The city is a railroad terminus and its many manufactures include rubber, plastic, glass, and wood products electrical and electronic equipment machinery chemicals building materials textiles transportation equipment and consumer goods. Tourism is important, and there is agriculture (barley, wheat, corn, soybeans, livestock, and dairy products) and commercial fishing. Four large military bases are within the city limits: Naval Air Station Oceana, a huge base with hundreds of carrier planes Dam Neck, a fleet combat training support center that is part of Oceana a naval amphibious training center at Little Creek and Fort Story, a U.S. army transportation command.
Virginia Beach is the state's largest city and one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities, marked by a population increase of nearly 50% between 1980 and 1990. Long a popular resort, it has beautiful beaches, a boardwalk, and excellent sportfishing. Of interest are the Cape Henry memorial cross, site of the landing of the first colonists in 1607 the Cape Henry lighthouse (1791 restored) the nation's oldest brick residence (1636 restored) and the Alan B. Shepard civic center, a geodesic aluminum-domed structure. Seashore State Park is there, as are Atlantic Univ. and Regent Univ. Virginia Wesleyan College is on the Norfolk–Virginia Beach border. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (opened 1964) links Virginia Beach with the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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