Moving to Virginia Beach discussion

Negative reviews


Coming from the Bronx, I have a feeling that you're going to go into complete culture shock. I highly doubt you'll find a house in your price range - unless you want a complete fixer-upper. You'll have to shop and shop and shop. This isn't the "country" nor is it too secluded, but it is suburban hell.

The elementary schools in Va Beach are the better in this area, but I don't like the school systems here at all. That's my personal opinion though, and others will differ.

I'm not sure what you consider "shopping areas" but there are Wal-marts all over the place, and where there is a Wal-mart, there are other stores. There are also tons and tons of "malls" dotting the area. They aren't very big, but they're okay. I mentioned this in another post, but I'll say it again. There is NO DOWNTOWN, so don't look for one. The only downtown is in Norfolk, and it's tiny. Most of the "activities" are there too.

There are other places to go and things to do if you're willing to drive. Most of the stuff to do "here" involves the beach or festivals in downtown Norfolk. But, there's bunches of stuff within a day's drive of here.

It's an interesting place to live. If I could pick a place out of the entire Hampton Roads area, I'd chose Virginia Beach. Right now, I'm stuck in Chesapeake. Good luck in your search.

Neutral reviews


I'm living in western Colorado now, but I lived in Virginia Beach ( VB ) for 16 years. I think you'll be challenged to find a home in your price range in most VB subdivisions, but I can't say that with certainty. Your best bet is to visit and do a search for the type of home you are looking for to see which neighborhoods might have homes for sale that meet your criteria.

good luck with your search....Franco


Yes, I do believe you'll experience culture shock. I worked with a woman who lived and worked in NY all her life, and after 2 years, she loves it down here and says its more layed back. I don't have any children, but I heard some schools are good and some are bad. Aparentely good neighborhood doesn't equate to good school either. I think you can find a house in the $200k to $300 range in a good area, however for that price your looking at something in the 1,400 sq - 1,500 sq foot range and should expect to go closer to $300k. I live in Kempsville, which is considered by some a fairly sought after area in Virginia Beach, and the houses in my neighborhood are going for $250k to $300k. The neighborhood next to us is $300k to $400k. Housing values continue to go up here, just not as quickly as they were 2 years ago and its now more buyer friendly.

Hampton Roads certainly isn't New York or Chicago, but there is plenty of good places to shop, eat, and play. This is coming from a 30 yr old. Its a growing region. Downtown Norfolk is a neat place, with trendy and unique restaurants and museums. Its not the hub of nightlife or as culturaly rich as New York, nor as large, but it hits the spot. I don't agree that most of the activities are in downtown Norfolk. I think it all depends on your interests.

The are trying to develop a "downtown" Virginia Beach, which is a bit silly if your familiar with this area. Its mainly restaurants with some offices and high end condos ($300k). Shopping here, in my opinion, is good. You're never far from anything, and there is a pretty good variety of stores (both high and low end depending on your need). Your only as limited as you want to be here. There is generally an event going on in one of the cities, and driving to them is not a big deal. You're also 1 hour from Williamsburg, 2 from Richmond, 3 hours to the moutains, and 2 to 4 hours from any Outbanks location. I haven't been to a club since I was 24, but from what I remember there is not a huge variety to choose from here but there are some great restaurants with bars. If I'm going to go on a rant about Hampton Roads, besides about traffic (which I'm sure is better than NY), its the salaries are just not great and generally don't keep up with the cost of living. Blame that on it being a miliary area and a higher number of older folks working. If you'd like any more info, just post what it is you'd like to know and I'll see if I can help.


Norfolk. Probably the closest thing to the Bronx you're going to find here. Alexandria if you're trying to be close to DC. Alexandria is probably more urban than anything around here. But you won't be close to the beach or anything. You should post this in the Richmond and Northern Virginia fourms to see what people up there think.

You should be able to get a safe neighborhood within your budget. Regardless of where you move. I know a few people from New Jersey in Newport News. Over that way the beach is in Hampton.


Norfolk is already about as liberal as you can get. While they are more Richmond/Emporia liberal than Charlottesville liberal, a conservative has no chance in that city.

Virginia Beach has a large amount of affluent people that are either retired military, dependent upon the military, or business owners - all groups who vote R. While affluent people vote D in Northern Virginia, it is because they are dependent on government welfare to keep their paychecks coming. Not saying the military industrial complex around here doesn't suck off the other teeth, but being dependent on the DOE and EPA bring a different types of voters.

Positive reviews


Virginia Beach is one of the most conservative cities with a large population, and so that's going to be out of sync with folks from reddit. It's up to you whether you find that a problem or not; many people find it's a very nice place to live, work, and have a family.


I got stationed here six years ago with the military and bought a house. They gave me a good job when I got out so I've been here since.


