Norfolk, VA | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Norfolk, VA

Norfolk is in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It is a port city with a large Navy and shipping presence. Neighboring cities are Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.

Norfolk has always been a Navy town. The world's largest naval base is located here. But it is also known as a major cultural center, with world-class museums, opera, symphony, ballet, and a vibrant arts community. In the last ten years or so, the downtown area has experienced a major resurgence, with gourmet restaurants, shopping, and attractions.

Town Point Park

is a waterfront park area right downtown that hosts several festivals and events throughout the year. A new cruise terminal was just built in 2007 making Norfolk one of the top cruise ports in the country. Granby Street is the main downtown thoroughfare, lined with... Read more

Norfolk, VA


Norfolk is in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It is a port city with a large Navy and shipping presence. Neighboring cities are Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.

Norfolk has always been a Navy town. The world's largest naval base is located here. But it is also known as a major cultural center, with world-class museums, opera, symphony, ballet, and a vibrant arts community. In the last ten years or so, the downtown area has experienced a major resurgence, with gourmet restaurants, shopping, and attractions.

Town Point Park

is a waterfront park area right downtown that hosts several festivals and events throughout the year. A new cruise terminal was just built in 2007 making Norfolk one of the top cruise ports in the country. Granby Street is the main downtown thoroughfare, lined with restaurants and bars.
Ghent is a historic district adjacent to downtown. Filled with historic homes, tree-lined streets and beautiful old churches, it is a good mix of residential and business. Colley Avenue and 21st Street are the main shopping and dining areas, with dozens of locally-owned boutiques, shops, antique stores, restaurants, and bars. The

Norva theater

on Colley Avenue is the region's sole movie theater with indie flicks.

Ocean View is Norfolk's beach community and features relatively uncrowded beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. During the '50s and '60s, Ocean View was in its prime and was a major beach destination for families and sailors. During the following decades, the beach community fell into a bit of a slump, succumbing to crime. The last five years, the city has been turning things around and now Ocean View is on its way to becoming one of the region's most sought after neighborhoods.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 96 square miles (250 km2), of which 54 square miles (140 km2) is land and 42 square miles (110 km2) (43.9%) is water. 

The city is located at the southeastern corner of Virginia at the junction of the Elizabeth River and the Chesapeake Bay. The Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area (officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA) is the 37th largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 1,716,624 in 2014. The area includes the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, and York, as well as the North Carolina counties of Currituck and Gates. The city of Norfolk is recognized as the central business district, while the Virginia Beach oceanside resort district and Williamsburg are primarily centers of tourism. Virginia Beach is the most populated city within the MSA though it functions more as a suburb. Additionally, Norfolk is part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC Combined Statistical Area, which includes the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA, the Elizabeth City, North Carolina Micropolitan Statistical Area, and the Kill Devil Hills, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area. The CSA is the 32nd largest in the nation with an estimated population in 2013 of 1,810,266.

In addition to extensive riverfront property, Norfolk has miles of bayfront resort property and beaches in the Willoughby Spit and Ocean View communities.

Being low-lying and largely surrounded by water, Norfolk is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. In addition, the land on which it is built is slowly subsiding. Some areas already flood regularly at high tide, and the city commissioned a study in 2012 to investigate how to address the issue in the future: it reported the cost of dealing with a sea-level rise of one foot would be around $1,000,000,000. Since then, scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 2013 have estimated that if current trends hold, the sea in Norfolk will rise by 5 and 1/2 feet or more by the end of this century.


When Norfolk was first settled, homes were made of wood and frame construction, similar to most medieval English-style homes. These homes had wide chimneys and thatch roofs. Some decades after the town was first laid out in 1682, the Georgian architectural style, which was popular in the South at the time, was used. Brick was considered more substantial construction; patterns were made by brick laid and Flemish bond. This style evolved to include projecting center pavilions, Palladian windows, balustraded roof decks, and two-story porticoes. By 1740, homes, warehouses, stores, workshops, and taverns began to dot Norfolk's streets.

