Norfolk Travel Guide

Norfolk Harbour ©

Bordered by the grand Elizabeth River and historical Chesapeake Bay, it's no wonder Norfolk became the 'navy capital' of the United States. Largely influenced by its watery environment, visitors to Norfolk will find a smattering of outstanding maritime centres, museums and nautical memorabilia; not to mention its mammoth navy base, the largest in the world. 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.

Norfolk's downtown area has flourished over the years and a stroll through animated Granby Street is testament to this, with a string of lively gourmet restaurants, chic bars and trendy boutique stores. The historic district of Ghent is a good place to visit to get a picture of old-world Norfolk, where traditional wooden houses, tree lined boulevards and old churches dominate the landscape and visitors can browse for treasures in the quirky antique stores or people watch in one of the locally owned cafés. Ghent is a good place to find Norfolk souvenirs, like the iconic mermaid statues.

For a bit of sun, sea and surf head to the beach at Ocean View or take some time out to visit the Waterside Festival Marketplace overlooking the Elizabeth River, where live entertainment, an attractive array of dining options and superb shopping opportunities can be found. From here travellers can embark on a tour of the harbour and surrounding areas on an elegant tall ship or paddlewheel ferry.

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