Virginia Beach, VA waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 68
Demographics 59
Economy 47
Education 67
Health 54
Housing 56
Infrastructure 48

#43. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA sits at the spot where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Every summer, thousands of tourists flood the vibrant coastal city to enjoy the sandy beaches, swim in the ocean and stroll along the legendary Virginia Beach Boardwalk. But Virginia Beach is more than sandy toes and beach waves. A flourishing culinary scene, long history with the United States military, burgeoning arts scene, and many outdoor adventures help attract tourists year-round. 

Top Colleges/Universities: ECPI University & Regent University

Top Industries & Employers: The four military bases in Virginia Beach have a huge impact on the area’s economy. Other top industries include health care, retail trade, food services and manufacturing.

Weekend Plans: Hit the beach! The 3-mile boardwalk that runs alongside the oceanfront is the center of action in Virginia Beach

Favorite Place to Feast: The Blue Seafood and Spirits is a chef-owned casual restaurant that serves high-quality fresh seafood. Be sure to order the Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and oysters, if available. 

Beloved Beverage: The Bunker Brewpub is the perfect trifecta of craft beer, yummy bites and live music. 

Outdoorsy Activity: English colonists first reached the shores of America at what is now First Landing State Park. Today, park visitors can hike the forest, paddle the bay waters or learn about history. 

Rooftop Bar: Nibble on Asian-fusion cuisine and sip on handcrafted cocktails 183 feet in the air at Orion’s Roof contemporary rooftop garden.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Salty Paws Ice Cream and Bakery is not only dog-friendly, it creates unique ice cream treats and baked goods designed specifically for canines. 

Remote Work Perk: Spend the day working from Three Ships Coffee. When it is quitting time, you are less than three blocks from the beach. 

One More Thing … The Virginia Beach Boardwalk was originally built in 1888.

– Brittany Anas

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