Norfolk was burned down during the Revolutionary War. After the Revolution, Norfolk was rebuilt in the Federal style, based on Roman ideals. Federal-style homes kept Georgian symmetry, though they had more refined decorations to look like New World homes. Federal homes had features such as narrow sidelights with an embracing fanlight around the doorway, giant porticoes, gable or flat roofs, and projecting bays on exterior walls. Rooms were oval, elliptical or octagonal. Few of these federal rowhouses remain standing today. A majority of buildings were made of wood and had a simple construction.

In the early nineteenth century, Neoclassical architectural elements began to appear in the federal style row homes, such as iconic columns in the porticoes and classic motifs over doorways and windows. Many Federal-style row houses were modernized by placing a Greek-style porch at the front. Greek and Roman elements were integrated into public buildings such as the old City Hall, the old Norfolk Academy, and the Customs House. Taylor-Whittle House (c. 1790), now occupied by the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach and the Norfolk Historical Society. Greek-style homes gave way to Gothic Revival in the 1830s, which emphasized pointed arches, steep gable roofs, towers, and tracer-lead windows. The Freemason Baptist Church and St. Mary's Catholic Church are examples of Gothic Revival. Italianate elements emerged in the 1840s including cupolas, verandas, ornamental brickwork, or corner quoins. Norfolk still had simple wooden structures among its more ornate buildings.

High-rise buildings were first built in the late nineteenth century when structures such as the current Commodore Maury Hotel and the Royster Building were constructed to form the initial Norfolk skyline. Past styles were revived during the early years of the 20th century. Bungalows and apartment buildings became popular for those living in the city.

As the Great Depression wore on, Art Deco emerged as a popular building style, as evidenced by the Post Office building downtown. Art Deco consisted of streamlined concrete faced appearance with smooth stone or metal, with terracotta, and trimming consisting of glass and colored tiles.


Norfolk has a variety of historic neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods, such as Berkley, were formerly cities and towns. Others, such as Willoughby Spit and Ocean View, have a long history tied to the Chesapeake Bay. Today, neighborhoods such as Downtown, Ghent and Fairmount Park have transformed with the revitalization that the city has undergone.


Norfolk has a humid subtropical climate with moderate changes of seasons. Spring arrives in March with mild days and cool nights, and by late May, the temperature has warmed up considerably to herald warm summer days. Summers are consistently warm and humid, but the nearby Atlantic Ocean often exercises a slight cooling effect on daytime high temperatures, but a slight warming effect on nighttime low temperatures (compared to areas farther inland). As such, Norfolk has occasional days over 90 °F (32 °C). Temperatures over 100 F. are rare but can occur on occasion. On average, July is the warmest month, and August is the year's wettest month, due to still-frequent summer thunderstorm activity combined with a rising frequency (in August) of tropical activity (hurricanes and tropical storms), which can bring high winds and heavy rains. These usually brush Norfolk and only occasionally make landfalls in the area; the highest-risk period is mid-August to the end of September. Fall is marked by mild to warm days and cooler nights. Winter is usually mild in Norfolk, with average winter days featuring lows near or slightly above freezing and highs in the upper-40s to mid-50s (8 to 13 °C). On average, the coldest month of the year is January. Norfolk's record high was 105 °F (41 °C) on August 7, 1918, and July 24 and 25, 2010, and the record low was −3 °F (−19 °C) recorded on January 21, 1985. Snow occurs sporadically, with an average annual accumulation of 5.8 inches.

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Norfolk, VA: Port Information

Your cruise liner will dock at the Half Moone Cruise Terminal.
It is a great facility with everything you need. It's located in downtown.
It takes about 15 min to get to the airport by taxi.
There is a parking area. Shuttle service is provided.

Get around Norfolk, VA

By bus

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) operates the bus service in Norfolk. There are many routes in Norfolk, and the service can get you to almost any spot in Norfolk. Most buses run seven days a week early morning to late evening and are relatively reliable. Bus drivers do not carry cash, so be sure to bring the exact fare for each rider.

By boat

Hampton Roads Transit runs a passenger ferry from Portsmouth. Service is seven days a week and runs every half hour with more frequent service during rush hours. The ferry's crew does not carry cash, so be sure to bring the exact fare for each rider.

There is also a privately run boat taxi that will take you around the Norfolk and Portsmouth waterfronts. Call 757-439-8294 and the captain will pick you up anywhere on the waterfront.

