Norfolk - Tourist Attractions, Things To Do, Hotels And Restaurants

About Norfolk

The City of Norfolk in Virginia was initially established as a town in 1682 and later incorporated as a city in 1845. It is located at the intersection of the James and Elizabeth Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Norfolk’s history dates back to the early coastal colonies of England. The Powhatan Confederacy first inhabited the area, which the English subsequently replaced in the Jamestown Settlement. Over the next few centuries, Norfolk became an important port city and played a key role in the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Another astonishing fact about Norfolk is that during the second year of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the city was burned by orders of the outgoing Virginia governor Lord Dunmore in 1776, although it was quickly rebuilt. Today, the city is known for its historic architecture, museums, and cultural attractions. Its rich military and transportation history further enhances the city’s prominence on the map.

When it comes to climate, it has a humid subtropical climate with warm, humid summers. It occasionally has thunderstorms and moderate, rainy winters with snowfall. The city has high humidity levels all year because of its proximity to the water, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

The city is home to the Norfolk Tides, a minor league baseball team, and the Virginia Beach Dolphins, a professional indoor soccer team. Norfolk also has a great boxing history, with many famous boxers, including George Foreman and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Now that you have familiarity with Norfolk City, know more about what you can do!

Start your day by taking a scenic stroll along the Elizabeth River Trail, and then you can visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden, the landmark of Norfolk’s local history. The city is widely recognized for its cuisine, and you can explore various dining options, with seafood dishes being a local specialty.

What is Norfolk known for?

Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval facility, as well as the US Marine Corps, the US Coast Guard, and NATO’s North American Headquarters. The largest inter-model center in the United States is Norfolk International Terminal.

Stay in Norfolk

Norfolk has several luxury and family-friendly hotels, resorts, spas, and tourist attractions, including:

Luxury Hotels:

  • Hilton Norfolk The Main:

Hilton Norfolk The Main is a 23-story luxury hotel in Norfolk located at the intersection of Granby and Main in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. It has 300 guest rooms and suites, all decorated in a modern style with sleek furnishings and plush bedding. The hotel offers stunning views of the Elizabeth River and Downtown. It features contemporary urban luxury with an elegant and modern decor theme. The amenities include:

  • A 24-hour fitness center
  • A rooftop bar with panoramic city views.
  • A full-service restaurant
  • A business center with meeting rooms
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Piano bar offering Italian fare
  • Indoor pool
  • Parking available (fee)

Family-friendly Hotels:


  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront:

It is a luxurious stay in Norfolk, on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. It features spacious and stylish accommodations with a vast collection of 157 luxury guest rooms that focus on providing guests with a comfortable and relaxing stay. The all-suite hotel features modern, stylish rooms with a separate living area and full kitchen. This resort is one of the paradise lodges in Norfolk for families, featuring a dedicated kid’s club with supervised activities, an indoor pool with a thrilling waterslide, and an outdoor pool perfect for splashing fun.

The amenities include:

  • A fitness center
  • An indoor/outdoor heated pool
  • Luxury Spa
  • Several on-site dining options
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Digital key access for added convenience
  • Both self-parking and valet parking options
  • Pet-Friendly:

Resort & Spa:

  • Congham Hall Hotel & Spa

This privately owned Georgian manor house is located between the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of the Norfolk countryside. Walk inside to find a towering oak staircase, huge fireplaces, and antique furnishings that merge effortlessly with modern touches. It has a luxurious Garden Spa with a stunning hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, bio-sauna, and an outside hot tub. You can also de-stress with one of the relaxing and rejuvenating beauty and massage treatments to restore body and mind, leaving you completely revived.

Amenities In Your Stay:

  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Fitness center
  • Tennis courts
  • Croquet lawn
  • Billiard room
  • Library
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour room service
  • Valet parking

Is Norfolk, VA worth visiting?

Norfolk, VA, is a popular city and has a lot to offer for tourists. With its rich historical attractions, beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, world-class museums, delicious restaurants, unique retail shops, and best places to stay in Norfolk.  it’s certainly worth visiting.

Things to do in Norfolk

Wondering about things to do in Norfolk this weekend? Here is a list of Norfolk attractions and activities:

➢    Norfolk Botanical Garden

Walk around and enjoy the beauty of Norfolk Botanical Garden, which covers 175 acres. This is one of the amazing Norfolk attractions, with more than 50 themed gardens to explore.

For kids, there’s a special Children’s Adventure Garden where they can go on a plant safari and have fun with scavenger hunts.

➢    Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Opened in 1989, Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a Caribbean escape in Virginia Beach’s heart. it has grown from a modest wave pool into a sprawling aquatic wonderland, drawing inspiration from tropical island vibes.

The park’s architecture reflects this theme with colorful facades, swaying palm trees, and a vibrant marketplace. The centerpiece is the colossal “Neptune’s Revenge,” a four-slide complex that sends riders plummeting, twisting, and turning through tunnels and open-air drops.

