River – Newport News, VA

Stretching along the James River just 5 miles south of downtown Newport News, the River neighborhood stands as the beating heart of industry and technology in the city. Here you find a thriving shipyard that hosts Newport News Shipbuilding by Huntington Ingalls Industries, a major employer in the area that builds U.S. Navy submarines and aircraft carriers. Not much waterfront property makes up the housing area, but active marinas, sandy beaches and a collection of seafood restaurants create a nautical atmosphere. Young urban professionals come here to enjoy affordable housing and a diverse community while activities like sailing and fishing off the piers create a peaceful living environment.

Schools in River

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Restaurants & Nightlife

The River neighborhood carries an exciting dining scene that pays homage to its waterfront heritage with a spread of cozy seafood shacks, diners and jazz houses where you can feast on king crab legs or fresh trout. While some places provide stunning waterfront views, the restaurants further inland have a touch of industrial flavor for a unique dining experience. Although you may need to head into nearby Hampton for a diverse nightlife scene, residents enjoy a few local establishments that venture far from the standard dive bars that fill most neighborhoods. Perched on stilts at the foot of the largest fishing pier on the East Coast, Crab Shack overlooks the James River and serves up some of the best seafood in town. This is the kind of place you can go for nice night out or a casual lunch wearing shorts and sandals, and locals flock in for favorites like the crab-stuffed flounder, the clam platter and whole blue crabs on ice. Come for the nautical ambiance, and stay for the fresh calamari. Eddie's Restaurant has earned a reputation for its unique character, standing as a top lunch spot for sailors on break. Here you find your standard burger and sandwich fare, but a fun crowd and charismatic staff keep you coming back. Start your day right with a loaded omelette or breakfast plate, or have a tuna sub or Philly cheese steak for a satisfying lunch. For a taste of the local nightlife, hop on board at The Train Station, one of the community's best-kept secrets. This historic train depot turned seafood restaurant hosts live jazz musicians and has a spacious patio for sipping on a Long Island iced tea while gazing at the river. Don't miss the Friday all-you-can-eat fish fry, or splurge on other aquatic favorites like the crab cakes, oysters and catfish. This place keeps odd hours, so call ahead to make sure it's open for your visit.

History & Culture

Founded in 1896, the city of Newport News stands as the peninsula's industrial heart, playing an important role during World Wars I and II with the construction of ships and troop transportation vessels. The River neighborhood holds an iconic place in the city's heritage as it houses the historic shipyard, and the Hilton Village just north of the neighborhood hosted the yard's workers during the early 1900s. After the wars, the town's industrial work began to calm down, causing many River residents to move to the suburbs by the time of the city's consolidation in 1958. Step into past when you visit the Virginia War Museum at Huntington Park where you can browse hundreds of military artefacts. For a taste of the local culture, don't miss annual events like One City, One Celebration at Victory Landing Park as well as the Virginia Senior Games.


Whether you explore the neighborhood by bike, car or bus, look forward to an easy commute via several main thoroughfares. Take Mercury Boulevard to the James River Bridge or east to Interstate 664, or hop on U.S. Highway 60 to reach the downtown area. Although you have plenty of free parking around the neighborhood, the residential streets can get cramped. For a quick ride, you can always call a ride-share service like Uber or the Newport News Taxi. The Northeast Regional Line services the neighborhood at the Newport News Amtrak Station just across from Huntington Park, and Hampton Roads Transit dispatches buses to the area with most stops located along U.S. Highway 60. For a greener alternative, cruise down the bike-friendly roads during the warmer months, but keep in mind that a lack of nearby amenities makes traveling on foot fairly inconvenient.


Despite its prime location, this neighborhood maintains an overall cost of living that falls below average for Newport News, with an average one-bedroom apartment renting for around $700. Taking the bus into downtown Newport News generally runs you $1.75 for a one-way trip, and gas prices hover close to the national average. If you want to go out for a drink, expect to pay around $5 for a tall glass of beer.


Although you don't find much of a retail scene along the residential streets of the River neighborhood, a short drive north on U.S. Highway 60 brings you to a whimsical spread of antique shops, bicycle stores, beauty boutiques and music stores. Upscale fashions and other high-end shopping opportunities await in nearby Hampton, but bargain-savvy shoppers find plenty to love around South Newport News. Stop into Rooms Blooms & More to order a fresh floral bouquet for your sweetheart or browse an eclectic display of antiques from all over the world. Discover a classy assortment of upscale consignment furniture to add a touch of elegance to your home. The shop owners also offer interior design to help you create the coziest home environment. Pastel colors, floral prints and a touch of classic charm characterize the gently used vintage clothing you find at Red Feathered Nest. This cute boutique also stocks mid-century furniture, home decor and accessories. Pick up a set of old china to impress your guests at your next dinner party, or get a whimsical mirror to add some character to your bedroom. Locals depend on 7-Eleven for their late-night snacks and basic groceries while the local Walmart Supercenter stocks all your mealtime staples. If you're looking for a farmers market, be ready for a short drive to downtown Hampton just east of River.


When you want to relax after a day of work, join the locals at Huntington Park, the neighborhood's primary public green space. Kids love to spend hours exploring Fort Fun, a playground that resembles a sprawling wooden city, and the swimming beach attracts a regular crowd of sunbathers. This park also has two ball fields, several large fishing piers, tennis courts and a lavish rose garden. When you find yourself near the split-off of Warwick Boulevard, be sure to check out Huntington Heights Square to kick back in the small landscaped green space where you can walk your dog, go for a stroll along the winding paths or enjoy a quiet picnic.
Chesapeake Bay Apartments
550 St Michaels Way, Newport News, VA 23606
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Springhouse Apartment Homes
100 Springhouse Way, Newport News, VA 23602
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