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Located by the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk, Virginia is known for its harbor, beachfront, having the world’s largest naval base, and several medical research institutions. The city has a booming downtown, which USA Today even ranked as one of the top 10 in the country! You’ll enjoy walking down the charming streets, some of which are still brick, and looking at old, beautiful houses. Norfolk is a great place to visit for anyone interested in being by the shore and learning more about America’s nautical history.
Things to Do in Norfolk
If you’re arriving to Norfolk at the Norfolk International Airport, try visiting the Norfolk Botanical Garden on your first day since it is conveniently located next door. Walk through the Butterfly Garden, Wildflower Meadow, and Hydrangea Garden to gain an appreciation for horticulture. Spend one of your vacation days shopping at the MacArthur Center, which has over 100 stores, including Nordstrom’s, Vans, and Sephora. Spend another day at the Virginia Zoo, which is located at 3500 Granby Street in Norfolk. The Virginia Zoo has over 53 acres of land and about 500 animals, such as meerkats, llamas, and kangaroos. The zoo is open year round from 10 am to 5 pm and even has a train if you get tired of walking. Visit the Hunter House Virginia Museum between April and December to go on a guided tour of an elegant mansion that showcases American Victorian architecture. Visit Nauticus, also known as the National Maritime Center, to tour the engine room of the Battleship Wisconsin, which is known as one of the biggest, and also the last, battleship constructed by the U.S. Navy.
Day Trips Near Norfolk
While you’re renting in Norfolk, make sure to explore other nearby parts of Virginia as well! Virginia Beach is a beautiful place to enjoy sun, sand and surf a short distance away. You can visit Richmond, the state’s capital, which is less than a two-hour drive away from Norfolk. Once in Richmond, visit the American Civil War Museum to brush up on history and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see the work of famous artists, including Picasso himself. If you have children, Colonial Williamsburg is a very fun place to visit and learn more about colonial life in the early days of the United States - and dress up in historic costumes! While in Virginia, try visiting North Carolina as well! Raleigh, the capital, is about a three-hour drive from Norfolk.
Since Norfolk technically has 120 neighborhoods, determining where to stay may seem understandably overwhelming at first! Stay in Downtown Norfolk if you want to be in close proximity to a lot of businesses and activities, such as shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. Stay in the Berkley neighborhood to be in a more suburban area by the Elizabeth River. Wherever you choose to stay, Tripping can help you compare all of the rentals in the area by price, ratings, reviews, and more. Book your Norfolk vacation rental today!
Transportation in Norfolk
For easy access to the area, rent a car at Norfolk Airport so you can visit the beautiful Virginia countryside and beaches. Additionally, Norfolk has an Amtrak station at Harbor Park, which is located at 280 Park Avenue. Note that there is free overnight parking and a bike rack area to store your bike. There’s also a bus connection to Virginia Beach and Newport. Hampton Roads Transit, furthermore, has buses that run throughout Norfolk, which make it easy for you to get downtown. You can also take the Elizabeth River Ferry to travel back and forth between Norfolk and Portsmouth.