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Renter's Guide to Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is a coastal community located on the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern Virginia.
Virginia Beach was placed 14th on Travel+Leisure’s list of “America’s Favorite Cities” in 2016. In recent years, Virginia Beach has also been ranked on lists of best cities to live in, best cities to raise a family in, best cities for the outdoors, and most business-friendly cities in the U.S.
Weather in Virginia Beach is consistent and pleasant, with an average annual temperature of a balmy 60 degrees. Summers are hot and humid, and the geographic location of Virginia Beach lies outside the major storm tracks in the region, making it a popular vacation destination in the summer months. Winters are generally mild and the city receives less than 6 inches of snowfall each year, which is below the national average. Virginia Beach experiences four seasons, with a drawn out summer that often extends from May into October. July is the hottest month, with an average high of 87 degrees, and January the coldest, with an average low of 34 degrees.
Virginia Beach, VA Demographics
- Total Population450,057
Female 221,350Male 228,707
- Median Age35.6
Cost of Living in Virginia Beach, VA
Standard bus and light rail fare in Virginia Beach is $1.75. For seniors, children under 17, and passengers with disabilities, fare is $0.75. Visitors to the Virginia Beach Waterfront can take the VB Wave shuttle, which costs $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for seniors, children under 17, and passengers with disabilities. Children under 38 inches tall ride free on most Virginia Beach public transit systems.
The average commute time for Virginia Beach is 23 minutes, which is just under the national average of 25.4 minutes.
A meal for 2 people in a mid-range Virginia Beach restaurant may cost anywhere between $25 and $60, and a regular cappuccino goes for about $4.
For a 915-square-foot apartment, Virginia Beach residents pay on average $130 for utilities (electricity, heating, water, garbage removal, etc.), which is lower than the national average of $147 in monthly utility expenses.
Average Rent in Virginia Beach, VA
- Virginia Beach, VA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,218 /mo
Virginia Beach, VA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0001%
Virginia Beach, VA Rent Trends
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Living in Virginia Beach
Though it is best known as a beach getaway on the eastern seaboard, Virginia Beach is also the most populous city in Virginia, and is popular among suburban families for its livability, strong education and health systems, and relatively low tax rates.
While the hoards of tourists visiting Virginia Beach in the summer months can be a nuisance for locals, the boardwalk does live up to its hype - in fact, Virginia Beach holds the Guinness World Record for “longest stretch of pleasure beach” in the world!
Things to do in Virginia Beach
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk tops many lists of things to do in Virginia Beach. The oceanfront Virginia Beach Boardwalk stretches for three miles along the coastline and is lined with shops, music and entertainment, restaurants, and great views of the Atlantic Ocean. The boardwalk has its own bike path and rental bikes are available throughout. A popular destination for tourists and visitors, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is within walking distance of over 40 hotels, including the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Hampton Inn Virginia Beach, the Quality Inn & Suites Oceanfront, and the Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Sandbridge Beach and Virginia Beach are among the most frequented beach spots along the boardwalk.
Virginia Beach is also a popular city for lovers of the outdoors, with over 200 parks and green spaces in its limits. Mount Trashmore Park is one of the top spots to visit in Virginia Beach: it is the highest point in the city and covers 165 acres, featuring two lakes and a skate park. Another visitor favorite, First Landing State Park, offers camping grounds and facilities, hiking trails, and nature tours. Families visiting Virginia Beach rave about the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a 9,000 acre fresh water refuge managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that provides a protected habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and offers viewing areas, scenic trails, and educational programming.
The fun-tastic Ocean Breeze Waterpark is an amazing spot for the entire family, with over 30 water slides, rides, and a wave pool!
Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach is a shopper’s delight: at over 1 million square feet of retail space and over 180 stores, it is one of the largest malls on the east coast. The 18-screen AMC Theatres at Lynnhaven Mall is a favorite for children and families in Virginia Beach.
Among the many popular restaurants in Virginia Beach, Blue Seafood and Spirits, Waterman’s Surfside Grille, and Tautogs Restaurant are highly recommended.
