Introduction to Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, located in southeastern Virginia's on the Atlantic coast, is the largest city in the state. Once railroads covered the 18 miles between it and Norfolk in the 1880s, Virginia Beach was established as a resort and top tourist destination. The fast-growing metro area, including Norfolk, is driven by four military bases, a still-booming tourism industry and blossoming high-tech industries. Virginia Beach's population, currently at over 430,000, more than doubled since 1980. The city ranked #1 on Ladies Home Journal's 2002 "Best Cities for Women" list.
Virginia Beach Culture
Known as a party town, Virginia Beach has its share of cultural attractions too, with museums that focus on art, marine science and the area's military history. The 20,000-seat Virginia Beach Amphitheater hosts performances of the Virginia Symphony as well as concerts by some of pop music's biggest acts throughout the year. Hip-hop's Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, known as The Neptunes, are natives of Virginia Beach who run a recording studio in the city. For history buffs, America's colonial past comes alive at nearby Williamsburg and Jamestown, the colonies' first settlement in 1607.
Virginia Beach Sports and Leisure
Spectator sports options are available just 18 miles away in Norfolk, where the Tides play baseball at Harbor Park and the Hampton Roads Admirals play hockey at Scope Arena. For major league sports, Baltimore and Washington are a reachable 3 hours away, offering baseball's Orioles and Expos, the NFL's Ravens and Redskins, the NBA's Wizards and the NHL's Capitals.
Virginia Beach Outdoors
Claiming the Guinness world record for the longest pleasure beach in the world, Virginia Beach is more geared to participatory sports. The area is a haven for surfers, waterskiers, swimmers and sunbathers. The famous Boardwalk is ideal for sun-drenched walking or jogging; its adjoining bike path allows bicycling and rollerblading. First Landing State Park, located on the Chesapeake Bay side of Virginia Beach, offers natural beauty, camping facilities and 19 miles of hiking trails. Little Island Park, located south of beaches frequented by tourists, offers basketball and volleyball courts, plus a fishing pier. Rudee Inlet, which empties into the ocean, is the most popular spot for boating and fishing.
Virginia Beach at Night
Virginia Beach is famous for its thriving nightlife. The city's nighttime activities include hip hop, jazz, and rock music, with dozens of clubs throughout the city and several stages along the boardwalk. Amusement parks and crowded bars along Atlantic and Pacific Avenues are great for mingling and people-watching. In nearby Norfolk, the Waterside Festival Marketplace is a popular spot for dining and entertainment.