Norfolk Travel Guide

  • Kids can frolic in the spouting frogs
    Kids can frolic in the spouting frogs
    by PR-7
  • Mermaid - now a symbol of Norfolk
    Mermaid - now a symbol of Norfolk
    by starship
  • Graveyard & fountain of St. Paul
    Graveyard & fountain of St. Paul
    by starship

Norfolk Highlights

  • Pro
    starship profile photo

    starship says…

     On Chesapeake Bay, History, Museums, Many Local Attractions 

  • Con
    ThatGuyB profile photo

    ThatGuyB says…

     Dense city life, bad traffic 

  • In a nutshell
    Easty profile photo

    Easty says…

     A great place for Naval History 

Norfolk Things to Do

  • Colonial Williamsburg

    Colonial Williamsburg is a recreation of the 18th century colonial city of Williamsburg. Williamsburg was the capital of the colony of Virginia and it's the largest city at the time. Besides recreated buildings, staff are dressed in period costumes and give guided tours of the buildings describing life as it was back then.

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  • Jamestown Settlement

    Like Colonial Williamsburg, this a recreation of the Jamestown settlement a few miles from the historical site maintained by the park service. It offers recreations of Settler, Indian life and recreations of the ships used to transport the settlers.

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  • Jamestown Historical Site

    This is the archaeological site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. In 1607, Capt. John Smith led a group of settlers to this point and established the colony of Virginia. Unlike the Jamestown Settlement (a recreation a few miles away), the site has been left in its orginal state as much as possible to retain its...

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  • Norfolk Southern Train Museum

    I love trains and railroad memorabilia so I was excited when I saw a small advertisement for the Norfolk Southern Railway Museum which was only several blocks from our hotel. The Norfolk Southern Railway Museum seems to fly under the radar screen for many visitors to Norfolk, and the day I visited I only saw one family with a small child...

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  • "The Rock" Rollercoaster Now Part of...

    The Ocean View section of Norfolk was once home to the Ocean View Amusement park and an amazing wooden rollercoaster which, sadly, met its demise in the filming of the late 70's film, "Death of Ocean View Park." The coaster named, "Skyrocket," or "The Rocket" in the movie, was as fast and head jarring as any modern day amusement park ride! Owners...

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  • Garden Beauty in Norfolk

    Gardens are invariably a joy for us, and this one was no exception. The time you can spend here is limited only by the stamina of your feet; there is a LOT of beauty to enjoy. There are gardens for sculpture, children, roses, camellias, butterflies, rhododendrons, smells, hydrangeas, healing, conifers -- if it can be grown into something beautiful,...

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Norfolk Hotels

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Norfolk Restaurants

  • Breakfast Anyone?

    As the hotel didn't have its own breakfast spot, the porter suggested the "D'egg Diner" just near the Marriott Hotel. Wishing to get an early start for some sightseeing, I began my day at the D'egg Diner. If you are used to the restaurants which are called "diners" in the mid-Atlantic to northeast USA, D'egg Diner will not be what you might expect....

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  • Shabby Chic Coffee Shop

    One morning while in Norfolk I intended to visit the Norfolk Southern Railroad Museum but it was not yet open. Plan B was to visit the MacArthur Mall but it was not yet open either. Between these two places was the "Bean There Cafe," and since it was another terribly cold morning, having a hot cup of coffee and sitting in a cozy place seemed like...

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  • 50's Style Diner

    "Johnny Rockets" is a fairly well-known chain restaurant which usually can be found in trendy places, and even on cruise ships. We found one in the food court of the MacArthur Center Mall in old, downtown Norfolk. Johnny Rockets is famous for its 1950's decor, including vintage Coca Cola signs and decor, advertisements, 1950's music, a juke box and...

