Virginia Beach is widely considered one of the best seaside destinations on the East Coast. With its ice cream parlous, street performers, marinas, boardwalks, and beaches, it understandably attracts armies of vacationers to its shores every year. But the city is way more than just a tourist destination. Virginia Beach is home to half a million permanent residents, and like all cities, it has its good places to live and its bad places. If you're thinking of making it your next home, it pays to know the difference. So, which areas should you be including on your home-finding tour? Find out as we count down the 10 best places to live in Virginia Beach.
10. Virginia Beach Town Center
If you want to be at the very heart of the action, look no further than Virginia Beach Town Center. As the city's retail and entertainment hub, it's got all the shopping, dining, wining, and recreational opportunities you could ever need. Obviously, it's not a great place for those looking to enjoy the quiet life, and families might find its lifestyle a little too hectic for taste. But if you're young, free, and single, you'll find it a great place to call home (which might, in fact, be exactly why Home Snacks has named it one of the top neighborhoods in Virginia Beach).
9. Bay Colony
If the thought of Virginia Beach Town Center's hustle and bustle leaves you reaching for the aspirin, don't despair. There's an alternative. Bay Colony is a quiet, peaceful title community that feels a world away from the noise and the crowds of the center. With its uncongested streets, its leafy avenues, its big, stately houses, and its easy walking distance to the beach, it's a great choice for people looking for a quiet, residential community with overtones of the beach lifestyle. Just be aware that as well as being one of Virginia Bay's best neighborhoods, it's also one of its most expensive - expect to pay at least $600,000 for a single-family home.
8. Chic's Beach
Whether you know it as Chic's Beach, Chick's Beach, or Chesapeake Beach, this idyllic little community is a fine place to call home. Running along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay at the top of Virginia Beach, the neighborhood offers a great selection of single-family homes and condos, an abundant array of seafood restaurants, some delightful marinas, and, of course, one of the best beaches in the areas. The vibe is laid back and relaxed. Despite the influx of tourists who hit the area every summer, it never feels too busy or congested. Whether you're a young, single professional, a family, or a retiree, you're going to find plenty to love about this charming little neighborhood.
As one of the main hubs of entertainment in Virginia Beach, Oceanfront is the ideal destination for anyone who likes to roll out of bed and be straight at the heart of the action. Its three-mile boardwalk is the perfect spot for jogging, rollerblading, or grabbing a bench and wasting a happy few hours people-watching. The streets are packed with street performers, snow cone vendors, hot dog sellers, and tourists on their way to the beach. It's neither peaceful nor calm, but that's kind of the point. If you want to hear birdsong in the morning, crickets in the evening, and not a lot in between, go somewhere else. If you want fun, fun, fun from dusk to dawn and all the way around again, it's hard to beat.
Set just a few minute's drive from the dunes at Sandbridge is 8,000 acres of farmland. Known to locals as Pungo, this rural community was created back when the seven original boroughs of the City of Virginia Beach were drawn up in 1963. The area, which gets its name from a local Indian chief, Machiopungo, is imbued with a rural serenity that's the perfect antidote to the thrills and spills of the city center. If spending your days picking wildflowers and harvesting your own fresh produce sounds your idea of bliss, you're going to love it.
5. Ashville Park
There are three things you need to know about Ashville Park before anything else. Number 1: it's one of the newest neighborhoods in Virginia Beach. Number 2: it's one of the biggest neighborhoods in Virginia Beach. Number 3: it's one of the best neighborhoods in Virginia Beach. Numbers 1 and 2 don't require much explanation - the population and dates speak for themselves. As to number 3 ... where do you start? With its miles of walking trails, neighborhood pool, proximity to the beach, low crime rate, and gorgeous homes, there's no end of reasons to account for its popularity. As ever, high property prices go hand in hand with desirability - expect to pay a premium if you decide to live here.
As US News points out, Virginia Beach is characterized by its ocean views, beautiful waterfront homes, and award-winning restaurants. Nowhere is this more obvious than at Croatan, a stunning little neighborhood nestled right up against the beach. With spacious single-family homes, safe, walkable streets, and easy access to the downtown, Croatan is understandably a hugely popular place with both families and singles alike.
According to Area Vibes, Northwest has a Livability Score of 77/100, which basically means it's an exceptional place to live. Friendly, welcoming, and with a rich culture and history that's evident in its fabulous selection of both traditional and ethnic restaurants, diverse local businesses, and full calendar of community events, it offers a little something for everyone. The cost of living is relatively low by Virginia Beach standards, as is the average property value (expect to pay around $262,270 for a very decently sized three-bedroom home), making it a great choice for people on a budget. Parks and amenities are abundant, while the low crime rate and excellent schools are a huge draw for families.
2. Christopher Farms
Christopher Farms may be one of Virginia Beach's newest communities, but it's already established itself as one of its best. Developed during the 1990s, the neighborhood consists of around 300 homes tucked between Holland Road and Princess Anne Road. With its quiet vibe and wide, tree-lined streets, it feels a world away from the traffic and noise of the downtown. If 'calm' and 'quiet' are your two main buzzwords when it comes to choosing a home, you'll struggle to find better.
Named by williamlayton.com as one of the best neighborhood's in Virginia Beach, Alanton certainly has a lot to recommend it. Unemployment is low, as is the crime rate, while the range of first-rate schools, peaceful parks, and nearby shops and recreational venues (including the excellent Alanton Baycliff Recreation Center) is superb. Despite its quiet vibe and leafy, safe streets, there's plenty to keep the younger crowd happy, making it as equally an attractive proposition to singles as to families.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson