The rich history of the city of Virginia Beach dates back nearly 400 years, when the first English colonists ventured to the New World.
On April 26, 1607, vessels Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery stopped at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The colonists spent three days at the site of the first landing, erecting a cross and naming the spot Cape Henry. From Cape Henry, they sailed across the bay and up the river, ultimately settling the colony of Jamestown. The first settlement inside the current city limits of Virginia Beach was made on the Lynnhaven Bay in 1621.
The area that is now Virginia Beach remained thinly settled for well over a century. In the 1880s, an oceanfront resort was developed. And by the turn of the century, the city had become a popular tourist destination.
In 1906, Virginia Beach became a town. In 1963, the resort town merged with Princess Anne County to form the City of Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach is now the most populous city in Virginia, with approximately 437,994 residents in 2010, and the 39th largest in the United States.
The Virginia Beach Department of Museums is extensively involved in the conservation of the natural environment and the preservation of historic resources. In addition, residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of historic attractions, including the Adam Thoroughhood House, Francis Land House, the Cape Henry Lighthouses and the site of the First Landing. For more information on the City's historic sites, visit www.vbmuseums.org. In addition, the region provides a multitude of destinations including Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, Yorktown, and many, many more.
Last updated: Sept 2011