About Virginia Beach
An Atlantic coastal community, Virginia Beach, Va., currently holds the Guinness Book of World Records distinction of having the longest, tourist-friendly beach in the world. The city is also located at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay — the nations' largest estuary. This makes for diverse conditions favorable for water-excursion adventures that encompass the ecology of both the intercoastal freshwater ways of the Chesapeake Bay and the saltwater brine of the Atlantic.
Virginia Beach makes up one of a trio of cities that include Norfolk, Va., and its neighbor Newport News, Va., that are otherwise known as the Hampton Roads area. The city is about 18 miles due east of Norfolk and about 40 miles northwest of Newport News. Virginia Beach falls in the Eastern Standard Time zone and is 497 square-miles in area. It is interesting to note that just more than half of the area of the city is comprised of waterways. On average, Virginia Beach’s hottest month is July, its coldest month is January, and its wettest month is also July.
The city is not located in a county because it is classified as an independent city, a designation that Virginia Beach, Virginia, has held since the latter part of the 1800s and speaks to the historical nature of both the city and the state. Tourism is a major industry for Virginia Beach. There are four military installations in the region. Virginia Beach is also home to several well-known companies such as GEICO insurance; VT Group, a British defense contractor; and the Naval Supply Systems Command, or NAVSUP, a naval supplies and services firm.
Virginia Beach has more than 200 city parks. Interestingly, one of those parks — Mount Trashmore Park — is built upon a landfill, thus rehabilitating an area that used to exist for nothing more than refuse storage. At the time, the city landfill that the park is located upon was abandoned because it had reached its projected waste-material capacity. The rehabilitated area now offers several kid-themed playground attractions and a view of the Atlantic. If the novelty of ex-landfills isn’t your thing, there are other attractions to be found. One of the oldest and arguably one of the most nostalgic, is the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.
Accommodations for the Virginia Beach area are geographically diverse. There are several chances to stay in the city along the coastline in hotels or beachfront rental properties. There are also a large number of inns and cozy bed and breakfasts that lend to the historical feel of the city.
Written by Michael Paul Maupin