Photo courtesy of the Norfolk
Convention and Visitors Bureau
Situated on the Elizabeth River in Hampton Roads, a sizeable natural harbor,
Norfolk is the gateway to the Colonial Coast. Norfolk's history spans more than 400 years, with signs of the earliest settlements in
the area dating back to prehistoric times. The first European settlers
navigated the James River here on their way to Jamestown and, now, U.S. military
bases from all branches call Norfolk home.
Norfolk has a long history as a tactical and transportation hub and is presently home
to the world’s largest naval base, Norfolk Naval Base, and the Norfolk
Southern Railroad. Connected by a vast web of draw bridges and bridge-tunnels
that span the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the James River and its feeders,
Norfolk offers a unique array of urban, suburban and rural living options.
When looking for a hip city vibe, residents can choose from downtown
Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News or Hampton. Virginia Beach, Suffolk
and Chesapeake offer suburban amenities like large homes with spacious yards far from the
hustle-bustle. For an even more peaceful setting, Suffolk farmland or waterfront property are
even better options.
Median home prices float around $180,000, with restricted waterside
properties ranging from $350,000 to well over $1 million. Fixers and starter
homes, still plentiful depending on the area, are priced at about $100,000.
Rentals vary from $400 to $1,500 monthly.
We selected four neighborhoods illustrating Hampton Roads' diverse living
options. Our picks include the historic Ghent in downtown Norfolk traditional and homey
Granby Shores at the northern edge of the city; the sprawling suburban community of
Glenwood in Virginia Beach and Burbage Grant in Suffolk, a city of peanuts and burgeoning technology.