Virginia Beach is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia with nearly half a million residents. Growth is phenomenal in this beachside community and the population is expected to surpass 500,000 by the year 2010. A February 2000 Ladies Home Journal article rated the city as one of the "Top 10 Places to Live" in the United States, based on lifestyle, education, jobs, health, child care, politics, crime rate and economy. Additionally, Money magazine named Virginia Beach one of the ?Top 10 Best Places to Live? in the United States in 2006 and 2007, while U.S. New & World Report placed Virginia Beach in the ?Top 10 Best Places to Grow Up? in the United States in 2009. The FBI has also named Virginia Beach as ?The Safest Big City in the United States? since 2007.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools serves nearly 75,000 students and ranks in the top 50 largest school divisions in the country. Currently, the school system includes 54 elementary schools, 16 middle schools, 12 high schools, including the Technical and Career Education Center, the Center for Effective Learning, the Virginia Beach Central Academy, the Adult Learning Center, the Open Campus High School, the Kemps Landing Magnet School, a Math/Science Magnet Center at Ocean Lakes High School, an International Baccalaureate program at Princess Anne High School and the Landstown Technology Academy at Landstown High School.
Tourism has always been a leading industry in Virginia Beach. The newly constructed Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center is the first complete, year-round resort located on the tranquil North End of Virginia Beach. The military has also been a leading employer in the area with Naval Air Station Oceana providing residents with more than 11,000 jobs. The second largest employer for Virginia Beach North is Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
Attractions & Areas of Interest
This gorgeous coastal city is famous for its state-of-the-art health care facilities, world-class 20,000 seat amphitheater and multipurpose sportsplex, all located near the city's 38 miles of shoreline and 17 miles of beaches. Residents enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities and the ever-changing beauty of four distinct seasons. There are three championship golf courses in the area including Cypress Point Country Club, Eagle Haven Golf Course and Cavalier Golf Club.
There are many enticing attractions in Virginia Beach. Aquariums, animal exhibits and a 3D IMAX theatre are housed at the Virginia Marine Science Museum. The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Adam Thoroughgood House, and the Francis Land House Historic Site and Gardens are other popular destinations. Sports enthusiasts can root for Virginia's new UFL team, the Virginia Destroyers, who will play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk hosts numerous attractions throughout the year. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show is the largest seaside art exhibition in the world. Artists come from all over the globe to enter this prestigious event. The American Music Festival, the Neptune Festival, a Fourth of July celebration and the Holiday Lights at the Beach event are also held along the boardwalk.
The North End Beach is a three-mile stretch of pristine sand, which boasts an extensive, multi-layered dune system. Improved walkways across the dunes and access stairs and ramps across the seawall are provided at each street end. Recreational sports, such as volleyball, surfing, fishing and sailing, are popular. Another special amenity of the North End is a back entrance to Seashore State Park. Tucked into a quiet residential neighborhood, residents hike, walk, bike or sunbathe along the Narrows. One of the most interesting Virginia Beach attractions is located at the southern tip of the North End, where visitors can tour historic Fort Story and visit the still-standing Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, completed in 1792.
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