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Norfolk Nightlife

  • Night Time at Waterside

    Since I'm not into night time stuff much, I can only go by the brochure which advertises "No Theme - No Attitude - Just Bar" Description from a review:Located on the second floor of Waterside Marketplace, BAR plays a wide range of music from dance to the greatest hits of the 50s through today in its 6,000-square-feet of ..The two most recent ...

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  • Dueling Pianos

    This place apparently has two pianos and they do requests and jokes.I have not been, but it has all very good reviews on the Hampton Roads web site.

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  • Dance Club

    I have never been to this place, but I think it contributes to the noise in Waterside on weekends. Advertisement says: "The ONLY Lighted (ala Saturday Night Fever ) Dance Floor in the Area. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are the most popular Nights to come and Party. "Doors Open at 7:00 pm Daily. Tuesday is College Night... when the younger crowd...

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Norfolk Transportation

  • Paddlewheel Ferry Norfolk ~ Portsmouth

    I must admit that one of my fascinations in Norfolk was the Paddlewheel Ferry which crosses the Elizabeth River between Norfolk and Portsmouth. From our 14th floor hotel room I watched as one of three 150-passenger paddle-wheel ferry boats repeadly made its rounds between North Landing and High Street in Portsmouth and Downtown Norfolk, at The...

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  • F.R.E.D.

    I found out about this great transportation feature too late in my visit to Norfolk, but if you visit the city, then by all means you should take advantage of it. "F.R.E.D." stands for "Free Ride Every Day.". It is a shuttle available to downtown residents, workers AND VISITORS for free! However, all trips must originate or end in the Downtown...

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  • The HRT Ferry

    If you want to take a trip across the river to Portsmouth, or just enjoy splendid views of the Elizabeth River, then take the ferry. It's only a dollar each way (exact change, please). It runs from 10:00 am to 11:30 pm, between Waterside in Norfolk and the Ferry Landing in Portsmouth.

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Norfolk Shopping

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo
    Mermaid on the water side of Waterside 4 more images

    by grandmaR Updated Jun 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In addition to 10 restaurants and clubs, there are lots of places to shop in Waterside. The list includes:

    Ali Baba
    The Christmas Attic
    City Market
    Dollar Tree
    Earth's Treasures
    Erin's Treasures
    The Hat Rack
    Lillian Vernon
    Paw Prints
    Piercing Pagoda
    Scantastic
    Sun-Days
    The Virginia Company
    Ultimative Herbs

    The food court includes:
    Auntie Anne's
    Ben & Jerry's
    Chippy's Fries
    Mongolian Express
    Pastaria
    Skinney's
    Steak Masters
    Szechuan Garden
    Thai Cuisine
    Tony Jr's Hot Dogs
    Villa Pizza
    Waterside Burger Works
    Zero's Subs (which is also in Portsmouth)

    What to buy: I've bought things such as crab soup and Virginia ham at the Virginia Company, and you can also get Christmas Tree ornaments and pillows decorated with the logos of various Virginia educational institutions. I gave a pillow and a Christmas Tree ornament from Virginia Tech to my daughter and SIL who graduated from there.

    Both the Virginia Company and Lillian Vernon have catalogs.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Norfolk Local Customs

  • Mermaids

    Just as other cities and towns have their icons, Norfolk has its icon, too. In keeping with the city's maritime heritage, it's the mermaid. Look around. All over downtown, one can find sculptures of mermaids, painted in a rich array of colors. There's one for every taste and mood.

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  • neighborhoods

    Historically, Norfolk has had invisible boundaries placed around certain sections of the city.These "neighborhoods" have distinct ambience based on the physical features of the area or the economic stratus of the occupants or the ethnic background of its emigrants or the historic event that took place.These neighborhoods are:Algonquin Park...

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  • Norfolk Hotels

    47 Hotels in Norfolk

    246 Reviews and Opinions

Norfolk Warnings and Dangers

  • davecallahan's Profile Photo

    by davecallahan Updated Apr 19, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We have been around Norfolk several times doing touristy things during the day and have not had any problems.

