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Old 07-08-2017, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Michigan
12 posts, read 5,340 times
Reputation: 13

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Hi there!

My husband and I currently live in Michigan. I am looking to possibly apply to a graduate program for school counseling in Virginia Beach--possibly a permanent move--and have some questions about the area I am hoping you can answer.

I love Michigan, but struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and am wondering what the weather is like in Virginia during all seasons?

Does VB have lots of hills and greenery--tree lined neighborhoods, green grass, forests?

What parts of Virginia Beach have the least amount of traffic and what other popular cities would you compare VB's traffic to?

Is VB a family friendly area and is there low crime?

What are the people like--friendly, welcoming?

Are the lakes safe to swim in--alligators, pollution, etc.?

Are there any similarities VB shares with Michigan scenery?

What other well known cities within Michigan, Florida, Georgia (if any) would you compare VB to?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:18 AM
 
1,659 posts, read 5,249,656 times
Reputation: 699
In Virginia Beach you will find plenty of sunshine. The weather is subtropical though the winters can be cold. Compared to Michigan it's much more mild. Summers are way longer but are also quite humid. Virginia Beach does have trees though a lot have been torn down for retail which is particularly huge in Virginia Beach proper. Virginia Beach does not have hills and is pretty flat as it sits on the Atlantic Ocean. Imo Virginia Beach is very family friendly and offers a lot. Others here can will hopefully offer more suggestions. For a city it's size Virginia Beach is also safe and has low crime - though it does happen, like all cities. I'll continue my posting later though others may contribute.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:41 AM
 
5,162 posts, read 6,847,293 times
Reputation: 5323
My responses are in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachMaples91 View Post
Hi there!

My husband and I currently live in Michigan. I am looking to possibly apply to a graduate program for school counseling in Virginia Beach--possibly a permanent move--and have some questions about the area I am hoping you can answer.

I love Michigan, but struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and am wondering what the weather is like in Virginia during all seasons? Yes all 4 seasons, but our winters are relatively mild, and summer can be a hot humid mess. It looks like we have 9hrs 38min of day light on the day of the winter solstice. We have 14hrs 41 mins on the summer solstice.

Does VB have lots of hills and greenery--tree lined neighborhoods, green grass, forests? VAB is flat. The highest elevation I'd 88ft with a 12 ft average. You can be to the hills in 1.5 - 2 hours depending on traffic. The area is very green, and there are forests. Just be awar they won't look like they do in Michigan because we're further south and have different plant life.

What parts of Virginia Beach have the least amount of traffic and what other popular cities would you compare VB's traffic to? The pungo area had the least traffic, but that won't be convenient for you. I'm guessing you're going to ODU? If you're going to HU you should live on the other side of the HRBT. It's already a traffic nightmare, and they're getting ready to start construction. I wouldn't compare VAB to any other city, but some have compared it to LA.

Is VB a family friendly area and is there low crime? VAB is very family friendly and a low crime area/ it's always ranked as one of the safest cities for its size. There is a very high cost of living associated with the area. You'll need to have jobs lined up for you and your husband or a good savings before you arrive.

What are the people like--friendly, welcoming? I would say yes. People are as friendly and welcoming as you are. Meaning of you're friendly they will be as well. It's important to get to know people. That shouldn't be to hard for you since you'll be in school.

Are the lakes safe to swim in--alligators, pollution, etc.? There are no gators here As for swimming in lakes you can, I guess, as long as there is not a noswimming sign. I don't know of any lake swim spots. I always go to the beach. Water quality is tested on a regular basis and if there is an issue a no swimming alert will be issues.

Are there any similarities VB shares with Michigan scenery? No idea I've never been to Michigan.

What other well known cities within Michigan, Florida, Georgia (if any) would you compare VB to? It's a coastal beach town, I doubt it has much in common with any place in Michigan, I'm not sure about Georgia.

Thanks in advance for your help!
ETA: Looking at your very 1st post you may want to consider the Lake Monticello area near UVA. I have family there and it meets more of your criteria, especially the lake swimming and hills.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:10 PM
 
91 posts, read 37,669 times
Reputation: 138
I find Virginia Beach to be a convenient and relatively affordable place to live. You can find good deals on gas and groceries too. Pretty much everything you need is close as well. The best gem in Va Beach for a local is the city rec centers. Great facilities including excellent pools.


