19 Pros and Cons of Living in Newport News, VA

Updated On November 29, 2023

Significant role in the Civil War’s Peninsula Campaign, and the city displays the many earthen fortifications and attractions that date back to the war.

And yes, Newport News continues to play a vital military and nautical role beyond the famous “Battle of the Ironclads” in 1862.

Newport News, VA
Newport News, VA

Pros of Living in Newport News, VA

Like any city, Newport News has unique features that residents and visitors alike love.

Here are ten potential pros of living in Newport News:

1. Rich History

Newport News has a rich history, and residents can explore historical sites like the Jamestown Settlement and Colonial National Historical Park.

2. Beautiful Waterfront Areas

Located on the Chesapeake Bay, Newport News offers beautiful waterfront areas, providing opportunities for recreational activities, scenic views, and a generally pleasant environment.

3. Economy

A robust and diverse economy provides various job opportunities, including shipbuilding, aerospace, and military-related industries.

4. Cost of Living

The cost of living in Newport News can be relatively lower than in other cities in the United States, making it more affordable for residents.

5. Military Installations

Military installations like Fort Eustis and Joint Base Langley-Eustis provide security and support for veterans and military families.

6. Cultural Attractions

Enjoy cultural attractions, including The Mariners’ Museum and Park, which houses a ginormous collection of maritime artifacts, and the Ferguson Center for the Arts, which showcases various performances.

7. Education

Newport News is home to Christopher Newport University, which, like any campus, brings educational and cultural resources to the community.

8. Beaches

Where are my beaches?

Newport News is close to the Virginia Beach area, delivering easy access to beach activities.

9. Wander in Wonder

Explore numerous parks, trails, and outdoor spaces, engage with the outdoors, and enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking.

Cons of Living in Newport News, VA

While Newport News, VA, has many positive aspects, like any location, it also has some potential drawbacks.

Cons to consider:

1. Trafic

Newport News can experience traffic congestion, especially during rush hours.

Commuters, you’ve been warned: Traffic. Does. Not. Move. Quickly. At. Times.

2. Weather

Like a lousy partner, the weather’s extreme.

Hot and humid summers and occasionally cold winters.

3. Location, Location, Location

Being located on the East Coast, Newport News is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms, posing danger/risks/inconveniences to people and property.

4. Limited Public Transportation

Newport News may have more limited public transportation options than larger cities, which can be challenging for those relying on public transit.

Getting around without a car can take time and planning when using public transit.

5. Few Entertainment Options

While cultural and arts attractions exist, the city has fewer entertainment options than larger metropolitan areas.

6. Crime

Crime happens, and it does so with disheartening frequency.

Yes, some areas of town may have higher crime rates than others.

Research specific neighborhoods to find the amenities you need to choose a safe location.

The “Bad News” was nicknamed because of people’s preconceived ideas about crime, which tends to cluster in specific neighborhoods.

When ranked with other Virginia cities of similar populations, the crime rate is greater than 92% of them.

7. Fleet’s in

And yes, the economy is closely tied to industries like shipbuilding and the military.

Economic downturns in these waters can impact the local economy.

8. Education

While Newport News is home to Christopher Newport University, the education system may benefit from support in certain areas.

Researching local schools and educational opportunities is a good idea.

9. Industry

While various industries are present and accounted for in Newport News, the job market is centered on specific industries, limiting job opportunities.

10. Public Services

Some locals may express dissatisfaction with public services, including–but not limited to–issues related to waste management, public infrastructure, or other municipal services.

Newport News, VA
Newport News, VA

Pros and Cons of Living in Newport News, VA – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Newport News, VACons of Living in Newport News, VA
1. Rich History1. Trafic
2. Beautiful Waterfront Areas2. Weather
3. Economy3. Location, Location, Location
4. Cost of Living4. Limited Public Transportation
5. Military Installations5. Few Entertainment Options
6. Cultural Attractions6. Crime
7. Education7. Fleet's in
8. Beaches8. Education
9. Wander in Wonder9. Industry
10. Public Services

Newport News Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Newport News Safety Review

Safety Index:
Newport News

Frequently Asked Questions

When's the best time to visit Newport News?

Whenever you’re in Newport News, it is the right time.

Personal preference suggests the best time to visit Newport News, VA.

