Virginia Beach : Virginia


What It Is Like to Retire in Virginia Beach

Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a resort town considered to have the longest pleasure beach in the world. With a population of 459,470 (2020 census), it is the most populated city in Virginia, and is home to state parks, historical sites, several military bases, large corporations, colleges and universities. There are hundreds of hotels and restaurants along the waterfront.  This outdoor oriented town and popular tourist destination is host to the East Coast Surfing Championships, the North American Sand Soccer Championships, an annual LPGA Tour tournament, and the Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon held each year on Labor Day, one of the largest half marathons in the world. 

Virginia Beach is a very military friendly community as it is part of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area, along with Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk and Chesapeake, and is the east coast epicenter of military activity. Oceana, a large Naval Air Station, is located here.  In 2015, USA Today ranked Virginia Beach as the top large city for military retirees. The area is also considered home to many half-backs, those from the north who retired to Florida, didn't like it and make it halfway back.  Picture of Tourism at Beach Boosts Virginia Beach Economy courtesy of Wikipedia and Jason Pratt; Picture of Lighthouses at Cape Henry, the site where English Colonists first arrived, courtesy of Wikipedia and United States Photographer's Mate 1st Class Ken Riley in the public domain.


Where to Retire in Virginia Beach and Home Prices

Virgina Beach is made up of several communities and neighborhoods, and offers many condo developments, timeshares, single family homes and military housing. Homes close to the the water are pricey.  The National Association of Realtors reports the median sale price of a home in the Virginia Beach, Norfork, Newport News VA-NC area was $336,400 in the 2nd quarter of 2022.


What Is Special about Virginia Beach

Miles of beautiful beaches and a three mile boardwalk make Virginia Beach special.  The boardwalk has a bike path and features outdoor cafes, music, and entertainment; over 200 parks offer all types of outdoor recreation and programs, and its park system has been recognized as one of the best in the the United States; The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an 8,000-acre fresh water refuge, and two state parks offer camping, outdoor recreation and nature tours; along with a plethora of outdoor activities, Virginia Beach is also home to museums, art galleries, historical sites, and a perfoming arts center. 


What Is Not Special about Virginia Beach

The summer months bring many tourists, vacationers, and traffic congestion;  in some Virginia Beach neighborhoods jet noise from Oceana, the large Naval Air Station, is quite noticeable.


Who Will Like Retirement in Virginia Beach

Those who enjoy the beach, fishing, biking and many outdoor venues would enjoy living in Virginia Beach.  There is a large Town Center, library, the arts, hospitals and medical facilities including an outpatient VA clinic; Tidewater Community College offers hundreds of classes which are free to senior citizens;  the community also offers public transportation, and is close to airports.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, defense, and real estate are major drivers of the economy.  Along with military bases there are several large corporations located in Virginia Beach, and it is the International Headquarters of the 700 Club and the Christian Broadcasting Network.


Climate and Physical Environment

January's average temperature is 44 degrees, with July's average at 79 degrees. Snow does occur here but totals less than six inches during the winter months. It is not usually in the path of hurricanes and major tropical storms, with the exception of Hurricane Isabel in 2003.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a tourist destination, there are hundreds of restaurants and entertainment venues in Virginia Beach, along with over 4,000 acres of parks;  The Virginia Beach Amphitheater presents concerts with popular performers, and The Sandler Center is a 1200-seat performing arts theatre; the town is also home to 18 historical sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Virginia Aquarium and and Marine Science Center, and the Military Aviation Museum located at the Virginia Beach Airport.



The crime rate in Virgina Beach has been in a steady decline the past several years, and is now below the national average.


Medical Facilities

Virginia Beach is served by Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and by Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.  There is a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) here and a VA Medical Center about 30 miles away in Hampton.



Hampton Roads Transit provides public transportation for the region; Norfolk International Airport is about 20 miles away; Virginia Beach has been named a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Bronze Level by the League of American Bicyclists.


Valuable Links

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Visit Virginia Beach


What people are saying about Virginia Beach

Biking in Virginia Beach
We are big bikers but to say bikers would like Virginia Beach is not correct. Other than along the board walk, which is only 2.6 miles long, the city is not bike friendly. You have to go outside the area to find a decent, longer trail.
Posted by on April 21, 2019

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