Shortly after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, settlers began clearing land along the James River for plantations. Newport News remained an agricultural area until after the American Civil War, when Collis P. Huntington brought the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway down the Virginia Peninsula, connecting the rail system with shipping terminals designed to transfer coal for export. Huntington and his business partners then constructed a shipyard that became important during WWI and WWII, delivering destroyers, aircraft carriers and other naval vessels to the American war effort. Newport News merged with neighboring Warwick in 1958, creating the 4th largest city in Virginia.
Newport News experiences mild winters with an annual snowfall of less than two inches and hot, humid summers. Precipitation averages 45 inches per year, with the highest rainfall in late summer and the lowest precipitation in winter. Daytime temperatures are typically 20 °F higher than nighttime temperatures, year-round. July is the hottest month, with average high temperatures approaching 90 °F.
Newport News offers many transportation options for those who wish to leave the keys at home. Local bus service is provided by Hampton Roads Transit, the metropolitan bus system that services communities throughout the Hampton Roads region. vRide offers ride sharing programs to commuters, including private individuals and employers. Both Greyhound bus service and Amtrak rail service have terminals located in Newport News. The Norfolk International Airport provides convenient access to hundreds of cities worldwide on American, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways.
The cost of living in Newport News is slightly lower than the national average. The available housing is some of the most affordable in the region, but cost of goods and services regionally is higher than the national average. See how your budget matches living in Newport News by using these cost of living calculators.
The Newport News Public Schools program educates approximately 29,700 children in five early childhood centers, 24 elementary schools, seven middle schools, five high schools, one middle/high combination school, and nine program sites. Additionally, there are 22 private schools in Newport News.
Newport News has two hospitals that provide general medical services to the public: Riverside Regional Medical Center and Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital. If you’re planning a move to Newport News, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you.
The median price for a home in Newport News is around $198,000, with many smaller homes available at substantially lower prices, presenting a great value for first time homeowners.
When staying in Newport News, you can be assured of finding comfort with your favorite name brand accommodations. The Hilton Garden Inn and Suites is conveniently located and maintained to perfection. For a unique experience, consider some alternative stays. The Boxwood Inn, located in North Newport News, offers the comforts of home in a gracious, historic mansion. The Magnolia House Inn, located on the waterfront in nearby Hampton, is a quaint bed and breakfast that is perfect for couples or small groups.
From local favorites to international flavors, there are many great places to dine in Newport News. Circa 1918, is a small and intimate foodie's paradise with unique entrées and sides, and a top notch wine and beer list. The lunch buffet at Nawab Indian Cuisine is a great value with excellent service and a variety of tasty dishes to choose from. A little more on the formal side, Al Fresco offers a great setting for a business dinner or intimate date with a full menu of Italian favorites. Fans of German cuisine will enjoy Das Waldcafe, where the menu features a variety of traditional schnitzels along with a selection of American fare.
Newport News is an adventure for history buffs. Skiffes Retoubt, Lee's Mill and Dam #1 are all stops along Virginia's Civil War Trail. The Endview Plantation recounts how America's Civil War shaped the country's culture, lifestyle and economy. The Virginia War Museum traces not only the Civil War, but starts with the American Revolution and continues through Korea and Vietnam. The Mariner's Museum covers all aspects of maritime history, including a permanent display with relics from the USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship. With proximity to Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, there is plenty of family fun nearby, and if you enjoy great performances, the Ferguson Center for the Arts and the Ella Fitzgerald Theatre both feature locally produced and touring shows. If you enjoy browsing neighborhoods, Historic Hilton Village features locally-owned shops and a neighborhood of 500 historic cottages built before 1920.