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Bordered by Sandy Bottom Nature Park on one side and Deer Park on the other, Watkins in Newport News combines nearby nature with the conveniences of businesses and restaurants alongside modest residential neighborhoods of houses and apartments. J. Clyde Morris Boulevard hosts most of the businesses, followed by Jefferson Avenue and Hampton Roads Center Parkway.

The Hampton Roads coastal region developed because of its location on the Virginia Peninsula, between the James River and the sheltered Chesapeake Bay leading to the Atlantic Ocean. The economy depends upon shipbuilding, international commerce, technology research and military bases.

Watkins lies about eight miles from downtown Newport News and nine miles from downtown Hampton, both southeast of the neighborhood.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Newport News, VA is $808 for one bedroom, $952 for two bedrooms, and $1,503 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Newport News has increased by 2.9% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
1 BR
802
$808
2 BR
1,006
$952
3 BR
1,418
$1,503
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

56 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
29 Transit Score® Some Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Restaurants in Watkins, primarily located along J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, reflect the modest, casual nature of the neighborhood, presenting a variety of dining options at reasonable prices, including fast-food chains Wendy’s, Papa John's, Starbucks, and Subway.

Local favorite Midtown Eats reflects the international diversity of the peninsula. In addition to featuring straight-up burgers, pasta salad, and other standard American fare, Midtown Eats also serves cuisine from across the country and around the world: Cajun, Mexican, Cuban, Thai, and more. The ethnic flavors may simply meld with traditional American, such as the Nawlins burger, chorizo chili and Thai chicken noodle soup served with a Thai sandwich or wrap. Although such a cosmopolitan cuisine offering may be challenging, according to local reviews, this restaurant accomplishes it with gusto. Before you go, check out the restaurant’s Facebook page. It often posts specials or even solicits customer requests before deciding on new menu options.

For a taste of the ocean, visit Harpoon Larry’s Fish House & Oyster Bar, a local family-owned business since 1991. Not only does the kitchen get fresh local seafood daily, it makes everything in house, from cocktail sauce to desserts. When you go, try the daily fresh fish; Virginia oysters, raw or fried; the seafood salad, combining shrimp and Alaskan crab and claw meat over mixed greens and veggies; or the salmon, grilled or blackened, over she-crabs. Favorite sides include the sweet potato fries, hush puppies, seasonal vegetable and apple slaw. Pair your seafood with one of the over 20 craft beers on tap, including Virginia cold ones from breweries such as Starr Hill, Hardywood Park, St. George, O’Connors and Devils Backbone, with Virginia’s Bold Rock hard cider or with one of the fresh-squeezed Crush fruit cocktails.

For late-evening entertainment, make your way to Sandbar Grill & Pub. There’s a restaurant at Sandbar, but the nighttime action takes place in the big bar side, with bands, lots of karaoke, darts, pool, dollar shooters, and lengthy happy hour times.

History

The English came to this area during the nation’s earliest years of recorded history. In 1610, Jamestown settlers fled their homes because of harsh conditions. When they encountered Capt. Christopher Newport on the Virginia peninsula, however, he gave them good news that reinforcements and supplies had arrived. “Newport’s News” inspired them to return to Jamestown.

Hampton Roads continued to play important roles in America’s early history, including in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Because of its strategic location, many U.S. military bases have been established here. You can learn more about this history at the Mariners’ Museum and USS Monitor Center, the Virginia War Museum, the U.S. Army Transportation Museum and other regional historical sites.

The area’s coastal location along the waterways leading to the Atlantic Ocean created a diverse business economy, hosting shipbuilding, technological research and international commerce.

Transportation

Most Watkins residents use automobiles as their primary means of transportation, with Interstate 64, a primary regional highway, crossing through the northern tip of the neighborhood. The community’s small shopping areas provide free public parking.

Hampton Roads Transit provides a convenient public transportation option. Bus stops along J. Clyde Morris Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue make HRT an easy option. A phone call can summon a cab, and Uber also services Watkins and the surrounding Newport News region.

Sidewalks along most main roads, especially on Jefferson Avenue, J. Clyde Morris Boulevard and Hampton Roads Center Parkway, help make biking and walking safe. Some busy roads, however, lack sidewalks or wide shoulders, notably Harpersville Road and Robinson Drive. The residential neighborhoods are wide enough to accommodate cars, pedestrians and bikes.

Cost

The Watkins community hosts middle-income suburban houses and apartments. The cost of living lies slightly lower than the national average and lower than nearby downtown Newport News. The average rental rate for a one-bedroom residence is $724.

HRT provides public transportation for the region. A single trip on HRT costs $1.75, while the one-day GoPass costs $4. The ride takes passengers to downtown Newport News, downtown Hampton and other regional stops.