By light rail

Since August 2011, HRT has operated the Tide Light Rail, a starter light rail line extending from the Newtown area at the Norfolk/Virginia Beach border to Downtown Norfolk and Sentara Hospital by the Midtown Tunnel. The Tide runs seven days a week every half hour with service increasing to every ten minutes during rush hours.

All-day passes, multiple-day passes, single ride, and multiple ride tickets are sold at vending machines, which are located at every station. The ticket vending machines accept cash, debit cards, and credit cards. The light rail is operated on the honor system, meaning that there is no one to check your ticket before you get on the Tide. However, the trains are monitored by uniformed police officers who will check for tickets. 

By car

If you must drive around the city, a good map and/or a local with knowledge of the roads is an absolute necessity. Stay on interstates for as long as possible, for once you leave, any signage is the responsibility of the city, not VDOT, and it shows. If your directions tell you to follow US 58, US 460 or state route 337 through the city, be prepared for a nerve-wracking drive. Directional signage (i.e., US 460 east, turn left) is virtually non-existent, and what signage does exist is more often than not inadequate or even incorrect. If there is a difference between signage and a map, the map is correct. Routes can and do change direction and shoot off onto side streets at a moment's notice, often without any signage advising travelers as to which road to follow. It is much easier than you might think to miss a turn and end up in a dangerous area.

What to see in Norfolk, VA

  • Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 232 Chapel Street, ☎ (757) 622-4487.
  • Cannonball Trail, 401 E. Freemason Street, ☎ (757) 441-1526. A heritage trail that connects historic sites and many popular attractions throughout the downtown area.  
  • Christ & St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 560 West Olney Road, ☎ (757) 627-5665. The church is an example of English architecture as interpreted by the Gothic Revivalists of the mid and late nineteenth century. Opening services were held on Christmas Day, 1910. Located in Ghent.  
  • Chrysler Museum of Art, 245 W. Olney Road, ☎ (757) 664-6200.
  • Freemason Street Baptist Church, 400 E. Freemason Street, ☎ (757) 625-7579. A historic Baptist church which was designed by architect Thomas Ustick Walter and dedicated in 1850. 
  • Ghent Historic District.  
  • Hampton Roads Naval Museum, One Waterside Drive, ☎ (757) 322-2987.  
  • Hermitage Museum & Gardens, 7637 N. Shore Road, ☎ (757) 423-205. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. 10-17.00 Monday - Saturday. 13.00-17.00 Sundays. Norfolk's pride. Has a huge garden and exhibitions of artwork. 
  • MacArthur Memorial, MacArthur Square Norfolk, VA 23510 (Park in the mall and cross the street, heading south.), ☎ 757.441.2965. Closed on Mondays. Tuesdays - Saturday 10-17.00, Sundays 11-17.00. Memorial and Museum of General MacArthur. 
  • Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin, One Waterside Drive, ☎ (757) 664-1000. Nauticus is a maritime-themed science center and museum. 
  • Naval Station Tour. A 45-minute tour conducted by Naval personnel. See aircraft carriers and other huge ships.
  • Norfolk Botanical Gardens, 6700 Azalea Garden Rd., Norfolk, VA 23518, ☎ 757.441.5830. April-October 15th: 9-19.00. October 16th-March: 9-17.00. Another landmark in Norfolk. Offers numerous tours by season and has all sorts of activities. Events change by season. The Botanical Gardens is pretty impressive in size and variety. It should be on the list of any visitor to the area. 
  • Pagoda & Oriental Garden, 265 W. Tazewell Street, ☎ ( 757) 622-0506.
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 201 St. Paul’s Boulevard, ☎ (757) 627-4353. A historic church built in 1739, it is the sole colonial-era building which survived the various wars that Norfolk has witnessed. A cannonball fired by Lord Dunmore in 1776 is still lodged in the church wall today.  
  • Virginia Zoological Park, 3500 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 441-2374.

What to do in Norfolk, VA

Go on a two-hour cruise around the Norfolk Naval Base. A guide will give a little bit of area history and describe some of the ships as you cruise past.

