Getting to Know Norfolk, VA
Long known as a strategic military base at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk is the second most populous city in the state of Virginia. With long stretches of riverfront and bayfront property, a vibrant economy, and plenty of festivals and parks, Norfolk is a great place to rent an apartment and call home.
Did you know?
Contrary to what you might think, locals pronounce Norfolk without the "l." Listen for variations like "Nor-phuk" and "Nah-fik."
Norfolk is home to a huge variety of attractions that range from WWE shows at Scope Arena to performances by the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Dive into Norfolk's maritime culture at Nauticus, tour the impressive USS Wisconsin, see glass blowers in action at the Chrysler Museum of Art, or learn about giraffes at the Virginia Zoo.
Best Places to Live in Norfolk
Here are our picks for the best places to live in Norfolk:
Ghent: This is an artsy part of town perfect for hip singles or young couples looking to be in the middle of vibrant cultural activities. The Chrysler Museum of Art and the Harrison Opera House are located here, along with an abundance of fun restaurants and bars.
Wards Corner: This is an older part of town that is actively working to rehabilitate residential properties and both retain and expand its current economy.
East Ocean View: A seaside community, this area contains the longest fishing pier in North America and is the perfect place to settle down if you're looking to live by the water.
Fairmont Park: An ethnically diverse neighborhood that is primarily residential, Fairmont Park does have a few commercial businesses sprinkled in between.
Free Things To Do in Norfolk
In addition to an array of historic military attractions, the Norfolk area has loads of free activities to keep you entertained on a budget. Take a look at some of our top suggestions for the best free things to do in Norfolk:
Ocean View Beach: Spend the day fishing on the pier or soaking up the sun at Ocean View Beach Park, a 6.5-acre park that hosts festivals every summer.
Harborfest: Every June, the city of Norfolk celebrates its maritime history at Harborfest, a free event featuring concerts, boat races, parades and one of the largest fireworks shows on the East Coast.
MacArthur Memorial: Dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur, downtown's MacArthur Square includes four buildings, a visitor's center, a research center, a memorial and a museum.
Armed Forces Memorial: A tribute to fallen soldiers from the Revolutionary to the Gulf wars, this memorial features bronze-cast letters at its base that replicate actual notes written by loved ones to soldiers who never returned home.
Cannonball Trail: Embark on a self-guided tour of Cannonball Trail, which winds through the Norfolk area and gives visitors a glimpse of 400 years of local and national history.
Adventures in Norfolk
These are our top five picks for adventures in Norfolk:
Check out the Chrysler Museum of Art: This comprehensive art museum is a cultural treasure that features work from a wide range of artists, and a glass studio with performance art. Classes are also offered.
Attend a Norfolk Tides Baseball Game: Kick back with a hot dog and a beer and watch Norfolk's fantastic local baseball team play other teams in the region. Summer nights don't get better than this.
Take the family to the Virginia Zoo: Located in Norfolk, the Virginia Zoo showcases more than 400 animals, and a day trip here is guaranteed fun for the whole family.
Go to a festival: Norfolk is full of festivals all year long. From the ShamROCK 'N' ROLL St. Patrick's Day party to Cinco de Mayo celebrations to 4th of July festivities, there is always something to celebrate.
Treat Yourself to a Norfolk Dinner and Harbor Cruise: Norfolk's scenic location on the Chesapeake Bay affords residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy a picturesque dinner cruise with loved ones.
Activities for Families
For a day of family-friendly fun and adventure in Norfolk, take the kids to Chesapeake City Park, Chesapeake Arboretum or Cloud9 Trampoline Park.
Highly Rated Schools in Norfolk
The city of Norfolk is home to a number of the state's best schools, including Sewells Point Elementary, Larchmont Elementary and Maury High School.
Getaways from Norfolk
With a location on the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk makes it easy to access local beaches. Head just a few minutes away to Ocean View Beach Park, or make the short drive to Virginia Beach. Enjoy a crab dinner in Baltimore, or, if seeing the Washington Monument is on your bucket list, plan a weekend escape to Washington, D.C.