CITIES OF HAMPTON ROADS - Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan
area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
Although Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in the state of Virginia,
Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the state, as well as the 39th largest city
in the United States, with a population of 437,994 according to the 2010 Census.
Virginia Beach is the easternmost city of Hampton Roads that make up the core of
the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA. This area, known as
"America's First Region", also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake,
Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as other smaller
cities, counties and towns of Hampton Roads.
Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels,
and restaurants along its oceanfront. Every year the city hosts the East Coast
Surfing Championships as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship,
a beach soccer tournament. It is also home to several state parks, several
long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations,
two universities, Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and numerous historic sites. Near the point
where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry was the site of
the first landing of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown, on
April 26, 1607.
The city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure
beach in the world. It is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay
Bridge-Tunnel, the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world.
is an independent city located in the South Hampton Roads portion of the Hampton
Roads metropolitan area of Virginia in the United States. One of the cities Hampton
Roads, Chesapeake was formed in 1963 by a political consolidation of the city of
South Norfolk with the former Norfolk County, which dated to 1691. Chesapeake is
the second-largest city by land area in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Chesapeake is a diverse city with few urban areas as well as many square miles of
protected farmland, forests, and wetlands, including a substantial portion of the
Great Dismal Swamp. Extending all the way from the rural border with North
Carolina to the harbor area of Hampton Roads adjacent to the cities of Norfolk and
Portsmouth, Chesapeake is located on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and has
miles of waterfront industrial, commercial and residential property.
It is currently the third largest city in Virginia in terms of population. According to
the 2010 Census, its population is 222,209. In 2011, Chesapeake was named the 21st
best city in America by Bloomberg Businessweek.
is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With
a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city
behind neighboring Virginia Beach.
Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, named for
the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
It is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metro
area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA.
The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the
Chesapeake Bay. It also shares land borders with the independent cities of
Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. One of the oldest of the
cities in Hampton Roads, Norfolk is considered to be the historic, urban, financial,
and cultural center of the region.
The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point. Norfolk
Naval Base is the world's largest such base, and the world's largest military
alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has its defense headquarters here.
The city also has the corporate headquarters of Norfolk Southern Railway, one of
North America's principal Class I railroads, and Maersk Line, Limited, who manages
the world's largest fleet of US-flag vessels. As the city is bordered by multiple
bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property. It is
linked to its neighbors by an extensive network of Interstate highways, bridges,
tunnels, and bridge-tunnel complexes.
is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of
Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and
active U.S. Navy facility that is actually located in Portsmouth rather than Norfolk;
the name "Norfolk" was adopted to avoid confusion with Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, where a naval shipyard already existed when the Virginia facility
opened. The shipyard builds, remodels, and repairs the Navy's ships of all types.
Directly opposite Norfolk, the city of Portsmouth also has miles of waterfront land
on the Elizabeth River as part of the harbor of Hampton Roads. There is a ferry boat
that takes riders back and forth across the water between Downtown Norfolk and
is an independent city within the confines of Augusta County in the
commonwealth of Virginia. The population was 23,746 as of 2010. It is the county
seat of Augusta County.
It is known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, and
the home of Mary Baldwin College, a women's college. The city is also home to
Stuart Hall, a private co-ed preparatory school, as well as the Virginia School for the
Deaf and Blind.
Staunton is the larger of the two principal cities of the Staunton-Waynesboro
micropolitan statistical area, which covers Augusta County and the cities of
Staunton and Waynesboro. The micropolitan area had a combined population of
116,299 in 2009.
is the largest city by area in Virginia, United States, and is located in the Hampton
Roads metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of
84,585. Its median household income was $57,546.
In modern times, Suffolk remains a major peanut processing center and railroad and
highway transportation hub. It hosts a diverse combination of industrial,
manufacturing, distribution, retail, and hospitality businesses, as well as active
Planters' Peanuts continues to be a major employer, now owned by Kraft Foods.
Other large employers in the City of Suffolk include Unilever, Lipton Tea, Wal-Mart,
Target, QVC, and two major modeling and simulation companies, Lockheed Martin
and Raytheon. Lockheed Martin bases its Center for Innovation in Suffolk. The
Center for Innovation is called 'The Lighthouse' because the campus is built around
a lighthouse and actually envelops the lighthouse.
Suffolk experienced a boom in its high tech economy given the presence of the U.S.
Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) facility located in north Suffolk near the
intersection of US 17 and Interstate 664. Starting around 2002, through the decade
JFCOM steadily grew the number of defense contractors it employed until it reached
over 3,000. By September 2010, however, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had
made a recommendation to the President to disestablish JFCOM as a matter of
reallocating and rebalancing the U.S. Department of Defense budget so as to better
address the changing needs and demands of the Department. This announcement
has led to speculation about what adverse impact the disestablishment of JFCOM
will have on the Hampton Roads economy in general and (more specifically) the
sustainment of businesses located in the Harborview section of Suffolk.
In 2002, the new Louise Obici Memorial Hospital was completed and dedicated. The
hospital was acquired in 2005 by the Sentara Health System.
Each year in the fall, the City of Suffolk hosts Suffolk Festivals Incorporated's
annual Peanut Fest; the 2007 Peanut Fest was the 30th since its inception.
News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of
Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore
of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of
waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton
The area now known as Newport News was once a part of Warwick County.
Warwick County was one of the eight original shires of Virginia, formed by the
House of Burgesses in the British Colony of Virginia by order of King Charles I, in
1634. The county was largely composed of farms and undeveloped land until almost
250 years later. In 1881, 15 years of explosive development began under the
leadership of Collis P. Huntington, whose new Peninsula Extension of the
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Richmond opened up transportation along the
Peninsula and provided a new pathway for the railroad to bring West Virginia
bituminous coal to port for coastal shipping and worldwide export. With the new
railroad came a terminal and coal piers where the colliers were loaded. Within a few
years, Huntington and his associates also built a large shipyard. In 1896, the new
incorporated town of Newport News, which had briefly replaced Denbigh as the
county seat of Warwick County, had a population of 9,000. In 1900, 19,635 people
lived in Newport News, Virginia; in 1910, 20,205; in 1920, 35,596; and in 1940, 37,067.
In 1958, by mutual consent by referendum, Newport News was consolidated with the
former Warwick County (itself a separate city from 1952 to 1958), rejoining the two
localities to approximately their pre-1896 geographic size. The more widely known
name of Newport News was selected as they formed what was then Virginia's third
largest independent city in population. As of the 2010 census, the city population
was 180,719 ranking it as Virginia's fifth largest incorporated city by population.
With many residents employed at the expansive Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding,
the joint U.S. Air Force-U.S. Army installation at Joint Base Langley–Eustis, and
other military installations and suppliers, the city's economy is very connected to
the military. The location on the harbor and along the James River facilitates a large
boating industry which can take advantage of its many miles of waterfront. Newport
News also serves as a junction between the rails and the sea with the Newport
News Marine Terminals located at the East End of the city. Served by major
east-west Interstate Highway 64, it is linked to others of the cities of Hampton
Roads by the circumferential Hampton Roads Beltway, which crosses the harbor on
two bridge-tunnels. Part of the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is
in the city limits.