Planters Peanuts' "Mr. Peanut" was born in Suffolk, VA, where the peanut crop is still king.
Founded by English colonists in 1742, Suffolk Virginia is known for its beautiful coastal setting on the Nansemond River, its peanut growing industry, and its proximity to one of the few remaining marsh wilderness areas on the East Coast, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This charming city boasts modern housing and historic landmarks, and contains just over 86,000 residents, and as such is the largest city in Virginia.
Moving to Suffoilk
If you're looking for a touch of history, a brush with nature, and a coastal setting, Suffolk is the town for you. From beautiful modern houses to smaller apartment homes, your apartment rental search will turn up plenty of options. From a one bedroom apartment to three bedroom houses for rent, you'll find plenty of options among the rolling Virginia hills.
Area residents commute to work in under thirty minutes, but they do so in their cars. If you dont have wheels, youll need to get some before moving to Suffolk. With a city built around inlets and bays, you may want to pick up a boat, too - or at least a fishing pole.
The town contains both blue collar and white collar jobs, with many professionals and office workers. Youll also find members of the military and factory workers located in town.
Knotts Neck Rd / Bridge Rd: A coastal community, the properties here are mainly single family homes and town homes, built between 1970 and the present. Housing is in high demand and short supply in this waterfront setting. This area is also very walkable and has a distinctly family feeling, with over 70% of the residents married. This is an affluent community, and rental pricing reflects that. $$$
Huntersville: This neighborhood is denser than others in Suffolk, and as such has an urban feel. Coastal, this community offers apartment homes and small apartment complexes, with a mix of owner occupied and rental properties. Many single family homes also make up this neighborhood, built from 1970 on. Those employed by the military, and executive occupations, as well as residents employed in manufacturing, make up this community. The population is generally middle income. $$
Whaleyville / Somerton: Unlike densely urban Huntersville, this community is considered rural, with low population density. Here you'll find three bedroom houses for rent as well as mobile homes. Some properties were built as early as 1940, others between the 70s and late 90s. Theres a low vacancy rate in this middle income community, where residents work in manufacturing, retail, and management occupations. If you like open space around you, this neighborhood may be just the right choice. $$
Bennett Creek / Bennett Harbor: A neighborhood with a tree lined, suburban feel, this area has mostly newer homes with low vacancy rates. Here you'll find a duffers dream - the Sleep Hole Golf Course. The community is built around waterways, and local schools are strong. Families make up the majority of the residents. Just about one hundred percent of the housing in this area is single family homes. Most of those living here are quite affluent. $$$$$
Living in Suffolk
The indigenous Nansemond tribe lived along the river before the English colonists arrived, cultivating tobacco and other agricultural crops. The town was originally used as a port at the head of the river and harbor. Peanuts grown in the region have been a major industry for the city, with Planters Peanuts establishing its business in 1912. Suffolk is still a major peanut processing center, as well as a transportation hub. From the Civil War era to the present, Suffolk was a railroad center, offering passenger and freight service. State highways and Interstate 664 also serve the city, with the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel terminating here as well.
Planters' Peanuts is a major employer in Suffolk, now joined by major companies such as continues to be a Unilever, Lipton Tea, and Lockheed Martins Center for Innovation. The Center is known as "The Lighthouse" as its grounds encompass one. High tech jobs are booming here, thanks to the location of the Naval Network Global Command.
Despite the diversity of Suffolk's economy, peanuts are still a source of income and pride for the community. Every fall, the city holds an annual Peanut Fest; featured in many magazines and newspapers as a tourist-drawing event. In fact, over 125,000 visitors attend the four day fest of family activities such as midway rides, a demolition derby, motorcycle rally, and of course, peanut-based activities, such as the worlds only peanut butter sculpting contest. You bring the jelly, and well meet you there. The event also includes a jalapeño eating contest just to spice things up.
The Suffolk Swamp Roar, once a separate event is now one of the festivals entertainments as motorcycle enthusiasts traverse the perimeter of the Great Dismal Swamp all to benefit the swamp habitat.
Come out of your shell! When its not time for a festival, you can still get your peanut persona roasting. Planters offers daily tours that include a visit to the 1936-era roaster, where you can sniff peanuts roasted in their shells. A gift shop allows you to buy as many peanut products as you wish, and serves up peanut recipes, too.
Suffolk isn'all about peanuts. The area includes some well preserved historic sites, such as the Cedar Hill Cemetery, which houses an official Virginia Civil War trail site, The Confederate Monument. Thirty two acres of historic markers, rolling hills, and ancient cedar trees make a fascinating afternoon exploration. If reading this description makes you want to dial Ghostbusters before visiting, perhaps this historic spot isn't for you. Never fear, there are plenty of other choices for a taste of historyOne such location is Constant's Wharf Park & Marina on the Nansemond River, where the village of Constants Wharf, which preceded the town of Suffolk, was established. Today the site is a park and a marina, where summer concerts and movie nights are held annually.Glebe Episcopal Church is one of the oldest landmarks in northern Suffolk, on the National Register of Historic Places.
Near Suffolk, The Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge offers dozens of trails for hiking and biking through a pristine marshland area unmatched on the Eastern seaboard. This vast, marshy wilderness area is bordered by the Dismal Swamp Canal which was finished in 1805. Its ecological resonance marks it as one of the very last wilderness areas in the region. And, its not dismal at all. A veritable haven for critters great and small - frogs and spotted turtles, black bear and river otters - the swamp is also home to vast Lake Drummond, one of only two natural lakes in the state. Its three miles wide but shallow, with water only five feet deep. Cypresses grow from the water. Docent led land excursions and canoe tours are both available for swamp exploration.