Finding the LOVE in Norfolk and Portsmouth
Submerge yourself in the historic charm, vibrant atmosphere, and fresh energy in the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. You’ll be amazed with the history and modern urban influences that come alive. Unique shops, restaurants, and attractions make Portsmouth and Norfolk the perfect places to immerse yourself in the wonders of the coastal region of Virginia.
Welcome to Norfolk … the city strategically located in the southeastern Hampton Roads region at the mouth of one of the nation’s fastest-growing ports. Norfolk offers the intimate charm of a historic city with an urban waterfront community rich in culture and experiences.
Touch down in Norfolk and snap a picture with the LOVEwork at the Norfolk International Airport. Designed to embody the intrinsic lightness and joy experienced through air travel as well as fulfilling emotional ties found in togetherness with loved ones.
Immerse yourself in the art world at the Chrysler Museum of Art, considered as one of the Top 20 museums in the USA and step on over to the Chrysler Glass Studio to take in a free demonstration. Take a walk on The Cannonball Trail to surround yourself with Norfolk’s rich history and featured attractions in the downtown area. Enjoy a cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk to take in the beautiful views.
Enjoy 155-acres of colorful landscapes, unusual flowers, mature forests and seasonal plantings at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Features one of the largest collections of azaleas, camellias, roses and rhododendrons on the East Coast, the garden is also one of the only botanical gardens offering tours by foot, boat or tram. The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, an early 20th century estate of the Sloane family, offers an outstanding presentation of architecture, art, and nature.
Spend some time at Nauticus, a maritime science museum celebrating the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea. It features hands-on exhibits, wide-screen high-definition films, theaters with live actors, shark touch, and national-caliber traveling exhibits. Nauticus is also home to the Battleship Wisconsin and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, one of 10 officially operated U.S. Navy museums, housing a rich collection of authentic uniforms, weaponry, underwater artifacts, detailed ship models and artwork.
Take a tour of Fort Norfolk overlooking the Elizabeth River or visit the MacArthur Memorial, a museum and research center dedicated to presenting the story of General Douglas MacArthur and that of the millions of men and women who served in World War I.
Listen to a concert at the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and keep an eye out for the iconic mermaid statues that are found throughout the city.
Head over the historic Lafayette Park to find the LOVEwork. The “O” is a human sundial and the “L” “V” “E” are made from reclaimed materials of brick, pallet, and bamboo.
- Vintage Kitchen
- Byrd & Baldwin
- Freemason Abbey Restaurant & Tavern
- Doumar’s Cones & Barbecue
- Charlie’s Café
- D’egg Diner
- The Boot
- Press 626 Café & Wine Bar
Take a water taxi over to Portsmouth; one of the oldest National Historic Places in America. Portsmouth is a charming historic coastal community which is home to some of the most delightful restaurants in the region, the largest children’s museum in the state, and the famous Seawall. Many of Portsmouth’s attractions are clustered within easy walking distance of each other, making it the perfect place to spend day.
End your day by nibbling on small plates of meats, cheeses, olive, and breads from around the world while sipping on wine at the Stellar Wine Company. Take some Moseberth’s Fried Chicken and sit out at the Portsmouth City Park and take in the scenic views of the Elizabeth River.
Keep the kids entertained for hours at Virginia’s largest children’s museum, the Children’s Museum of Virginia, with fun, interactive, hands-on activities. Visit a lovingly restored five-car train that delights rail fans and casual visitors alike at the Railroad Museum of Virginia.
If you're interested in local or naval history, or memorabilia from a centuries-old Southern port, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum is a delight. A National Historic Landmark, the Portsmouth Lightship Museum allows visitors to board the vessel and see how the men of the Lightship Service lived during their many months at sea. Stop by the Medal of Honor Monument commemorating eleven holders of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Visit the Portsmouth, Art and Cultural Center for a quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experience in the arts. See artifacts and learn about the history of the Hampton Roads Jewish community at the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center. Catch a show at the restored 1940s Art-Deco-style Commodore Theatre, offering dining downstairs and traditional theatre-style seating with snack bar upstairs.
Discover the charm and year-round beauty of historic Olde Towne Portsmouth. Tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks provide a canvas painted with planted urns and hanging flower baskets. Beautiful parks, secret gardens and courtyards await your discovery. Magnificent shopping, historic cultural attractions, museums, and unique restaurants: make Olde Towne Portsmouth your destination!
- Roger Brown’s Sports Bar & Restaurant
- The Coffee Shoppe
- Café Europa
- Bier Garden
- Longboard’s Hawaiian Bar & Grill
- Gosport Tavern
- Fish & Slips Marina Raw Bar & Grill
- Foggy Point Bar & Grill
- Baron’s Pub and Restaurant
- Glencoe Inn
- The Mermaids’ Porch Bed and Breakfast
- Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center
Check out our map of places where you can add more LOVE to your vacation. Be sure to share your pictures on social media by tagging @VisitVirginia using the hashtag #LOVEVA.