Spectator sports are popular in Norfolk. The Norfolk Tides is a AAA baseball team and the top affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Their home games are played at picturesque Harbor Park. At the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the Norfolk Admirals returned to the ECHL hockey league after 15 years in the American Hockey League and became an affiliate of the NHL's Nashville Predators. The Admiral's won the AHL's Calder Cup in 2012 and won three championships in the ECHL prior to becoming an AHL team. The Admirals play their home games at the Norfolk Scope. The Old Dominion Monarchs and Lady Monarchs play in colleges Conference USA. Football is played at S.B. Ballard Stadium at Foreman Field and basketball is played at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, also known by students and locals as the "Ted."
  • Attucks Theatre, 1010 Church Street, ☎ (757) 622-4763. Nicknamed the "Apollo Theatre" of the South. 
  • Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Pauls Boulevard, ☎ (757) 664-6464. Bringing Broadway to Norfolk. Shows such as Wicked, American Idiot, The Book of Mormon, Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera have had performances here. 
  • Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week, Locations Vary. Restaurant week is a great way to try the best offerings of the local restaurants. The price is typically for a 2 or 3-course meal at participating venues. This is not year round. 
  • Ghent Bar Tour. For a small fee (which goes to charity), you get to see the most prominent bars in the Ghent area. Special discounts if you pay online and if you are the designated driver. This is a seasonal event and times vary, please consult the website for further info.
  • Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, ☎ (757) 623-1223. Various events run by the Virginia Opera as well as concerts, musicals, and Broadway shows. 
  • NARO Expanded Cinema, 1507 Colley Avenue, ☎ 757-625-627. Features major and independent films. 
  • Ocean View Beaches, Ocean View, Norfolk. Enjoy the Chesapeake Bay at Ocean View on the furthest northern end of Norfolk. A great alternative to the crowded beaches at Virginia Beach. 
  • Ocean View Fishing Pier, 400 W. Ocean View Avenue, ☎ (757) 583-6000. The Ocean View Fishing Pier is, well, a pier that people fish off of. It hosts a restaurant and tackle shop. To go all the way out on the pier (which stretches out pretty far). As always check the website for prices before venturing out. The best time to visit is at night so one can see the lights of the bridges that connect to the two tunnels. 
  • O'Connor Brewing Company, 211 W. 24th Street, ☎ 757.623.BEER (2337). Thur & Fri 16-19.00, Sat 14.00-19.00. One of two Norfolk breweries. O'Connor's produces several different styles of beer and offers tours, which are to be booked in advance. 
  • Slover Library, 235 E. Plume Street, ☎ (757) 664-7323. The new addition to Norfolk's main library makes it one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the world. 
  • Stockley Gardens Art Festival, Stockley Gardens Park, Ghent. Spring and Winter. A fun way to spend the day while enjoying the park. All sorts of artist display their art for the general viewing of the public. 
  • Wells Theatre and the Virginia Stage Company, 108 E. Tazewell Street, ☎ (757) 627-1234. A performing arts venue located in downtown Norfolk, the theatre opened on August 26, 1913. It has housed the Virginia Stage Company since 1979. The Wells Theatre is owned and operated by the City of Norfolk and is part of The Seven Venues. 
  • West Freemason Area Historic District. A national historic district. Named by the American Planning Association a Top 10 Great Neighborhood for 2013. 

