Things to Do in Norfolk
There are some great sightseeing opportunities available in Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk is the 2nd most populous city in Virginia and one of the 9 core cities that make up Hampton Roads. With the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and countless rivers just in their backyard, you are never far from the water, in fact, the mermaid is the city’s signature symbol and you can even tour the Mermaids on Parade. Norfolk’s thriving arts community will welcome you into its museums, studios, galleries, NEON Arts District, and beyond. If you’re looking for world-class cuisine, look no further! From traditional Southern fare to a wide range of nouveau and international offerings, Norfolk’s eateries offer something for everyone – and every appetite. Delve into the depths of maritime history at Nauticus, the National Maritime Center and board the USS Wisconsin or explore the Heritage Foundation Museum and Chrysler Museum to get your art fix. Visit the Harrison Opera House, Norfolk Jazz Festival, or stroll through Town Point Park, then take in the Norfolk Botanical Garden or Virginia Zoological Park. You can even take a day trip out to Colonial Williamsburg for a bit of history or to Virginia Beach for a day of sun and fun in the sand! There is something for everyone in this dynamic city.
Norfolk Botanical Garden
Today, Norfolk Botanical Garden includes 175-acres, with more than 60 themed gardens that can be viewed by tram, boat or by foot. Themed gardens include the Bristow Butterfly Garden, the Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden, the Virginia Native Plant Garden and the Bicentennial Rose Garden. Each of these gardens allow guests to see a variety of plants – from the cultivated to the wild. Norfolk Botanical Garden provides an educational experience while entertaining visitors of all ages. More than twenty thousand children and adults are reached every year at the Garden by programs, classes and Norfolk Botanical Garden lectures. Volunteers provide more than seventeen thousand hours each year working in all aspects of the Gardens operations. From its humble beginnings as a WPA project to its status as a nationally recognized garden that attracts visitors from around the world, Norfolk Botanical Garden has experienced amazing growth.
Nauticus and the USS Wisconsin
Nauticus is an exciting interactive science and technology center that explores the naval, economic, and nautical power of the sea. Home of the Battleship Wisconsin, Nauticus features Battleship Wisconsin-related exhibits, hands-on exhibits, national-caliber traveling exhibits, HD and 3D films on a giant screen, sharks, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and more! The Battleship Wisconsin is one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. Explore its deck through a self-guided tour or, with an additional charge, a guided Topside Tour that will take you back in time to experience this majestic ship that earned five battle stars during WW II. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is owned and operated by the United States Navy and located on level two of Nauticus. The museum houses a rich collection of authentic uniforms, weaponry, underwater artifacts, detailed ship models and artwork.
Virginia Zoological Park
The Virginia Zoological Park is committed to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world. From the plains of Africa to the jungles of Asia, the Virginia Zoo is a world of discovery. Open year round, the Zoo offers fun, education and excitement for everyone. Meet and greet tigers, emus, red pandas, giraffes, snakes and more. Take a ride on the Zoo train or stroll through our gorgeous gardens. It’s an adventure for the whole family! The Virginia Zoo spans 53 acres adjacent to Lafayette Park and is bordered by the Lafayette River. Zoo “residents” from around the world include more than 700 animals representing more than 150 different species. The Lafayette Zoological Park was accredited in 1974 and continues to adhere to the high standards set by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. In 1985, the park became the Virginia Zoological Park and is now called the Virginia Zoo.
The Chrysler Museum of Art has fifty galleries, a growing collection of more than 30,000 objects, an interactive space for families, and the only glass studio of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region. They bring art and people together through experiences that delight, inform, and inspire. Though the Museum was founded in 1933, things really changed when Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. brought his collection of more than 10,000 works of art to Norfolk in 1971. Best of all, admission is free. The Chrysler Museum exists to enrich and transform lives.
Virginia Beach is arguably best oceanfront destination for your vacation on the entire East Coast. Their beautiful oceanfront coastal city will provide everything you need filled with southern charm for all types of visitors. Whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of our popular resort town or the quiet and tranquil private shores of Sandbridge, they have something for everyone who loves the sun, sand, and surf. VA Beach is packed full of incredible things to do, thrilling and daring attractions, a large variety of mouth-watering cuisines and restaurants, scenic hiking, beach fun, and plenty of events that will keep you and the family entertained for your entire vacation.