    The crime statistics report puts Norfolk well above average for crime risk (that is, more dangerous than an average American city of similar size).
    See the Crime section of the website below if you want the facts and figures.
    475 registered sex offenders sounds like an awful lot for one area but given the population of 235000 people in Norfolk, that averages out to only one SO for every 500 residents.
    if you are concerned that this may affect your vacation, see this website:
    http://www.city-data.com/so/so-Norfolk-Virginia.html

    Use precautions like locking doors and keeping valuables in the motel safe and acting like a local rather than a tourist and going in groups. These activities will reduce your chances of being a crime target. Ask the hotel staff if there are areas in Norfolk which you should avoid if you plan to be going out later at night.

    Be safe and have a nice vacation trip to Norfolk.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Seniors

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Norfolk Tourist Traps

  • Nauticus; not worth the hype

    Nauticus was built to show off Norfolk's maritime history. It's not worth the time of day if you aren't interested in maritime history. The price of admission is not cheap and there are other areas of interest in the city. Go to the newly renovated Norfolk Zoo or Botanical Gardens instead. take a flask of whiskey and get drunk looking at all the...

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  • Virginia Beach, VA beachfront

    this is a good beach it is a family beach with many resort hotels...Including the Newly Opened Hiton Virginia Beach Oceanfront with a great new restaurant and nightlife spot called Catch31.There is no cusing here also always a lot of police. Food is pricy bring own to beach with you Go to Chicks beach or to Ocean View beaches on the Chesapeake...

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Norfolk Off The Beaten Path

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo
    American Rover being passed by a speedboat 4 more images

    by grandmaR Updated Jul 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I wasn't sure exactly where to put this tip - Transportation? Sports? We see this ship docked at Waterside when we are there, and people buy tickets at the blue kiosk which also serves as the dockmaster's office.

    I have not taken this cruise. The website says "Her design was inspired by 19th century cargo schooners, yet she possesses the modern amenities that assure a comfortable cruise...spacious topside decks with seating, climate controlled below deck cocktail lounges, clean restrooms, and a ship's store offering souvenirs, snacks, sandwiches, & your favorite beverages" She is licensed for 149 passengers.

    She also does educational cruises for schools.

    Schedule:

    Spring Sailing
    April 12th - May 23th
    11 am Harbor Cruise
    Saturdays - 2 Hour Cruise
    3 pm Harbor Cruise
    Every Day - 2 Hour Cruise
    6 pm Sunset Harbor Cruise
    Wednesday thru Sunday
    2 Hour Cruise

    Summer sailing
    May 24th - Sept. 1nd
    11 am Harbor Cruise
    Wednesday thru Saturday
    2 Hour Cruise
    3 pm Harbor Cruise
    Every Day - 2 Hour Cruise
    6:30 pm

    Sunset Naval Base Cruise
    Every Day - 3 Hour Cruise Adults Only
    June 14th - Aug. 30st

    10:30 pm Saturday
    2 Hour Cruise
    Live DJ, Dancing,
    Fun Contests,
    Bar Service

    Fall Schedule
    September 2th
    thru Late October
    11 am Harbor Cruise
    Saturdays - 2 Hour Cruise
    3 pm Harbor Cruise
    Every Day - 2 Hour Cruise
    6 pm Sunset Harbor Cruise
    Wednesday thru Sunday
    2 Hour Cruise

    Directions: Take I-64 toward Norfolk, then take I-264 West (if coming from the Virginia Beach oceanfront, just take I-264 West), towards downtown Norfolk. Take the left exit onto Waterside Drive. Go two short blocks to the blue roofed Waterside Festival Marketplace, and the AMERICAN ROVER Dock. Parking in city garages across Waterside Drive

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Cruise
    • Historical Travel

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Norfolk Sports & Outdoors

  • Riverfront Golf Course

    This place is actually beautiful. Regardless of how well you play, the scenery here is worth the green fees.Wide open fairways, very few undulations. Some hazards in the way of deep bunkers and sandtraps near the greens and water everywhere (peripheral ro and across the fairways).Three hours of golf and wait is needed to cover the popular 5200...

