Things to Do In Norfolk Virginia

Things to do in Norfolk Virginia

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    Have you ever heard of the famous city of Norfolk? What is Norfolk famous for?

    Answers to these and many more questions have been curated in the article below. Read on to learn more about the things to do in Norfolk, Virginia.

    The city of Norfolk is located alongside the Chesapeake Bay and is an excellent hub for exploring coastal Virginia. Norfolk offers an incredible range of outdoor and indoor activities like boating or surfing in the Atlantic Ocean. The city is home to various cultural museums and art centers, making it ideal for guided walking tours for those interested in art, history, and culture.

    Things to do in Norfolk Virginia

    Is Norfolk VA worth visiting?

    Absolutely yes. Norfolk, VA, has bustling neighborhoods with their unique character and vibe. From the historical towns of Ghent to the modern waterfront Downtown, Norfolk has a lot to offer for everyone. Larchmont is famous for water activities, whereas Chelsea has the most walkable and bikeable neighborhoods in Norfolk. From ocean views, craft beers, and museums to botanical gardens, Norfolk celebrates diversity and variety in every nook and corner. There are various things to do in Norfolk, VA, for families. Read on to learn more about them in detail.

    What is Norfolk Virginia known for?

    Norfolk, Virginia, is known for the scenic Chesapeake Bay and the Naval Station Norfolk. Naval Station in Virginia houses the US Navy’s Fleet Forces Command and is the largest naval base globally. The North American Headquarters for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is also located in Virginia. Norfolk is also known for its deep historical roots and culture. Reasons to Move to Virginia give detailed insights into the region’s famous attractions and lifestyle factors, including Norfolk City.

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    10 Best Things To Do In Norfolk Virginia

    Norfolk, Virginia, offers a range of indoor and outdoor activities for everyone across all demographics. There are a lot of unique things to do in Norfolk, VA. Popular attractions with their characteristics are listed below.

    1. Norfolk Botanical Garden

    Norfolk Botanical Garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in Virginia. It is a must-see place for everyone visiting Norfolk. The Garden encompasses 175 acres of land and 14 miles of both paved and unpaved paths. The opening hours are from 9 am to 7 pm throughout the week. It is one of the unique kinds of gardens in the vicinity that can be traversed by tram, boat, and foot. The Botanical Garden is surrounded by water on all three sides, and there are about 50 themed gardens.

    Norfolk Botanical Garden

    Guided tours and events are organized in the Garden all day long for spectators. Butterfly House and Children’s House are great locations for children to visit. Further, children can indulge in safari and treasure hunting activities.

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, SB’s Lakeside Loveshack, and Hobnob are popular bars and restaurants near the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

    The Botanical Garden is near 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, VA.

    Can you drive through the Norfolk Botanical Gardens Christmas Lights?

    Yes, one can drive through a spectacular Light Show in the New Year, also known as Christmas Lights, through 6700 Azalea Garden Road adjacent to Norfolk International Airport.

    Are dogs allowed at Norfolk Botanical Gardens?

    Dogs are allowed at Norfolk Botanical Gardens at a charge of $5 per pet. Therefore, you can say that Norfolk Botanical Gardens is dog-friendly.

    Where can I see Christmas Lights in Norfolk?

    The Christmas Light Show in Virginia at Norfolk Botanical Gardens is the best botanical holiday light show in the US. A mile-long walking route along Azalea Garden Road is decorated with Christmas lights on New Year’s Eve.

    2. Chrysler Museum

    Chrysler Museum is one of the popular sites to visit in Norfolk, featuring about 30,000 pieces of ancient artwork, artifacts, and paintings. All the artifacts are historical pieces created over 5000 years. Additionally, this museum has one of the best glass collections in the world.

    Chrysler Museum Norfolk

    The glass collection in the museum is spectacular and one of a kind in the US.

    Perry-Glass Studio is a 7000-square-foot building where artists showcase their work and is a perfect place for art enthusiasts to make a stop. Free public demonstrations of artwork are done for free from Wednesday to Sunday. Exhibitions are also held, so people interested in exhibitions would love to visit this place.

    Museum of Art, Wisteria Cafe, Machismo, and Phantoms are popular restaurants and bars near the Chrysler Museum.

    The Chrysler Museum is near 745 Duke Street, 1 Memorial Place, Norfolk, Virginia.

    Is the Chrysler Museum free?

    Admission to the Chrysler Museum is free. Workshops and demonstrations are held regularly. However, check the website to learn more about these events and register.

    How much is the Chrysler Museum of Art?

    You’ll get an entry fee but walking tours in the Chrysler Museum of Art cost around $35 and vary based on age and number of people. Also, one must buy tickets for workshops and other events.

