Moving to Virginia Beach

Welcome to our Virginia Beach relocation guide, where we'll delve into the charm of this coastal city. Ever dream of falling asleep to the sound of waves gently lapping the shore? Envision sunlight dancing on the ocean's surface as distant sailboats form the perfect skyline? If so, then Virginia Beach, VA may just be your ideal destination. Known for its miles of sandy beaches, thriving arts scene, superb seafood, and neighborhoods steeped in history - moving here is an enticing prospect. Whether you're a retiree, young professional, or a family, you'll find a vibrant and welcoming community waiting for you here.

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What to Know Before Moving to Virginia Beach


1. The Beach is Just a Beginning

Virginia Beach is commonly known for its iconic, sun-soaked shoreline - but there\'s far more to this scenic city than meets the eye. Besides 35 miles of sandy bliss, we\'re talking about a friendly community and flourishing indie arts scene in ViBe Creative District -- a perfect combo that you won\'t often find in traditional beach towns. Pack your sunscreen and your love for discovery!

2. Get in the Military State of Mind

Virginia Beach is deeply entrenched in patriotic roots - it has one of the highest concentrations of veterans and active duty military in the nation. Jet noise from Oceana Naval Air Station and waving flags are daily sights -- and sounds -- that\'ll make you thank those serving every day.

3. You\'ll Be on a Seafood Diet

Living oceanside comes with its culinary perks. Delight in the city's famous Lynnhaven Oysters, and don't forget to taste the catch of the day at one of the waterfront restaurants. If you're a seafood lover, your taste buds will thank you.

4. Say Hello to Winter Wildlife

Virginia Beach isn\'t just a summer hotspot. Brave the nippy winter and you\'ll be blessed to observe the migration patterns of some fascinating wildlife. Humpback whales, harbour seals and a plethora of birds make this their playground during the chillier months. Who knows, you may find your inner ornithologist or marine biologist! This is your chance to have a National Geographic-like moment right at your doorstep.

5. The Weather is a Bit of a Jekyll and Hyde

Well, Virginia Beach weather is something to write home about -- in both a good and bad way. The summer boasts a beautiful beachy vibe with temperatures hovering in the 80s. But come winter, prepare for quick drops to the 30s and sporadic snowfall. And watch out for those hurricanes! Don't worry, most residents agree it\'s an exhilarating roller-coaster worth hanging on for. Check the local weather forecast to stay updated!

6. A Land of Hidden Treasures

Did you know that Virginia Beach is home to the Cape Henry Lighthouse - the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S government? And don't overlook the hidden Master Gardener's Display Garden which is a stunning living museum that holds 11 gardens in 1! Top it off with cupcake and comic shops scattered around the city, you\'ll be discovering rhinestone gems in this coastal corner for years to come.

In a nutshell, Virginia Beach is so much more than a sun, sand, and surf paradise (even though it\'s really good at that!). Packed with an eclectic mix of culture, history, nature, gastronomy, and a touch of eccentricity, you\'ll find it hard not to fall in love with this city. So, get ready to dig your toes in the warm sand and sip on your sweet lemonade, because Virginia Beach awaits you with open arms!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Virginia Beach

Pros of Living in Virginia Beach

Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

Virginia Beach offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities. With miles of beautiful beaches, a multitude of parks, and the famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk, residents have many options for activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, and biking.

Rewarding Education System

Virginia Beach is known for its excellent education system. Schools in the city are highly ranked and known for their commitment to student success and inclusivity, making it an ideal place for raising a family.

Art and Cultural Scene

The city is home to many galleries, theaters, and music venues. The vibrant art scene, which includes the renowned Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and Virginia Beach Amphitheater, offers residents countless opportunities to immerse themselves in culture and creativity.

Access to Fresh Seafood

Because of its location on the Atlantic Coast, Virginia Beach provides an abundance of fresh seafood. Virginia Beach's local fish markets and numerous seafood restaurants give residents access to a wide range of ocean-fresh options.

Friendly and Diverse Community

The welcoming vibe and diversity of Virginia Beach often catch the heart of its residents. People from various backgrounds happily coexist, making it a city with a rich tapestry of cultures and traditions.

