You would never know where you end up visiting or what you end up doing in Norfolk. You can be touring the city onboard a majestic ship, or enjoying the best wines in the state and in the entire country. You could be looking at the great works of art from the area's artists or hiking in one of the city's parks. There are just a lot of things to do here, so be sure you do not have to worry about how to get to the places you want to go to and just hire a bus rental in Norfolk, Virginia.
With a population of close to 250,000 people, Norfolk is the second most peopled city in Virginia. It is primarily a navy town, and is home to the biggest naval base in the entire world. The city, however, has a thriving and rich culture scene, on top of having the Old Dominion University, a few top-notch hospitals and plenty of must-visit attractions. So get on a bus rental in Norfolk, Virginia and come here for a day trip or a weekend getaway, or better yet, a full-fledged vacation!
Check out the Chrysler Museum of Art, which houses the collections of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., as well as other art works. Known as one of the significant art museums in the region, this is where you could find works by Albert Bierstadt, Andy Warhol, Auguste Rodin, Diego Velázquez, Édouard Manet, Edward Hopper, Franz Kline, Georges Braque, Georges Rouault, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Gustave Doré, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, John Singleton Copley, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Peter Paul Rubens, Richard Diebenkorn, and Salvator Rosa.
If you would rather see new artworks, or watch an artist work, go to d'ART Center located in Selden Arcade. Here, you could meet 42 professional artists and you can buy their artworks directly from them.
You should also visit the Hermitage Foundation Museum that boasts a great collection of art from all over the world. Along with the artworks, you would love the gardens and woodlands that surround the museum. They also have a studio artists program and an arts school on site.
Visiting in spring? Then do not miss out the chance to see the Virginia Arts Festival, which brings together world-famous artists from all over the globe. At the festival, you get only the best music from reggae to rock and roll to jazz, the best dance from ballet to interpretive dance, and the best artworks.
Performance arts and music. One of the most notable theaters in the city is the Attucks Theatre. This national and state landmark is the oldest operating theatre that was designed, built and financed by African-Americans. The theatre continues to hold outstanding musical performances, theatre productions, literary readings and other performances up to this day.
From the oldest to the newest, you should also go to L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center, one of the newest concert venues in the city. Located inside the Norfolk State University (Norfolk, VA 23504), the concert halls boast of excellent acoustics, a full stage and an atrium, as well as offices. The venue regularly holds jazz and classical music performances, lectures and other events.
You should also go to the Naro Expanded Cinema (Norfolk, VA 23517), which is an art film cinema that was recently renovated, or the NorVa, which is a small concert venue that has top-notch technology and equipment that give you great sound. Meanwhile the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center also hosts several performances, film showings and productions.
While in Norfolk, be sure to catch a performance by the Virginia Opera Association at the Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House. The venue itself is a beautiful one, with sweeping staircases and lovely chandeliers, but the opera productions are also top-notch. Another theatre group you should catch is the Virginia Stage Company at the Wells Theatre. The Virginia Stage Company is a professional theatre group that performs for 90,000 people yearly and that regularly puts up productions that could rival those in Broadway.
Lastly, catch the Virginia Symphony in concert. The symphony is one of the leading symphony orchestras in the region and they perform more than 140 family, pop and classical concerts, among others, every year.
Public art. Norfolk is a mermaid loving city. You could find various mermaid sculptures that was done by the area's best artists. You could see a mermaid covered in coins, and there are also mermaids wearing a chef's hat. There are more than 100 mermaids all in all, so try to find them!
Norfolk has a lot of great dining venues that you can go to. Check out some of the best, such as:
Shopping. Norfolk shopping takes you from unique small businesses to upscale malls. Check out the MacArthur Center, with its one million square feet of retailers, stores and dining outlets. Or stroll down the Monticello Arcade, where you could find more eclectic items. Visit the city's Downtown Norfolk and head on to Granby Street where you could also find a variety of retailers offering everything you could possibly want. Then there's the historic Ghent & Freemason neighborhoods where you could find great antique stores, art galleries, and other retailers.
Have a fun tee time at Ocean View Golf Course (Norfolk, VA 23503), where you can play among majestic oaks and frolic on great Bermuda grass. You can also play on the Al Jamison-designed Lake Wright Golf Course.
Other golf courses in Norfolk, VA include:
Sports and sporting venues. The Norfolk Scope Arena is the home of the Norfolk Admirals, which is the city's own ice hockey team. Meanwhile the Norfolk Tides play at the Harbor Park. There are also great athletic teams playing for Norfolk State University (Norfolk, VA 23504) and the Old Dominion University.
