Moving to Chesapeake

Welcome to the exciting journey of relocation! Today, we set sights on the spectacular city of Chesapeake, VA. Tucked amid unspoiled natural beauty and enriched with a rich historical tapestry, Chesapeake wanders between urban sporting and suburban tranquility. If you're dreaming of a vibrant lifestyle with a hearty serving of Southern charm, then dust off that compass and point it towards Chesapeake. This comprehensive guide is designed to transform your relocation endeavor from a speculative thought into a mesmerizing adventure. Strap in; Chesapeake's wonders await!

Moving to Chesapeake, VA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Chesapeake

1. Natural Beauty is Part of the Package

When you move to Chesapeake, VA, you're not just getting a new home - you're getting entree into a natural haven. Nestled in the heart of Coastal Virginia, Chesapeake is an open-air playground, with plenty of opportunities for bird-watching, hiking, boat riding, camping and more. The city is home to the peak of the Intracoastal Waterway and is surrounded by multiple rivers and the awe-striking Chesapeake Bay.

2. The Blue Crabs Are Finger-Licking Good

Speaking of the Chesapeake Bay, one thing you absolutely must do upon arriving in your new city is indulge in the local seafood, in particular, the blue crabs. And nope, it's not a car you drive or a dog you walk, they're creatures that belong to the crustacean family and they happen to be incredibly tasty - particularly when seasoned with a hearty sprinkle of Old Bay. If you're not a fan of seafood now, you will be within a week of moving to Chesapeake. Promise.

3. Its History Runs Deep

A region that was once home to Native American tribes and later a point of critical importance during the Civil War, Chesapeake is rich in history. Moving here means you'll have numerous historical landmarks and museums at your fingertips. From the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to the historic homes and plantations, the city never runs out of stories to tell about its past.

4. Watch Out for 'Skeeters!

Here's a little inside tip that most non-locals aren't privy to. Chesapeake has a bit of a mosquito problem. But don't worry, the city runs an active Mosquito Control Commission that's kept in check by some friendly little fish (Gambusia) that love munching on mosquito larvae. So when you're firming up your moving checklist, be sure to add insect repellent to the list.

5. There's More Than Just a Little Bit of Traffic

Okay, let's just rip off this band-aid now. If you're moving to Chesapeake, be prepared to face some traffic - especially during peak hours. With several military bases in the region, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (a crucial passageway linking Chesapeake to the Eastern Shore), congestion is inevitable. But hey, it's a small price to pay for residing in this wonderful city.

6. Chesapeake is Home to One...Two... Lots of Festivals!

You may not know this, but Chesapeake is basically the Festival Capital of Virginia. From the crowd-pleasing annual Chesapeake Jubilee - featuring a carnival, live music and fireworks - to the Chesapeake Wine Festival, and even the peculiarly fascinating "Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival", these events embrace the friendly community spirit for which Chesapeake is renowned.

In summary, moving to Chesapeake, VA, provides a unique blend of city life perks and natural beauty. The history, culinary delights, outdoor activities, and lively community events make it a charming choice for any mover. While it's not without its quirks, such as pesky mosquitoes and rush-hour traffic, the essence of Chesapeake's inviting appeal far outshines these minor inconveniences. So pack your bags, prepare your taste buds, and get ready to immerse yourself in the delightful charm that is Chesapeake, VA!

What to know before moving to Chesapeake, VA image
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Pros and Cons of Living in Chesapeake

Pros of Living in Chesapeake

Rich Natural Resources

Chesapeake boasts a wealth of natural resources including numerous parks, trails, waterways, and wildlife, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts or those that enjoy getting close to nature. The city's Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and Chesapeake Arboretum provide unique experiences for exploration and leisure.

Good Educational System

Chesapeake has a highly-rated education system, with a good array of both public and private schools. The system places a high priority on student success, providing a strong base for educational growth and advancement, which is beneficial for families with children.

Strong sense of Community

Chesapeake is often praised for its strong sense of community. The city hosts frequent community events and has numerous organizations and clubs, which makes it easy to get involved and feel a part of the community. It's a place where residents know their neighbors and look out for each other.

Low Crime Rate

Chesapeake has a lower crime rate compared to national averages, making it a safer place to live. This sense of safety and security makes it an appealing place for families or those looking to retire and spend their golden years.