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  • MM 000.4 Waterside

    Waterside, Norfolk is $1.30/foot and $5.00 for electricity. It is $5.25/3 hours to tie up at the floating docks and go to the mall or Nauticus. It is $2/foot on holidays. They have showers, and you can download email in the office. Bob did the laundry and it was $1.25/machine. They had cable TV, but it didn't work at our slip, and we could get the...

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  • Mile Zero on the ICW

    The 'beginning' of the marked east coast ICW is Hospital Point. The hospital referred to was the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, opposite Norfolk. There is an anchorage there where boats often wait before starting south. There's also a boat moored near there advertising fuel prices. Since Waterside doesn't sell fuel, a cruiser would have to go to...

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Norfolk Favorites

  • Living in Norfolk

    One of the holidays that people with children celebrate is Halloween. When my kids were little I picked out their costumes for them. When children get older, they have more input into what they wear.The kids go to neighbors on October 31st and say "Trick or Treat", and they get candy or gum or fruit which they put into a goody bag. In the old days,...

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  • The Sign of the Red Castle

    If you see a red castle on a building or installation, you know that's the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps is quite important to boaters, because they maintain the waterways. There is a better picture of the logo in the second picture.Their main building (pictured) is at:803 Front StreetNorfolk, Va 23510-1096757-441-7500From the Corps of...

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  • Our first sailboat

    We bought our first sailboat when we lived in Norfolk. It was a homebuilt catamaran on a trailer. I was pregnant. We took it out to sail on a Sunday around my due date and got becalmed in the sea plane landing lane area with no motor and no paddles. We had to launch the boat and then sail it across to the slip. After I had the baby, a hurricane...

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Norfolk
Stopping for Breakfast on the Chesapeake Bay
Restaurants
Great art collection where you wouldn't expect it
Things to Do
Water Travel on the HRT Ferry
Transportation
Beef-eatting in the MacArthur Center downtown
Restaurants
Upstairs in at Waterside
Restaurants
Waterside
Restaurants
The MacArthur Memorial
Things to Do
Official Naval Tour
Things to Do
Walking Tour of Norfolk
Things to Do
Cape Henry Lighthouse
Things to Do
Cannonball Trail ~ See Norfolk's Heritage
Things to Do
Seafood Lovers Feast!
Restaurants
A Local Favorite Lunchtime Stop
Restaurants
"America's Only Sidewalk Museum
Things to Do
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Things to Do
Virginia Beach
Things to Do
Yorktown
Things to Do
Virginia Air and Space Center
Things to Do
Festivals at Town Point Park
Things to Do
Waterside
Things to Do
Cannonball Trail
Things to Do
MacArthur Memorial
Things to Do
The Best Way to See Norfolk
Things to Do
Last of Its Kind: USS Wisconsin
Things to Do
Hampton Roads Naval Museum
Things to Do
Nauticus Center
Things to Do
good seafood
Restaurants
GREAT SEAFOOD, MARTINI RESTAURANT
Restaurants
Squyres Marine Services (Water Taxi)
Transportation
CLUB SODA - GREAT RESTRAUNT IN DOWNTOWN NORFOLK
Nightlife
Virginia Beach
Things to Do
Scope Arena and the Chrysler Hall
Things to Do
Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Things to Do
Norfolk Australian
Restaurants
EMPIRE; tapas bar not STARWARS theme
Nightlife
GREAT CITY WITH MUCH TO DO
Things to Do
GREAT CITY WITH MUCH TO DO
Things to Do
From Florida
Restaurants
Seafood With an Attitude
Restaurants
Another Possibility
Restaurants
Map of Norfolk

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