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Hampton Roads? Tidewater? Coastal Virginia?

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Is the 757 experiencing a regional identity crisis?

During the Virginia Beach State of the City Address Thursday, Mayor Will Sessoms didn’t refer to the region as Hampton Roads or Tidewater, instead he used another moniker: Coastal Virginia.

“We’ve got to do a better job promoting our region. I don’t know if it’s changing the name or not, Coastal Virginia I kind of like- I don’t know if you picked up on that,” Sessoms said with a laugh following the speech.

“I don’t hear Hampton Roads very much, I hear Tidewater still. I mean I don’t think people know what Hampton Roads is,” he continued.

NewsChannel 3 hit the Boardwalk Friday to find out what out of town visitors call the region.

Sheila and David Minett were in town from Germantown, Wisconsin to participate in the Shamrock Marathon.

Sheila told NewsChannel 3’s Todd Corillo that she had heard of Hampton Roads before but didn’t previously know exactly where that was.

Neither had heard of Tidewater or Coastal Virginia, but both agreed that Coastal Virginia seemed like the most appropriate moniker.

“That would make sense,” David Minett said.

Nancy Brown-Park of Palm Desert, California admitted she hadn’t heard of Tidewater, Hampton Roads or Coastal Virginia before, but preferred Coastal Virginia.

“Coming from the desert, if I saw Coastal Virginia I would know I was on the water,” Brown-Park said.


  • nick

    Coastal Virginia sounds the best. Followed by Tidewater. I’ve never been a big fan of “hampton roads”

  • David Crear

    I’m for Costal Virginia also, because Tidewater extends down into North Carolina, and once you’re here, I have yet to see one destination by the name of “Hampton Roads”. Plus, maybe it’ll give this area some measure of an identity on the Weather Channel. Most of the time all they mention is the Carolinas and skip up to Washington. It’s as if the only town they know here is “RICHMOND”.

  • Lori Shillenn

    I never liked the ‘Hampton Roads area’ because the city of Hampton gets the least attention on the news. It’s always Norfolk, Va Beach or Chesapeake. Not sure if I am correct, but I think Tidewater area is the oldest and to me is the most appealing and warmest descriptor.

  • Rogard

    I’m going to start using Tidewater, its nice sounding. Coastal Virginia makes me think of the Eastern Shore – which is more coastal than we are.

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