Top Recommended Layover Activities:
1. Fort Norfolk
810 Front St, Norfolk, VA 23508 · 757-625-1720
Historic site is the last surviving fort from the Revolutionary War. An important fortress during the Civil War because it changed hands twice and provided Confederate ammunition during the Merrimac-Monitor battle.
2. Carrie B Cruises
Norfolk, VA · 757-393-4735
The 11?2 hour inner harbor and Norfolk Naval Shipyard cruise leaves Norfolk at noon, while the 21?2 hour Hampton Roads and Norfolk Naval Base cruise departs at 2pm. In addition, there is a 21?2 hour sunset cruise that departs at 6pm, with a full bar and snacks. A great way to see some of the East Coast’s most interesting nautical sights!
3. General Douglas MacArthur Memorial
Bank St and City Hall Ave, MacArthur Square, Norfolk, VA 23510 · 757-441-2965
Comprised of four buildings in MacArthur Square, this memorial honors one of the most important and well-known military men the US has ever seen. The museum itself is situated in the City Hall rotunda. Encircling the rotunda are nine galleries detailing the life and times of the illustrious, yet oftentimes controversial, General. In addition, there is library, a gift shop, and a theater, which shows a short informational film and features two galleries devoted to changing exhibits of items from the permanent collection. Expect to see a wealth of photographs, memorabilia, art and artifacts, and even MacArthur’s 1950 Chrysler imperial limousine.
4. Norfolk Botanical Garden
6700 Azalea Garden Rd, I-64 airport exit 279, Norfolk, VA 23518 · 757-441-5831
For 60 years, this garden has enjoyed immense popularity for its lush scenery and promotion of ecological and botanical education. Among the east coast's premier collections of azaleas, roses, camellias, and rhododendrons, this sprawling 155-acre garden includes woodlands, theme gardens, fountains, and more. A popular site for outdoor events, the garden also boasts a gift shop and cafe. Tram and boat tours are available as well, weather permitting.
5. Norfolk Naval Base
Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23511 · 757-444-7955
The largest naval base in the world boasts the massive nuclear powered USS Theodore as well as more than 100 ships of the Mediterranean and Atlantic fleets. Tours depart at 1:30pm daily from the Naval Tour and Information Center located at 9079 Hampton Blvd.
6. Children's Museum of Virginia
221 High St, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8393
This museum is entertaining for all ages, but it is primarily devoted to educating children about the arts and sciences. Spectacular interactive exhibits include paleontology, dental hygiene, nutrition, art, music, communications technology, sculpture, and dimension. Children will love climbing aboard the kid-sized submarine, lobster boat, trolley, and space shuttle; there's also a great hands-on section for toddlers.
7. Chrysler Museum of Art
245 West Olney Rd, Norfolk, VA 23510 · 757-664-6200
Among the nation's premier art museums, this phenomenal facility is comprised of three historic homes and 30,000 original pieces showcased in 55 galleries, with work ranging from Rembrandt to Lichtenstein. Particularly moving is Cavallino's "Procession to Calvary,” a 1645 oil painting depicting Christ carrying the cross on His way to fulfill the redemptive plan of God. The museum also includes a well-stocked library, a restaurant, and a gift shop. ADMISSION: Adult $5, Student/Senior $3, Child (12 and under) Free
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Hampton Roads Naval Museum
One Waterside Dr, Ste 248, Norfolk, VA 23510-1607 · 757-727-1102
The US Navy operates this museum that chronicles 220 years of naval history in the Hampton Roads region, which is the Navy's most important port. Hundreds of artifacts, including more than 60 ship models, promise a most rewarding visit.
2. Mariners' Museum
100 Museum Dr, Newport News, VA 23606 · 757-596-2222
[While the Mariners' Museum remains open, the surrounding Mariners' Park and Noland Trail were heavily damaged by Hurricane Isabel, and parts remain closed to the public until further notice.] Established in 1930, this museum is numbered among the world's leading international maritime museums; it has also received congressional recognition as America’s National Maritime Museum due to its alliance with New York's South Street Seaport Museum. The museum’s collection includes more than 35,000 artifacts, ship models, art, steam engines, and figureheads. Its extensive research library contains internationally renowned archival material.
3. Nauticus, The National Maritime Center
1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510 · 757-664-1000
There’s fun for the entire family at this phenomenal 120,000 square foot multi-tiered facility. More than 150 exhibits, many of which are interactive multimedia, provide entertaining education about marine biology and nautical techniques and equipment. Don't forget to visit the Battleship Wisconsin right next door!
4. USS Wisconsin
Waterfront, Adjacent to Nauticus, Norfolk, VA 23510
The last US battleship to be built, the USS Wisconsin enjoyed a storied career, which encompassed three wars over 50 years. Now an enlightening museum that chronicles the ship's history and related events. For more information, contact Nauticus 757-664-1000, or the USS Wisconsin Foundation 757-233-6464.
5. Virginia Air & Space Center
600 Settlers Landing Rd, Hampton, VA 23669 · 757-727-0800
The city that gave birth to America's space program is also the proud home of this monumental museum. Massive facility relates America's contributions in air and space exploration via exhibits such as the Apollo 12 Command Capsule, a Mars meteorite, a moon rock, and historic planes. Other virtual exhibits allow you to navigate a shuttle, launch a rocket, and try on wings to experience the sensation of flying. The museum also includes a giant-screen IMAX® Theater. The facility is handicapped accessible and is available for rental.
6. International Azalea Festival
This yearly gardening festival is held in the spring and features an array of exciting activities for the entire family. Events include floats commemorating NATO, marching bands, visiting local celebrities, and an air show. The fun-filled festival, which has been held for almost 50 years, offers a full slate of activities.
7. SunCom Great American 4th of July Picnic and Fireworks Extravaganza
Waterside Dr, Town Point Park, Norfolk, VA · 757-441-2345
This patriotic and fun celebration is held each year on July 4th at the Norfolk waterfront. Families and friends celebrate with picnics and socializing. The U.S. Continental Army Band provides patriotic music. Also features a sensational fireworks show.