Why Families Want to Call Hampton Roads Home
Hampton Roads is a sprawling collection of cities spilling out across Virginia’s east coast. Each city has its own charms and attractions, yet no two are alike. The variety of culture is only one of the many reasons that Hampton Roads is quickly becoming one of the most desirable places to live. Factor in job growth, low cost of living, good schools, and plenty of activities to entertain, and it’s no mystery why people love Hampton Roads!
Jobs & Cost
When relocating, one of the most important considerations for any person is employment. Those who choose Hampton Roads as their new settlement will experience an economy built around the government, military, waterways and harbors. With Norfolk holding one of the country’s largest ports as well as the country’s biggest naval base, it’s no surprise that shipbuilding and shipping are an important part of the area’s economy.
The military is also one of Hampton Road’s biggest employers, contracting not only military personnel but also civilians for many projects. Aside from Naval Station Norfolk, Hampton Roads is also home to several larger military bases including Oceana in Virginia Beach, Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, and Little Creek in Norfolk. Medical professionals won’t find a shortage of job opportunities, either. Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, and Sentara Virginia Beach General are all located in Hampton Roads.
Manufacturing and agriculture are two more major industries in Hampton Roads as the area is a big producer of corn, wheat, etc. Tourism and the accompanying businesses such as hospitality and service industries are also big contributors to the area’s economy, particularly during warmer months when people across the country flock to beaches. Job growth from 2016-2026 is expected to increase by 37% which is perhaps the most exciting thing to prospective homeowners.
Hampton Roads may be the third most expensive region in Virginia to live in, but you more than get what you’re paying for, not to mention that Virginia state income tax is 10% lower than the national average. For the price tag, you and your family are buying peace of mind, plenty of job opportunities, reputable schools, and residential conveniences.
Homebuyers with children or those who are planning to have children need look no further for an amazing education system. Hampton Roads has some of the best schools in Virginia. For example, Chesapeake’s Hickory School System and Grassfield High have people rushing into the city. Norfolk Academy, Virginia's oldest secondary school has both an impressive campus and curriculum.
More than primary and secondary schools, though, Hampton Roads has plenty of higher education options. Norfolk is home to Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Virginia Wesleyan College. Other schools such as the College of William and Mary, Regent University, Christopher Newport University, and Hampton University are only a stone’s throw away, giving you and your children plenty of commuter-friendly options for college.
Activities & Culture in Hampton Roads
One of the most appealing aspects of Hampton Roads to locals, tourists, and new homeowners alike is the variety of culture and entertainment available throughout the area. History, music, art, and outdoor fun are all here in Hampton Roads.
Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown are rich with American history. Whether you’re a history buff or just casually curious, the history of Hampton Roads will seize your attention. Reenactments and tours are available year-round in these cities and there is even more to see James City County, Isle of Wight County and Surry County.
If the arts are more your speed, Hampton Roads has plenty to offer you as well! Museums are scattered throughout the area, catering to all interests. The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk has a rotating collection as well as a permanent glass blowing studio. The studio is open to the public and offers classes for those looking to try something new. Cafes and coffee shops are huge supporters of local artists, as well, with many displaying and selling the works of a variety of artists. New visual artists looking for camaraderie and more knowledge and experience can find it anywhere in Hampton Roads, but particularly in Suffolk, Mathews County, York County and Williamsburg.
Music is the heart and soul of Hampton Roads, and some of the country’s best music festivals are held here. Music has always been a part of the region’s history. For example, the legendary Ella Fitzgerald was originally from Hampton Roads. As her hometown, Hampton Roads celebrates her life with the annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival. The American Music Festival, the largest music event on the East Coast, is also hosted in Hampton Roads where famous performers take over the Virginia Beach oceanfront for three days of amazing music and celebration. Aside from festivals, there are plenty of venues for performers to come year-round, including the local favorite, the Norva in Norfolk.
The Hampton Roads community is a big fan of outdoor activities, and the area’s beaches are a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Virginia Beach is the ideal location for all sorts of water fun like surfing, Jet skiing, fishing, and boating. Virginia Beach even hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships competition every year where over a hundred of the world’s top surfers compete for prizes and visitors participate in awesome activities along the shore. For those who prefer the trees to the beaches, there are also plenty of parks to pick from, including Newport News Park and First Landing State Park. Whether you prefer surfing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking or hiking, horseback riding or golfing, Hampton Roads has a spot for you.
Which Hampton Roads city is right for you?
One of the best things about Hampton Roads is that while you’re barely a drive away from every and any activity and opportunity you can think of, you don’t have to actually live next to them. With such a large collection of very different cities, there’s a perfect neighborhood for every homeowner.
If you’re looking for a more rural environment, Mathews County, Surry County, York County, Gloucester County, Isle of Wight County, Currituck County might be perfect for you. If city living is more your cup of tea, Norfolk, Portsmouth, downtown Hampton or downtown Newport News are your best bet. If you’re looking for a more suburban, mixed feel, check out neighborhoods in Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, James City County, Chesapeake and Suffolk.
Whatever your job, passion, and preference -- Hampton Roads has it all!
Kerns, Ben. “26 Things You Need to Know About Hampton Roads Before You Move There”. Movoto. Movoto, Inc. N.d. Web. 16 Nov 2017. https://www.movoto.com/guide/virginia-beach-va/moving-to-hampton-roads/
Olivo, Carla. “Moving to Hampton Roads? What Military & Veteran Families Need to Know!”. PCSgrades. PCSgrades. 27 Feb 2017. Web. 15 Nov 2017. http://blog.pcsgrades.com/hampton-roads/
Na. “Choosing Where to Live in Hampton Roads”. SimonHouses.com. SimonHouses.com. Nd. Web. 17 Nov 2017. http://simonhouses.com/articles/cities/choosing-where-to-live-in-hampton-roads.php
N.a. “Moving To & Living In The Hampton Roads, VA Area”. ForRent.com. ForRent.com. N.d. Web. 16 Nov 2017. https://www.forrent.com/find/VA/metro-Hampton+Roads
N.a. “Your Hampton Roads Relocation Guide”. Perfect House. The Perfect House. N.d. Web. 15 Nov 2017. http://www.perfecthouse.com/relocation-info.php