Hampton Roads is the world’s largest naval facility. Regardless of where you live in Hampton Roads, you are only minutes from a naval base. The Navy owns 36,000 acres of land and more than 6,750 buildings in Hampton Roads. There are approximately 108,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel stationed in this area and the Navy employees more than 41,000 civilians. Between dependents, retirees and employees, 318,000 people make up the Hampton Roads Navy community. This large military presence adds about 11 billion dollars to the local economy every year.
In 1983, Hampton Roads became the official name for the region. The southeastern part of the state is known as Hampton Roads and encompasses the towns of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth on the Southside. The peninsula has Newport News and Hampton.
Hampton Roads began its history in 1607 when the Discovery, Godspeed and the Susan Constant landed on the south shore of Chesapeake Bay. Later that same year, Jamestown was established by Captain John Smith and became the first permanent English settlement in the United States.
The term Hampton Roads is a reference that originated when the region was still a struggling British outpost. Roads is actually a nautical term that means “a place less sheltered than a harbor where ships may ride at anchor.” Today, Hampton Roads refers to both the water and the land in the area.
Hampton Roads is a natural tidal basin that is formed by the confluence of the Elizabeth and the James Rivers. The Port of Hampton Roads is known as the world’s greatest natural harbor. The port is only 18 miles from the open Atlantic Ocean and one of the world’s deepest, naturally ice-fee harbors.
Because Hampton Roads is a water area, many people choose to make there home here. Boating, fishing, water sports or just living on the water are great reasons to live in this area.
The region is served by two major airports, several universities, including Old Dominion and the College of William and Mary, which is ranked the second oldest university in the United States.
The area has mild weather all year long, with a long spring and a long fall, museums, art galleries, theaters, all the shopping you would expect in a metropolitan area, restaurants, historical sites, and much more. You will never want for something to do in this area.