Escape the Crowds of Tourists and Settle Down in These Virginia Beach Suburbs

by Ben SanfordMarch 26, 2018

Suburbs Made for Virginia Beach Lovers

Once upon a time back in the dark ages before 1963, there was no Virginia Beach, Virginia. There was just a collection of small towns and open spaces located between the towns of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake, Virginia and the shore. Now, the city of Virginia Beach is the largest municipality in the Commonwealth and one of the largest in the country.

Because of this growth and development, the big nearby towns of Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth have become its suburbs – but that’s okay. Along with the notoriety and the growth that Virginia Beach has experienced, there have also been crowds of tourists flocking to the area.

For many, this has meant that it’s better to settle down in the suburbs and enjoy what the city has to offer on their own terms, while effectively escaping the crowds. If this sounds like your kind of game plan, then here’s a look at what the suburbs around Virginia Beach have to offer.
virginia beach suburbs


Norfolk is the second largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It lies at the center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, but is still a suburban area of its larger neighbor. Norfolk is a city rich in history, tracing its roots back to the early seventeenth century. As such an old American city, it is loaded with historic gems that are available for purchase in notable neighborhoods like Berkley, Willoughby Spit, and Ocean View.

Over the last couple of decades, economically depressed parts of Norfolk have undergone revitalization. Now, you can buy trendy new condos near refurbished row houses in neighborhoods like Ghent and Fairmount Park.


Like Norfolk to the North, Portsmouth, Virginia owes much of its prosperity to its location on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard is actually located in Portsmouth, and the city with a population of 95,000 has long been a shipping and naval hub.

Like Norfolk, Portsmouth also offers prospective homebuyers the opportunity to purchase older homes with historic character, newer condos or townhomes, and a variety of homes with year-round access to deep water, right in their backyards.
virginia beach suburbs


Chesapeake, Virginia, with a population of just over 250,000 residents, is the farthest south of the three satellite communities of Virginia Beach. It was also incorporated as a city in 1963 and is more a collection of smaller towns, like its better-known neighbor to the Northeast. Chesapeake features a more country feel than other area communities, as it abuts the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (just don’t let the name fool you!).

With no true downtown to speak of, the feel of this city is far more suburban than either Norfolk or Portsmouth. Homes for sale in Chesapeake range from large family homes to retiree condos in developments nestled between larger estates and colonial era farmsteads.
virginia beach suburbs

Three Cities Surrounding Virginia Beach

While Portsmouth, Norfolk, or Chesapeake are true suburbs in the way we typically think of the offspring of our major American cities, neither is Virginia Beach a city in the way we think of other major American cities. Further, Virginia Beach and its neighboring communities are somewhat unique in their history, and in their shifting relationships with one another.

Whether you’re looking to buy a refurbished historic home with deep water access, a condo in a retiree’s paradise, or a sprawling mansion on a handful of acres, all three of these suburban communities grant you access to the best Virginia Beach has to offer, while protecting you from the throngs of tourists that flock to the city every year. Good luck, and let your search begin today with!

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.