January 2, 2023
Minute Read

Your Guide to Living in Hampton Roads


Also known as Coastal Virginia, Hampton Roads has much to offer. From rich history and lively attractions to a coastal scene with great career opportunities and top schools, Hampton Roads has you covered! So, whether you’re new to the area, already a resident or considering moving to Hampton Roads, we invite you to check out our guide to living in Hampton Roads. Nestled along the Atlantic Ocean in the southeastern portion of Virginia, the Hampton Roads region is comprised of twenty cities and counties, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, James City County, and Williamsburg, among others. There’s so much to see and do, so keep reading to discover more about this destination.

Rich Arts, Historical, and Cultural Centers in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads is home to some of the most influential arts, historical, and cultural centers in the United States. The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk is home to over 30,000 works of art and historical artifacts, making it one of the largest collections along the East Coast. Just down the road in Virginia Beach, you can find the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, which features an ever-changing collection of contemporary pieces from local, regional and international artists. Fans of live performances have plenty to choose from, with the Virginia Opera, the NorVa and the Sandler Center for Performing Arts. Not to mention the Hampton Coliseum, which hosts some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. The Virginia Beach Oceanfront has a steady stream of live music, including the acclaimed Something in the Water, a multi-day music festival, art and cultural experience.

If history is more your thing, you will enjoy Historic Jamestowne chronicling over400 years of history in Virginia. Nearby Colonial Williamsburg and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown let visitors step back into time and discover the roots of the United States of America.

As you can see, Hampton Roads offers a rich assortment of artistic, historical, and cultural centers that add to the fabric of the region.

Employment and Career Growth Opportunities in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads has one of the lowest unemployment rates of all the metropolitan areas in the country, thanks to its incredibly diverse economy. The region is home to two Fortune 500 companies, including Dollar Tree and Huntington Ingalls Industries. It is also home to major private employers, including Virginia Natural Gas, W.M. Jordan Company, Gold Key / PHR, Towne Bank, Canon Virginia, Inc., and Sentara. Other notable companies with a large presence in Hampton Roads include ADP, Bon Secours, Truist, and PNC Bank.

One of the biggest drivers for employment in the region is the Federal government. Hampton Roads is home to Oceana Naval Air Station, the Norfolk and Portsmouth Naval Shipyards, Langley Air Force Base, Langley, NASA’s Langley Research Center, and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Combined, these installations account for more than half of the employment in Hampton Roads.

All these employers provide great benefits and career growth opportunities.

Top Ranked K-12, Trade, and Higher Education Institutions in Hampton Roads

One of the most important things that parents look for when relocating to a new area is schools. Hampton Roads is home to some of the top-rankedK-12 school systems in the country. For example, the City of Virginia Beach has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in Virginia based on math and reading. The City of Suffolk offers various advanced placement and specialty programs. One thing that makes the Suffolk district unique is its focus on Service Learning for high school students. This program uses community service as a foundation to help students understand their community and promote individual growth. Chesapeake Public Schools are a member of the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking K-12 school districts whose mission is to accelerate innovation in education and improve the opportunity to learn for all through technology and research.

Hampton Roads is also home to top colleges, universities, and trade schools, including The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia Wesleyan University, and Hampton University, among others. There is also a robust community college and technical school presence which benefits from numerous partnerships with the United States Department of Defense.

Embrace Nature and Ecotourism in Hampton Roads

If you have ever visited the Hampton Roads region, you know that the community is all about the water. Its unique location along the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and end points for the James River, Nansemond River, and Elizabeth River, make it the ideal location for anyone who loves to boat, sail, water ski, or just relax on the beach.

Home to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk provides nature lovers and eco-tourists with an amazing opportunity to explore one of the most important wildlife habitats in the mid-Atlantic region. At nearly 113,000 acres, the refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast swamp that once covered more than one million acres. The Great Dismal Swamp is home to 47 species of mammals, 200 birds, 96species of butterflies and much more. The refuge also offers 40 miles of trails for every age and ability. Looking for a faster pace? The Virginia Beach Oceanfront features a famous three-mile boardwalk, dozens of hotels, over a hundred specialty restaurants and shopping destinations, as well as miles and miles of sandy beaches.

Easy Access to the World

One of the biggest drivers of growth in Hampton Roads is its easy access to the rest of the world. Six of the 10 largest population centers in the United States are within 750 miles of Hampton Roads. There are two main airports, Norfolk International Airport and Newport News/Williamsburg Airport, the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, and the region is within a two-hour drive of Richmond, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina, and a three-hour drive to Washington, DC. No matter where you’re trying to go – you will be able to get there quickly!

Live with Us in Hampton Roads

HHHunt has been a part of the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years when we first entered the region with an apartment living community. Since then, we have continued to help homeowners find and build their dream homes throughout the community. If you are moving to Hampton Roads or are a long-time resident, we invite you to explore our new home communities.

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From rich history and lively attractions to a coastal scene with great career opportunities and top schools, Hampton Roads has you covered! So, whether you’re new to the area or considering moving to Hampton Roads, check out our guide today.

Because it's how you live that matters®

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