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The neighborhood of Ocean View in Norfolk, Virginia, retains the spirit of the popular waterfront resort that flourished here in the first half of the 20th century. Though the amusement park is now a part of history, the beach on the Chesapeake Bay remains.

Fronting the Chesapeake Bay near its outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, West Ocean View embraces its connection to the water. The neighborhood consists of beach-inspired residences, both permanent and rental. Businesses and restaurants lie scattered throughout the area to service the needs of residents and tourists. Naval Air Station Norfolk (Chambers Field) reflects the importance of the military in Virginia’s Hampton Roads.

At the west end of Ocean View sits the historic Ocean View Fishing Pier and the gateway to Willoughby Spit. A bustling meeting place, the pier comes complete with events, banquet facilities and a restaurant. This western section of Ocean View contains smaller, more modest homes and businesses than the newly developed east side.

Ocean View Avenue, the main artery of Ocean View, runs through the community from northwest to southeast a block back from beach. Tidewater Drive also divides West Ocean View, a limited access highway taking traffic to Willoughby Spit. The neighborhood is about eight miles from downtown Norfolk.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Norfolk, VA is $756 for a studio, $750 for one bedroom, $896 for two bedrooms, and $1,005 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Norfolk has increased by 4.2% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
650
$756
1 BR
726
$750
2 BR
978
$896
3 BR
1,111
$1,005
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

57 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
36 Transit Score® Some Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

The neighborhood’s laid-back beach atmosphere means casual dining, with three local joints along Ocean View Avenue providing both food and a dive bar feel.

Serving the neighborhood since 2004, Mojo Bones BBQ serves up Southern-style food and music, creating a combination of cool jazz club meets dive for tasty food and night-time entertainment. Set your taste buds for hand-pulled pork barbecue, baby back ribs, chicken, homemade sides and freshly brewed sweet tea. Choose from a medley of adult drinks like devil’s lemonade in a sugar-rimmed Mason jar, a dozen bourbons, plenty of cocktails and wine, and over 50 beers, including Virginia craft like O’Connor, Starr Hill, Smartmouth and Devils Backbone. Music embraces the culture too, with local, regional and national artists performing electric blues, bluegrass, folk and country.

The Thirsty Camel, a casual spot populated by plenty of regulars, provides hearty food and a steady stream of beer and well drinks in a small, dim bar atmosphere. Regulars recommend the steamed shrimp sprinkled with Old Bay and served with cocktail sauce and clarified butter, or the juicy prime rib sandwich. They also come for the regular musical entertainment and the pool table. At Greenies on the beach, another local dive bar, the deck view of the Chesapeake Bay towards the Atlantic delights the senses, while the pool tables, live music and DJs keep the place rocking.

History

Back in 1854, the Ocean View area was surveyed and plotted, paving the way for business, residents, and railway service. The railroad to Norfolk brought passengers eager for sea air, both tourists and residents alike. In the late 19th century, an amusement park and boardwalk were built, further enhancing the neighborhood’s appeal.

However, the development of Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamsburg in the 80s diverted visitors. Ocean View declined until the early 21st century when the coastal property market surged. New residential properties replaced older beach cottages and motels, and property values increased.

The historic Ocean View Fishing Pier exists as 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

Sidewalks line the main artery, Ocean View Avenue, as well as the neighborhoods and back streets, making Ocean View friendly to pedestrians and bikers. The exception is Tidewater Drive, which as a limited access highway doesn't welcome non-motorized vehicles.

Hampton Roads Transit provides the region’s public transportation, with scattered bus stops 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.

Free and plentiful parking make it simple to find a space for your car. The major Hampton Roads highway, I-64, can be easily accessed from West Ocean View.

Cost

The cost of living in West Ocean View, a part of Norfolk in Hampton Roads, lies slightly below national average and below the cost of living in downtown Norfolk. The average residential rental rate runs around $718. A single trip on the Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) costs $1.75, which includes fare to downtown Norfolk and other destinations in the region, while the one-day HRT GoPass costs $4. At a local pub, beer runs from $1.50 happy hour prices for domestics to $4 on draft and in bottles, with higher prices for craft beers. The neighborhood gas average generally rests at 5 percent less than the national average.

Shopping

Small markets scattered along Ocean View Avenue provide locals with daily grocery needs. Larger grocery stores nearby include Farm Fresh, Tinee Giant, and Waterside Fish & Produce. The Ocean View Garden Market offers fresh produce seasonally in East Ocean View. For a major shopping excursion, go to the large Walmart Supercenter just three miles away.

The Willoughby Civic League hosts the Ocean View Pier flea market at intervals throughout the year for goods from garage sale to fine crafts. For artisan boutique shops, head towards downtown Norfolk. Here, you can browse the one-million-square-foot MacArthur Mall, with national names like Loft, The Limited and J. Crew. Peruse the eclectic shops of the Monticello Arcade, a beautiful, three-story 1907 Beaux Arts-style shopping arcade, or check out the independent retailers along Granby Street.

In the historic Monticello Arcade, the Norfolk Fair Trade Co. presents a selection of unique fair-trade products from local makers and global craftspeople. Not just a retailer, the business also offers apprenticeship programs for those interested in starting benefit corporations.

On Granby Street, tickle your senses and pick up gifts and Italian specialty foods at an Olive & a Grape Oilerie & Salumeria, which sells a wide variety of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, spices, pastas, coffees, meats and cheeses. The boutique olive oils range from first press to citrus pressed, all with unique aromas and flavors for cooking, baking or serving.

Parks

The Norfolk Department of Recreation, Parks, and Open Space maintains two public beaches in West Ocean View: 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 the parks from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 10 am to 6 pm.

Ocean View Beach Park also features a bandshell and an area for festivals, hosting Big Bands on the Bay on Sundays from 7-9 pm throughout the summer. It also has the Thank Goodness It’s Ocean View Beach Music Concert Series, featuring local and regional bands on Fridays during July and August.

Monkey Bottom Park, set back from the oceanfront, provides playground and other open space recreation at 9625 Mason Creek Rd. Public beach access lies scattered up and down Ocean View Avenue. Dogs and other pets aren't allowed on beaches from 10 am to 6 pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

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West Ocean View Apartments for Rent

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Apartments for Rent in West Ocean View, Norfolk, VA

The neighborhood of Ocean View in Norfolk, Virginia, retains the spirit of the popular waterfront resort that flourished here in the first half of the 20th century. Though the amusement park is now a part of history, the beach on the Chesapeake Bay remains.

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