Located along the Intracoastal Waterway and covering more than 350 square miles, Chesapeake is the second largest city by land area in Virginia. Chesapeake offers a unique blend of urban and rural settings, and was ranked as one of the country's top 100 best places to live by Money Magazine. Chesapeake offers a high quality of life for those looking for fine homes, exceptional career opportunities, and great schools. Part of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest protected wildlife areas on the east coast, lies in Chesapeake. Recreational boaters travel through Chesapeake from the Chesapeake Bay to Albemarle Sound in North Carolina via the Great Dismal Swamp Canal.
Since the arrival of settlers in 1620, Chesapeake has played a major role in the birth of the United States of America. During the American Revolution, Chesapeake colonists defeated the British at the Battle of Great Bridge in 1775, driving the British Government out of the Colony of Virginia. Chesapeake developed into a significant commerce center with the construction of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal in the 1790’s. The canal served as an important waterway route for Confederate supplies during the Civil War until it was captured by Union forces in 1862. Following the Civil War, the Chesapeake area flourished due to its fertile farmland and access to shipping ports. The region was officially designated as the City of Chesapeake, a full service municipality, in 1963. Learn more about Chesapeake History with this link.
The weather in Chesapeake is typically mild. The area experiences four distinct seasons with average temperatures in the winter months averaging around 41 degrees, and the summer months averaging around 77 degrees. Summers are long, and hot stretches are often interrupted by cool periods due to winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Extreme cold is rare, and winter snow is infrequent.
With a dense population and many neighboring communities, Chesapeake has many transportation alternatives to consider. Local bus service is provided to Chesapeake by Hampton Roads Transit, the metropolitan bus system that services Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, and other communities in the Hampton Roads region. vRide offers ride sharing programs to commuters, including private individuals and employers. Greyhound offers bus service to major cities on the east coast and across the USA with locations in Hampton, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Newport News. Amtrak provides round trip service to several east coast cities, ranging from Petersburg to Boston, with stations in Norfolk and Newport News. The Norfolk international Airport provides convenient access to hundreds of cities worldwide on American, Delta, Southwest, United, and US Airways.
Cost of Living in Chesapeake
The median home value in Chesapeake is 18% greater than the national average. The overall average cost of living is five to ten percent higher the national average. See how your budget matches living in Chesapeake by using these cost of living calculators.
The Chesapeake Public Schools system provides education services to school age children with 28 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and 7 high schools. Chesapeake Public Schools also offers an International Baccalaureate Program at Oscar Smith High School and a Technology Academy at Grassfield High School.
Chesapeake’s best hospital is Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. This facility is also regionally ranked as the sixth best hospital in the Virginia Beach metro area and the number 20 hospital in Virginia. If you’re planning a move to Chesapeake, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you.
Chesapeake Real Estate
Chesapeake offers a diverse market for home-buyers, ranging from modest to modern, with waterfront views neighboring the Elizabeth River. Chesapeake homes tend to be somewhat more expensive than those in neighboring Norfolk. Explore homes in Chesapeake using the following links.
Chesapeake offers more than 4,000 hotel rooms featuring name brand hotels you can trust, with easy access and convenient locations. If you are traveling with pets, the highly rated Hampton Inn & Suites will accommodate your furry family members and the Aloft Chesapeake offers a boutique hotel experience with a trendy bar and lounge. The Irish Isle Bed and Breakfast is Chesapeake’s first and only B&B, resting on 11 acres in the heart of Chesapeake, Virginia. Explore more places to stay using the following links.
Chesapeake is a foodie’s paradise with an array of locally-owned and unique dining options. Experience the homegrown goodness of Bergey’s Breadbasket Bakery & More, a family run restaurant and local institution that is as famous for their chicken pie as it is for their baked goods. The Broken Egg Bistro is so popular among the locals that you might have to wait for a table when you arrive, but it is worth the wait! Passion is an excellent upscale restaurant with an unpretentious exterior, but once you step inside, you’ll be delighted with the great atmosphere and service. Pirates Cove is considered by many to be the best seafood restaurant in Chesapeake. Discover more dining choices in Chesapeake with these links.
Things to Do in Chesapeake
You’ll never run out of things to do in Chesapeake, the perfect base camp for all sorts of outdoor adventuring. You can spend the day bird watching, golfing, fishing, biking, hiking, kayaking and more! For an unforgettable experience, explore the forested wetlands of the Great Dismal Swamp on foot or on water. The Chesapeake Arboretum and Chesapeake Planetarium are great places to bring the family, and if you want more family excitement, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Ocean Breeze Waterpark are just a short drive from Chesapeake. For a fun shopping and dining experience Town Place at the Greenbrier features a variety of restaurants and unique shops you just can’t find anywhere else. Find more things to do with the following travel guides.