John Wareing was a prominent figure in Virginia Beach's history. He was a businessman and civic leader who played a significant role in the development and growth of the city. John Wareing served as the Mayor of Virginia Beach from 1966 to 1968 and again from 1970 to 1972.
Wareing was known for his dedication to public service and his efforts to improve the infrastructure and quality of life in Virginia Beach. He was instrumental in the expansion of the city's utility services, including water and sewer systems, which were crucial for accommodating the city's growing population. He also advocated for improved transportation infrastructure and played a role in the development of the Virginia Beach Expressway (now known as Interstate 264), which facilitated better connections to neighboring cities.
In addition to his political and civic roles, John Wareing was involved in various business ventures. He owned and operated Wareing's Gym, a well-known local fitness center that became a landmark in the community.
Virginia Beach has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. Here's an overview of its historical development:
Native American Inhabitants: The area that is now Virginia Beach was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Chesapeake, Powhatan, and Nansemond peoples. They lived along the coastline and relied on the bounties of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby rivers for sustenance.
Colonial Era: The first European settlers arrived in the early 1600s, with the English establishing Jamestown in 1607. The settlers had interactions with the local Native American tribes, with both cooperative and conflict-filled relationships. As the colony grew, settlements expanded along the coast.
Resort Development: Virginia Beach's beachfront location and natural beauty attracted visitors looking for relaxation and recreation in the 19th century. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city had become a popular seaside destination with numerous hotels, cottages, and attractions.
Military Presence: During World War II, Virginia Beach played a significant role due to its proximity to the Norfolk Naval Base, which is one of the largest naval bases in the world. The city saw increased military activity and growth during this period.
City Incorporation: Virginia Beach officially became a city in 1952. Prior to that, it had been a town since 1906. The city's incorporation marked a turning point in its development, leading to increased infrastructure projects and urban planning efforts.
Tourism and Development: The mid-20th century brought further growth to Virginia Beach's tourism industry. The city continued to expand its offerings, including the development of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, which became a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike.
Civic Development: Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Virginia Beach experienced urban development, population growth, and changes in its political leadership. The city's leaders worked on improving public services, infrastructure, and quality of life for residents.
Environmental Awareness: As the city developed, there was a growing emphasis on environmental conservation and protection of the coastal ecosystem. Efforts were made to balance development with preservation of the area's natural beauty.
Modern Era: In recent years, Virginia Beach has continued to evolve as a hub for tourism, business, and military activity. The city hosts various events, festivals, and cultural attractions that celebrate its history and diversity.
Virginia Beach's history is shaped by its coastal location, military presence, tourism industry, and ongoing efforts to balance growth with environmental concerns. The city's historical landmarks, such as the Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Adam Thoroughgood House, offer glimpses into its past.
Top Tourist Attractions
Virginia Beach offers a range of attractions that cater to tourists and residents alike. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Virginia Beach:
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk: This iconic boardwalk stretches along the oceanfront and features a paved path for walking, biking, and rollerblading. It's lined with restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
- Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: This popular attraction features marine life exhibits, including a large aquarium with various aquatic species, interactive touch pools, and educational programs.
- First Landing State Park: Located where the Jamestown colonists first landed in 1607, this park offers hiking trails, camping sites, and a beach area. It's a great spot for outdoor activities and enjoying nature.
- Cape Henry Lighthouse: Situated within Fort Story, the Cape Henry Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the United States. Visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Military Aviation Museum: This museum showcases a collection of vintage military aircraft from World War I and World War II eras. It's a fascinating place for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs.
- Ocean Breeze Waterpark: A popular family-friendly water park with a variety of water slides, pools, and other attractions to help beat the summer heat.
- Neptune Statue: The iconic Neptune statue, located at the entrance to the boardwalk, is a symbol of Virginia Beach. This 34-foot-tall bronze statue of the Roman sea god is a popular photo spot.
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: This refuge offers opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and wildlife observation in a natural coastal environment. It's a great place to see native wildlife and enjoy the serene landscape.
