I have a love-hate relationship with Virginia Beach. It has great shopping, restaurants, cultural events, festivals, and historic sites but it also has an oceanfront, boardwalk area that I cannot imagine anyone would choose for a vacation destination. It's fortunate for Virginia Beach tourism that I appear to be in a minority.
We've seen Virginia Beach grow dramatically since we first moved here in 2003. The town center area, far from the waterfront, is full of trendy lofts and hipster bars and restaurants. The city has done much to rejuvenate old shopping areas and construction continues. I'm not sure I'd ever choose Virginia Beach as a place to live but we have enjoyed living close by.