Proximity to Major Cities

Chesapeake's location is ideal for those who enjoy city life but also cherish a quieter, more suburban environment. It's within driving distance of other major cities in Virginia like Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach -- offering a perfect balance of peace and accessibility.

Cons of Living in Chesapeake

Cost of Living

While not as high as in other East Coast cities, the cost of living in Chesapeake is above the national average. This includes prices for housing, healthcare and groceries, which may prove a deterrent for those with a tight budget.

Traffic and Commuting

Like any growing city, Chesapeake can experience traffic congestion, particularly during rush hours. Commuting times can be longer than average, particularly for those who work in other cities and must commute on a daily basis.

Limited Nightlife

Chesapeake is more of a suburban city, with a quieter scene when it comes to nightlife. While there are some bars, restaurants, and events, those looking for a consistently bustling nightlife scene may find it lacking.

Weather Conditions

Chesapeake, like much of the southeastern United States, is susceptible to seasonal weather phenomena, including tropical storms and occasional hurricanes. These can occasionally cause inconveniences such as power outages or property damage.

Availability of Public Transit

The public transit system in Chesapeake, while existent, is not as extensive or frequent as in larger cities. Those without a personal vehicle may find it difficult to rely solely on public transport for commuting or other regular travel.

Modern day picture of Chesapeake, VA highlighting pros and cons of living in Chesapeake, VA

Is Chesapeake a Good Place to Live?

Chesapeake, VA is a great place to live because of its high-quality education system, low crime rates, and abundance of outdoor recreational areas like the beautiful Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Additional perks of living in this heartwarming community include a diverse food scene, access to stunning beaches, and a vibrant local culture fueled by countless festivals and events. So, pack your bags for a journey of joy, as Chesapeake is waiting to welcome you with its charming, Southern hospitality!

What Is Chesapeake Famous For?

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

No, it's not as gloomy as the name might suggest! This is a thriving wildlife reserve that stretches over 112,000 acres, boasting rare species, beautiful landscapes, and a rich history. It's a paradise for bird-watchers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts, with opportunities for boating, fishing, and photography.

The Chesapeake Arboretum

Covering over 48 acres of land, this "Nature's Classroom" boasts a wide array of trees and plants. Walking trails weave through the mature hardwood forest, with clearly marked tree identification markers along the way. It's the perfect spot for an afternoon walk and picnic, offering splendid sights and a peaceful atmosphere.

The Intracoastal Waterway

Where the city collides with nature is also where stress melts away. The Chesapeake section of the Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile inland path from Boston down to the southern tip of Florida. Whether you prefer boating, hiking, fishing, or just lounging in the sand, this waterway has something for everyone.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Ever driven through a tunnel under a massive body of water? The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a 23-mile long engineering marvel that combines tunnels, bridges, and manmade islands. Locals and tourists alike marvel at its ingenuity and the stunning views it offers of the Chesapeake Bay.

Capital building of Chesapeake, VA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Chesapeake, VA as of 2023, the property tax rate is set at $1.05 per $100 of assessed value. This is slightly lower than the average property tax rate in the US at $1.17 per $100 of assessed value.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Chesapeake, VA as of 2023 is 6%. This is substantially lower than the US average sales tax rate of 7.12%.

Income Tax

Virginia has a progressive state income tax that ranges from 2% to 5.75%, much lower than the US average ranging from 10% to 37% depending on income brackets.

Housing Market

The housing market in Chesapeake, VA is moderately priced compared to other parts of the U.S. The median home value stands at $279,000 which is slightly less than the national median. However, it's worth noting the price to rent ratio in Chesapeake is around 16, a bit higher than the national average. This illustrates a more cost-effective environment for buyers than renters. Home appreciation over the last decade has been about 28%, signaling steady growth. So, for those considering relocation, Chesapeake, VA offers a balanced choice between affordability and investment potential.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Chesapeake, VA is slightly lower than the national average, making it an affordable option for many. Major factors like housing, groceries, and transportation costs are all below average. However, healthcare costs are slightly above the national average. Compared to nearby cities in Virginia, Chesapeake is cheaper than cities like Arlington and Richmond, but more expensive than Roanoke. Looking at a national level, Chesapeake is considerably more affordable than major cities like New York City or San Francisco, but higher than cities such as Louisville, KY or Oklahoma City, OK.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Chesapeake, VA enjoys a classic, moderate Mid-Atlantic climate, characterized by four distinct seasons. Spring and fall bring breezy, mild days, while summers can be hot and humid. Winters are typically cool with temperatures often dipping around the freezing point. On average, Chesapeake receives around 48 inches of rain each year, arriving in thunderstorms, showers, and occasional snowfall in the winter. The region is also susceptible to various natural disasters like hurricanes, especially during the Atlantic hurricane season that runs from June to November. Tornadoes, although less frequent, have occurred in the region too. Flooding, largely due to heavy rains or hurricanes, presents another significant concern. Chesapeake's climate, while generally quite pleasant, does require residents to stay prepared for a range of weather conditions and potential natural disasters.