Cons of Living in Virginia Beach

Tourist Crowding

As a popular tourist destination, Virginia Beach can become crowded, particularly during the summer months. This influx of visitors can lead to congested traffic and crowded public spaces.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Virginia Beach is slightly higher than the national average. This may present a potential challenge for people considering moving to the city, especially for those looking to buy a home here.

Hurricane Risk

Virginia Beach is located in a region that's prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. These natural disasters can cause damage and safety concerns for residents in some years.

Limited Job Market

While job opportunities in the tourism and service industries are abundant in Virginia Beach, the city's job market can be restrictive if you're seeking opportunities in other sectors.

Seasonal Weather Changes

The weather in Virginia Beach can be inconsistent, with hot and humid summers and cold winters. This range of temperature and weather conditions might not appeal to those who prefer year-round mild climates.

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

Is Virginia Beach a Good Place to Live?

Virginia Beach, VA is a great place to live because of its beautiful beachfront locale, warm weather, and an array of recreational activities such as boating, hiking and golfing. Moreover, it boasts a close-knit community feel and excellent school systems making it ideal for families. To top it all, with a host of top-notch dining and shopping options and vibrant music festivals, Virginia Beach promises a lively blend of leisure and lifestyle!

What Is Virginia Beach Famous For?

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Stretched across three miles of the city's oceanfront, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is an iconic location for locals and tourists alike. You'll find everything from shops and restaurants to the famously massive King Neptune statue. Plus, the boardwalk also offers bike paths and hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Definitely a must-visit for underwater life enthusiasts. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center houses more than 800,000 gallons of exhibits, including a wide range of marine and freshwater species. With interactive exhibits and unique experiences like the Adventure Park and the National Geographic 3D Theater, it's a perfect family-friendly destination.

The Annual Neptune Festival

Every year, the city hosts the Neptune Festival - a celebration of the city's seaside culture. The event often features massive sand sculpture competitions, live music, local food, and a parade. The event attracts more than 400,000 visitors annually, making it one of the city's most anticipated events.

The Military Aviation Museum

Home to one of the largest private collections of World War I and World War II era military aircraft in the world. The Military Aviation Museum allows you to experience history in a unique, up-close-and-personal way. The museum's collection is so vast and well-preserved that many of the planes are still in flying condition!

Capital building of Virginia Beach, VA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate for residents of Virginia Beach, VA is $0.99 per $100 of assessed value. This is relatively moderate compared to other areas in the U.S, with some regions applying rates as high as 2.47%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate for Virginia Beach, VA in 2023 is 5.3%. Although lower than the national median of 6.2%, this sales tax can still impact consumers' shopping habits and cost of living.

Income Tax

In Virginia Beach, VA, as of 2023, the income tax rate ranges from 2% to 5.75%, depending on one's income level. Compared to other states that have a flat tax or no income tax, Virginia's progressive income tax system might lead to higher taxes for higher earnings.

Housing Market

The housing market in Virginia Beach, VA uniquely mixes urban appeal and beach town ambiance. While home values sit above the national average, at around $277,000, these figures remain competitive with other coastal locales. A robust 60% of residents own their homes, with a median home value notably higher than the state average. Nevertheless, renters too find value with median rents at around $1,295, which is just slightly above the national median. Whether buying or renting, a stable economy and well-regarded schools make Virginia Beach compelling for a diverse population.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Virginia Beach, VA is currently slightly higher than the national average. This cost includes housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. While the city may be more expensive compared to other locations, it enjoys a thriving job market and offers a high quality of life. Prices vary, with some neighborhoods being affordable while others are more luxurious. Compared to similar coastal cities, Virginia Beach provides a good mix of price and lifestyle, making it an attractive option for many.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Virginia Beach, located in Virginia, boasts a temperate climate that offers abundant seasonal allure. Summers are typically hot with high humidity, with temperatures averaging in the high 80s. The winters are considerably mild, although occasional snowfall can occur, with temperatures usually ranging between the mid-30s to high 40s. The city also experiences the delightful splendor of all four seasons with spring and fall bringing moderate temperatures, vibrant colors, and soft breezes. Virginia Beach sits in a region that is occasionally affected by Atlantic hurricanes, making natural disasters like floods and high winds a possible threat during hurricane season, between June and November. However, robust city planning ensures good preparation for such events. This climate, coupled with serene, nature-filled landscapes, offers diverse experiences that make the weather in Virginia Beach an engaging element of its charm.