➢    Spirit of Norfolk

Is there anything more soothing than cruising down a river and dining on board, taking in the scenery? If you like a leisurely float and great food, take a trip to the Spirit of Norfolk, one of the best Norfolk tourist attractions. The buffet is served on the exquisite dining deck, and the menu includes honey chicken and roasted flounder. If you go upstairs, you can have cocktails and views of the city skyline or dance the night away on a dance cruise.

➢    Chrysler Museum of Art

The Chrysler Museum of Art has approximately 30,000 exhibits, some of which date back 5000 years, with ancient Egyptian ceramics and Mayan sculptures taking center stage. Explore European and American paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, appreciating the museum’s architectural beauty.

➢    Virginia Zoo

Meet the inhabitants of Virginia Zoo as you explore the various cages.  You can meet Bornean orangutans, American bison, and Malaysian sun bears. Watch African lions scream, and meerkats stand alert on top of their desert mounds. Don’t miss the adorable red pandas and sleepy sloths posing for photos.

➢    Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

One of the best places to visit in Norfolk is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, where you can encounter fearsome sharks, the resident Komodo dragon, and entertaining seal antics. 

Take a boat journey into the wilderness to spot whales and dolphins. Alternatively, head to Adventure Park to take on the high ropes obstacle course and zip line route through the trees for an exciting time.

What are some fun facts about Norfolk?

You will find Old Dominion University, one of Virginia’s largest universities in Norfolk. Besides, the mermaid statues are an iconic symbol of the city. These sculptures honor Norfolk’s connection to the ocean and marine industries.

Current Norfolk Events, Places to Visit and Tickets Availability

In Norfolk, nights and weekends have a lot of different things to do for everyone. You can see famous singers at The NorVa or find new artists at Chartreuse concerts in Norfolk, VA. Watch plays at the old Wells Theatre or see cool shows at Muse Machine. If you like sports, cheer for the Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park or watch a Piranhas indoor soccer match. Have a good laugh at The Funny Bone with funny people or see local talent at open mic nights. Enjoy fun Norfolk events like the Neptune Festival and Taste of Norfolk, or watch fireworks at Harborfest. Norfolk has something for everyone, whether you like music, theater, sports, or comedy.

Furthermore, go to the Eventsfy official website to find venue specifics and instantly book tickets for live music, sports, theater, or performing arts events.

Most Visited Event Places/Venues in Norfolk

Chartway Arena

Formerly known as the Ted Constant Convocation Center, Chartway Arena is like a modern chameleon at Old Dominion University. The arena was born in 2002, it’s a big concert hall for famous singers like Billie Eilish, and other times, it’s where the ODU Monarchs play sports.

Designed by architectural firm HOK, the arena features a sleek glass facade reflecting the energy of the surrounding city.  While its curved lines and open spaces exude a sense of welcoming inclusivity, Inside, the arena wows visitors with its soaring ceilings and expansive windows. The polished concrete floors and exposed steel beams contribute to an industrial-chic vibe, perfectly complementing the vibrant art installations that dot the space.

Granby Theater:

Its story begins in 1925 when vaudeville was king. Designed by renowned architect Milton B. Medary, Jr., the theater opened its doors with a flourish, featuring a Beaux-Arts facade and a lavishly decorated interior. Ornate plasterwork, gilded accents, and plush seating created an opulent atmosphere that transported audiences to another world. Today, the Granby continues to embrace diversity. Its walls have seen the soulful crooning of John Legend, the electrifying beats of The Chainsmokers, and the hilarious stand-up routines of Trevor Noah.

Bearded Bird Brewing

This is a full-service brewery situated at 727 Granby St, Norfolk, Virginia. Renowned for its changing beer selection, it offers a welcoming atmosphere sans food service but allows outside delivery. Their diverse beer lineup includes Anger Aly, Clean Cut Canary, and Early Bird.

Waterside District in Norfolk:

It is a vibrant entertainment water hub along the Elizabeth River. With a scenic waterfront setting, it offers diverse dining experiences, lively bars, and family-friendly attractions. This destination features a dynamic lineup of restaurants serving various cuisines, from seafood to international flavors. The Waterside District hosts events, live music, and outdoor activities, providing a lively atmosphere for locals and visitors.

Events in Norfolk – Current and Upcoming Events Calendar


Check out the current events happening in the Norfolk area and book tickets now at

Live Music Events in Norfolk

Comedy Shows in Norfolk

Theatres in Norfolk

Sports Events in Norfolk

Nightlife in fort Norfolk

Norfolk, Virginia, is an independent city with a rich history dating back to 1682. it’s known for its robust maritime heritage, including the world’s largest naval base. The city offers a vibrant cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, military significance, a lively atmosphere with museums, festivals, and a flourishing craft beer scene.

You can also consider visiting Jacksonville if you’re searching for more engaging and entertaining cultural events.