Patrick is in the Army and was stationed at Ft. Monroe in Hampton VA. He lived off base in a nearby apartment with his wife Janie and two kids. The base is located on the water and he loved fishing there. He got military orders overseas and the family went to Korea for 2 years. When that tour ended he was then stationed at Ft. Eustis in Newport News VA which is only 18 miles from Ft. Monroe. He quickly returned to his fishing routine from his favorite pier. He liked the area so much he decided to keep the family here and bought a home in nearby York County VA.
This is the subject of this brief article. It is intended to give an overview of the reasons why so many people, military and civilians, are deciding to live and buy homes in the Hampton, Newport News, York County, and Williamsburg Virginia.
These cities are part of a larger regional metropolitan area composing of other major cities which are divided on two sides separated by water. This greater land area formerly known as, and still sometimes refer to as, Tidewater is called Hampton Roads. It is separated by the water on two sides which are all considered local. One side has a couple of well known cities like Norfolk and Virginia Beach is called the Southside. And the other which is the focus of this brief article is known as the Virginia Peninsula. The major cities are Hampton, Newport News, York County, and Williamsburg.
HAMPTON: The city of Hampton is located between Williamsburg and bridge tunnel that heads over to Norfolk & VA Beach on the Southside. Hampton real estate is home to several major employers like Fort Monroe, Langley Air Force Base, and the NASA Langley Research Center, an aeronautical research facility. But arts and culture also are plenty. The city’s downtown Phoebus community boasts a rich history of arts, entertainment, and architecture. And regular events like the NASCAR races at Langley Speedway and live music at the parks and the annual Hampton Jazz Festival are popular among Hampton real estate owners and visitors alike.
Many families are attracted to live and buy homes in Hampton because of its numerous schools and institutions of higher learning, including Hampton University and Thomas Nelson Community College. Others are drawn to Hampton real estate thanks to the city’s proximity to its beaches within the city like Buckroe and the world’s known VA Beach which is approximately a 40 minute drive. There are also many other employment opportunities than previously mentioned, and shopping for Hampton residents. The city has very reasonable homeowner’s taxes.
NEWPORT NEWS: Hampton and Newport News are separated simply by a city line. Newport News real estate is located on the north shore of the James River, where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay. The city dates back to the early 1600s. Today, Newport News real estate boasts two historic neighborhoods, Hilton Village and North End/Huntington Heights, which are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For fun, visitors and resident homeowners alike can enjoy a wide range of activities at the Newport News Park, which boasts two golf courses among its 8,000 acres. Newport News is currently undergoing a renewal, attracting even more homebuyers to Newport News real estate. Since it is also on the peninsula, surround by water, many enjoy the waterfront lifestyle and mild climate offered by the city’s location along the James River. Others are drawn to Newport News real estate because of the city’s employment opportunities, including a major ship builder and military installations. Newport News also has places of higher education, numerous shopping areas, and a high tech research facility.
YORK COUNTY: The County was established in 1634 as one of the eight original counties of Virginia. Now its 108 square miles serve as a very quiet community, and relaxation. The nearby cities are Hampton and Newport News. This makes York County real estate an ideal option for commuters to these areas. The county’s economy is tied to the large military-industrial complex that characterizes the entire Hampton Roads area. However it still holds onto its early maritime heritage. Shipbuilding and seafood processing continue to prosper along the James and York Rivers. And with the rivers’ combined shorelines running for more than 200 miles, York County real estate remains an ideal choice for water-lovers.
York County real estate is part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Jamestown. The city of Yorktown sits at the northern point of the Colonial Parkway. This is a scenic byway that connects the three points of the Historic Triangle. Many families are attracted to York County real estate by the ten elementary schools, four middle schools, and seven high schools that serve the county’s youths. Others purchase York County real estate because of the scenic nature of the county, the fair weather, and the relatively low cost of living.
WILLIAMSBURG: When it comes to major attractions, nothing in the region beats Williamsburg. The city is a great place to buy real estate. The city is considered as an upscale resident population and homeowner’s. It total to nearly 12,000. But this is small in comparison to the 4 million sightseers a year that visit Colonial Williamsburg. The attraction is an interactive restoration of the state’s original capital and life of the early settlers in Virginia which were among the first to settle the Nation. Other popular Williamsburg-area destinations include Busch Gardens theme park, Water County USA, Jamestown, Yorktown, the Williamsburg Winery, and the city’s outlet shopping centers.
This was an overview of the main cities that make up the Virginia Peninsula. The Peninsula has a mild four season climate. This means outdoor activities can be enjoyed year round. The weather in the Hampton Roads area is temperate and seasonal. Summers are hot and humid with cool evenings. The median annual temperature is 70 °F with an average annual winter snowfall of 6 inches and an average annual rainfall of 47 inches. This makes it a great place to relocate from up north for all the people looking to escape brutal winters. And it is also a great choice for people out west looking to escape the desert summers.
The water ways known as Hampton Roads is one of the world’s biggest natural harbors, and incorporates the mouths of the Elizabeth River and James River with several smaller rivers and flows into the Chesapeake Bay near its mouth leading to the Atlantic Ocean. This is at the heart of the major attraction to the Virginia Peninsula and Southside Hampton Roads. It is boaters, and fishers, and beach goers’ haven. Forget Florida or California, the Peninsula and Hampton Roads has everything they have with the exception of the palm trees and the high cost of living.
The area is home to a large military presence and major employers like Fort Monroe, Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, Northrop Grumman, formally Newport News Shipyard as well as the Navy, Ft Eustis and a wide array of business and industrial enterprises.
There are a variety of choices for higher education like Hampton University, and Thomas Nelson Community College serves as the community college. Newport News contains Christopher Newport University, a public university. Other nearby public universities include Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and The College of William and Mary.
This metro area is served by two airports. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, located in Newport News, and the Norfolk International Airport on the Southside. However, the primary for the Virginia Peninsula is the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The Airport is experiencing a 4th year of record, double-digit growth, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. The airport currently has seven airlines that provide nonstop services to twenty five destinations throughout the country.
Public transportation on the Peninsula, the Southside and throughout Hampton Roads is served by a regional bus service called Hampton Roads Transit. The major thoroughfares on the Peninsula are Mercury Blvd which runs the length of Hampton and at one time had the most restaurants and eateries in the entire country. The other is Jefferson Ave which runs the entire length of Newport News. The entire Hampton Roads region is served by the I-64 and I-664 interstate system the primary method to travel back and forth between the Peninsula and Southside to VA Beach.
In closing, the Hampton Roads area was recently voted one of the best areas to live in the country. Because of a high military presence which includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, the area remains a very popular choice for retirees. It is also due to this reason that the area has enjoyed some insulation from some of the economic downturns in the economy including the housing market. It is also consistently below the national average compare to cities of equal population when it comes to crime and unemployment rates.
This is all in addition to the very pretty landscape surrounded by water, and the miles of waterfront properties. There is a very rich culture and lively nightlife. Whether you come for business or pleasure, the Virginia Peninsula and the Greater Hampton Roads area has it all.