An independent city which is located in Virginia, Chesapeake's population, according to a 2013 estimate, is approximately 233,000 which ranks it third on the most populous city in the state. The city is part of the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads. In 2011, Bloomberg Business Week named Chesapeake as being the 21 st best city in America.
Chesapeake extends from the North Carolina border to the Hampton Roads harbor area and lies adjacent to the cities of Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, and Norfolk. It has many miles of waterfront commercial, residential and industrial property due to its Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway location.
The city has a total area of 341 square miles of land and 10 square miles of water. Within the city limits lies the northern section of the Great Dismal Swamp.
Oak Grove Lake Park
Oak Grove Lake Park, the entrance to which is at 100 Byron Street, Chesapeake, makes for a very pleasant day out for all the family. The area is also well suited to those who wish to do a spot of fishing, for walking the dog, or for taking a run around the lake.
Located near to the center of the city at 624 Oak Grove Road, Chesapeake Arboretum is a lovely place to escape the hustle and bustle of large city life and get back to nature.
The city is served by a variety of national highways including 13, 17, 58, and Highway 460. Interstate 64 makes its way through the city and Interstate 464 connects it to Portsmouth and Norfolk via Interstate 664 and the Berkley Bridge. Another major highway within the area is State Route 168 which incorporates the Chesapeake Expressway toll road.
Norfolk International Airport which is located in the City of Norfolk and is approximately 10 miles from the center of Chesapeake, serves for domestically-bound commercial passenger airlines. The nearest international airport to the city is Richmond International Airport at Richmond which is 89 miles distant.
Currently, the two major railroads that serve Chesapeake are Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation, though there are five railroads that journey through various parts of the city. There are plans for a new high speed passenger rail service which will provide a service between Hampton Roads and Richmond.
Chesapeake has over 70 primary and secondary schools in addition to a large number of higher education establishments. Among the highest rated schools are:
Edwin W. Chittum Elementary School (pubic) for grades PK – 5
Southeastern Elementary School (public) for grades PK – 5
Butts Road Intermediate School (public) for grades 3 – 5
Great Bridge Intermediate School (public) for grades 3 – 5
Great Bridge Middle School (public) for grades 6 – 8
Hickory High School (public) for grades 9 – 12
Grassfield High School (public) for grades 9 12
The cost of living in Chesapeake is a little higher than that of the national average while the cost of housing is substantially higher. Crime rates are a little higher in Chesapeake than the national averages.
Chesapeake's summers are hot and humid where the winters are mild to cool. Summer time average highs are around 87 degrees, while winter time lows average around 32 degrees. The city enjoys approximately 210 days of sunshine annually.