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Pinewell/Ocean View

Norfolk, VA

Fronting the Chesapeake Bay near its outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean View embraces its connection to the water. The geographic area extends from Willoughby Spit and Willoughby Bay on the west to Little Creek Channel on the east. The area also reflects the military importance of Virginia’s Hampton Roads, with Chambers Field Naval Air Station to the west and the Joint Expeditionary Base of Little Creek-Fort Story to the east. The Ocean View neighborhood retains the spirit of the popular waterfront resort that flourished there in the first half of the 20th century. Although the amusement park is now a part of history, the beach on the Chesapeake Bay is unchanged. The neighborhood consists of beach-inspired residences, both permanent and rental, from small cottages under to million-dollar beachfront homes, many with their own deepwater docks for quick ocean access. Businesses and restaurants are scattered throughout the area to service the needs of residents and tourists. As the main artery, East Ocean View Avenue bisects the neighborhood westward to eastward, running a block back from beach. At the west end of Ocean View lies the historic Ocean View Fishing Pier and the gateway to Willoughby Spit. The pier is a bustling meeting place, complete with events, banquet facilities, and a restaurant. The western section also contains smaller, more modest homes and businesses. At the other end of the neighborhood lies East Beach, a more recently developed, upscale seaside village that resembles an old-fashioned American town with beach-house sensibilities. The homes near Little Creek cluster around quiet, peaceful green common areas, for a pleasant sense of community.

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Living in Pinewell/Ocean View

Restaurants

The casual, laid-back beach vibe of Ocean View translates to casual dining, with breakfast and lunch spots predominating, scattered throughout the neighborhood. The unassuming building housing Shipwreck Sally’s belies the hearty breakfast or lunch waiting for you inside. The restaurant sports a no-frills beachy look with coastal decor and a retro feel. Food may also be no frills, but it’s not lacking in quality. Meat enthusiasts will salivate over the meat lover’s omelet, stuffed with bacon, ham, sausage and steak and served with a side of home fries. If you search instead for tasty vegetarian options, it serves a memorable homemade veggie burger, made mostly from mushrooms and served with fresh-cut, house-made fries. Though the name seems low-key, East Beach Sandwich Company kicks up the presentation a notch. Boar’s Head meats nestle between slices of gourmet bread, spread with creative condiments such as homemade caramelized onion aioli or mango barbecue sauce. The menu also offers homemade soups, healthy salads with mixed lettuces, homemade pasta salads and potato salad, desserts and local Gilly’s ice cream. Be sure to check out the drink menu, too, with local craft beer, unique wines and gourmet sodas. East Beach Sandwich Company occasionally hosts live acoustic music as well. Nightlife is laid back in Ocean View. If you enjoy dive bars, check out Greenies on the beach. The deck view of the Chesapeake Bay is a delight and live music and DJs keep the place rocking. For the sports bar experience, go to the local AJ Gator’s Sports Bar & Grill. Domestic beers are plentiful, with some better bottle beers at reasonable prices and specials scattered throughout the week. Plenty of TV monitors make watching the big game easy.

History

The Ocean View area was surveyed and plotted in 1854. Railroad service was established between Ocean View and Norfolk, bringing passengers eager for sea air, tourists and residents alike. In the late 19th century, an amusement park and boardwalk were built, enhancing the neighborhood’s appeal. Completion of a better highway system in the mid-20th century and the development of Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamsburg, however, diverted visitors elsewhere, and Ocean View began to decline. In the early 21st century, the coastal property market surged. New residential properties replaced older beach cottages and motels and property values increased. The historic Ocean View Fishing Pier is the longest freestanding fishing pier in North America. The Ocean View Station Museum tells the history of the area, while today’s neighborhood hosts recurring summertime events, including Big Bands on the Bay on Sundays and Thank Goodness It’s Ocean View beach music on Fridays.

Transportation

Ocean View is friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. Sidewalks line the main artery, Ocean View Avenue, as well as the back streets. Hampton Roads Transit provides economic public transportation for the region. Bus stops are scattered frequently along Ocean View Avenue on the Willoughby / Evelyn T. Butts route. A phone call can summon a cab. Uber also services Virginia Beach and the surrounding Hampton Roads. Parking is plentiful, and a major Hampton Roads highway, I-64, is accessible from the west end of Ocean View.

Cost

The cost of living in Ocean View, a part of Norfolk in Hampton Roads, lies slightly below national average. The average residential rental rate for a one-bedroom is $987. A single trip on the Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), which provides economic public transportation for the region, costs $1.75, while the 1-day HRT GoPass costs $4.00. At a local pub, beer runs from $2 happy-hour prices for domestics to $4, on draft and in bottles, with higher prices for craft beers when available. The neighborhood gas prices generally average about 5 percent lower than the national average.

Shopping

The small, cozy Ocean View community provides small markets that are appropriate for the size of the neighborhood, scattered up and down East Ocean View Avenue. Businesses stocking groceries include Farm Fresh, Tinee Giant, and Waterside Fish & Produce. The Ocean View Garden Market offers fresh produce seasonally in East Ocean View. Artisan boutique shops lie outside Ocean View proper, though the Willoughby Civic League hosts the Ocean View Pier flea market at intervals throughout the year.

Parks

The Norfolk Department of Recreation, Parks, and Open Space maintains three public beaches in Ocean View, from west to east: Community Beach Park at 700 E. Ocean View Ave., Ocean View Beach Park at 100 W. Ocean View Ave. and Sarah Constant Beach Park at 300 W. Ocean View Ave. These beaches have picnic tables, public parking lots, restrooms and showers, all available at no cost. Children are welcome, and the gentler waves of the Chesapeake Bay are safer for younger children than the stronger waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Lifeguards patrol all three parks from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 10 am to 6 pm. Lifeguards respond to land and water emergencies along the 7.5 miles of beach stretching from Willoughby to East Ocean View. Public beach access is scattered up and down Ocean View Avenue, at two dozen locations. Dogs and other pets are not allowed on the beaches from 10 am to 6 pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Ocean View Beach Park has a bandshell and an area for festivals, hosting Big Bands on the Bay on Sundays from 7 pm to 9 pm throughout the summer and the TGOV Beach Music Concert Series (Thank Goodness It's Ocean View) live performances from local and regional bands during July and August on Fridays. Monkey Bottom Park, set back from the oceanfront, provides a playground and other open space recreation at 9625 Mason Creek Rd.

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Pinewell Ocean View Apartments for Rent

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Royal Mace Apartments
9621 Chesapeake Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23503
2 wks
$1,039 - 1,495 1-3 Bed Available Now
757-504-3336
9419 Selby Pl
Norfolk, VA 23503
$1,700 House for Rent Available Now
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Apartments for Rent in Pinewell Ocean View, Norfolk, VA

Fronting the Chesapeake Bay near its outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean View embraces its connection to the water.

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