14 of 100
BACK NEXT
14. Virginia Beach, Va.
Population: 445,875
Pros: Diverse economy; easy beach access
Con: Saturated market for beach-related businesses

Employers in Virginia Beach benefit from low taxes, a dynamic and diverse local economy, and a strong workforce composed of graduates from area colleges such as William and Mary, as well as Navy personnel looking for part-time work. The beach community is saturated with retail stores - you can find a surf shop on just about every corner - but important business sectors also include architectural and engineering firms, building-equipment contractors, and computer designers. Nearby naval bases attract aviation-related firms and defense-related companies.

Some large organizations, such as the North American headquarters for Stihl (a major manufacturer of power tools), maintain headquarters here. With plenty of bike trails and state parks, as well as triathlon and marathon events throughout the year, residents stay healthy by taking to the outdoors. -Mina Kimes and Peter McDougall

Interactive map: Virginia Beach, Va.
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Virginia Beach, Va.


NEXT: 15. Salt Lake City

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
10 best cities to launch a startup Access to funding, labor and the cost of living can make or break a new business. Based on a NerdWallet study, these 10 cities are the best in the country to launch a startup. More
A $15 minimum wage is 'daunting' Seattle just passed a $15 minimum wage bill, and San Francisco will vote on one in November. It's a hot topic among lawmakers around the country, and business owners are concerned. More
From Meetup group to full-blown business When Meetup launched in 2002, its founders wanted to unite like-minded people. They never expected the site to help people launch their own businesses, but these five entrepreneurs turned their Meetup groups into profitable companies. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.