What to eat and drink in Norfolk, VA


  • A.W. Shucks, 2200 Colonial Avenue, ☎ (757) 664-9117. Tucked behind a mini-mall Ghent, but it is a popular restaurant and watering hole with great burgers, seafood, and beer selection.  
  • Azar's Market and Cafe, 2000 Colley Avenue, ☎ (757) 664-7955. A natural foods business specializing in Mediterranean specialties.  
  • Baxter's Sports Lounge, 500 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 622-9837. A sports bar and restaurant with multiple large screen TV's, pool tables, and a full bar. A great place to grab a bite to eat and a beer before an Admiral's game. 
  • Belmont House of Smoke, 2117 Colonial Avenue, ☎ (757) 623-4477. Smoked BBQ joint.  
  • Cogans Pizza, 1901 Colonial Avenue, ☎ (757) 627-6428. A pizza parlor with a full bar. Weekday lunch buffet. Open late.  
  • Del Vecchios, 1080 W. 47th Street, ☎ (757) 440-9300. Across from Old Dominion University. Order pizza by the slice or whole. The front side facing Hampton Boulevard is for dine-in and the backside is for take-out. Open late.  
  • Doumar’s Cones & Barbecue, 1919 Monticello Avenue, ☎ (757) 627-4163. The birthplace of the ice cream cone - Doumar's is Hampton Road's historic diner and curb service restaurant, home of the waffle cone, and the place where every day is ice cream day. The world's first waffle cone machine is still used at Doumar's today. Doumar's is a Norfolk institution and has been featured on the television show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. 
  • Fellini's Gourmet Pizza Cafe, 3910 Colley Avenue, ☎ (757) 625-3000.
  • Field Guide, 429 Granby Street. A restaurant that opens its garage doors during nice weather.  
  • Freemason Abbey Restaurant, 209 W. Freemason Street, ☎ (757) 622-3966. Located in a 141-year-old renovated church  
  • French Bakery & Delicatessen, 4108 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 625-4936. A good variety of French pastries and desserts as well as sandwiches and soups.  
  • Granby Street Pizza, 235 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 622-5085. Located on Granby Street in downtown. Open late on weekends. Order pizza's whole or by the slice.  
  • Machismo Burrito Bar, 409 W. York Street, ☎ (757) 624-2424. A build your own burrito bar with countless possible combinations.  
  • Monastery Restaurant, 443 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 625-8193. European cuisine.  
  • No Frill Bar and Grill, 806 Spotswood Avenue, ☎ (757) 627-4262. Located at the corner of Colley Avenue and Spotswood just a stone's throw from the Naro Theater in Norfolk's historic Ghent district. The atmosphere can be described as electric - always busy with lots of energy.  
  • Norfolk Seafood Company / Big Easy Oyster Bar, 111 Tazewell Street, ☎ (757) 227-6222. New Orleans style.  
  • Omar's Carriage House, 313 W. Bute Street, ☎ (757) 622-4990. A restaurant in a converted 19th-century carriage house.  
  • O'Sullivan's Wharf, 4300 Colley Avenue, ☎ (757) 961-0899 The best place to get the local flavor. It's self-dubbed as "A locals locale..." It's located at W. 43rd and Colley Ave, with a beautiful view of Knitting Mill Creek.  
  • Rama Garden, 441 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 616- 0533. Norfolk's Premiere Thai restaurant in the heart of downtown.  
  • Razzo, 3248 E. Ocean View Avenue, ☎ (757) 962-3630. A highly-rated Italian restaurant in Ocean View  
  • The Dirty Buffalo, 4110 Colley Avenue, ☎ (757) 226-7851. Known for their buffalo wings. Close to Old Dominion University.  
  • The Pagoda Restaurant, 265 W. Tazewell Street, ☎ (757) 622-0506. A fresh menu full of local and seasonal items and house-smoked meats. Enjoy soups, sandwiches, and salads during lunch, Chef’s seasonal entrees during dinner, and fresh local eggs during Sunday brunch. 
  • Todd Jurich's Bistro, 150 W. Main Street, ☎ (757) 622-3210. A unique dining experience in upscale dining — casual elegance.  
  • Vintage Kitchen, 999 Waterside Drive, ☎ (757) 625-3370. Featuring sweeping views of the Elizabeth River from the waterfront ballroom, terrace, and herb garden.  
  • Voila, 509 Botetourt Street, ☎ (757) 640-0343. International Cuisine tucked into a corner of Botetourt & York St. The menu offers an impressive selection of international dishes.  
  • Ynot Pizza, 1517 Colley Avenue, ☎ (757) 624-911. Hand-tossed pizza and other world-class traditional Italian dishes in the heart of Ghent.  