Virginia Beach is an area full of history and culture. The Military Aviation Museum, located at the private-use Virginia Beach Airport, is consistently ranked as one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach, and the museum boasts one of the largest private collections of military aircraft from World War I and World War II. Each aircraft in the collection has been expertly restored to flying condition. Military history buffs will also enjoy visiting the Naval Aviation Monument and the Old Coast Guard Station in Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach is also home to the Cape Henry Lighthouse, one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the country. The lighthouse is rich in American history; located close to the site of the English settlers’ first landing point in America at Jamestown, Virginia, construction of the Cape Henry Lighthouse was authorized by George Washington in 1792, and its functioning was once overseen by Alexander Hamilton.
Visiting Neptune’s Park is a great Virginia Beach activity for couples and families. The 34 foot tall statue of Neptune is hard to miss from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, and makes Neptune’s Park a common stopping point for visitors. Live bands play outdoors at Neptune’s Park nearly every evening in the summer months and concerts are free to the public. The annual Virginia Beach Neptune Festival has been celebrated every summer for over 40 years, and showcases the city’s history and culture through a variety of recreational activities, music, arts and crafts, and community programs. The Festival’s flagship event, Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend, takes place during the last weekend of September and draws over 400,000 visitors each year. The Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend has been named as one of the top 100 events in North America and one of the top 20 events in the southeastern United States, and is tremendously popular among locals and tourists alike.
Employment and Economy
Virginia Beach welcomes some 13 million visitors each year, and tourism is a critical industry, with nearly 15,000 jobs in Virginia Beach based around the tourism sector. Restaurants, hotels, retail developments, and the entertainment industry all benefit from Virginia Beach’s annual tourism revenues. The Virginia Beach Convention Center, opened in 2005, caters to large events and group meetings, and hosts over 500,000 guests for events each year. Ecotourism makes up a growing portion of Virginia Beach’s tourism sector, with many companies offering land and water tours of the area’s wildlife. Altogether, tourism contributes over $1 billion to the city’s economy, supporting 13,000 jobs in Virginia Beach.
The agribusiness sector in Virginia Beach adds some $80 million in revenue to the area economy, with over 150 farms producing foodstuffs and other goods. Virginia Beach is also home to major military bases, including the largest employer in Virginia Beach, the U.S. Navy’s NAS Oceana; the Training Support Center Hampton Roads; and the Cape Henry Joint Expeditionary Base East.
Amerigroup, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and the American headquarters of Stihl are among the major companies based in Virginia Beach. The city’s leading employers include the Navy Exchange Service Command, VT Group, and GEICO.
Virginia Beach, VA Households
- Total Number of Households167,731
Family 116,008Non-family 51,723
Children 58,809No Children 108,922
- Average People Per Household2.62
- Median Household Income$70,500
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,414
Education in Virginia Beach, VA
The Virginia Beach public school system is one of the largest in the state of Virginia, serving over 70,000 K-12 students in its 55 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, and 12 high schools. Green Run Collegiate is the sole public charter high school in the district, and is also an International Baccalaureate World School. A number of secondary schools in Virginia Beach focus on specialties, including engineering, technology, health sciences, and the visual and performing arts. Several private schools also serve Virginia Beach communities, including schools affiliated with the Catholic and Jewish faiths.
There are two private universities located in Virginia Beach: Regent University, which was founded by Christian evangelist Pat Robertson, and Atlantic University, which is associated with the Association for Research and Enlightenment and focuses on distance learning and continuing education. Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, and Virginia Wesleyan College are based in neighboring Norfolk. The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech both have satellite campuses in Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach, VA Education Statistics
- No High School2%
- Some High School27%
- Some College31%
- Associate Degree10%
- Bachelor Degree20%
- Graduate Degree10%
Tips for Renting in Virginia Beach
The Virginia Landlord-Tenant Act details the rights and responsibilities of Virginia Beach tenants and landlords.
Renters in Virginia Beach should be vigilant about the terms of their lease, and be aware that they are covered by the Landlord-Tenant Act if they live in an apartment building, any multi-family housing unit where services are shared with other residents, or a single family home that is one of over ten similar properties your landlord rents in your county (or four similar properties he or she rents in your city).
Under the Act, tenants cannot charge more than two months’ rent for security deposits. If the landlord plans to withhold the security deposit at the conclusion of a lease, the renter must be notified within 30 days; otherwise, the security deposit should be returned to the tenant within 45 days, with an itemized list of any deductions or charges. Your landlord is also legally required to give you a receipt any time you pay your rent by money order or cash - even if this isn’t directly written into your lease.
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