Virginia Beach is an east coast city made up of navy bases, touristy resorts, and genuinely Virginian attractions. Not to mention, a very special breed of people fit to live life like they’re on a year-round beach vacation. For a comfortable transition to living the good life, take a look at these tips and tricks for renting in the various boroughs of Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach neighborhoods range from touristy beach nooks and urban entertainment centers in the north to rural marshes and farmland in the south, where there’s plenty of peace and quiet for you to get some serious fishing done.
North: Northern Virginia Beach has some amazing attractions for both tourists and locals, families and singles, artists and accountants… everybody. And, it’s all within walking/biking distance. This area is the most coveted location for those who enjoy long days on the beach, all the interesting out-of-town characters found along the boardwalk, and a serious nightlife scene.
Chick’s Beach. Borough of local bars, beach views, and ocean front… minus the mass migration of summer tourists.
Resort Area. Beach bums on cruisers, bikini babes on rollerblades, tourists, fancy pants resorts, and concerts on the beach.
Great Neck. A good spot for grown-up-party-time entertainment… all within five miles of the beach.
Little Neck. Great history, great outdoors, great location just west of Great Neck.
Bayside. Awesome location right next to Chick’s Beach, but when it comes to maintenance issues, apartment complexes here are hit-or-miss.
Town Center. Eclectic, all-in-one area for dining, shopping, entertainment, and big city adventure... cleverly disguised in small-town charm.
Hilltop. Quite simply, a shopaholic’s haven.
Central : Central boroughs divide the northern urban area from the protected, rural southern area of Virginia Beach.
Lynnhaven. A local’s playground for all that is anti-tourist and great about Virginia Beach… just a stone’s throw away from the Oceana Naval Station.
Green Run. A quiet, suburban middle ground, complete with shopping centers and plenty of affordable apartments.
South: Southern Virginia Beach is a rural area full of farmland, rivers, marshes, and peaceful secluded beachfront. There are only a couple of apartment complexes and house rentals in this area, making for close-knit communities with a proud locals-only mentality.
Kempsville. Local performers, Kemps Lake wakeboarders, Mount Trashmore dog lovers, and remote marshland explorers. (Beware of the intersection at Princess Anne Rd. and Kempsville Rd., where traffic gets pretty hairy).
Princess Anne. A neighborhood where major employment attracts major traffic.
Pungo/Sandbridge. Farmers, fisherman, the Strawberry Festival, cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, pick-your-own-fruit farms, and roadside vegetable stands.
Maintenance. Many apartment complexes in Virginia Beach are infamous for lazy and rude managers and maintenance crews. Be sure to talk with potential neighbors for an honest opinion. And, as you walk through your potential apartments, check out the plumbing, the window and door locks, all the light switches, the air conditioning, the dishwasher… everything. If they can’t even get their act together for a future-renter walk through, then it will probably never get done.
Traffic. For a truly happy home, you need a place with an easy daily commute to work . The worst traffic occurs on the bridge-tunnels that head out of Virginia Beach, so if your work is located across the bay then you may want to consider actually living over there. Within the city, be wary of congestion around the Municipal Center and the main roads located around the naval bases. And, of course, the summer tourist flood will make the resort area a chore to drive around, so consider getting yourself a beach cruiser that you can bust out whenever driving or beach parking becomes impossible. If you’re lucky enough to get an apartment near Shore Drive, then bars, beaches, shopping, and food are all a short and scenic walk/bike-ride away.
Parking. As summer approaches and the plague of tourists invades your home town, a day at the beach will inevitably be lost to day of trying to find a low cost parking spot. Well, never fear. Here is a list of parking spots for Virginia Beach locals:
• 2nd Street Lot: 145 Atlantic Avenue. • Rudee Loop Lot: 104 Atlantic Avenue. • Fourth Street Lot: 306 4th Street. • 9th Street Parking Garage: 200 9th Street. • 19th Street Lots: 300-301 19th Street. • 25th Street Lot: 310 25th Street. • 31st Street Parking Garage: 209 30th Street. • Sandbridge Market Lot: 260 Sandbridge Road. • Croatan Parking Lot: 920 Vanderbilt Avenue.
Be sure to carry a drivers license with a Virginia Beach address to be able to pay local rates (usually one dollar), and check out the Municipal website for hours of operation.
After finding your niche, live it. Go crabbing in Chesapeake Bay. Go kayaking with the dolphins, or adventure into the nature preserves to hang with your wildlife neighbors. Follow your ears along the boardwalk to a surprisingly vibrant and mixed music scene; or, adventure into neighborhood bars for a completely different type of wildlife. It’s time to enjoy the freedom of apartment renting in Virginia Beach.
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