Typical weather in Chesapeake, VA

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Construction

* Manufacturing

* Educational Services

Chesapeake, VA is rich in economic history, dating back to its deep roots in agriculture and industry. Over time, this coastal Virginia city has seen a remarkable transformation in its job market. Originally grounded in the tobacco trade and shipbuilding, today's Chesapeake is known for its robust healthcare, retail and construction sectors. In fact, healthcare alone employs over 10% of the workforce, with retail not far behind. Additionally, the city boasts a thriving manufacturing industry and a burgeoning sector for educational services.

If you're thinking of packing up and moving to Chesapeake, VA, you'll be pleased to know that the city's economy is as vibrant as its history. The job market can be described as fairly stable, with the unemployment rate falling below the national average. Opportunities in healthcare and education are especially abundant, owing to the city's major hospitals and schools. For those geared more towards retail and sales, the city's Greenbrier Mall and surrounding commercial developments provide a wide array of job choices. So whether you're a sales guru, a construction ace, or an aspiring healthcare professional, Chesapeake, VA is a city that supports your ambition and offers a bright, economic future.

Traffic and Transportation

Chesapeake, VA is one fun-sized city with quite the share of things to consider when hitting the road. First things first, the average commute time is about 24 minutes - a bit better than the national average. Isn't that spiffy? But let's say you're not into that whole driving thing. Fear not! Chesapeake offers chic options for public transportation. HRT Bus Service is ready to whisk you off to your destination with style. If you're looking for something a bit grander, Chesapeake Regional Airport (KCPK) caters to private air travel. No hullabaloo of long check-in lines and frenzied baggage carousels here; that's far too passe for the breezy Chesapeake air. So whether you're ground-bound or fancy-free in the sky, Chesapeake's transportation has got you covered. Let's go places, shall we Chesapeake?

What is the traffic like in Chesapeake, VA?

Best Neighborhoods in Chesapeake

1. Great Bridge

Great Bridge! Sounds epic, right? Well, it totally lives up to its name. This family-friendly neighborhood is perfect for those looking for a quiet, laid-back lifestyle. With top-rated schools, safe streets, and lovely parks such as the Battlefield Park, it's also an ideal place for kiddos to make treasured childhood memories. Plus, it hosts the annual Christmas Parade, one of the city's most anticipated events. So get ready to swoon over the cute kid floats and have the Santa Claus song stuck in your head for weeks!

2. Greenbrier East

Are you a shopaholic? A foodie? Or just someone who enjoys a lively and vibrant area? Then pack up, because Greenbrier East is the neighborhood you've been dreaming of. This area features Chesapeake's largest shopping district, brimming with exciting stores, eateries, and entertainment venues. But don't let all the fun make you think it's all hustle and bustle. Greenbrier East also has beautiful walking and biking paths, and it's surprisingly serene.

3. Hickory

Get ready to embrace your inner farmhand because Hickory delivers the countryside vibes unlike anywhere else in Chesapeake! If you're a nature lover or just looking to escape the city's concrete jungle, this rural neighborhood is for you. With plenty of farmers' markets to enjoy fresh produce, gorgeous landscapes that make for epic selfies, and multiple horse-riding trails, Hickory is peaceful and scenic. You'll be making country life look so good that your city slicker friends will be green with envy!

