The last two decades have brought Suffolk, Virginia (VA), new housing, extensive real estate development, and a host of changes. Yet outside the new polish, many areas within the vast city still retain the flavor of their past. In all the best ways, Suffolk, VA is still the comfortable, down-home community it always was.
Suffolk, VA's lifestyle and real estate vary from one region or borough to another. Whaleyville, for example, is an area that continues to strive for and pride itself on its small-town atmosphere and simple living. Here you'll find traditional housing set in a semi-rural to rural backdrop. Driver, though it has been incorporated for years, still retains its characteristic independence and self-reliance, viewing itself as a city within a city. And the downtown, or Old Town, area of Suffolk, VA, while much renovation, renewal, and new commerce is at work, still wears the appearance of old-time city life through its the architecture and layout of it's real estate.
Other areas have undergone dramatic cultural and lifestyle change. Northeastern Suffolk, VA has become well-known as a center of technological research. Its proximity to the highway network, thus nearby Hampton and Norfolk military facilities, makes this the perfect area of Suffolk, VA for high-tech labs, data security and management firms, and defense contractors. This area, known as the Sleepy Hole civic borough, also boasts a number of new housing communities including several luxury real estate developments that feature golf courses and boating access. It's a far cry from its rural past.
Much like Sleepy Hole, Suffolk, VA's eastern edges have exploded with new housing and urban-style real estate development since the mid- to late eighties. Yet today, well more than half of the city's total area is still rural or agricultural in nature. Home buyers who crave this type of open atmosphere will particularly enjoy the Chuckatuck, Cypress, or Holy Neck boroughs. Each has a character distinctly different from the fast pace and continuous real estate development at work on the fringes of the city.
Like the real estate, the schools in Suffolk, VA also reflect a healthy mixture of technology and respect for Virginia tradition. The city's public schools go well beyond the basics: even at the high school level, teaching is enriched with vocational and technical curricula through partnership with Pruden Center for Industry and Technology. And in addition to post-secondary training offered through Tidewater Community College, Suffolk, VA will soon house a Workforce Development Center courtesy of its Paul D. Camp Community College campus.
Suffolk, VA residents enjoy a cultural feast year-round. There's the flavor of the traditional in farmer's markets in both northern and downtown areas. There's appreciation for history and its people, as reflected in the annual Nansemond Indian Tribal Pow Wow, guided tours of the Great Dismal Swamp, as well as the programs and exhibits of the Suffolk Museum. And for the whole family, there's food, entertainment, and fun in the annual Suffolk Peanut Festival, TGIF Summer Concert Series, and Taste of Suffolk Downtown Street Festival.
Suffolk, VA may be described as one of the most varied, yet consistent, cities in Virginia. Everywhere you look, there's something comfortable, familiar, and traditional, yet the best of modern living is never too far away. New, quality housing construction and historic architecture as well as vast rolling acreage, old-growth wooded areas, and abundant lakes, creeks, and riverfront are all a part of this beautiful city's texture. No wonder it's called "surprising Suffolk"!