Typical weather in Virginia Beach, VA

Economy & Job Market

* Federal Defense Spending

* Leisure and Hospitality

* Business Services

* Education and Health Services

* Retail Trade

Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a city with a vibrant economy centered around a mix of key sectors. Historically, due to its strategic coastal location, defense activities, particularly those related to the U.S. Navy, have played a major role in its economy. Even today, federal defense spending remains a significant contributor to the city's economy. But the city isn't all about battleships and fighter jets. Virginia Beach has experienced significant growth in other sectors like tourism--captivating hearts with its sandy beaches and entertaining theme parks. The city also thrives in business services, education, healthcare, and retail trade, offering a diverse economy.

If you're considering packing your bags and heading to Virginia Beach, it's all good news for job-seekers. The city consistently maintains lower unemployment rates compared to the national average. Also, because of the breadth of the city's economy, job prospects aren't limited to a particular field. The leisure and hospitality sector leads the way, especially during the peak tourism season. Additionally, business services provide a steady stream of jobs all year round, and the city's increasing demand for education and healthcare services ensures continuous opportunities in these sectors. All in all, Virginia Beach offers a job market as varied and colorful as the shells on its sandy beaches..

Traffic and Transportation

Feeling the sand between your toes yet? To ensure you get the most out of Virginia Beach, let's talk travel! The average commute time here flirts around 24 minutes - pretty slick, right? But then, it can tick upward during summertime when the city is abuzz with excited vacationers. For those not in a hurry, public transportation is a viable option, with Hampton Roads Transit providing bus services throughout the city. The Tide light rail system is perfect for a breezy ride, and if you're heading to parties at downtown Norfolk, don't forget to hitch a lift on the charming Elizabeth River Ferry! Now, if you're zipping in from afar, our beloved Norfolk International Airport is just an ocean breeze away, offering nonstop flights to major Eastern US cities. So, buckle up, travelers, we can't wait to make your Virginia Beach journey delightful!

What is the traffic like in Virginia Beach, VA?

Best Neighborhoods in Virginia Beach

1. Sandbridge

Let's kick off our virtual tour in Sandbridge, a charming holiday home heaven. This neighborhood is perfect for those craving an ocean view as it perches right on the Atlantic. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Virginia Beach, Sandbridge offers laid-back living in a picturesque setting. Grab a surfboard and hit the waves, venture into the marshy Back Bay Wildlife Refuge or simply soak up some rays whilst lounging on the sandy shores. Local flavor is served up fresh at the Sandbridge Island Restaurant, and unique souvenirs can be found in the numerous boutique stores. Remember, life here operates on beach time!

2. Shore Drive

Glamorous and full of life, Shore Drive is the place to be for high-end living. The neighborhood's key feature is its access to both the Chesapeake Bay and the Lynnhaven River, making it a paradise for water lovers. Local nightlife is lively, ranging from chilled out wine bars, like Tubb's Seafood and Wine Bar, to the buzzing Calypso Bar and Grill. Leisurely activities are aplenty: check out the First Landing State Park, the Cape Henry Lighthouse, or simply enjoy a relaxing game of golf on a sunny afternoon. All this, combined with its top-rated schools, makes Shore Drive the ideal place for families.

3. Alanton

In Alanton, Virginia Beach's natural beauty is at its finest. Nestled amidst a tapestry of rivers and woodlands, Alanton is an idyllic retreat for those wanting to escape the urban grind. Its Bay Island Club provides access to tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a marina, offering plenty of fun for families. Stroll through the tranquil streets lined with well-established trees and classic brick homes, or soak up some history at the Adam Thoroughgood House. Alanton is where beauty meets tranquility in a seamless blend.

4. Chic's Beach

Brimming with small-town charm, Chic's Beach offers a serene yet satisfying life. This bayside neighborhood is filled with beach cottages, long-term residents, and sun-loving locals. Tourists are few and far between here, making it a great place for locals to enjoy the beach in peace. Healthy eateries, like Aloha Snacks and Bay Local, serve up hearty and delicious fare, while Zia Marie's brings some Italian flair. Moreover, the Chesapeake Bay Brewing Company offers the best brews in town, proving that a small neighborhood can provide an unbeatable community vibe.