4. Indian River

Pop quiz! What do bustling business districts and quiet suburban communities have in common? They perfectly exemplify Indian River, where the best of both worlds collide. Home to Chesapeake's rapidly growing commerce and industry, Indian River also showcases tranquil residential areas with friendly neighbors and adorable family-owned businesses. And between us, nothing beats the locally made ice cream from those mom-and-pop shops:

5. Deep Creek

No, we're not talking about deep secrets or deep dives, but Deep Creek, the hidden jewel of Chesapeake! This charming neighborhood oozes southern charm and hospitality, with historical landmarks dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Deep Creek is also famous for its annual July 4th parade, so don't forget your red, white, and blue attire! And if you're into outdoor activities, the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail offers beautiful scenery for walking, biking, or simply unwinding - it doesn't get deeper than this!

And there you have it! From the lively vibe of Greenbrier East, to the rural escape of Hickory, and the happy medium offered in Indian River, Chesapeake caters to various tastes and lifestyles. So, buckle up! Your fantastic journey in discovering the best neighborhood for you in Chesapeake is just about to start. Are you ready to fall in love with Chesapeake, Virginia?

Best neighborhoods in Chesapeake, VA image

Things to Do

Welcome to the serene city of Chesapeake, Virginia, a place that offers a perfect blend of suburban and metropolitan tranquility. It is characterized by its rustic architecture, rich history, exquisite natural beauty, and a warm, welcoming community. If you find yourself new in town, here are seven interesting things you can do to soak in all the Chesapeake's charm.

1. Bask in the Beauty at Chesapeake Arboretum

Comprising 48 acres of hardwood forest, Chesapeake Arboretum is unquestionably a gem in the city's crown. It's a sanctuary, a nature's classroom that houses a wide array of indigenous plants and wildlife. Walking through its wooden path gives an unmatched taste of nature's tranquility and offers great opportunities for photographers.

2. Visit Northwest River Park

For those who cannot resist the lure of outdoor activities, Northwest River Park is the perfect spot. It features fishing, boating, camping, and trails suitable for hiking. In addition to exploring the park, there are splendid views of the lake, picnic shelters, and even a miniature golf course for some fun family activities.

3. Discover the Historic Dismal Swamp Canal

The Dismal Swamp Canal, a National Historical Engineering Landmark, is another fantastic site to visit. Linked with popular names such as George Washington and Edgar Allan Poe, it boasts of a rich history as well as panoramic wetland views, making it a haven for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

4. Take a Tour of Chesapeake Planetarium

The stars are just a visit away at the Chesapeake Planetarium. Every Thursday evening, they host a free public program, offering a fascinating star-gazing experience. These educational shows provide the unique opportunity to journey to the stars from the comfort of your chair.

5. Try Your Luck at the Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex

Skate away your worries at the Chilled Ponds Ice and Turf Sports Complex. This low-key activity centre provides two NHL-sized ice rinks, making it a great outlet for ice skating and hockey. Regardless of age or skill level, everyone can have a cool time here!

6. Contribute to the Community at The Farmers Market at Greenbrier Farms

An off-beat addition to the list, The Farmers Market at Greenbrier Farms, runs every Wednesday. This community-oriented market is a great place to support local producers by purchasing farm fresh products. Plus, by contributing to the city's local economy, you'll surely feel like a true Chesapeake resident.

7. Explore the Intriguing Oak Grove Lake Park

A hidden gem in Chesapeake, Oak Grove Lake Park offers a unique combination of natural beauty, recreational activities, and wildlife sightings. The 65-acre park features a 1.5-mile circular trail around a beautiful lake where you can see turtles, ducks, and loads of other wildlings while picnicking, jogging or fishing.

Move over Manhattan and Chicago - there's a new city in town! In Chesapeake, there's beauty in the simple things. Whether it's gazing at the stars in the planetarium or supporting local farmers at the Greenbrier Farms, each unique activity provides an authentic taste of what it's like to enjoy life in Chesapeake.

Things to do in Chesapeake, VA?

Find Movers for Your Chesapeake Relocation

Now that you know what awaits you in Chesapeake, it's time to kickstart your move. With Great Guys Moving, you don't have to worry about the tedious process of finding quality movers. They've already curated a list of licensed, insured, and highly reputable moving companies on your behalf. Simply key in the basics about your move, and allow Great Guys to connect you with affordable and first-rate movers. Convenience, speed, and quality come hand in hand. Don't let your upcoming move be a burdensome task. Start your journey to Chesapeake on the right foot. Begin by requesting for a free moving quote now!

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