Here’s a breakdown of the seasons, and you supply your own reasons:

  • Spring (March to May): Spring is generally a temperate time to visit. The weather’s mild, with temperatures gradually warming up, blooming flowers and green landscapes.
  • Summer (June to August): Newport News can be humid and hot, with temps often moving to the 80s and 90s. This is an excellent time for outdoor events and festivals. FYI, July is the hottest month.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall has mild temperatures and vibrant foliage—the weather’s cooler, yet still a favored time for events and festivals.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters in Newport News are usually mild, with temps ranging from the 30s to 50s. While it doesn’t often snow, it can happen.

Are any notable people born in Newport News or have connections to the city?

Everyone is notable and celebrated.

Now, some household names might incur recognition, such as:

Allen Iverson is regarded as one of the most significant point guards in NBA history.

This former professional basketball player was born in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

William Styron: The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of tomes like “The Confessions of Nat Turner” was born in Newport News.

Ella Fitzgerald: The mythical jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald spent part of her childhood in the city.

What's the weather like?


And then the rain came.

It rains—a lot.

There is, indeed, precipitation in Newport News.

Hot and humid are the summers in Newport News; winters are mild and temperate.

It rains–about 45 inches yearly.

The heaviest rains come down in the spring and summer, and the snowfall averages about six inches.

All through the year, the daytime highs are about 20 degrees higher than nighttime lows.

Dress accordingly and have fun in the vibrant city of Newport News.

What options exist for people to use public transit for day trips?

There are lots of options for public transit-type fueled adventures.

For example, visitors can board a Greyhound bus and take a day trip to one of the local cities.

Four times daily, passengers can take one of Amtrak’s trains from Newport News to Norfolk or Virginia Beach.

And commuters can use the local ride-sharing programs.

Do you need a car to get around Newport News?

That answer is more nuanced than that, like many cities and towns in the U.S.

Like many U.S. cities, Newport News is typically designed with a car-centric infrastructure.

That said, some areas may be pedestrian-friendly.

However, the layout of Newport News often mandates a car for convenient and efficient transportation, especially for reaching the various attractions, parks, and amenities tourists and visitors might want to see within a specific time frame.

Some areas or neighborhoods with a concentration of amenities may be more walkable or bikeable.

However, having a car is often more practical for exploring the broader city, hitting the attractions, or day-tripping to nearby beauty spots.

Part of the growing metro area called the Hampton Roads, Newport News is sweetly situated relative to other coastal and historical tourist destinations like Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.

The city is fortuitously located at the James River and Chesapeake Bay confluence.

Newport News has approximately 23 miles of coastline from the James River and Hampton Roads Harbor.

How did Newport News get its name?

Captain Christopher Newport, a leader in the Jamestown expedition (1607), explored the area and recognized its strategic port significance.

What family-friendly education, outdoor adventure, and entertainment options are in the area around Newport News?

Here’s a mix of entertainment, education, and outdoor fun for families within a 50-mile radius of Newport News.

Endview Plantation: Used as a hospital during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, the plantation offers a glimpse into the region’s wartime history.

Visitors can explore the house and grounds, discovering artifacts and stories from this tumultuous period.

The Mariners’ Museum and Park is big.

How big, you ask?

It’s so big that it’s one of the most enormous maritime museums in the world!

Discover engaging exhibits, stroll outdoor trails, and see the USS Monitor Center, showcasing artifacts from the famous Civil War ironclad.

Named after the famous actress and singer Pearl Bailey, born in Newport News, the Pearl Bailey Library is a tribute to her legacy.

Constructed during the Great Depression as part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, Huntington Park’s Lions Bridge is a picturesque pedestrian bridge.

Today, it spans the tranquil waters of Lake Maury, providing visitors with a scenic stroll in peaceful greenery and serene surroundings.

Explore an extensive collection of military artifacts, vehicles, and exhibits from the Revolutionary War to the present at the Virginia War Museum.

Displays include weapons, uniforms, and personal items, providing a comprehensive look at the military history of the U.S.

Nicknamed “Freedom’s Fortress,” as it was a haven for escaped enslaved people, Fort Monroe’s Freedom Fortress, located in nearby Hampton, played a vital part in a turbulent role in U.S. history.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Located within 50 miles of Newport News, this famous amusement park offers attractions from thriller-chiller roller coasters to family rides and live entertainment.

An interactive science museum and zoo, the Virginia Living Museum showcases exhibits featuring native Virginia wildlife, a planetarium, and hands-on displays.

History in the making.

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg is like going back in time, with a living history museum where you can experience life in an 18th-century colonial American town.

Interact with costumed interpreters, explore historic buildings, and participate in hands-on activities.

Hike at York River State Park: Just a short drive away, York River State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for families.

Enjoy hiking trails, go fishing, or embark on a kayak adventure along the scenic York River.

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