The peanut industry became a major factor for the economy. Suffolk became an independent city in 1906. The well known Planters Peanuts was established in 1912. In the year 1974 it expanded by merging with the towns of Holland and Whaleyville and Nansemond County.


  • Heirloom Botanic Garden Boutique is a notable historic farmhouse.
  • Planters Peanut Center.
  • Southern Gun Works and Museum.
  • Suffolk Museum.
  • Glebe Episcopal Church is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Downtown Historic District.
  • Nansemond County Courthouse showcases Roman Revival architecture.
  • Obici House features Art Nouveau architecture and was built by the founder of Planters Peanuts.
  • Riddick's Folly House Museum is a large home featuring Greek Revival architecture and was utilized by the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Suffolk Seaboard Station Museum.
  • Suffolk Visitor Center at the Historic Prentis House.

Events and Entertainment

  • Suffolk Peanut Festival.
  • Taste of Suffolk Downtown Street Festival.
  • Nansemond Indian Tribal Pow-Wow.
  • Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is an impressive structure and is utilized for educational events. It also features concerts and theatrical productions.
  • Suffolk Farmers Market.


The Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is a large wilderness acreage featuring an abundance of wildlife and includes Lake Drummond which is a popular location for fishing and boating. The area's rivers and lakes provides excellent opportunities for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving and fishing. Davis Lake and Campgrounds is popular for camping, swimming, hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities.

Lone Star Lakes Park includes numerous lakes and opportunities for fishing, walking along nature trails and horseback riding. The city is home to five championship golf courses. Residents and visitors enjoy taking walks along the scenic riverfront.


Total Population 86,184
Male Share of the Population 48.2%
Female Share of the Population 51.8%
Senior Citizens 12.6%
Employed Population 16+ 40,414
Age of the Population 38


% of people married 50.4%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 26.4%
Median Earnings25+ $40,316
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,941
Median Earnings With High School Degree $31,615


Median Family Income $75,719
% Above Poverty Level 88.5%
% Below Poverty Level 11.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 28 minutes
% Working from Home 2.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.4%


People Living Alone 22.3%
Median Gross Rent $1,031
Median House Value $235,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 46.4%
US/American 0%
English 10%
Irish 7.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Suffolk Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 28 miles W of Virginia Beach, Virginia
Metro Area Norfolk - Virginia Beach - Newport News
Standard Zip Codes 23432, 23433, 23434, 23435, 23436, 23437, 23438
P.O. Box Zip Codes 23439
Phone Area Codes 757
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 36.76
Longitude -76.59

Suffolk Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.9 miles
Jan Temp 30 to 49 F
Apr Temp 47 to 70 F
Jul Temp 69 to 88 F
Oct Temp 50 to 71 F
Annual Precip 48.7 inches
Distance 21.5 miles
Jan Temp 34 to 49 F
Apr Temp 50 to 68 F
Jul Temp 73 to 88 F
Oct Temp 55 to 70 F
Annual Precip 43.5 inches
Distance 23.7 miles
Jan Temp 32 to 48 F
Apr Temp 48 to 67 F
Jul Temp 71 to 87 F
Oct Temp 53 to 69 F
Annual Precip 45.7 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Chesapeake 230,601 $78,923
Franklin 8,457 $42,016
Ivor 407 $48,750
Portsmouth 96,135 $54,547
Smithfield 8,233 $83,657
Windsor 2,642 $59,338

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Suffolk Public Libraries

Suffolk Public Library System
Suffolk, Virginia
(757) 934-7686
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Suffolk Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(757) 934-4000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Suffolk High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,950 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.3

Serves 1,657 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.5

A Vocational School

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