Location: Bay Island is a small waterfront community in Great Neck in Virginia Beach. The island is about two miles long but only a quarter mile wide. It is divided into two different developments: Broad Bay Colony in the western half, and Bay Island in the eastern half. However, most residents simply refer to the area as “Bay Island.” It is a narrow island surrounded by Broad Bay and Wolfsnare Creek. Bay Island is accessed by a bridge off of West Great Neck Road, or by boat.
The Bay Island Community: Broad Bay Colony was developed first, in the 1940s. A small bridge connected the eastern half of the island to the mainland. In 1959, a real estate company in Norfolk began selling lots to the eastern half. According to Bay Island’s civic league, “The first Bay Island house was built on Windward Shore Drive. A 1962 aerial map shows about 33 houses on Bay Island. Bay Island had almost as many canals as streets, with most homes having backyard waterway access.”
A 1991 issue of Real Estate Weekly echoed this: “Across the water from Seashore state Park, and reaching in Broad Bay like the tentacles of a giant squid, is Bay Island, Virginia Beach’s answer to Venice. Bay Island is canals; serene, secluded canals that invite you to glide into the neighborhood straight up to your own back door.”
Convenience: Bay Island is peacefully tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, but offers big city conveniences. Chicks Beach and the Oceanfront are ten minutes away. Hungry, but don’t want to get in your car? Hop in your boat instead and tie up at the dock at restaurants like Chick’s, Dockside, or Bubba’s. Go for a round of golf at the Broad Bay Point Country Club.
Shore Drive has some of the best night life in Virginia Beach, as well as quick access to bike paths, hiking trails, or camping at First Landing State Park. The Great Neck Recreation Center is nearby with a fantastic gym for less than $100 per year.
Interstate 264 is a straight shot down Great Neck Road, and the bases at Little Creek, Fort Story and NAS Oceana are closeby.
Shopping: Great Neck Road and Shore Drive are filled with shopping and entertainment. The Hilltop, Lynnhaven, and Pembroke shopping centers aren’t too far away either.