A famous resort city, Virginia Beach has numerous hotels, motels, and restaurants near the ocean. The Guinness Book of Records cites Virginia Beach as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. Virginia Beach continues to grow in popularity as a vacation destination with family-oriented attractions.
Virginia Beach offers oceanside resort-style living and many parks, including several state parks. Protected beach areas area available for exploration. Three military bases serve the area and a variety of large corporations operate facilities here. More than 200 city parks, including neighborhood parks, district parks and community parks, dot the area. One of the most famous parks in Virginia Beach is Mount Trashmore Park, which is visible when you travel toward the oceanfront.
Virginia Beach has a variety of unique communities and neighborhoods for those who are looking for rental homes and apartments. The climate is humid and subtropical, due to the closeness of the ocean. Warm evenings after hot and humid days are typical in the summer.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools is one of the largest school systems in Virginia and one of the top 50 school divisions in the nation, based on enrollment. Virginia Beach offers 55 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, and 11 high schools. Two universities serve the area. Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson, focuses on graduate education. Atlantic University, associated with the Association for Research and Enlightenment, offers degrees in many New Age subjects. Nearby Norfolk offers Dominion University and Norfolk State University. Satellite campuses for University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are also available in Virginia Beach. A private college, Virginia Wesleyan College, is located near the border with Norfolk.
Tourism is a huge industry in Virginia Beach, but retail, agribusiness and the military also make major contributions to the economy. Lillian Vernon and Stihl, Inc. have headquarters in the city. Major employers also include the Navy Exchange Service Command, GEICO, and Amerigroup, Corp.
Several military bases are located in Virginia Beach. The United States Army's Fort Story is located in Cape Henry. United States Navy's Oceana and FTC Dam Neck call Virginia Beach their home. Both FTC Dam Neck and NAS Oceana are considered to be the largest bases of their kind in the world. Nearby, Norfolk is considered to be the central hub of the Atlantic Fleet of the United States Navy.
The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center offers a 70,000 gallon sea turtle exhibit, hatchling laboratory, and hands-on exploration exhibits. Eighteen sites in Virginia Beach are on the National Register of Historic Places. Examples include the Adam Thoroughgood House, the Cape Henry Lights and the Cape Henry Light Station. Several historic farms are present in the area, such as Bayville Farm, Ferry Farm Plantation, and Upper Wolfsnare (Brick House Farm).