Traveler's Guide to Norfolk Tourism
We don't pretend to be travel consultants, but we do know our own home town, and we hear from our customers how much they enjoyed this visit and hated the other one. So after twenty years in this business, we can pass on a few suggestions about what to see, where to stay, and how to play when visiting Norfolk. One thing you can count on. Unlike some of the tourism pros, nobody is paying us to recommend the attractions we list here. Read our tourist suggestions with confidence.
Pictured above right, the City's downtown hub rests on the shore of the Elizabeth River. Once known primarily for its busy shipping traffic the area now serves as a thriving cultural and social center for the Hampton Roads regions 1.5 million residents. Attractions include The Waterside Festival Marketplace and Town Point Park, Nauticus National Maritime Center (the large grey building in the center of the photo), the American Rover tall ship river tour, The MacArthur Memorial and the sparkling new MacArthur Center luxury mall, and the Spirit of Norfolk luxury yacht (shown in the foreground) for lunch and dinner cruises. Trolley and Ferry Tours start adjacent to the Waterside and cover all the major attractions in the downtown area. A newer picture would show the Battleship Wisconsin, now moored next to the Nauticus National Maritime Museum and arguably the world's largest museum artifact. Tours of the mighty battlewagon started in mid April 2001. For more information on touring Norfolk, see the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau web site.
The excitement's always in bloom! In early spring, the 155-acre gardens are ablaze with color from 200,000 azalea plants. During azalea season, passengers traveling through the adjacent Norfolk International Airport are treated to a visual festival unparalleled by any other airport in the world!
Throughout the year, 20 theme gardens such as the Bistrow Butterfly Garden, the National Camellia Collection, the Bicentennial Rose Gardens 300,000 blooms, the Renaissance Garden, the Japanese Gardens and the Colonial Herb Gardens brighten the hiking trails and trackless-train paths. Boat tours give unprecedented views of the vegetation along Lake Whitehursts shores. Call 757-441-5830.
Chrysler Museum of Art
Located on the bank of the Ghent District's beautiful Hague (see the picture to the right), the Chrysler Museum of Art boasts an extraordinary permanent collection of the world's greatest art, and also hosts a continuing series of special shows. Current offerings and times are available by calling 757-664-6200.
Chrysler Hall & Norfolk Scope
Centered in the downtown area, Norfolk's majestic Chrysler Hall hosts concerts and Broadway plays, and is the home of the Virginia Symphony. Immediately adjacent is the Scope, an 8,000 seat arena for indoor sporting events, trade shows, exhibitions and circuses. For event information for both venues, see the Norfolk Scope Web Site or call 757-664-6464.
Harrison Opera House
Home of the Virginia Opera, this exquisite concert hall (shown to the right) is located in the arty Ghent neighborhood. For details on performance schedules, see the City of Norfolk's Opera House Page or call 757-623-1223.
Norfolk Naval Base Tours
Stand in awe as you take in the size of a super carrier's flight deck. See the latest in military hardware. The Norfolk Naval Base is the world's largest naval base. Call 757-444-7955 for more information.
Come see the Norfolk Tides, our AAA affiliate of the New York Mets Baseball team in action. 622-2222.
The Virginia Zoological Park
You can thrill to the tigers in the new state-of-the-art big-cat habitat, marvel at the monkey's antics, or just dawdle and feed the ducks in the waterfowl pond. Special programs for children intent on learning about wildlife. For information on hours and tours, visit the VaZoo website or call 757-624-9937.
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