Norfolk was recently named one of the top 50 places to travel in 2017 and thus we’re giving you the scoop of what’s new in 2017 and things to do when you visit!
The Waterside District, a dining and entertainment district, is slated to open in Spring 2017. The District will be open year-round, day and night, offering dining and entertainment options for all ages. Rappahannock Oyster Company, Blue Moon Taphouse, Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse and more have signed on as tenants!
The Hilton Main Hotel & Conference Center is also slated to open in early 2017 and stands 21 stories high with 300 guest rooms. The property will offer three distinct dining options: on the ground level, Saltine will showcase the region’s finest fresh seafood. The trattoria-inspired Varia, a wine lounge and piano bar, will offer elevated Italian fare. Located on the rooftop will be the 10,000-square-foot Grain, which will offer casual al fresco dining.
More retail shopping is heading to Norfolk! The Norfolk Premium Outlets will house a 332,000-square-foot outlet center featuring 90 designer and name- brand stores. Its central location near the major crossroads of I-64 and US 13, adjacent to nearby Norfolk International Airport will make it easy for visitors to stop and shop.
Bright new murals continue to sprout up in Norfolk’s NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) arts district. Muralists have turned the blank walls of warehouses and buildings into stunning masterpieces. New public art was recently erected at Norfolk Botanical Garden, the new Harbor Park Boxing Center and Fire Station #7, to name a few. Brand new exhibits will be held at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Hermitage Museum & Gardens and more this year, so be sure to check out what’s new on the art scene in 2017!
Biking in Norfolk is more bike-friendly than ever. Dedicated bike lanes and two-way “cycletracks” have been added to roadways, as have new bike racks. Explore beautiful Norfolk neighborhoods via bike on the Elizabeth River Trail. The trail is a 10.5 mile long biking and pedestrian paved path that runs through the city. Along the trail are restaurants, attractions, rivers, Town Point Park, Plum Point Park, Fort Norfolk, The Hague, Weynoke Bird Sanctuary, the Hermitage Museum & Gardens and much more. Grab a bike and go!
Newly renovated properties are sure to spice up your stay. The Spirit of Norfolk recently underwent a $1.2 million renovation complete with more lounging, dining and entertainment options than ever before, and by the end of 2017, the waterfront Sheraton Waterside Hotel and the Norfolk Waterside Marriott hotel will have undergone major renovations
Also in 2017, Naval Station Norfolk will celebrate its 100th anniversary! It is the world’s largest naval base, which was founded in 1917 on a plot of land at Sewells Point that 10 years earlier had hosted the Jamestown Exposition. Visitors can take a guided tour, where you’ll see aircraft carriers, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, and learn about the history of Naval Station Norfolk. The tours, conducted by naval personnel, take about 45 minutes and are offered year round. Stay tuned for events commemorating this major milestone!
Speaking of history and Naval Station Norfolk, history enthusiasts will find a whole host of activities in Norfolk; the city is home to some of the oldest, most storied sites in the region! A journey along the Cannonball Trail, a self-guided historical tour, is a must-do; just be sure to factor in at least two hours to see it all! On this tour you’ll get a sense of what daily life was once like, and you’ll see historic homes including the Moses Myers House, the Willoughby-Baylor House and the Hunter House Victorian Museum. You’ll also see the MacArthur Memorial, the final resting place and museum honoring General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and his wife, the Armed Forces Memorial and the Norfolk Southern Museum.
Norfolk is undoubtedly one of the region’s major hubs for culture, the arts and nightlife. Norfolk is home to the nationally-renowned Chrysler Museum of Art and Glass Studio and the city also has an amazing public art program! Jam out with major musical artists at the NorVa, a historic concert venue that was named?one of America’s Venues that Rock’s the Hardest by Rolling Stone Magazine. Just around the corner from the NorVa is the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center where you can catch live theater, musical performances and films every week. Don’t miss the world-class performances put on by the Virginia Stage Company at the historic Wells Theatre and the Virginia Arts Festival. If you’re looking for edge-of-your-seat entertainment, you’re sure to find it at Norfolk Admirals Ice Hockey games at downtown’s Norfolk Scope Arena and cheering on the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A affiliate, at Harbor Park!
If you’re in search of retail therapy, you’ve come to the right place. Conveniently located in the epicenter of downtown, MacArthur Center shopping mall has something for everyone. Here you’ll find a wide range of stores including J. Crew, White House Black Market and Apple, with Dillard’s and Nordstrom anchoring the mall. If you’re looking for a souvenir with a local flair, head across the street to the historic Monticello Arcade for jewelry, shoes and handmade home goods stores. Take a quick trip to Norfolk’s historic Ghent district where you’ll find art galleries, antique shops and much more!
Easily accessible by car, plane or passenger rail, the city is extremely easy to get to. And once you’re here, walk or hop on the state of Virginia’s first and only light rail system!