Been thinking about moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia? Go for it. As a someone's that lives in Virginia Beach, here are my top 10 reasons to move to Virginia Beach.
1. The Beach
Well, this one is obvious. It's the beach. We have three great beaches to choose from: Chesapeake Beach (Shore Drive, Chic's Beach), the Oceanfront (Atlantic Ocean), and Sandbridge (Atlantic Ocean). Although some may disagree, this is unanimously my number one reason for moving to Virginia Beach. The city takes great care of its beaches, and there are plenty of areas to park with easy access to the water. The surf is not that great, but the sunsets, water temperature, and atmosphere make a day at the beach a treat.
Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are known as the cities with top-rated schools. The difference is Virginia Beach has good schools and a beach. There are 11 public high schools in Virginia Beach, and 3 private high schools. And while Virginia Beach as a whole is recognized to be THE place for good public schools, well-known school districts include Cox High School, Kellam High School, and First Colonial High School. Some top-rated public elementary schools in Virginia Beach include Kingston Elementary School, Thoroughgood Elementary School, and Strawbridge Elementary School (Greatschools.org).
As you can imagine, the higher rated the school district, the higher price of homes. It's not uncommon to see homes for sale for more than half a million dollars near Cox or Kellam High School. Conversely, you may find a similar house for less than $200,000 near Green Run or Bayside High School. Houses that tend fall in between these two extremes tend to be near Ocean Lakes High School, Landstown Elementary, or Princess Anne High School. First Colonial, which is a rival and just a few miles from Cox, also have homes in the $1 million range.
The number of jobs are plentiful in Virginia Beach, or for all ages. Because it's a tourist town, especially during the summer's, high schooler's can be lifeguards, work at restaurants, or do a variety of other jobs at the Oceanfront and get valuable work experience. With the Navy's strong presence, major employers like STHIL, FedEx, and GEICO, and numerous other small to mid-sized businesses, Virginia Beach has job options for people across all industries.
4. Parks (and recreation)
The parks in Virginia Beach are simply tremendous. There are dozens of neighborhood parks, and they're well-maintained. These parks are sometimes smaller with a playground or two and a picnic shelter, or other times large with walking trails, basketball courts, and more. In addition to the parks, unlike other cities, the public high school outdoor facilities are open the public, like the track, the tennis courts, and more (not all facilities but some). The idea is that residents pay for the schools, and should therefore be able to use them during after school hours. The biggest and most well-known park is called Mount Trashmore, a massive park in the heart of Virginia Beach. It has multiple playgrounds, a walking/running path along water, skate park, and much more.
And speaking of recreation, residents really don't need to join a YMCA or OneLife for $80 per month. Virginia Beach has eight "recreation centers," which are like YMCA's except better. Each one has an indoor pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, full-workout center, and much more. As a member, you have access to all eight centers. The best part: it's only around $100 per adult annually. Yes, $100 per year! These "rec centers" have a long list of programs and for all ages, in addition to after-school programs, too.
There is never a shortage of things to do in Virginia Beach, including concerts and festivals. The Virginia Beach Amphitheater, located right next to Landstown High School, is the main venue that brings in national musical acts like Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews, and more. This venue has two to three concerts each week starting in April and lasting until October. But the Amphitheater is not the only place to watch big bands play; many times you can find a national act literally in the on the beach at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. One of the most notable concerts of the summer is the Patriotic Festival, and it has brought in Sam Hunt, Big & Rich, Lady Antebellum, and other huge national acts. I remember watching Zac Brown before he got big. The best part: the concerts are FREE, and you can literally watch these performers jam while you stand in the water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Outside of the major concert acts, Virginia Beach has a decent arts scene. The Sandler Center, which is at Virginia Beach Town Center, brings in plays, classical performances, and popular national speakers for forums and debates. Think Kennedy Center just much smaller.
Another piece to the entertainment is amount of festivals the city has. Throughout the summer, and much of the spring and fall, the Oceanfront is packed with not only tourists for the beach, but for festivals. Some popular festivals that come to mind include the Latin Festival, the Neptune Festival, and the American Music Festival. The majority of these festivals are free and open to the public there are dozens of festivals each year locals and tourists can enjoy.
Seafood, organic restaurants, and dozens of locally-owned restaurants make Virginia Beach a great town for foodies. Shore Drive and the Oceanfront are popular places to grab a good seafood platter; Town Center has Cheesecake Factory, Yardhouse, and well-known national chains. Out towards Pungo and Sandbridge, you'll find a plethora of places to dine. Blue's Pete Restaurant is a long-time seafood establishment and The Bee and The Biscuit is a popular brunch spot.
7. Active Local Government
You may not think about the city government when deciding where to move or call home. But it is important, and with Virginia Beach having some of the lowest real estate taxes in the area, you may want to think twice about it before digging your roots somewhere. The Virginia Beach City government is active and the community is very involved. For the better part of two decades, the city pushed for an expensive light-rail metro, but after a referendum, voters knocked down the prospect of light rail. The light rail was going to be an expensive proposition, and the majority of voters believed it would not be practical and a good use of taxpayer funds. The Beach, as often referred to, is generally a fiscally-conservative city. The city treasurer, John Atkinson, is the one who led the charge against the light rail.
8. Adult & Youth Sports
10. Golf Courses
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Southerland Real Estate, Inc.
638 Independence Parkway
Chesapeake, VA 23320