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Thread: Norkfolk, VA

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    #1

    Norkfolk, VA

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    Hi All,
    DH will be graduating basic soon and he has already told me that his first command is Norfolk, Virginia. (He has a really short A school). I was wondering if anyone can tell me about the area and the base? I have heard a lot of mixed things. I am just trying to understand what areas I should be looking at when it comes to renting a place. Thanks
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    #2
    Before DH got orders to Japan, he had spent most of his career in Norfolk (and Oceana). We absolutely love that area and are hoping to go back there in 2 years. A lot of people don't like the area, but I'm not sure why. We personally chose to live in VA Beach, which is about 15 miles away. I can't really comment too much on the base because we never lived on base, but it has pretty much anything you could possibly need. And there are several other bases around. Anyway - things to do in the area. Busch Gardens is in Williamsburg, which is about a 45 minute drive from the beach. They partner with the military to provide service members and 3 dependents one free visit a year. We've considered buying season passes, but we're always so busy we only ever end up going one time anyway. Downtown Norfolk/Ghent is great. There are a lot of microbrews (if that's your thing), a AAA baseball team, a theater, and a lot of really neat little restaurants. Cogans is great for Pizza, 80/20 Burger bar is another favorite of ours. We tend to stay closer to the beach though. Dam Neck base has beach access and the MWR offers beach rentals. We like it because it's way less crowded than the resort area. There is pretty much something for everyone. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about the area. I could go on, but I think it goes without saying that we're big fans of the Norfolk/VA Beach area.
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    #3
    We were there for 8 years. It was ok. I got my bachelors and masters degree while there but we are not east coast people. And growing up in Hawaii, it made me a beach snob so I wasn't attracted to the beaches there. I think it took me five years to get me to go to Dam Neck beach.

    Schools are great though in Virginia Beach so I'm glad I went to school out there cause it's easier to go to school in the east coast and then actually have a career on the west coast as opposed to vice versa. My husband hated it because it was too crowded for him. One thing I didn't like was the winters, it'd get cold but there would be nothing to show for it (snow). We did get passes for Busch Gardens though and Water Country. They also have some good farmers markets

    It's a pretty active military community out there so there will definitely be a lot of support in that area
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    #4
    lots of traffic, small area, lots of people. Crime is high but for the amount of people jammed into this area, its pretty relative for its size. I would stress that you should probably look at areas in VA beach not far from 264 or even Chesapeake from 64. Its okay, moderate climate, so you'll see cold winters and hot summers. oh, and two of the tunnels between norfolk and Portsmouth charge for use, so you might look into an ez pass or go an alternate route. Also, be aware, 64 westbound between Granby through to fort eustis north of Newport News is constantly having traffic snarl ups. there is base housing outside the base but some of the areas around the base is sketchy. But there is also housing in Little Creek, Ft Story, Midway and Oceana/Dam Neck.
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    #5
    I wouldn't live anywhere you had to cross a bridge/tunnel (i.e. hampton, suffolk, portsmouth) because they regularly get cramped during rush hour(s) which is 6-9AM and 3-6PM and if there's a wreck inside you're pretty much stuck. Also, keep in mind NAS is a HUGE, BUSY base and the line to get into base in the mornings is ridiculous, so you have to add that onto your commute as well.

    Ghent is the hipster/gentrified area in downtown Norfolk and has a lot to do and decent neighborhoods. It's also a pretty straight shot to NAS.

    Chesapeake is a really nice area in general, but it's a hike to get to NAS.. Like a 45+ minute commute during rush hour(s).

    I would avoid oceanview (directly east of NAS all the way to JEB Little Creek), but the area just south of ocean view (Little Creek Rd and a little farther south) is nice. Thats where I live.

    Also anything around Independence Blvd is nice and all the way east to Va Beach is nice as well, you just start getting into longer commutes towards Va Beach.

    The roads around here are in no way sufficient to handle the traffic they face, it gets way too cramped way too fast, but I hope I've helped a bit factoring in commute and location..
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    #6
    Thank you ladies. This helps a lot. I really appreciate it.

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