Virginia Beach, located Princess Anne County, is one of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads in the Commonwealth of Virginia, also known as "America's First Region." With a population of 447,000, it is the third largest suburban city in the United States after Long Beach, California and Mesa, Arizona, and the fourth largest in North America. The first inhabitants of the area were the Chesepians named after the region, Chesepioc, which means "Great Shellfish Bay," referring to the Chesapeake Bay. Several other linguistic groups called the area home, including the Powhatan Confederacy and the Carolina Algonquian.
In 1607 the first group of Europeans arrived on the shores; this was the first landing of English colonists bound for Jamestown. Other settlers arrived, including Adam Thoroughgood, who was notable for naming the area of Norfolk after his home of King's Lynn, Norfolk, England. He came as an indentured slave as payment for passage to the New World and in 1629 was elected to the House of Burgesses. In 1634 the original colony was divided and Virginia Beach was established and officially became a town in 1906. Virginia Beach is also home to FTC Dam Neck, the United States Navy's NAS Oceana, NAB Little Creek, and the United States Army's Fort Story, which is located at Cape Henry.
Along with being a thriving beach resort and summer tourist destination, Virginia Beach has many points of interest in the performing arts, historical and scientific areas. Some of the city's numerous attractions include the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater, the Adam Thoroughgood House (one of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia), Ferry Farm Plantation, Dr. John Miller-Masury House, the Francis Land House (a 200-year-old plantation), the Cape Henry Lighthouse and nearby Cape Henry Light Station, Bayville Farm, DeWitt Cottage, Adam Keeling House, Old Donation Church, Pembroke Manor, Pleasant Hall, Shirley Hall (Devereaux House), Thomas Murray House, U.S. Coast Guard Station (Seatack), Upper Wolfsnare (Brick House Farm), Weblin House, and Wishart Boush House and Wolfsnare.
For a break from the surf, wind and sun, Virginia Beach boasts approximately 208 unique city parks like the world famous Mount Trashmore Park, created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil; Great Neck Park; the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge; First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park. Entertainment of all genres can be found along the three-mile boardwalk separating the hotels and beach area, along with outdoor cafes and concerts.