Meet (Newport News) Virginia: The neighborhoods of Newport News are just what you would expect from a colonial town – complete with Civil War reenactments. Quaint, scenic and friendly, it isn’t hard to find your place in this Virginia town.
Hilton Village: Newport News’ most historic neighborhood, Hilton Village is composed of 500 English cottage homes. The town that was built to provide shipyard builders with wartime housing is now one of the biggest tourist spots in the city, as well as a fine place to live. Folks that reside here take pride in knowing that they live in a historic home that was built for a common good. Renters here can expect a friendly neighborhood adorned with local shops and restaurants. Keeping with the small town feel, Hilton Village has its own library (Main Street Library) and theatre and on the weekends festivals, and even weddings, take place in the town square. Aside from the historic single-family homes, renters can also choose from apartments and townhomes. $$-$$$
Harpersville: Take a look around this neighborhood and you are liable to find young professionals just starting out and families who want a little bit of a yard and a nice sized house (typically 3-4 bedrooms). The houses here are a mix of older homes (built in the 40s), established homes (built in the 70s) and newer homes (built in the 90s). There are some apartments located in the community, as well as retirement style condos for those relocating for a lifestyle change. A safe and quiet neighborhood, this is the ideal place to spread your wings, if you’re moving from a city. $$-$$$$
Oyster Point: One of the youngest areas, in terms of residents and lifestyle, Oyster Point is home to a large variety of apartment complexes. It is also the home of City Center, which is THE hot spot in Newport News. This downtown community merges business and pleasure. Shops, restaurants/bars, events, office buildings and apartments all come together in City Center. Living in Oyster Point will appeal to young professionals, 20-30 something couples and those who want to be in the center of it all. The condos, townhomes and apartments here tend to be a bit more luxurious than those found in other parts of Newport News and the price tag in some parts can reflect that luxury (one bedrooms at $950). Renters who can afford the downtown lifestyle should reside in the heart of City Center, while other renters may want to stay just outside of downtown. $$-$$$$
Port Warwick: Referred to as a “mixed-use community,” Port Warwick is a perfect town for those who want to raise a family in Virginia, as well as for those who are just starting out. Here you will find a sense of community, green grass (actually 3 acres of it in Styron Square), many activities, including summer concerts and year round festivals. Living here, you get the sense of that southern, neighborly lifestyle that is often only shown in iced tea commercials. In a way, the neighborhood is set up like an Ivy League university, minus the fraternity antics and random protestors. Businesses and locally owned shops and restaurants share the same sidewalks with medical offices and luxury apartments. The apartments in Port Warwick feature fireplaces, a dog run (pet-friendly is a plus) and access to dining and shopping. The one downside for those who never learned: the parking here is, typically, parallel – so brush up on your skills now. Another bonus of this quaint area is that it is minutes away from Oyster Point and City Center, as well as the airport. One bedrooms here start around $800. $$-$$$$
Navigating through the News:
For anyone that has ever driven through Virginia via I-95, you know that the traffic in and around the state can sometimes be a bit grueling. With that being said, if you steer clear of that one major highway and use the city’s interstate (Interstate 64 is N.N’s major road), highways, tunnel and/or bridges (which connect you to the other cities in Hampton Roads), you should be okay aside from rush hour. Frequent travelers, relocating to the area, will take pleasure in knowing that Newport News has railroad service and a commercial airport (Newport News-Williamsburg Airport) within its city limits. And if you are moving without a car, or you are trying to go green, you can choose from the local transit bus or the city bus to get you to and fro (pardon our southern drawl).
All four seasons happen in Newport News. Though the summers can be hot, Newport News is pretty mild in terms of heat and is nowhere near as uncomfortable as some of the other cities of the south. This could be due to its location near the Harbor, but no matter the reason you will be grateful. Those moving here for a bit of winter will delight in the fact that it does indeed get cold enough to snow here but you will not have to spend the entire winter shoveling your driveway or street. For all of these weather reasons, it is important to make sure your rental comes with A/C and heat and that your car is well prepared for icy bridges and slippery roads.
So, you see, a city with history and plenty of museums to show for it, doesn’t have to be boring or sleepy. Instead, it can have a bustling City Center, plenty of local shopping and access to boating, fishing and sailing. To live here is to love here. After all, isn’t Virginia for lovers?
-By Kera Zacuto
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM RENT ADVISOR:
Newport News, VA is a city of about 193,172 residents that's 37 miles north of Virginia Beach and 80 miles southeast of Richmond. This city was part of the 8 original shires of Virginia when the state was a colony under King Charles I in 1634. However, it remained largely undeveloped for 250 years. When railway was expanded in the 1880s, growth exploded. The median income is $49,664, and the median value of a home is $214,500. It's 47% white, 41% black, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 35 mixed race.
•85% with High School Diploma
•Cost of living is a little higher than average town
Economically stable and with many educational opportunities, Newport News, VA is a mid-size city with tremendous possibilities. There are lots higher educational institutions within a 25 mile radius. Unemployment is not nearly as bad, 6%, as many cities in the country. Fine arts and culture are doing well. And, you're near the coast. What more could you ask for? In terms of apartment life, you've got lots of choices at reasonable rates, with one-bedrooms starting around $550 a month. The downside is that incomes aren't the highest here. However, there's a lot of potential for growth. Restaurant choices aren't bad and the people are diverse. I give it a yes. -Debra M. Cole