Because it’s a beautiful place to live. I just graduated college and had the opportunity to transfer out to California but chose VB instead. Different age groups will have different opinions.

Dawn Yilmaz

Despite Virginia Beach's resort city status, the friendly residents and relaxed atmosphere found in this part of southern Virginia have swayed many to take up a permanent residence in Virginia's largest metro area. The glorious ocean views, beautiful waterfront homes and award-winning restaurants make this vacation destination a place worthy of being calling home.

The job market in the Hampton Roads region, which encompasses Virginia Beach and nearby Norfolk and Newport News, offers some niche opportunities in both the civilian and government sectors that make moving to the area attractive, from defense contractor positions to hotelier jobs. Plus, the metro area's economy is stronger than average, which makes it an attractive place for those looking to start a new career.

With the largest concentration of military personnel outside of the Pentagon, military presence is part of everyday life at the beach, with events like the Oceana Air Show and the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival celebrating the armed forces. However, jet noise can be loud and takes some time to adjust to, so if you are going to be living in a particular noisy area, be prepared.


I was born & raised in southern California but I've lived here in Virginia Beach since 1976. The weather is not as nice as California but really nothing to complain about. The friendliness of the people more that make up for a few chilly days. We have great beaches, restaurants, malls, transportation, parks, theme parks...plenty to do. I love it here!


I lived in the Kempsville area of VB growing up and loved it. There's no way to be bored when you have so many public and neighborhood parks, libraries, events, activities, restaurants, etc. all around you. One great thing about the area is that the military installations meant there is a lot of transience, which means that more local people are used to making friends with the new family on the block. Like with all big city/suburbs, there are the richies and the struggling, but most of VB is middle class, and have good schools. The only bad things about VB are the traffic, the mosquitoes, and the storms.


Amazing reading these other posts!

Came to website verifying a statistic I had read about the cost of living in Hampton Roads area. Got sucked into reading the posts which I never usually do because Freedom of Speech allows even the ignorant to contribute.

This is the unbiased truth from someone who lived in Baltimore Maryland ( Federal Hill) and has currently lives in Virginia Beach.

This is the 411 on Virginia Beach. It is a city with all the economic and racial diversity that you can find in an urban setting. Therefore city issues occur here too.


Traffic is bad due to the large population, and it is a city. I also admit that lots of people could use driver refresher courses.

Crime is not bad compared to other cities with equal population.

Bugs.. hello.. we are southern and coastal. Its the price you pay for paradise. Promise that you will see similiar comments about all southern coastal cities

Taxes... hello.. vacation destination, city = taxes


We are southern and coastal which means sun,sand,&seafood.

We have great schools from public to private, primary to collegiate.

We are diverse from ethnic groups to landscape. You can enjoy country living in Pungo, beach living throughout and city living in Town Center. We have awesome Thai,Indian,Mexican,Greek,Filipino .. you name it restraunts.

Wineries, Ball Room Dancing, Concert venues, competive sports (from the typical soccer and baseball to roller derby, surfing and speed boats).

We are globally safe as we house the Atlantic Fleet, including Fighter Jets, and Seal Teams.

To sum it up VA Beach is a great city with everything and anything that you can imagine for food entertainment climate education housing...

thats why we have a tourist industry and a large population..Lived around the world and proud to call VA Beach home.

The best part is if you dont like it you can leave:)

Sheri Hogue

I grew up in Virginia Beach but now live in Norfolk. Some people call this area Tidewater or Hampton Roads or The 7 Cities. Virginia Beach and Norfolk just blend together as well as Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.

The biggest thing to be aware of is the traffic patterns coming and going from the bases and Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

You can be on the Eastern Shore or the Outer Banks in less than an hour. You can swim or fish in the bay or the ocean. There are numerous places to kayak and nature walk. There are numerous museums and zoos and some of everything.

It’s just a matter of what you like to do. No gambling and No Pot Smoking. There is a large LBGT Community. Outlet Shops and Malls and State and City Parks. PETA is headquartered here in Norfolk. Norfolk has the second most Dog Parks per capita in the whole country.

The Virginia Beach Oceanfront tends to be for the tourists but the locals know the good spots. There is the Neptune Festival and Harborfest.

If you are coming to Hampton Roads you better like the water. This is definitely a Coastal Community.

David Somerfleck

It was okay. I lived there, went to college there, and still have many very dear friends there. Much of the experience would depend upon what you're doing for a living, your level of income, your ability to do what you want, aside from just living there.

I recommend you visit the Chrysler Museum of Art, in neighboring Norfolk, visit Waterside, check out the oceanfront area, and look at what your particular living circumstances would be and weigh the decision to move there (if that's your intent) as a whole.

Henry Whelchel

Kevin Copeland gave a very good answer. And I agree with all the other answers so far.

