Norfolk is Virginia's second-most populated city with more than 245,000 residents and is bordered by the grand Elizabeth River and historical Chesapeake Bay. Home to the largest Navy Base in the world and aptly referred to as the 'navy capital,' Norfolk makes for a great break away and sees many visitors year after year return to enjoy this seaside destination.
Its waterfront location makes Norfolk a pleasure for those who value seaside splendour. Offering much in the way of maritime attractions, Norfolk makes for a good break away in the sun and offers much more than just a beautiful shoreline. Norfolk is also home to a lively arts community, boasting some top notch galleries, museums and an impressive opera house.
Visitors often marvel at the unique attractions found in Norfolk. Not only home to the Naval base where visitors can enjoy guided tours and learn about Naval life, visitors can also take some time out to enjoy the likes of the Waterside Festival Marketplace. Overlooking the Elizabeth River, those who pop by can find live entertainment, an attractive array of dining options and superb shopping opportunities. Tourists of the region can also wander through the historic district of Ghent and discover old-world Norfolk as it once was. The downtown area is also a favourite; having flourished over the years it makes for a memorable visit.
Also known as a budget-friendly destination, visitors of Norfolk will no doubt enjoy what the region has to offer, and will save a couple of dollars in the process.
Originally founded in 1933, the Chrysler Museum of Art is located on the waters of The Hague, in the Ghent district of Norfolk, and is home to the art collection of Walter P. Chrysler Jr. Over time it has increased its collection significantly and is one of Norfolk's most esteemed attractions. The museum is family-friendly and kids especially will love the Daniel Rozin interactive installation.
Nauticus is a must-see for families on holiday in Norfolk. This maritime-themed science centre and museum now stands where Norfolk's banana pier once stood and features exhibits, interactive theatres and shark touch tanks, as well as a weather station. Open since 1994, the museum is a popular educational attraction in Norfolk for anyone interested in learning about America's maritime history. The AEGIS Command Center allows visitors to experience naval battles first-hand, and Secrets of the Deep lets you to practise gathering samples from the ocean floor with a nine-foot robotic arm. Nauticus is also home to the USS Wisconsin battleship and the Schooner Virginia, an additional interest for mariners and vacationers alike.
Norfolk and the Virginia Beach area have a humid subtropical climate. Winters (December to February) are mild, with light snowfall averaging around 5.8 inches (147mm) annually; temperatures generally stay between 32°F (0°C) and 52°F (11°C). Summers (June to August) are hot and humid with warm evenings, averaging temperatures between 67°F (19°C) and 87°F (31°C). Spring and summer are the wettest periods, although rainfall is fairly constant all year long. Norfolk is in a fortuitous location in that it is south of major winter storms and north of hurricanes, and thus is at less risk of storms than most cities on the East Coast of the US.
Hampton Roads Transit provides transportation within Norfolk and surrounding cities (including Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton and Newport). Multi-day passes are available. The Tide Light Rail system extends east-to-west through downtown Norfolk, making 11 stops. Trains stop every 10-30 minutes depending on time of day, and operate from 6am to 11pm Monday to Thursday, 6am to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10.55am to 9.50pm on Sundays and holidays. Taxi stands are located throughout the city. Water taxis are also available from the Norfolk and Portsmouth waterfronts on weekends during the summer.
Largely influenced by its watery environment, visitors to Norfolk will find some superb attractions to enjoy.
Norfolk is home to a beautiful shoreline; a given considering it is home to the world's largest naval base. The beach at Ocean View is a popular choice for those looking to take some time out, but there are many superb beaches to choose from. There are also some outstanding maritime centres, museums and nautical memorabilia shops on offer in the region, not to mention the mammoth navy base. But belying its naval reputation, Norfolk is also home to a vibrant arts community, boasting a variety of dynamic art galleries, including the world-class Chrysler Museum of Art, numerous theatres and a grand opera house.
The historic district of Ghent is a popular choice for those looking for something a little different. There are traditional wooden houses, tree-lined boulevards and old churches to see, all resembling the Norfolk of a time gone by. For lovers of history, antiques, art and architecture, this district is certainly worth the visit.
Those in search of some fun after dark won't be disappointed should they stop over in the downtown area of Norfolk. Here great restaurants and chic bars can be relished long into the early hours. For more music and culinary fare, the Waterside Festival Marketplace is also a good bet for live entertainment and some great dining opportunities. From here travellers can also embark on a tour of the harbour and surrounding areas on an elegant tall ship or paddlewheel ferry.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination
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