Two main sections of Norfolk have concentrations of bars and nightclubs: Ghent and Granby Street. Ghent is the most laid-back and hip, and Granby Street is a trendy place in the heart of downtown. Just follow the noise. As in the rest of Virginia, there technically are no "bars" but rather "restaurants that happen to have alcohol." Noting this, most places in Norfolk that sell food have a bar like atmosphere as the night approaches.
  • AJ Gators Sports Bar & Grill, 435 Monticello Avenue, ☎ (757) 622-5544.
  • Granby Theater, 421 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 961-7208. A popular dance club.  
  • Hell's Kitchen, 124 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 624-1906. Full kitchen and live music.  
  • Mermaid Winery, 330 W. 22nd Street, #106, ☎ (757) 233-4155. Norfolk's only urban winery.  
  • Norfolk Tap Room, 101 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 961-0896. Laid-back alehouse with an old-world vibe & a large selection of beer, along with pub fare.  
  • O’Connor Brewing Co., 211 W. 24th Street, ☎ (757) 623-2337.  
  • Scottie Quixx Bistro & Lounge, 436 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 625-0008. More of a club atmosphere with a DJ.  
  • Smartmouth Brewing Co., 1309 Raleigh Avenue, ☎ (757) 624-3939.  
  • Tap House, 931 W. 21st Street, ☎ (757) 627-9172. 16.00-2.00. One of the best selections of beer in VA. Preferred by the locals. Nice atmosphere and the friendly staff. Frequently hosts bands performing a variety of music. 
  • The Birch, 1231 W. Olney Road, ☎ (757) 962-5400. Very extensive selection of beer, if not the most extensive in the whole state. Its a bar for a good time or serious conversation. Has growlers to go.  
  • The Public House, 1112 Colley Avenue, ☎ (757) 227-9064.  
  • The Thirsty Camel, 394 W. Ocean View Avenue, ☎ (757) 587-1420. Located in the parking lot of the Ocean View Fishing Pier.  
Coffee Houses
  • Norfolk has a large variety of coffee houses around the city. Avoid the franchise coffees and enjoy one of Norfolk's may unique coffee houses.
  • Alatte Cafe, 321 Granby Street, ☎ (757) 625-2326. In downtown on Granby Street. Includes sidewalk seating as well. 
  • Bean There Cafe, 223 E. City Hall Avenue, Ste 101, ☎ (757) 623-5282. Located at MacArthur Square light rail station in downtown. 
  • Borjo Coffeehouse, 4416 Monarch Way, ☎ (757) 440-5800. Located at Old Dominion University's entertainment district.  
  • Cafe Stella, 1907 Colonial Avenue, ☎ ( 757) 625-0461.  
  • Chocollage, 201 College Place, ☎ (757) 533-5335. Breakfast and dessert menus available as well as coffee.  
  • CURE Coffeehouse and Brasserie, 503 Botetourt Street, ☎ (757) 321-0044. Coffee, sandwiches, and craft beer.  
  • Elliot's Fair Grounds, 806 Baldwin Avenue # 2, ☎ (757) 640-2899. A popular coffee house in Ghent.  
  • The Lizard Cafe at Prince Books, 109 E. Main Street, ☎ (757) 622-5973. Includes a great lunch menu and in the middle of an independent book store. 

Shopping in Norfolk, VA

There are several main shopping areas in Norfolk. The signature symbol of Norfolk is the mermaid, and there are several stores that sell unique mermaid sculptures, pins, jewelry and more.

  • MacArthur Center, 300 Monticello Avenue, ☎ (757) 627-6000. In downtown, the MacArthur Center is one of the best malls in the area and has a variety of great shops such as Pottery Barn, Coach, Williams & Sonoma, Sephora, Michael Kors, Apple, JCrew, EQ3, H&M, a beautiful Barnes & Noble academic superstore, etc. The mall is anchored by Nordstrom and Dillard's. Several restaurants to include Max & Erma's, Chili's, and California Pizza Kitchen are accompanied by a food court. The mall also includes the Regal Cinemas 18. 
  • Downtown has numerous shops and art galleries on Granby Street to include an Urban Outfitters, Norfolk Fair Trade Company, Stark & Legum, and Loja Leblon Swimwear & Lingerie. Also downtown is the D'Art Center, which features a large selection of local art. Monticello Arcade also has a few shops as well.
  • Waterside District is Norfolk’s premier dining and entertainment district. Waterside District features the best of national, regional and local restaurants and offers live music, festivals and more. Located in the heart of the central business district and adjacent to the City of Norfolk’s world-class waterfront and festival site. 
  • Ghent is a popular shopping area for locally-owned boutiques and antique stores. 21st Street and Colley Avenue are the main thoroughfares, but there are plenty of unique stores on the surrounding streets. The Palace Shoppes on 21st Street and Palace Station on Debree have some great little stores, including an adorable pet boutique, call Wet Noses and a chic women's clothing store, NYFO. There are also quite a few antique stores around Ghent and throughout Norfolk.
  • Military Circle and Janaf used to be a great area to shop in. The Military Circle Mall has lost a lot of tenants in recent years due to crime. With the closing of Macy's, the mall no longer has any anchor tenants.
  • Norfolk Premium Outlets at Lake Wright. 

