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Top Ten - Best Outdoor City

Whenever Forbes is compiling a list, Virginia Beach is always on it. It has been listed as one of the best cities for business and economy, as well as one of the best cities for single people. What we found most curious however was how well it rated as an “outdoors city.”

Virginia Beach's claim to fame is, of course, its beach. There is a three hundred foot-wide beach, which hugs a three-mile long concrete boardwalk. The beach area offers a mild climate at all times. Surfing is popular in Virginia Beach and the area sees over 100 of the top surfers in the world (and hundreds of amateurs) battle it out for the East Coast Surfing Championships.

In addition to all the beach activity, there are also state parks, wildlife refuge areas and lots of trail for hiking and biking adventures. Some of the most beautiful outdoors scenes can be found in Virginia Beach, as well as 18,000 acres of state park land. The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has 8,500 acres of natural forest, pond, and ocean beach filled with natural animal and plant life.

There are also water activities to enjoy, including kayaking and canoeing events, thanks to the 121 miles of waterways, channels, bays and lagoons in the city. Fishing is very big in the area, due to the freshwater and saltwater ponds and rivers; here you can catch croaker, flounder, striped bass, sea bass, bluefish, skipjack, mahi-mahi, king mackerel, and many more. There are fishing tournaments held every year like the Striped Bass World Championship and the Waterman’s Rockfish Shoot-out.

If you’d rather nature-watch than fish, check out the dolphin and whale watching activities around Chesapeake Bay. From December to March you can see these sea animals up close, courtesy of a tour by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Park land in Virginia actually takes 11.1% of the entire land, and it has 60% sunny days for the year. Extreme temperatures are rare, and it’s usually cooler than it is hot. There were only 32 days that the temperature exceeded 90 degrees. Forbes ranked Virginia Beach as the 6th best city in the U.S. for its outdoor attractions and amenities. The ranking is quite official, as it was based on data provided by the Trust for Public Land organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Come see the beautiful outdoors territories of “The Resort City!”