Norfolk, Virginia is full of many fun and exciting things to do and it isn’t just all about the beach. There are museums, parks, and many historical places to visit here, as well, that will keep you occupied and make for a well rounded, exciting holiday. Here are 12 activities that travelers can put on their itineraries, for when they visit this lovely area.
Nauticus is a national maritime museum, located in Norfolk’s harbor. The museum hosts many different events, to teach kids and adults the history of the American navy, which is the largest in the world. They have interactive experiences that allow people to better understand the duties of the navy and the overall workings of a ship. It’s quite fascinating and people can spend all day here if they like.
Address: One Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23510
2. Virginia Zoological Park
Happy 3rd birthday to this sweet armadillo, Olivia!Posted by The Virginia Zoo on Friday, 18 August 2017
Otherwise known as the Virginia Zoo, the Virginia Zoological Park is a fantastic place to take those who love animals. Originally opened in 1892, it attracts all kinds of visitors, who come to see the animals in replicas of their naturalistic habitats. It attracts just as many people today as it did back then and there are even more animals, now. A few of these animals include bison, monkeys, lions, giraffes, Watusi cattle, Eurasian Eagle Owls, and different types of reptiles. There is plenty to look at here, and the prices aren’t as high as other zoos, so it’s good for the wallet, too!
Virginia Zoological Park
Address: 3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504
Website: Virginia Zoological Park
3. Moses Myers House
Meyers Moses was one of the first Jewish businessmen in Norfolk during the Colonial period. Fawnya Nelson and I...Posted by Ann Wilson on Saturday, 19 March 2016
A historical home in Norfolk, the Moses Myers House was one of the first brick homes built after the end of the Revolutionary War. The original furniture is still here in the home and the table is set just as if a family still lives in the home. The silver products line the cabinets in the home for the fancy dinners that once took place here. A baby cradle and toys lay on the floor in one room, as if the family had to leave in a hurry. It’s a really amazing place to visit and well worth the trip.
Moses Myers House
Address: 323 E. Freemason Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510
Website: Moses Myers House
4. Railroad Museum of Virginia
This is a unique spot, as the train that sits on the premises is actually a museum that guests can walk through and learn about the history of the railroad in Virginia and how it affected America’s history. Guests can choose to have a tour guide or walk through the train on their own. Guests can stay for as long as they want, looking at the artifacts in the museum and admiring the train cars. The Railroad Museum is a cool way to spend a few hours.
Railroad Museum of Virginia
Address: Court Street and Wythe Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
Website: Railroad Museum of Virginia
5. Chrysler Museum of Art
Join us tomorrow for Save the Elephant Saturday! Make an elephant mask, take a photo in the #ElphieStation and help...Posted by The Chrysler Museum of Art on Friday, 13 January 2017
The Chrysler Museum of Art has beautiful paintings, that were created during war times or special events in history. The museum isn’t just this, though. There is also a glass museum here, in which guests can see how glass has transformed throughout the years, two different historical houses, and of course a great fine arts museum, in which many beautiful paintings can be found. Guests can easily spend a whole day here, looking at the paintings, taking part in some of the activities they have for kids and enjoying the peaceful museum. It’s a very pleasant day for everyone.
Chrysler Museum of Art
Address: One Memorial Place, Norfolk, Virginia, 23510
Website: Chrysler Museum of Art
6. Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park
Rolling on the River food truck series with Eat The Streets 757, hosted by the South Norfolk Civic League. 2nd and 4th Thursdays through Sept at Elizabeth River Park, 4-8 PM.Posted by Colleen H. Photography on Friday, 11 August 2017
With plenty of grass to play sports or just run around, Elizabeth River Boat Landing is a beautiful place for a picnic. They have a pavilion, with picnic tables for plenty of family gatherings or bigger groups. There is a pier that goes out into the water, for visitors to walk on and get some great photos. There are different buildings and bridges around the area, that make the scenery pleasant and there are also a lot of events that take place here since it is such a wide open space. The park also has one of the most active boat ramps in the area, which means much easier access for those that want to do a little boating.
Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park
Address: 1400 Elizabeth River Way, Chesapeake, VA 23324
7. Mermaid Factory
The Mermaid Factory is actually a hands-on art gallery for those who love to create. They have pre-made dolphin and mermaid statues that visitors can paint, however they wish. Painting can be a huge stress reliever, so if a vacation is not enough to ease your stress, this will surely do the trick. They also have complimentary wine, while painters get creative.
Address: 919 W 21st St, 23517 Norfolk, Virginia
Website: Mermaid Factory
8. Fort Norfolk
This little gem is Fort Norfolk. I've climbed all over this fort in the past. It is part of our nation's first system...Posted by Lori Pycior Wright on Monday, 22 May 2017
Fort Norfolk is for lovers of the history of the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The fort was built between 1795 and 1805 and remains the last piece of President George Washington’s 18th-century harbor defenses. Since 1923, the fort has served as the district office for the US Army Engineer District. When visiting on a special weekend, they even have reenactments of the wars. The actors are good and engage their audience.
Address: 801 Front St., Norfolk, Virginia 23510
Website: Fort Norfolk
9. Battleship Wisconsin
The Battleship Wisconsin sits next to the Nauticus Museum and is one of their biggest attractions. Guests are actually able to climb aboard the USS Wisconsin and explore her for themselves. The ship is a great way to learn about US Navy history, by gaining hands on experience. History buffs will love the opportunity to learn and the kids will love the chance to run. It’s a very big ship, so there is a lot of ground to cover.
Address: Nauticus, One Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23510
Website: Battleship Wisconsin
10. Portsmouth City Park
Portsmouth City Park is a lovely little area for picnics and for kids to run around and play. It is not exactly in the Norfolk area, but it is not too far away, either. They have a lot of ducks and geese here too, so the kids will enjoy feeding them. But it is recommended that bread is not fed to the birds, as it is not good for their health or the water they swim in. They like bird seed, just like any other bird and seedless, cut up grapes are good for them, too.
Portsmouth City Park
Address: Cpl J M Williams Ave, Portsmouth, VA 23701
Website: Portsmouth City Park
11. Monkey Bottom Park
Monkey Bottom Park in West Ocean View, Norfolk. Anyone know how this park got its name? Photo by @conk9.Posted by 757 Collective on Wednesday, 23 December 2015
This is another lovely park, that is actually in Norfolk. There are picnic tables and benches all around the park, with pretty flowers and shrubbery planted, all around. This is the perfect place to bring a soccer ball and kick it around or play a game of football. It’s a very relaxing place, so if you are hoping for a nice relaxing afternoon, this is the park to check out.
Monkey Bottom Park
Address: 276 W Ocean View Ave, Norfolk, VA 23503
12. Ocean View Station Museum
A fantastic history museum, the Ocean View Station Museum is full of information. It is actually located inside the Pretlow Library and the small, one room museum contains a rollercoaster car and a boat from one of the rides of the Ocean View Amusement Park, that was once in the area. It’s just a small area of history, but fascinating, nonetheless.
Ocean View Station Museum
Address: Pretlow Library, 111 W Ocean View Ave, 23503 Norfolk, Virginia
Facebook: Ocean View Station Museum
Fun in Norfolk
Whatever you decide to do, you will have a trip to remember in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s close to Virginia Beach but you don’t have to go to the beach to have fun. Museums, parks, and historical homes are just as fascinating and can even keep the attention of younger generations for a short time. And museums don’t require sunscreen! Be sure to pack the camera, as all of these places allow cameras to an extent, and it’s a great way to remember your vacation.
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