Located on the Atlantic Ocean
and Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
Beach is the largest city (in terms of acreage) in
Virginia. This major eastern U.S. resort city welcomes
travelers with a boardwalk full of ice-cream shops, fast-food
outlets, nightclubs, and places to rent water-sports equipment.
The majority of
Beach hotels are located in the central portion of
the oceanfront, while thousands of houses (many available
for rent by the week) can be found within walking distance
of the beach to the north (North Virginia Beach) and to
the south (the Croatan and Sandbridge areas).
In addition to the usual tourist activites,
in Virginia Beach you can ... Visit the landing site where
the first colonists touched shore at Cape Henry State Park,
enjoy an IMAX theatre presentation, or explore nature trails
and hundreds of interactive exhibits at the
Marine Science Museum. In winter, the museum organizes
trips to see the humpback whales that congregate off the
Bay National Wildlife Refuge and First Landing State
Park are great places for bike riding, waterfowl observation,
and coastal dune exploration.
On April 26th 1607 Admiral
Christopher Newport set a landing party ashore at the present site of
Virginia Beach. Fearing the area was too susceptible to attack
from the native people and the Spanish, Admiral Newport chose
a small island on the James River (Jamestown) on which to
establish the first permanent English Colony in the new world.
Fourteen years later, some of the colonists returned to the
original landing site and settled in the area that is now
Abundant fishing and fertile soil assured
the area's success. In the late 1800s, 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 and today is
home to Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, Oceana Naval
Air Station, and Fleet Combat Direction Systems Warfare Training
Center at Dam Neck.
With its excellent beaches and
hotels, Virginia Beach is one of the most popular resort
destinations on the east coast and one of the fastest growing
cities in the United States.
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