    3. Ocean View Beach

    Ocean View Beach, along with East Beach, is a stunning beach located in Norfolk, Virginia. Both beaches offer plenty of water activities and outdoor sports events for all age groups. Ocean View Golf Course is another popular destination for visitors featuring fresh, delicious, and local food.

    Ocean View Beach

    Want to learn more about other outdoor activities in Virginia? Do read the best hikes in Virginia with a view for detailed information on such outdoor attractions.

    Activities like kayaking, swimming, sailing, fishing, and crabbing can be done on the beachfront. Various music festivals and live performances are organized for entertainment here. Visit Ocean View Station to learn more about the history and culture of the region.

    Mexican cuisine at Jessy’s Tienda and Taqueria and other seafood restaurants and bars like Off the Hook, Patsy’s Restaurant, and DiFebo’s Restaurant Bethany Beach offer delectable food and drinks.

    Ocean View Beach is near 100 W. Ocean View Ave, Norfolk, Virginia. The beach is located along the shorelines of Chesapeake Bay.

    Can you swim at Norfolk Ocean View VA?

    One can swim within 7.3 miles of the free, accessible, beautiful shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay at Norfolk Ocean View, VA.

    Is Ocean View Norfolk safe?

    Ocean View Norfolk is an extremely safe and pleasant neighborhood. Further, the area is well-lit, kid-friendly, and highly secure.

    Is Norfolk Virginia worth visiting?

    Norfolk, Virginia, has an incredible range of outdoor activities to offer and innumerable attractions to explore. Thus, it is worth visiting as it offers spectacular oceanfront views.

    Is the water clear at Virginia beach?

    Water is clear at Virginia Beach as the authorities test the water every week to check if the level of toxins or bacteria is high. The beach is maintained for cleanliness and hygiene.

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    4. Drink Craft Beer in Norfolk

    Norfolk has various microbreweries in the region, as the city has ideal growing conditions for malt barley, soil types, and sea- mist. Further, the waters of Norfolk are ideal for beer-making and brewing. The craft beer of Norfolk is famous for its award-winning ales and lagers. Norfolk Brew Hop Pass is issued, giving access to free drinks and 3-6 breweries, depending on your package. Exploring craft beers and breweries is one of the best things to do in Norfolk, VA, in winter.

    Drink Craft Beer in Norfolk

    Craft Beer Tours are organized for visitors with entry fees. Unlimited access to drinks and breweries is provided via an access pass.

    The Birch, The Pie, Maker’s Craft Brewery, and Smartmouth Brewing Company are popular restaurants near Norfolk Brewing Company.

    Norfolk Brewhouse, The Barsham Brewery, The Fat Cat Brewing Company, and Brancaster Brewery are famous breweries in Norfolk.

    What is the most popular beer in Virginia?

    Budweiser is the most popular beer in Virginia. Moreover, craft beers in different flavors and varieties are available across Norfolk city in Virginia.

    What beer do they drink in the Outer Banks?

    Outer Banks Brewery offers four flavored beers. The flagship beers are known by the names Corolla Saison, Penny’s Hill IPA, Swan Beach Honey Pale Ale, and Corolla Lager. Further, new varieties of beer are roasted every month.

    5. Barry Art Museum

    Barry Art Museum is in Old Dominion University in Norfolk and has an extensive art collection. It is a perfect place for art enthusiasts; as a result, Norfolk is well known for its art. The museum is renowned for glass sculptures and artifacts. Other items include paper art, paintings, and sculptures. Admission is free to the museum.

    Barry Art Museum

    Exhibitions, events, and workshops are organized regularly in Barry Art Museum. Make sure to check their website to learn more about these events.

    Popular restaurants near Barry Art museum include La Herradura, Osaka Ramen and sushi, and Jimmy John’s.

    Barry Art Museum is near 1075 W 43rd St, Norfolk, VA 23508.

    Do read Virginia’s cost of living to understand Virginia’s lifestyle and living conditions.

    How is Barry Art Museum rated?

    Barry Art Museum has a rating of 4.5 as per popular Google reviews. Furthermore, the Museum is child-friendly and family-friendly.

    What days is Barry Art Museum open?

    Barry Art Museum is open on all days of the week except Monday. Opening hours are from 11 am to 5 pm throughout the week.

    6. Elizabeth River Trail

    The trail covers 9 miles of scenic views from Norfolk University to Terminal Boulevard. Elizabeth River Trail is one of the best bike trails in Virginia. The hike starts from an abandoned railroad, which was transformed recently and is pet-friendly. There are innumerable national parks in Virginia offering scenic trails and adventurous hikes.

    Elizabeth River Trail

    Popular activities include walking, running, biking, and birdwatching. The trail is accessible throughout the year.