The Va Beach ocean front can be fun if you are into that type of stuff. But I find the oceanfront to be sketchy sometimes. It can be dirty too. Lots of people smoking as well. Sandbridge and Croatan might be better options.


On the whole Virginia Beach is not the most exciting place though. Busch Gardens is too far to make it worthwhile to get a season pass because of the bridge/tunnel traffic. Plus there is nothing once you go outside the urban areas (including Noroflk, Ches, and peninsula). It is rural very very quickly. It is light on sports too unless you are into mid level collegiate sports and high school. If that is the case then you are in good shape. For me personally it really really really sucked when the Norfolk Admirals AHL team left town. The ECHL team is just a shadow of the greatness that was the 2012 team. I used to go to 10-15 Admirals games a year when they an AHL team. ECHL I have no interest at all.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:13 AM
Status: "grooving salt air" (set 12 days ago)
 
847 posts, read 617,033 times
Reputation: 776
Outside the "urban areas" there are beaches on the Bay, oyster trails, wine trails/wineries, a bikeway from Williamsburg to Richmond, historic sites, camping areas, resorts on the Northern Neck, wild ponies, wine and food festivals and lots of natural beauty. The area gradually becomes more rural as you distance yourself from the urban areas, a nice transition and not abrupt at all. One of the cool aspects of living here is the ability to enjoy getting away from hustle, bustle and concrete and actually have plenty of worthy daytrip destinations.

My guess is you will find VA Beach and the surrounding region relatively more "exciting" than Michigan.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:01 PM
 
927 posts, read 566,279 times
Reputation: 1499
What part of Michigan do you live in?

I moved back here from Grand Rapids so I completely understand the SAD thing.

Our winters here are fairly short, so it would be a step in the right direction.

Virginia Beach is nice and family-friendly. It's a lot different from the beach towns that line Lake Michigan though. It's MUCH larger at nearly half a million people in VA Beach alone. The crime rate varies from neighborhood to neighborhood but for the most part, it is low-crime. People typically don't swim in the lakes here. They go to the beach. It is safe to swim in.

The people here are a mixed bag. Some are very nice. Others are the complete opposite. I find the people here, in general, to be much more friendly than people from Michigan. Inside a car, people can be mean as fire. The driving is much more aggressive here than in Grand Rapids and the following distance is sometime ridiculous. Outside of cars though, people are much more friendly and it's not uncommon to see strangers having a conversation.

It's very green here for 6-7 months of the year. The grass can sometimes start dying from the heat in August, and it stays pretty brown until March/April. Michigan is a much greener state when there isn't snow on the ground.

The one question you missed: Employment. Employment here can be tough if you don't have a marketable skill. You mentioned school counseling. If you go this route, be sure to make some friends in the school district where you want a job. Nepotism runs rampant around here in the school systems(and government jobs in general), so it's best to have an "in."
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
4,838 posts, read 4,576,811 times
Reputation: 2436
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachMaples91 View Post
Hi there!

My husband and I currently live in Michigan. I am looking to possibly apply to a graduate program for school counseling in Virginia Beach--possibly a permanent move--and have some questions about the area I am hoping you can answer.

I love Michigan, but struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and am wondering what the weather is like in Virginia during all seasons?

Does VB have lots of hills and greenery--tree lined neighborhoods, green grass, forests?

What parts of Virginia Beach have the least amount of traffic and what other popular cities would you compare VB's traffic to?

Is VB a family friendly area and is there low crime?

What are the people like--friendly, welcoming?

Are the lakes safe to swim in--alligators, pollution, etc.?

Are there any similarities VB shares with Michigan scenery?

What other well known cities within Michigan, Florida, Georgia (if any) would you compare VB to?

Thanks in advance for your help!
That's really broad, three different states. What type of comparison are you looking for, because I don't think that Virginia Beach looks like anything in the states you listed. This is a really suburban metro area, although that is slowly changing. You might find different blocks or neighborhoods that may remind you of something if you look hard enough. Norfolk, another city in the metro, often reminds me of a lot of different places.

