Norfolk’s premier dining and entertainment district offers live music and entertainment in the heart of the central business district, adjacent to the waterfront.
Located on the Elizabeth River just to the west of the Central Business District is the city's oldest standing neighborhood. Its cobblestone streets and mature trees are the backdrop for the city's only neighborhood that presents a visible chronology
of three centuries of architectural styles. Converted turn-of-the century warehouses boast trendy, loft-style housing while mansion-like homes built by some of the city's earliest residents are just footsteps away from contemporary, state-of-the
art condominiums and apartments on the waterfront.
West Freemason was the first neighborhood within Norfolk’s city limits to be rebuilt, in the late 1700s, after the city was nearly completely destroyed during the Revolutionary War. Responding to a proposal in the 1960s to build a waterfront freeway through the neighborhood, West Freemason’s residents worked together with local authorities to save the neighborhood’s historic infrastructure – including the city’s the oldest surviving cobblestone paving and granite curbs. Additional preservation efforts include the Marine Observation Tower (Pagoda), and development of an Oriental Garden surrounding the Pagoda on Norfolk’s waterfront.
The Chrysler Museum is widely counted among the top museums in the country. Despite it's size, it boasts a wide ranging collection of objects and art, including one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of glass in the world. Additional collections include European and American painting and sculpture, modern art, ancient and non-western art, photography, contemporary art, and decorative art. The museum also hosts a number of rotating visiting exhibitions. Click here to view current exhibitions. Admission is free.
Just to the north of Downtown is another eclectic, historic neighborhood. Known as a favorite destination for the "creative class," Ghent is also home to unique shops, bistros, and entertainment venues.
Started in the late 1930s as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the garden is renowned for its azalea collection and hosts Norfolk's annual International Azalea Festival. The property spans 175 acres with 52 themed gardens that can be viewed by tram, boat, or on foot. The garden is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
In the aftermath of the War of 1812, Congress devised a series of Third System defensive forts to further deter coastal invasions. Fort Monroe was designed by French military engineer Brigadier General Simon Bernard, and construction began in 1819.
The site at Old Point Comfort was chosen due to its strategic position at the point where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Hampton Roads Harbor, and within meets the mouths of the Elizabeth and James Rivers. Prior to the establishment of Fort Monroe,
this vital point of entry was left largely undefended.
During the Civil War, Fort Monroe became a safe haven for slaves escaping from the South. Read more about Fort Monroe as a refuge for freedom seekers.
The Old Point Comfort Light is the oldest active lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, since 1802.
Visit an important site of the American Revolution, where allied American and French forces won the decisive battle against the British in 1781. Established in 1691, Yorktown grew to serve as a major Virginia port and economic center by the early 1700s. But prosperity and peace ended by 1781, when British troops led by general Lord Charles Cornwallis arrived to establish a naval base. Nearly 100 years later, the town saw further destruction during the Civil War seige of 1862, and subsequent occupation by Union army troops.
The "Revolutionary City" serves as a center for history, encouraging visitors to learn from the past through the preservation, restoration, and presentation of 18th-century Williamsburg. View an interactive map of Colonial Williamsburg to discover historic landmarks, shops, and restaurants.
Jamestown Settlement tells the story of America’s first permanent English colony founded in 1607. Located close to the original colony's site, the recreation includes a life-size colonist fort, Powhatan Indian village, and replicas of the three ships who made first landing. The settlement is open daily from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
One of our favorite spots for a night out. Modern, Italian dishes and an eclectic selection of cocktails and wines. Open 5 PM–2 AM Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Quaint little coffee shop in the heart of downtown. Open 7 AM–5:30 PM Monday through Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Delicious salads, enough for two to share. Open 11 AM–3 PM and 6 PM–10 PM Wednesday through Saturday. Open 12 PM–3 PM on Sunday. Closed Tuesday.
Trendy café in the heart of the Freemason Historic District. Great spot to stop for a coffee and sandwich. Their chai latte is the best in town. Also serving beer, wine, and cocktails. Open 8 AM-10 PM Monday through Wednesday plus Saturday, 7 AM–10 PM Thursday and Friday, and 8 AM-8 PM Sunday.
Best pizza in Norfolk. Karaoke on Wednesday nights. Patio seating available. Open 11 AM–2 AM daily.
Great spot for freshly made sandwiches and salads. Borjo coffee bar is also inside serving a full range of coffee, tea, shake, wine, and tap beer options. Outdoor seating with a fire pit. Open 7 AM–7 PM Monday through Friday, 8 AM–7 PM Saturday, and 8 AM–5 PM Sunday.
Tiny bistro with excellent, inexpensive food. Closed Sunday. Open 11 AM–9 PM all other days.
A local's favorite in the heart of Ghent. Try the fish tacos and kogi beef tacos. Patio seating available. Open 5 PM–2 AM Monday through Thursday, and 11 AM–2 AM Friday through Sunday.
Local's favorite for seafood. Open 11 AM–2 AM daily.
Another local favorite. Specializing in dishes served on fresh-baked, homemade toast. Located near the train tracks in the historic Park Place neighborhood, which is undergoing revitalization. Brunch served Friday through Sunday. Outdoor seating available. Open 5–11 PM Tuesday through Thursday, 10 AM–2 AM Friday and Saturday, and 10 AM–3 PM Sunday. Closed Monday.
One of our favorite late-night spots. Also known for tasty vegan and gluten-free options. Great food and excellent cocktails. Save room for bread pudding! Open 5 PM–1:30 AM daily.