    Popular restaurants and bars near Elizabeth River Trail are Salty, Varia, Graine, and Jack Brown’s beer & Burger Joint.

    Elizabeth River Trail is in Norfolk, 23510, Virginia.

    How long is the Elizabeth River Trail?

    The Elizabeth River is 10.5 miles long urban biking and pedestrian trail along the Norfolk Waterfront, maintained by social organizations.

    Where does the Elizabeth River begin and end?

    The Elizabeth River is a 6-mile long water entity beginning from Hampton’s Harbour to the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia.

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    7. Norfolk Waterside District

    Norfolk Waterside District is a lively place located along the waterfront in Norfolk. The area features the best of the national, regional, and local restaurants featuring live music and other activities. It is located near the central business district.

    Norfolk Waterside District

    A lot of renowned restaurants, events, festivals, cruise rides, and live music are organized regularly by the authorities of Norfolk.

    Some of the best restaurants in Norfolk Waterside District are Cogan’s Pizza, Star Hill market Bar, Stripers, and the Market Norfolk.

    Norfolk Waterside District is near 333 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA.

    Where is Norfolk Harbor?

    Norfolk Harbor is located at the beginning of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Further, it is one of the largest naval hubs for commercial shipping and naval activities on the eastern coast of the US.

    8. American Rover Sailing Cruise

    The Cruise is located near Hampton Roads and has a connection with American Rover Stanback sails. It is listed as one of the main sights in the area. Waterside in Norfolk, Virginia, offers cruise rides for about 150 passengers. Make sure to make reservations in advance.

    American Rover Sailing Cruise

    Visitors can sail from Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads Harbour every day for two hours between April and October. Sunset cruises are also recommended.

    Avenue Grille & Goods, Ortega’s Southwestern Grill, Wine Bar, and Olives A Greek Kitchen are popular restaurants near the location.

    American Rover Sailing Cruise is near 333 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510.

    9. Doumar’s Restaurant

    The restaurant is famous for its original waffle cone and is an ice cream lover’s paradise. Homemade shakes, sundaes, desserts, and ice-creams are available here. The Founder, Abe Doumar, first made the waffle cone in 1904 and has several joints across Virginia, including ocean View.

    Doumar’s Restaurant

    Other dining options like North Carolina-style barbeque, homemade burgers, and limeades are also available for visitors. All items are freshly made and sourced.

    Doumar has become the best landmark on Hampton Road in recent times. Visitors can choose dining or curbside service.

    Doumar’s Restaurant is at 1919 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA.

    How old is Doumar’s in Norfolk Virginia?

    Doumar was first established in 1904 by Abe Doumar and has been in business for 100 years. Due to this, it has become one of the best landmarks in Virginia.

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    10. Freemason Abbey Restaurant

    Freemason Abbey Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in Norfolk, situated inside a repurposed church. It offers several different menus and varieties of food. The Sunday brunch menu is very famous here; many gluten-free and vegetarian options are available.

    Freemason Abbey Restaurant

    The restaurant’s top menu items are the Freemason Onion Abey Soup, the She Crab Soup Crab cakes, and hand-cut super delicious steaks.

    There are other less popular restaurants and bars near the Abbey Restaurant on Freemason Street.

    Freemason Abbey Restaurant is near 209 W, Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA.

    Does Freemason Abbey Restaurant take reservations?

    Yes, Freemason Abbey Restaurant takes reservations through their online sites and OpenTable. Further, the opening hours are from 11 am to 10 pm.

    What forms of payment are accepted at Freemason Abbey Restaurant?

    Freemason Abbey Restaurant accepts credit cards and other forms of payment. However, it does not accept personal checks.

    Things to do in Norfolk Virginia FAQs

    Is Downtown Norfolk walkable?

    Downtown Norfolk is walkable and has an incredible range of outdoor activities to choose from. There is something for every age group and desire. Further, it is compact and easy to navigate. There are a lot of shopping attractions, dining, and parking options in the Downtown region. It is the center for financial and entertainment activities too.

    Does Norfolk Downtown have a town?

    Norfolk Downtown is easy to navigate and is the hub for all financial or entertainment options. Further, Norfolk Downtown is the central town of Norfolk, Virginia. It has easy accessibility through different means and modes of transportation via land and water.


    Norfolk, Virginia, is home to some amazing and interesting attractions offering unique propositions. It has an incredible range of activities and options to choose from for all age groups. Be it the craft beer, fancy restaurants, waterside events, and museum tours, Norfolk, Virginia, does not disappoint on any front.

    It is a culturally inclined city with strong roots. Visit Norfolk to experience the rich culture, entertainment, and fine-dining experiences all under the same roof. Which place would you prefer to visit once in Norfolk, Virginia? Let us know in the comments below.

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