- Sandbridge Beach: A quieter alternative to the bustling Virginia Beach oceanfront, Sandbridge Beach offers a more relaxed atmosphere with beautiful sandy shores and calm waters.
- Contemporary Art Center of Virginia: This art center showcases contemporary artwork and hosts rotating exhibitions featuring local and regional artists. It's a great place to appreciate modern art.
- Virginia Beach Fishing Pier: A historic fishing pier that extends into the ocean, offering a chance for fishing, sightseeing, and enjoying views of the coastline.
- Virginia Beach Farmers Market: A year-round market featuring fresh produce, local products, artisan goods, and dining options. It's a great place to experience the local flavors and crafts.
These attractions provide a glimpse of the diverse offerings that Virginia Beach has for visitors.
Virginia Beach experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by mild to moderate winters and warm to hot summers. Here are some details about the climate in Virginia Beach:
- Summers (June to August): Summers in Virginia Beach are warm and humid. Average high temperatures range from the mid-80s to low 90s °F (29-34°C). Humidity levels can be relatively high during this time. It's the peak tourist season, with visitors flocking to the beach and enjoying outdoor activities.
- Fall (September to November): Fall is a pleasant time to visit, with milder temperatures and lower humidity. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s °F (24-28°C) in September and gradually decrease in the following months. Fall foliage is not as prominent as in some northern states, but there's still a change in colors.
- Winters (December to February): Winters in Virginia Beach are generally mild compared to many other parts of the United States. Average high temperatures range from the mid-40s to mid-50s °F (7-13°C). While snowfall is infrequent, occasional winter storms can bring some snow or ice.
- Spring (March to May): Spring is another pleasant time to visit, with gradually warming temperatures and blossoming flowers. Average high temperatures range from the mid-50s to mid-60s °F (13-19°C) in March and rise as spring progresses. Spring is a great time for outdoor activities, including enjoying the beach and exploring nature.
- Precipitation: Virginia Beach receives a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year. Summer tends to be the wettest season, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Hurricanes and tropical storms can affect the area during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November.
Keep in mind that these are general climate patterns, and there can be variations from year to year. If you're planning a visit, it's a good idea to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.
It's situated along the Atlantic Ocean coastline and is known for its expansive beaches, vibrant tourism industry, and diverse ecosystems. Here are some key geographical features and aspects of Virginia Beach:
- Atlantic Ocean Frontage: One of the city's most defining geographical features is its extensive coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. The city boasts several miles of sandy beaches, attracting visitors for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- Chesapeake Bay: To the north of Virginia Beach lies the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. The bay provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and other recreational activities.
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk: Stretching along the oceanfront, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk offers a paved path for walking, biking, and rollerblading. It's a popular gathering place for both tourists and locals.
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Located on the southern border of the city, this refuge encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including dunes, marshes, and woodlands. It provides a haven for various bird species and wildlife.
- False Cape State Park: Situated on the southern tip of Virginia Beach, this park features pristine beaches, maritime forests, and dunes. Accessible primarily by foot, bicycle, or boat, it offers a more secluded outdoor experience.
- Sandbridge Beach: Located south of the resort area, Sandbridge Beach is known for its more residential and tranquil setting. It's a popular spot for vacation rentals and a quieter beach experience.
- Military Installations: Virginia Beach is home to several military installations, including the Naval Air Station Oceana and Fort Story. These installations play a significant role in the city's economy and culture.
- Coastal Plain: The city is situated on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, characterized by its relatively flat terrain. While the city itself is mostly flat, there are dunes and higher elevations in some natural areas.
- Waterways: In addition to the ocean and Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is intersected by various rivers, including the Lynnhaven River and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
- Urban and Suburban Development: Virginia Beach is a mix of urban, suburban, and natural areas. The resort area near the oceanfront is bustling with hotels, restaurants, and entertainment, while inland areas are characterized by neighborhoods, commercial districts, and parks.
The geography of Virginia Beach is closely tied to its identity as a coastal city with a strong focus on tourism, outdoor recreation, and a connection to the sea.