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Area Info

Hampton Roads

Waterfront sunrises, city views, dozens of performing arts venues, and lots of beaches comprise one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Hampton Roads. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News-Hampton, VA-NC metro area is comprised of nearly 2 million residents and the proud home to the largest military population in the U.S. Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Suffolk combine to form what many refer to as the seven cities. It is not uncommon for residents of Hampton Roads to live in one of these municipalities and work in another. Many residents of the area will find themselves driving to and through as many as four or five of these cities each day. Each one of these wonderful cities has a very distinct feel and layout that offers lots of options for places to live, work, and play.

Norfolk

City Life

The expansive city of Norfolk comes in at number two for the largest cities in Virginia (population). Norfolk offers incredible history, arts & entertainment, waterfront activities & residences, and is home to the largest naval base in the United States. Norfolk is very passionate about its history, residents, and military affiliation. Norfolk is home to Norfolk Tides Baseball, Norfolk Admirals Hockey, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State, Tidewater Community College HQ, Chrysler Museum of Art, Harrison Opera House, Chrysler Hall (Broadway & Symphony), and influential companies like Norfolk Southern (railroad), Dominion Enterprises, and GROW Interactive. You can set sail on a cruise from the Downtown Norfolk Half Moon Cruise terminal or hit the beaches at Oceanview. The revitalized Downtown, Arts District, and Ghent areas boast some of the best restaurants and entertainment options in all of Virginia. NEWEST ADDITIONS to downtown are The MAIN (Hilton hotel and Restaurants), and Waterside Entertainment District.

Virginia Beach

Beach Life

Welcome to the largest city (population) in the entire state of Virginia. This beautiful city is lined with beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Virginia Beach has grown as a resort city and very popular vacation destination for many travelers along the east coast. Home to the North American Sand Soccer Tournament and East Coast Surfing Championships, Virginia Beach has lots of entertainment to offer all year-round. This vast beach city spans nearly 500 square miles and holds the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest pleasure beach in the world. Virginia Beach maintains the tallest building in the entire state, the Westin Hotel and Residences, located at the popular Town Center dining and shopping destination.

Restaurants & Shopping

There are so many options! I would consider myself a “foodie” and these are just a few of my local favorites that you may wish to try out for yourself: Breakfast; Citrus, Sunrise Café, DOC Taylor’s, Village Inn, The Bee & The Biscuit. Lunch/Dinner; Fruitive, Taste, Waterman’s Surfside Grill, EAT Bistro, Pacifica, Esoteric, Commune, Hearth, Burton’s Grill, Cobalt Grill, One Fish Two Fish, Eurasia Café, Sonoma, Tautog’s, Il Giardino, Sushi, Terrapin, Aldo’s Ristorante, and Plaza Azteca. Beach Hangouts; The Shack, The Shack, Chix Seaside Grill, Chicks Oyster Bar.

VB Town Center (Barnes and Noble, West Elm, Lululemon), Lynnhaven Mall (Apple, Dillard’s, Banana Republic, Express), Pembroke Mall, Hilltop Shopping Center, Strawbridge Shopping Center, La Promenade, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes, and The Fresh Market.

Chesapeake

Quiet(er) Life

Another vastly spread out city of Hampton Roads; Chesapeake comes in at number three for one of the largest cities in Virginia (population). Chesapeake is known less for its city life and entertainment, and more for it’s many miles of farmland, wetlands, forests, and the protected Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Chesapeake, like many of the 7 cities of Hampton Roads, contains plentiful amounts of waterfront property and homes. Chesapeake has received many accolades in recent years to include, but not limited to; #48 of America’s 50 Best Cities to Live (24/7 Wall Street), #10 among The Hardest Working Cities in America (wallethub.com), #19 among Best Cities for Quality of Life (NerdWallet), and #87 among Millennial Magnets (USA Today).

Restaurants & Shopping

Top restaurant picks from TripAdvisor in Chesapeake
Greenbrier Mall (Macy’s, Sears, JCPenny), Chesapeake Square (Macy’s JCPenny, Target)

Coffeehouses & Breweries

Coffeehouses; Sunrise Breakfast Shop, and Bookend Cafe. Breweries; Big Ugly Brewing Company

Suffolk

Land Life

Suffolk is known for it’s massive surface area occupying over 400 square miles of Hampton Roads. Suffolk was voted as “Best Place for Young Families” and Best Cities for Veterans in America” by NerdWallet in 2015. A very popular festival for all of Hampton Roads is the Suffolk Peanut Festival which is hosted every year with great anticipation. Suffolk provides a vast amount of land for future development. Downtown Suffolk has rich history and pleasing historic landmarks, while the popular Harbour View area boasts wonderful shopping, businesses, residences, and golf attractions.

Restaurants & Shopping

Top restaurant picks from TripAdvisor in Suffolk

Harbour View Marketplace Shopping Center

Coffeehouses & Breweries

Coffeehouses; TBA Breweries; TBA

Portsmouth

Port Life

The city of Portsmouth shares miles of waterfront with Norfolk and maintains a ferryboat that travels from Olde Towne to Downtown daily. Portsmouth has hundreds of years of history. The city shares borders with Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Suffolk. Olde Towne Portsmouth maintains lots of wonderful restaurants and historic attractions to enjoy within walking distance of one another.

Restaurants & Shopping

Portsmouth, specifically Olde Towne, has a handful of really great dining options. These are some of my top picks: Brutti’s Catering, Gosport Tavern, Baron’s Pub, Roger Brown’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, The Bier Garden, Still Wordly Tapas, Mannino’s Italian Bistro, Stove Restaurant,

Coffeehouses & Breweries

Coffeehouses; The Coffee Shoppe, JoJack's Espresso Bar, and The Well Coffeehouse. Breweries; TBA

Hampton

Take Flight Life

Hampton is another one of the seven cities that is rich in Virginia history. Home to Hampton University, Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton has become a very attractive area to both live and work. Hampton maintains lots of waterfront homes and beaches for its residents and visitors, and shopping options have grown most recently with the addition of the Peninsula Town Center. For entertainment, the resort area of Buckroe Beach draws thousands during the spring and summer months, while the Hampton Coliseum and Convention Center host wonderful events year-round.

Restaurants & Shopping

Peninsula Town Center Dining
Peninsula Town Center (Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Cine’Bistro, H&M)

Coffeehouses & Breweries

Coffeehouses; Green Beans Coffee, The Waterside Café, Ehtereal Cupcakes and Coffee. Breweries; St. George Brewing Company

Newport News

Shipbuilding Life

The great city of Newport News ranks in at the fifth most populated city in Virginia. The largest private employer in Hampton Roads, Huntington Ingalls, is located in Newport News and employs over 20,000 employees who build aircraft U.S. Navy carriers and submarines. Also located in Newport News is U.S. Army base Fort Eustis, helping drive the city’s economy that is very closely connected to the military. Christopher Newport University attracts both local and out of area students with many degree and athletic options. For dining and entertainment, the rapidly expanding City Center at Oyster Point draws patrons all year-round.

Restaurants & Shopping

City Center at Oyster Point Dining
City Center at Oyster Point (Jos. A. Bank, Ann Taylor Loft, Paragon City Center), Patrick Henry Mall (Dillard’s, Macy’s, JC Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods), Whole Foods Market

Coffeehouses & Breweries

Coffeehouses; Aromas, Breweries; TBA