Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Wed May 13 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Norfolk, Va. You Need

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | May 13, 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Norfolk, Va. You Need

We Say:

Located in the heart of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area in Southeast Virginia, Norfolk, is an independent city by the sea and at the center of one of the U.S.'s most vital regions in terms of military strategy and the transportation of goods.

Norfolk, which shares the region with nearby Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, is home to the world's largest Navy base, and the country's only bridge-tunnel complexes. 

The military influence on the city is evidenced by its top employer, the U.S. Department of Defense. And for travelers looking to learn more, Norfolk's rich history is highlighted in detail throughout the area's museums and parks. 

They Say: 

“Nor-fok, or Naw-fok, no matter how you pronounce it, the experience will always be the same: fun, vibrant entertainment and culture, delicious cuisine and 144 miles of shoreline waiting to be explored! With the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and countless rivers in our backyard, you are never far from the water; you can experience intense watersports, leisurely sails, or simply enjoy the view from your hotel room.

Take a tour of the Elizabeth River harbor on a majestic tall ship, sip on some of the best wines around at Mermaid Winery, Virginia’s very first urban winery, or watch world-renowned artists blow glass at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio.

If history is your thing, sign up for a boat or land tour of the world’s largest Naval Base, stop by the MacArthur Memorial, or walk the Cannonball Trail. You can jam out to some of the nation’s best music at the NorVA, named “Venue that Rocks” the hardest by Rolling Stones magazine. 

There are antique shops, coffee houses & breweries galore in the hip, historic Ghent district just a few minutes from downtown. And Norfolk is friendly to our local environment with more than 45 registered LEED buildings as well as hotels, restaurants and attractions participating in the Virginia Green program. There is truly something for everyone here!” –Norfolk CVB



Current Traffic: Google Traffic

Airport: Norfolk International Airport

Public Transit: Hampton Roads Transit 

Bikeshare: No programs available yet 

Walkability: 44 at Walk Score

Parking Options/Expense: Park Me

Best Accommodations: ( Highest Guest Rated w/at least 50 Reviews)

Boutique: Tazewell Hotel & Suites 

High End: Norfolk Waterside Marriott

Mid Range: Residence Inn by Marriott Norfolk Airport

Bargain: La Quinta Inn & Suites Norfolk Airport

Foods to seek out:

Brunch: Start your lazy Sunday off right at No Frill Bar and Grill.

Buffalo Wings: Stop into The Dirty Buffalo and choose from their list of eight signature sauces.

Seafood: There's plenty to choose from at Captain Groovy's Grill & Raw Bar.

Known for:

Military: Naval Station Norfolk, Allied Command Transformation 

History: USS Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial 

Culture: Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia Stage Company

Sports Teams:

NCAA: Norfolk State Spartans

NCAA: Old Dominion Monarchs 

AHL: Norfolk Admirals 

Triple-A Baseball: Norfolk Tides

Cool Attractions:


1. See what it's like to be in the Navy with a tour of the USS Wisconsin.

2. Explore the heart of Norfolk on a tour with Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises.

3. Get some shopping done at the MacArthur Center or taste some local beers at Smartmouth Brewing Company.


1. Take in some fresh air while you journey through the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

2. Watch glass blowing up close and explore the history of video game technology at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

3. Catch a Broadway-quality performance at the Virginia Stage Company at the Wells Theater.


1. Take the fam out for a day at the Virginia Zoo.

2. From April through September, catch a ball game at Harbor Park.

3. Let the kids craft their very own mermaid at the Mermaid Factory.


1. Drinks: There's plenty of beer and cheese to choose from at The Birch.

2. Music Venue: See top artists perform at The NorVa.

3. Pool Hall: Shoot a few games and grab a slice of pizza at The Azalea Inn.

Norfolk is: 

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