Norfolk has a wealth of historical sites and landmarks that you can visit. An extra tip? Get a bus rental in Norfolk, Virginia and try to visit all of these historic sites in a day! What sites are there?
You could also go on Civil War Trails, a driving tour that takes you to different historic districts, Fort Norfolk, as well as other historic sites in the city.
Other historic sites and landmarks you can see:
Museums. Also check out the history museums here as well. There's the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, which is operated by the US Navy and is the best small museum in Hampton Roads. Nauticus has several interactive and engaging exhibits that are maritime related. Located in the city's harbor, you can learn more about the largest navy forces in the world as well as the world of maritime commerce.
The Hunter House Victorian Museum is for those who want to feel like they have been transported back in time. Housed in an 1894 house, The Hunter House Victorian Museum still has the original furnishings, decor, curios and paintings intact. You could also admire the Victorian-style architecture of the house. There are guided tours if you are interested. You can further learn more about Victorian customs and society. After visiting the museum, feel free to walk the cobblestone streets of the Freemason district. Here you could find great homes that feature old-style architecture.
You could also go to the Naval Station Tour and Information Center to tour the biggest Naval Station in the world. Check out the aircraft carriers, the many destroyers and other vessels that are used by the U.S. Navy.
At the Norfolk History Museum at the Willoughby-Baylor House, you can see exhibits put up by the Norfolk Historic Foundation that deal with the city's architecture and its maritime, military and commercial history. Meantime, the Norfolk Police Museum and Norfolk Fire-Rescue Museum, located within the Norfolk Police Department and the Norfolk Fire-Rescue buildings, honor the brave heroes of Norfolk.
The Norfolk Southern Museum is where you could see parts of an old railroad track, a 900-pound railroad coupler, vintage tools, and photographs of former railroad workers. You could also play with a locomotive simulator. Check out the museum's exhibits, which talk about 180 years of railroad and transportation history.
There is the Town Point Park, which holds music concerts and a variety of yearly events such as Harborfest, the Parade of Sail, and the Cajun Festival. Ocean View, on the other hand, has a rich Irish influence, and this is where the St. Patrick's Day parade is held yearly.
The city's many parks also have several open spaces and green spaces. It has three different beaches near Ocean View and five different parks where the kids can play while you have a picnic. Norfolk is also home to Norfolk Botanical Garden, which features more than 30 themed gardens and covers an area of 155 acres. Check out the single plant gardens dedicated to roses, hydrangeas and other flowers. There are also gardens that focus on flowers found in a single place. Also check out the children's garden at WOW: World of Gardens.
Speaking of gardens, you can also go to the Pagoda and Oriental Garden. The pagoda is a gift from Taiwan to honor the trade relations it has with Virginia.
You can also go on the Elizabeth River Trail (Norfolk, VA 23510), a biking and hiking trail that follows an abandoned railway. You can get fit while also exploring the city's history and wildlife.
What's more, you can check out Lakewood Park, which has a handful of tennis courts, ball fields, and a playground. Or how about Northside Park, where you can swim in the indoor pool, play softball, go play on the playground, have a picnic, or go hiking, jogging and running. You can also play tennis and basketball here.
But water activities do take center-stage in Norfolk. You have several companies and sites that offer services in case you want to go fishing, boating, crabbing, cruising, jet skiing, water skiing and, of course, swimming. Check out the American Rover Tall Ship Cruises, Ocean View Beach Park, Sail Time, Spirit of Norfolk, Schooner Virginia and Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises. Go on a kayak nature tour, too.
Check out the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk where you could commune with the 400 animals it has such as African elephants, lions, Asian small clawed otter, black bears, tigers, orangutans, snakes, frogs, a wide variety of birds, insects and other animals. You could also be awed by the plants in their amazing gardens. The zoo also has a lot of events that you could enjoy, as well as activities, family programs and kiddie programs that you can participate in.
Norfolk puts a premium on diversity and has a vibrant LGBT scene. Check out the yearly PRIDEFest - OUT in the Park, where you can join the pride boat parade for some fun on the water. On top of that, the city also has some great LGBT events, LGBT-related stores, and even the LGBT Alumni Club and Gay Cultural Studies, both of which are found within the Old Dominion University. The city also has several gay bars, and gay friendly establishments, such as the Wave, Rainbow Cactus Company, and Klub Ambush, among others.
Norfolk State University Planetarium can help bring you closer to space and celestial bodies as you travel the universe without leaving your seats. Also catch the educational lectures.
You can get a free online quote for a bus rental in Norfolk, Virginia from BusRental.com. Start planning for your trip today!