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Virginia Peninsula

Peninsula in southeast Virginia, United States

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The Virginia Peninsula is highlighted in orange
Virginia Peninsula
This 1996 satellite photo shows Hampton Roads, with the lower (southeastern) end of Virginia Peninsula filling most of the top half of the image

The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay. It is sometimes known as the Lower Peninsula to distinguish it from two other peninsulas to the north, the Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck.

It is the site of historic Jamestown, founded in 1607 as the first English settlement in North America. Geographically located at the northwestern reaches, Charles City and New Kent counties are part of the Virginia Peninsula. In the 21st century, they are also considered part of the Richmond-Petersburg region. The rest of the Virginia Peninsula is all part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) with a population of about 1.8 million. The Hampton Roads MSA is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name. It is the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the Southeast and the 32nd largest in the United States.

The land portion of Hampton Roads has been historically divided into two regions, the Virginia Peninsula or Peninsula on the north side, and South Hampton Roads on the south side. (Locally, South Hampton Roads is commonly called "the Southside", but this is not to be confused with "Southside Virginia", a separate region of the south central portion of Virginia located farther inland.) More recently, the boundaries of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area have expanded to include the two southernmost counties of the Middle Peninsula, across the York River from the Virginia Peninsula.

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