That said, Virginia Beach is best when you have enough money to afford a house on the ocean or on one of the bays where you can dock a boat and access the Atlantic Ocean. That kind of house will cost about $1M and up.

Kevin Copeland

I love it here. Of course, I was born here, and I've lived here all my life, so I may be somewhat biased.

Social scene: I'm an introvert, teetotaler, and overall nerd/dork, so I'm not very qualified to comment on things like night life. It exists here – that's about all I know.

Government: city government is a good-ol'-boys club, pretty much run by affluent lawyers and developers in the city, who have the council in their pockets.

Schools: Historically, VB public schools have been among the best in the country, but with the common-core crap that's been going on these past few years, it's been hard to tell. Still, they provide excellent resources for kids with special needs. There are some great private schools in the area, and as far as colleges go, there are ODU and NSU in Norfolk, TCC all over the southside, Art Institute and ECPI in Virginia Beach, as well as Regent University in Virginia Beach.

Sociopolical vibe: On the subject of Regent University, you may realize that Regent U. was founded by Pat Robertson, the (in)famous televangelist who is also the founder of CBN and The 700 Club, both of which are also in Virginia Beach. As you might imagine, Pat's influence is felt here, and as such, the area tends to lean very much into Conservative Christian spectrum. That's not to say there isn't a fair number of Progressives in the area (*raises hand*), but we're definitely outnumbered. Generally, people here are friendly, polite, and courteous. Also, this is a huge military town, so there are people from all over the U.S./world who have relocated here. We get a fairly good mix of many cultures here.

Weather / Geography: Hot, humid summers (90°F+) with frequent afternoon/evening thunderstorms. Fair spring and fall, and typically mild winters (it's rare to fall below about 30°F, and snow is unusual — although this past winter we had more snow than in the previous 10 combined). We have beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, we have lots of inland water for fishing and recreation. We are only 3 hours away from the Blue Ridge Mountains (hiking, skiing), we're about 3.5 hours away from Washington, D.C., and about 6 hours away from NYC.

Arts/Culture: We have the Virginia Aquarium, Virginia MOCA, Farm Bureau Live (VB Amphitheater), and the Sandler Center for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach. Neighboring cities have The Harrison Opera House, the Chrysler Museum of Art, Nauticus, The Attucks Theater, The Virginia Stage Company, USS Wisconsin, Willet Hall, Virginia Air & Space Center.

There's lots more than I mentioned here. For example, neighboring city Norfolk has a growing Arts District. There are local annual festivals, including the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, Norfolk's Harborfest, Suffolk's Peanut Festival, Hampton's Blackbeard Festival, the Boardwalk Art Festival, Stockley Gardens Art Show, and many more.

Oh, and that military thing I mentioned? There are lots of military planes overhead. Big roaring raptors in the sky…all the time. And ships/fleets coming in & out all the time. So there's that.

Another note: many military families decide to settle here after they leave the service. So there's that, too.

All in all, lots going on around here. It's a great place to live, and it has a lot more potential.

Current Resident

It's a very fun place to live with lots of stuff to do, especially in the summer! Even though we experience all 4 seasons, many people enjoy Virginia Beach simply for the summer and well, the beach. At the ocean front their are always people, no matter what the season. Even though most of us born and raised in Virginia Beach are summer people, we have a beautiful fall and winter. There are a ton of things to do when it snows, especially on all of the hills for sledding! Within Virginia Beach, you can go one way and be in the country and go the opposite way and be at the Ocean. From whales and turtles to cows and chicken there's so many fun and exciting things. Virginia Beach is an amazing place to not only be raised in, but to simply just live!

Current Resident

I have been in Virginia Beach all of my 28 years of life. I love my city and the community! It is very diverse and has a great art scene and it is very welcoming. Virginia Beach is a tourist city, so being a local, I enjoy the many events and activities there are to do here that attract tourists. For example, the oceanfront has many outdoor concerts and festivals in the summer. Even though I love my city, I would like to see Virginia Beach as a community, come together to help clean the area and help low income families so they can enjoy the city as much. I would also like to see the community come together for the children. I would like to see more children programs, like reading, STEM, music, and art programs so that the children have more opportunities to expand their interests instead of possibly being bored and finding themselves in trouble.

Current Resident

I was born and raised in Virginia Beach and it truly is a wonderful location to live. It is a military town, but there are countless activities that range from the beach, countless malls and shopping centers, and the downtown experience you get in town center. I think Virginia Beach is an excellent place to raise a family! My favorite part about living here is all of the gorgeous scenery. We have several state parks that are simply beautiful. My only complaint about the area is the major traffic. It is such a populated city that ten-mile drive can take up to 40 minutes, especially in rush hour on the main roads. The weather here can be very sporadic, it is all too common to have an 80 degree Christmas morning, but have a snowy early Spring. Overall this is a magnificent city with ample things to do!