Safety in Norfolk, VA

In recent history, Norfolk has had a fair amount of crime, however, Norfolk has turned itself around in recent years.

As in all cities, crime happens. Downtown and the adjoining West Freemason are areas that have really turned itself around. Wandering around Old Dominion University late at night and alone a bit away from the university is not advised. ODU Police and Norfolk Police have teamed up and now patrol the area frequently. Although Norfolk Police wander for real crime, Campus Police Department generally looks for parties then real safety concerns, but if you have a real problem, just press a blue box around campus.

As with most places in the rest of the USA, the phone number of 911 is used to contact emergency services. The Norfolk Police Department can be contacted at (757) 441-5610, if not an emergency. Finally, the Virginia State Police Department can be contacted via (804) 674-2000.

Language spoken in Norfolk, VA

English is the official language. 


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Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Average: 9.8 (10 votes)

  The Chrysler Museum of Art is an art museum on the border between downtown and the Ghent district of Norfolk, Virginia. The museum was originally founded in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. (whose wife, Jean Outland Chrysler, was a native of Norfolk), donated most of his...
Wells Theatre, Norfolk, VA
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

The Wells Theatre is a performing arts venue located in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. It has housed the Virginia Stage Company since 1979. The Wells Theatre is owned and operated by the City of Norfolk and is part of The Seven Venues. History The theatre opened on August 26, 1913 with a production of The Merry Countess, a Schubert musical. In...
Norfolk Botanical Garden, VA
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

The Norfolk Botanical Garden (155 acres) is a botanical garden with arboretum located at 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, Virginia.   Admission to the garden Members Free Adults $11 Seniors and Military $10 Children & Youth (3-18) $9 Toddlers (2 and under) Free with Parent or Guardian Boat Tours: Adults $8...
Norfolk Scope, VA
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

Norfolk Scope is a cultural, entertainment, convention and sports complex in Norfolk, Virginia, comprising an 11,000-person arena, a 2,500-person theater known as Chrysler Hall, a 10,000 square foot-exhibition hall and a 600-car parking garage. The arena was designed by Italian architect/engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in conjunction with the (now...
Virginia Zoological Park, Norfolk, VA
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

The Virginia Zoological Park is a 53-acre (21 ha) zoo located adjacent to Lafayette Park in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. The zoo opened in 1900, and was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 1987. History In 1892, the City of Norfolk purchased the 65 acres (26 ha) that was currently occupied by Lafayette Park. In 1900...
Town Point Park, Norfolk, VA
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

Town Point Park is a 7-acre (2.8 ha) waterfront city park on the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. The park hosts major outdoor concerts, award-winning festivals and special events each year to include Norfolk Harborfest, Bayou Boogaloo, and 4th of July Celebrations. Norfolk Festevents programs Town Point Park on behalf of the City of...
MacArthur Memorial, Norfolk, VA
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

The MacArthur Memorial is a memorial, museum and research center about the life of General Douglas MacArthur. It consists of three buildings on MacArthur Square in Norfolk, Virginia. Memorial - located in the former Norfolk City Hall building, the memorial houses the tomb of General MacArthur and his wife in the rotunda, and the museum that...
Hunter House Victorian Museum, Norfolk, VA
Average: 9 (10 votes)

The Hunter House Victorian Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, USA is a house museum. The house was built in 1894 for the merchant and banker James Wilson Hunter, together with his wife Lizzie Ayer Barnes Hunter and their three children. It was designed and built by the Boston architect W.P. Wentworth in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The...