Virginia Beach, Virginia, a city in the extreme southeastern part of the state, on Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Its beautiful beaches, excellent fishing, and three-mile (4.8-km) boardwalk make it a major ocean resort. Military bases in the area employ a large number of people. Also important to the economy are retail and wholesale trade and tourism. Virginia Beach is served by two railways, several highways, and nearby Norfolk International Airport. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, measuring 17.6 miles (28 km), links the city with Virginia's Eastern Shore.
The Virginia Marine Science Museum houses several large aquariums displaying local marine life. The Life-Saving Museum of Virginia, housed in a restored lifesaving station, has exhibits devoted to the area's shipwrecks and maritime memorabilia. The city has several restored colonial homes, including the Lynnhaven House and the Thoroughgood House. Cape Henry memorial, at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, marks the landing place of the English colonists who founded Jamestown in 1607.
The first settlement in the area occurred in 1621, at Lynnhaven Bay. Tourism developed at the end of the 19th century. Virginia Beach was incorporated in 1906. In 1963 all of Princess Anne County was merged with Virginia Beach, which at the time had a population of only about 8,000.