Beer prices at local pubs range from $1.50 for domestics at happy hour to $4 at other times and up to $7 a pint for craft beers on draft. The gas average generally rests at 7 percent lower than the national average.

Parks

Sandy Bottom Nature Park borders Watkins, with an entrance just up Hampton Roads Center Parkway. The park provides 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing, camping, picnic shelters and boat rentals, with lots of beautiful foliage and interesting wildlife to soak in along the way. Entrance to the park and access to the trails are free, but fees apply for value-added services. You must keep pets on a leash, though they can run free in Bark Park with a paid membership.

A favorite Newport News park, Deer Park features 13 acres of woodlands with hiking trails, ball fields, picnic shelters and fishing. Landscaped with camellia, azaleas and rhododendron, the park presents a breathtaking palette of colors each spring. Deer Park’s proudest accomplishment is its Boundless Playground, designed with all children in mind, including children with disabilities. Park entrance and parking are free, and leashed pets are welcome.

Alhough neither Sandy Bottom nor Deer Park provides exercise-centric facilities or hosts festivals, nearby Port Warwick hosts annual festivities, including an indoor art show and a summer concert series. The Port Warwick Art & Sculpture Festival presents the works of over 100 artists from all over the United States, in addition to live music, food vendors and a children’s pavilion. The Summer Concert Series hosts a variety of musicians, such as jazz, blues, light rock and roll, samba and folk.

Shopping

Centers of commerce in Watkins cluster along J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, with fewer businesses dotted along Jefferson Avenue. The diverse businesses provide for the basic needs of the neighborhood.

Higher-end shopping options at City Center at Oyster Point include national names such as Ann Taylor Loft as well as independent boutiques and specialty shops. At Land of Lapis, you can explore a variety of Afghan, Turkish, and Indian items. Lapis Lazuli is a type of sapphire, and you'll find authentic Lapis jewelry and other colorful accessories here. At Hi-Ho Silver, browse handmade sterling silver pieces from all around the world, including exclusive designs and coveted names such as Alex and Ani and Chamilia.

Neighborhood grocery stores include the Walmart Neighborhood Market, a Walmart brand store focusing on traditional grocery items; Red Barn Food Store, a smaller convenience grocery mart; and Game’s Farmers Market, which has been serving the area since 1972. This year-round enclosed grocery store stocks an array of local meats and produce as well as bulk, Amish-style products.

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Watkins Apartments for Rent

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Meridian Parkside
1400 Summit Ln, Newport News, VA 23601
1 / 90
10 hrs
$950 - 2,230 1-3 Bed Available Now
757-847-9413
Newport Landing Apartments
19 Port Landing Ct, Newport News, VA 23601
1 / 60
2 wks
$800 - 1,075 1-3 Bed Available Now
844-885-9507
Boston Cove
828 Forrest Dr, Newport News, VA 23606
3 days
$1,049 - 1,289 2-4 Bed Available Now
844-267-4216
Forrest Court
827 Forrest Dr, Newport News, VA 23606
3 days
$729 - 895 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-680-9913
Oyster Point Place
102 Americana Dr, Newport News, VA 23606
2 wks
$649 - 720 1-2 Bed Available Now
757-320-4150
Harper's Landing Apartments
761-1A Adams Dr, Newport News, VA 23601
2 wks
$595 - 780 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
844-204-6799
2 days
Ashton At Oyster Point
802 Constance Dr, Newport News, VA 23601
$839 - 947 2 Bed Available Now
757-847-9430
117 Zenith Loop
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,495 House for Rent Available Now
1 hr
Forrest Landing
518 Purlieu Dr, Newport News, VA 23606
$863 2 Bed Available Now
3 hrs
427 Lester Rd
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,050 House for Rent Available Now
5 hrs
Newport Landing Apartments
622 Leonard Ln
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,850 House for Rent Available Now
1 day
631 Leonard Ln
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,800 House for Rent Available Now
1 day
427 Lester Rd
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,050 Townhome for Rent Available Now
1 day
631 Leonard Ln
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,800 House for Rent Available Now
2 days
622 Leonard Ln
Newport News, VA 23601
$1,850 House for Rent Available Now
2 days
Deer Park
11430 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA 23601
$695 2 Bed Available Now
2 wks
Deer Park Apartments
11423-11425 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA 23601
$695 2 Bed Available 09/15/17
2 wks

Apartments for Rent in Watkins, Newport News, VA

Bordered by Sandy Bottom Nature Park on one side and Deer Park on the other, Watkins in Newport News combines nearby nature with the conveniences of businesses and restaurants alongside modest residential neighborhoods of houses and apartments. J. Clyde Morris Boulevard hosts most of the businesses, followed by Jefferson Avenue and Hampton Roads Center Parkway.

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