People are just people here. Not unfriendly, and they can be welcoming but no one is going out of their way. The States in the Mid-Atlantic are considered to be Southern geographically but culturally that is often a different matter. I find it to be really similar to the Midwest. At least Hampton Roads and Richmond.

I don't think there are any alligators. You might be thinking of Florida.

Family friendly is a relative term. The beaches are family friendly, as are the museums, etc but it is not as though there aren't any clubs or no after hours places you can go to. Family friendly while it is still daylight, no different than anywhere else.

It can get hot in Virginia. Not like Georgia or Florida or anything, but the humidity can still be intense. So plenty of sunlight during the summer. Rains a lot in the spring, rains a lot in the fall. MIGHT snow during the winter but don't be surprised if you go all winter and it only snows for two or three days. Don't be surprised if you never get more than 4 inches of snow. Definitely not like Michigan in that respect.

A lot of flooding. But if you've ever lived close to the water you already know what that is about. Especially if you're at, or below, sea level. There are places fewer than 10 feet above sea level here.

Hilly here? No, what did exist was probably leveled. Trees still but it isn't hilly, although you may find that on the Peninsula, particularly Williamsburg. A hill here is an overpass or an underpass.

Maybe you can compare this areas traffic to Atlanta? I don't know. Traffic is Virginia is relative. Just be prepared for the worst, although that would generally only happen if there is work in the tunnels, road construction, downtown Norfolk is bad because of construction on the buildings there, rush hour, which can be a few hours here or there not just one hour, a concert somewhere, an event, the beaches always have a lot of traffic during the summer, an accident, someone getting pulled over by the police, someone's car breaking down in a tunnel, etc etc.

I still can't think of any cities to compare Virginia Beach to. I think it is a microcosm of other port cities, or other cities on the West Coast, to be totally honest. I'm thinking of San Diego, or Long Beach, or like Los Angeles.

I almost forgot. You asked about crime. You should know that it is particularly low in this area in the counties turned suburb turned cities, which are Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk. Crime is higher in the other four cities here. But keep in mind that there are millions of people that live here. So if you turn on the news and see the same homicides day after day in the same cities; those cities have hundreds of thousands of people that live there, so statistically it is very low. Although Norfolk and Portsmouth are often known to trend in the top 50 in the country, sometimes in the top 30. Typically you'll find much worse in the Richmond area, which is over an hour away.

It really depends on what you're used to and what your concerns are. I've lived in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and South Norfolk (like a borough of Chesapeake). South Norfolk was depressing, had crime, I was never a victim of the crime may occasionally here shots here and there but it was so infrequent, could go months before anything again, so yeah. Norfolk I always hear about the crime but I have never seen it, never witnessed it. So that is more of a neighborhood by neighborhood thing, but again, no pattern, no rhythm. Virginia Beach is that place you'll never even think about crime unless it happens to you because it looks as though nothing could ever happen there. I would be more concerned about someone stealing my car or breaking into my house, than anything else. But there are bad areas still.

In general this area is just sketchy. You get comfortable, until you hear about something or until something happens to you. I honestly would not worry about it, it's not like you're going to move into an area you would have to worry about it anyway. It is expensive here, but there are still areas that are further out that can fit into anyone's budget.

You'll like it here. It is really a more tropical, warmer, version of the Midwest, without the Rust Belt aspect to it. From what I've learned over the years, most people that don't like it here are usually from the coasts, or can't let go of it for whatever reason and are persistently obsessing over the lack of density and the fact that this is not a concrete jungle. Although even that is changing here.

Last edited by goofy328; 07-15-2017 at 11:32 AM..
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Michigan
12 posts, read 5,340 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you so much everyone for all of your replies! They are very helpful I am hoping to take a trip to Virginia Beach at some point soon!
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
4,838 posts, read 4,576,811 times
Reputation: 2436
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachMaples91 View Post
Thank you so much everyone for all of your replies! They are very helpful I am hoping to take a trip to Virginia Beach at some point soon!
You'll love it. Let us know how it turned out.
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