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Virginia Beach is comprised of over 20 distinctive neighborhoods and communities. Tourists and visitors alike will be interested primarily in these:
Resort Strip is what most people think of when they think of Virginia Beach. It runs from 1st to 42nd St. along Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Virginia Beach is the longest pleasure beach in the world at 30 miles long.
Sandbridge was once a purely residential area, but its popularity as a visitor destination is now starting to grow. Lovely vacation homes and condominiums and a relative absence of hotels make this area attractive to vacationers who want solitude instead of the resort scene.
Croatan Beach, like Sandbridge, was once the locals' secret spot. Surfers like it too. This area is residential.
North End is probably the most prestigious of beach neighborhoods. It is an eclectic mix of 1920s beach cottages and million dollar mansions.
Chic's (or Chick's) Beach is actually the beach at the Chesapeake Bay between Shore Drive to the south, the bay to the north, Lake Bradford, Chubb Lake and the Navy base to the west and the neighborhoods Baylake Beach and Baylake Pines to the east. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel slices through the middle of the community. Chic's Beach was the name of a concession stand run by Chic and Audrey Ledington, and the name somehow got passed along to the stretch of beach where teenagers hung out in the '50s and '60s. The little shack was replaced by the restaurant Alexander's On The Bay (destroyed in a recent storm), but the name has stuck.
Shore Drive/First Landing is between the Lynhaven Inlet and Fort Story. This is a big locals' beach. First Landing State Park's Beach is also a popular spot. (This area is often lumped with Great Neck.)
Great Neck is a primarily wealthy residential area, also home to some good restaurants.
Hilltop is the general area just west of the resort strip. It is a series of large shopping centers, and home to many restaurants.
Pungo is synonymous with Strawberry Festival. This farm community in the southern section of Virginia Beach is also once home to Grace Sherwood, the famous "Witch of Pungo." Supposedly she put a curse on a neighbor's crop in 1698. When you cross Witchduck Road, think of Grace Sherwood who floated when "ducked" in the Lynnhaven River thus proving her guilty of witchcraft.
Pembroke at the intersection of Virginia Beach and Independence Boulevards is enjoying a significant revival as the city's new "downtown." High-end shops and restaurants (mostly chains, like Ruth's Chris, Cheescake Factory) along with a high rise office building and luxury apartments define the personality of the new Town Point Center, destined to become the city's core business district.