5. Town Center

For those fired up by city living, Virginia Beach's Town Center is a pulsing heart of activity. Skyscrapers soar against the skyline, housing offices, luxury condos, and chic rooftop lounges. Shoppers will relish the high-end retailers and quirky boutiques, while foodies have a smorgasbord of dining options, from steaks and sushi to gourmet pizzas and fine wines. Entertainment is key here, with live music at the amphitheater, Broadway performances at the Sandler Center, and independent films at the Cinemark. Town Center, where modern living, fine dining, and first-rate entertainment merge into one.

So there you have it: five fantastic neighborhoods that offer a unique taste of what life in Virginia Beach has to offer! Whether it's serene seafront living or buzzing city life you're after, Virginia Beach promises a little slice of happiness for everyone. So, when's the move?

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Things to Do

Welcome to Virginia Beach, a coastal city teeming with vibrant life, enticing food, and amazing activities! If you're moving here, you'll be delighted to know there's always something new and exciting to explore. Here are our top 7 recommendations on things you just have to do in Virginia Beach to truly embrace the local lifestyle.

1. Soak up the Sun at Virginia Beach's Main Attraction

The first thing that comes to mind about Virginia Beach is... well, the beach! With its three-mile-long boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants, sculptures and live entertainment, you can stroll, bike, or rollerblade your way through, all with the stunning Atlantic Ocean view in the background. And don't forget about the beautiful 28 miles of sandy beaches!

2. Embrace History at First Landing State Park

For a quiet, natural getaway, head to First Landing State Park, where English settlers first landed in 1607. Today, this park offers 20 miles of hiking trails weaving through lush lagoons, marshes, and maritime forests, with over 1,000 species of plants, making it an idyllic spot for bird watching, camping, or a peaceful picnic.

3. Discover the Depths at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Centre

Engage your curiosity and love for marine life at Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Centre. With over 10,000 animals in fresh and saltwater exhibits, interactive touch pools, and the Adventure Park with zip-lines and aerial adventures, this place is a wonderful blend of fun and education.

4. Unleash Your Inner Surfer

Hang ten, dude! Virginia Beach is a haven for surfers. If you're new, take lessons at one of the local surf schools. Experienced surfers can catch the best waves at places like Croatan Beach or Sandbridge. Don't forget about the annual East Coast Surfing Championships!

5. Delve into Local Foodie Culture at Old Beach Farmer's Market

Ditch your regular supermarket and head to the Old Beach Farmer's Market, where local farmers, bakers, and artisans come together each Saturday morning to sell their goods. You can taste the best of Virginia's farm-to-table products and discover unique local treats.

6. Get Creative at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

This is a hidden gem not often visited by tourists, but absolutely loved by locals. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) hosts intriguing exhibitions, lectures, and films that challenge traditional thinking and engage curiosity. MOCA offers an ever-changing range of contemporary art that is often unexpected and inspiring.

7. Hop Aboard the Ferry to Charming Cape Charles

Another lesser-known experience is taking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the charming town of Cape Charles. Once there, the town's classic main street, serene beaches, adorable shops, and fantastic seafood are yours to explore. It's a delightful day (or weekend) getaway from busy city life.

To sum up, Virginia Beach is more than just a beach town; it's a fascinating blend of culture, adventure, history, and cuisine. With so many unique activities and local secrets to explore, you'll swiftly fall in love with your new home, one adventure at a time.

Things to do in Virginia Beach, VA?

Find Movers for Your Virginia Beach Relocation

Now that you've considered all the wonders Virginia Beach has to offer, it's time to take the next step in planning your move. Having a reliable moving company by your side can ease the transition - that's where Great Guys Moving comes in. Known for linking individuals with some of the most reputable, licensed, insured, and affordable movers, let Great Guys Moving make your transition to Virginia Beach as smooth as possible. By providing the basics of your move, you'll receive multiple moving quotes quickly and effortlessly. Don't wait, lean on expertise and convenience - request your free moving quote today!

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