It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
As of July 2020, the population of Long Beach is about 450,000 people. It is the most populous city in Virginia and the 44th most populous city in the United States.
The city covers a total area of 1,288 square kilometers (497 square miles). It is the largest city in Virginia by total area.
The average altitude is 3 metres (10 feet) above sea level.
In 1607, after a voyage of 144 days, three ships headed by Captain Christopher Newport, and carrying 105 men and boys, made their first landfall in the New World on the mainland, where the southern mouth of the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean (where Virginia Beach today is). They named it Cape Henry, after Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King James I of England.
Founded in 1887, Virginia Beach developed as a resort following construction of a hotel and a railroad linking it with Norfolk.
After World War I it became an important base in the national coastal-defense system.
Virginia Beach gained status as an independent city in 1952, although ties remained between it and Princess Anne County.
In 1963, Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne county merged as the City of Virginia Beach.
Today, Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront.
Virginia Beach is considered by the Guinness World Records as the world’s longest stretch of pleasure beach. The coastline is about 56 kilometers (35 miles) which is comprised of three beaches namely Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Bay beach and the most popular Sandbridge Beach.
Virginia Beach is known for its historic boardwalk. The 4.8 kilometer (3 mile) boardwalk spans 8.5-meters 28-feet and features a separate bike path for rollerblading, biking or surrey rentals. Boardwalk attractions include sidewalk entertainers, amusements, free concerts, fishing pier, restaurants, and much more. The main beach in the city runs along the boardwalk.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, formerly known as the Virginia Marine Science Museum, is an aquarium and marine science museum located in Virginia Beach. The exhibits at the museum are contained in over 800,000 US gallons (3,028,000 l) of fresh and saltwater displays.
First Landing State Park offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach. As the first planned state park of Virginia, First Landing is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Seashore State Park Historic District. A portion of the park is listed as a National Natural Landmark as part of the Seashore Natural Area. The state park is near the site of the first landing on April 26, 1607 of Christopher Newport and the Virginia Company colonists before establishing themselves at Jamestown.
The Cape Henry Lighthouse is a lighthouse at Cape Henry, the landform marking the southern entrance to Chesapeake Bay in the U.S. state of Virginia. The location has long been important for the large amount of ocean-going shipping traffic for the harbors, its rivers, and shipping headed to ports on the bay. The original lighthouse was the first authorized by the U.S. government, dating from 1792. It was also the first federal construction project under the Constitution, for an original contract amount of $15,200 (an additional $2,500 was required to finish the lighthouse). A second lighthouse was built and completed in 1881 a short distance away after concern arose about the stability of the first. Both towers of the light station were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
The Thoroughgood House is a brick house located at 1636 Parish Road, in the neighborhood of Thoroughgood, in Virginia Beach. It was built ca. 1719. It was formerly known as the Adam Thoroughgood House. It was not built by Adam. The building underwent major restorations in 1923 and in the 1950s and has served as a museum since opening to the public April 29, 1957. Much of the current structure was most likely the house of the great-grandson of Adam Thoroughgood.
One of the world’s largest collections of World War I and World War II aircraft is located at the Military Aviation Museum in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach. It includes examples from Germany, France, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is a contemporary art museum in Virginia Beach. It is founded in 1952 to foster awareness, exploration, and understanding of the significant art of our time. Regularly changing exhibitions feature painting, sculpture, photography, glass, video and other visual media from internationally acclaimed artists as well as artists of national and regional renown.
The Children’s Museum of Virginia is the largest children’s museum in the state of Virginia. The museum has a planetarium and two floors of interactive, hands-on exhibits. Its antique toy and model train collection is one of the largest on the East Coast. Highlights of the museum include a life-size tug boat and house, as well as a real Hampton Roads Transit bus, the cab of a real fire truck from the Portsmouth Fire Department, and a real motorcycle from the Portsmouth Police Department.
Virginia Beach is home to 210 city parks, encompassing over 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres), including neighborhood parks, community parks, district parks, and other open spaces.
Every year the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship, a beach soccer tournament.
Virginia Beach is known for seafood.