The Best of Norfolk, Virginia
Collected by Will Jackson, AFAR Local Expert
Norfolk celebrates water and history, tides and time. The harbor is one of America’s busiest and Naval Station Norfolk—the world’s largest naval base—has played a huge role in the city’s culture for 100 years. Norfolk has a thriving culinary scene, with seafood usually at the top of the menu. The NEON Arts District is anchored by The Chrysler Museum of Art, and waterfront Town Point Park is the epicenter of the Festevents festival season.
1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
Multi-level Nauticus celebrates the life aquatic with hands-on exhibits and a big-screen theater. Plan to spend at least a few hours. The second floor houses the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, with exhibits on the 1781 Battle of the Chesapeake, local...
1 Memorial Pl, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
The Chrysler is famous for one of the world’s largest collections of glass objects, spanning 3,000 years, and for its glassblowing studio. American and European painting and sculpture, modern art, photography, and decorative arts collections are...
198 Bank St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
General MacArthur's final resting place is an unexpectedly vibrant location. The MacArthur Memorial Museum is a great tribute to his life, as well as a fascinating collection of artifacts from our nation's mid-20th century. It's a must for any...
6700 Azalea Garden Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518, USA
Sprawling over 155 acres, this impressive garden is worth a visit any time of year. Take a 30-minute tram tour for a quick overview, then decide where to spend more time. Highlights include Japanese, Renaissance, and rose gardens, a fern glade,...
3500 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23504, USA
A great family activity in Norfolk is the Virginia Zoo. In addition to lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), the zoo has a large exhibit featuring animals from Asia. The red pandas will scamper and frolic in the trees above you—they always bring a...
333 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
Built in the early ‘80s, Waterside is freshly renovated and better than ever. Enjoy decks with Elizabeth River views; a locally oriented food court, The Market, featuring Starr Hill Brewery, Rappahannock Oyster Co., and Cogan’s Pizza; and sit-down...
333 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
The classic three-masted schooner American Rover provides a comfortable, close-up look at the city’s busy working harbor with its shipyards, tugboats, commercial vessels, and navy ships. Snacks, drinks, and live entertainment add to the fun.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
The three-mile Virginia Beach Boardwalk and adjacent bike path offer more than your typical beachside attractions. You can enjoy live music acts, pier fishing, and an array of sculptures during a leisurely stroll here. Keep an eye out for the King...
999 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
Vintage kitchen is a committed farm-to-table restaurant. Cordon Bleu graduate Chef Philip Craig Thomason uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to assemble varied lunch and dinner menus. The dinner entrees include a few American classics, updated...
2224, 123 W 21st St, Norfolk, VA 23517, USA
Head to the 80/20 Burger Bar in the historic Ghent section of Norfolk for a local microbrew or one of their many craft beer offerings. Pair your beer with a delicious burger; made from regionally sourced grass-fed beef and bison, these burgers are...
205 E City Hall Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
Savor innovative, locally sourced dishes at this couple-owned restaurant with sleek modern style and a great downtown location. Menus change daily for lunch, dinner, and “cocktail & crudo” hour and feature homemade breads, pastas, soups, terrines,...
313 W Bute St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
This longtime local favorite offers charming, brick-walled ambience and delicious Mediterranean-accented cuisine—including Moroccan Mondays. Specialties include coriander duck breast, paella, and the jumbo lump crab cake with saffron tomato jus. A...
317 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
Catch a show at America’s number one small concert venue, as ranked by Rolling Stone readers. Originally a 1920s movie theater, the club (capacity 1,450) has a great sound system, cool interior, and friendly vibe. Local, regional, and national...
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