About Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake is located in the southern part of the Hampton Roads region, which encompasses six other cities – Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, Suffolk, Portsmouth and Newport News. The city of Chesapeake is a diverse place, with both urban areas as well as many miles of forests and wetlands, including a portion of the Great Dismal Swamp. In terms of population, it's the largest city in Virginia – numbers estimated at 220,560. It is also one of the largest cities in the state and nation in terms of land.
The city has a total area of 350.9 square miles of which 10.2 are water. Chesapeake is on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and extends all the way from the border of North Carolina to the harbor area of Hampton Roads. It's adjacent to the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and both Currituck and Camden Counties in North Carolina. The city is divided politically into six boroughs: South Norfolk, Pleasant Grove, Washington, Butts Road, Deep Creek and Western Branch. Of these, Western Branch was an independent city for most of the twentieth century. Within the other boroughs, many communities have developed. Chesapeake has miles of waterfront and much industrial, commercial and residential property.
Native Americans first inhabited the city of Chesapeake thousands of years before English colonists settled there. In December of 1606, Captain Christopher Newport set sail along with 105 other men to establish Virginia. Four months later, in April of 1607, the voyagers landed at Cape Henry in Virginia Beach and eventually made their way to what is now Chesapeake. During the Revolutionary War, the battle of Great Bridge was fought in Chesapeake. This event was responsible for removing Lord Dunmore and the remainder of English Government from the Colony of Virginia on December 9, 1775.
It wasn't until 1963, that the new independent city of Chesapeake was created and joined with the other six cities of Hampton Roads – all connected by the circumferential Hampton Roads Beltway. This establishment came from the former city of South Norfolk consolidating with Norfolk County. Most of the city was either suburban or rural until the late 1980’s and early 1990's. Chesapeake grew significantly from this time on and began to attract significant industries and build local business.
The city of Chesapeake has an array of area attractions and many more are available in the nearby cities. As the center of Hampton Roads, it's just twenty minutes from the Virginia Beach oceanfront, fifteen minutes from downtown Norfolk, forty–five minutes from historical Colonial Williamsburg as well as North Carolina's Outer Banks. It's located near historical sites, waterways, music, parks, nightlife, sports, dining and an variety of outdoor activites. Both locals and visitors can enjoy a scenic hike or paddle boat ride and many other activities through nature.
Chesapeake hosts many festivals within its borders. The city is most known for the Chesapeake Jubilee. It was first held at Greenbrier Mall in May of 1983 and has remained a local favorite. It has since moved to Chesapeake City Park. The event was created to celebrate the city's anniversary and to build the community's spirit. The Jubilee has a history of top entertainers including Willie Nelson, Trace Adkins, The Commodores, Travis Tritt, Eddie Money and many more.
There is an abundance of various types of schools in Chesapeake. There are seventy-four preschools, fifty-five elementary schools, twenty-seven middle schools, and twenty high schools. Fifty of these are public schools and sixty–three are private. There are also gifted, adult, and special education options in the area. Some rate Chesapeake schools as high as Virginia Beach's schools – both of these beating the remainder of cities in the Hampton Roads area.
One of the area's high schools, Great Bridge Public School, is over one hundred years old for grades nine through twelve. There is also a Tidewater Community College campus in Chesapeake. This two-year program offers a number of courses that allow students to transfer their credits to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor's, master's or doctor's degree. There are a number of other reputable colleges and universities in Chesapeake's surrounding areas as well.