With 144 miles of shoreline waiting to be explored, with the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and countless rivers in our backyard, you are never far from the water in Norfolk. Here are a few great things to do on the water during your visit.

Go Sailing

Discover sailing at Sail Nauticus, the Norfolk-based sailing school and community sailing center on the Elizabeth River.  Set sail for two relaxing hours with one of the captains at the rudder or take classes and  learn  on the water tacking, jibing, and steering from certified instructors.  This is a great way to unwind or just give yourself a unique treat. More Information>>  

Board a Tall Ship for a Tour

Want to get a lay of the land from the water? Then you’ll want to set sail aboard Norfolk’s own Tall Sailing Ship, The American Rover. This three-masted topsail schooner with its familiar red “tan bark” sails has been a signature site along the Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads Harbor since 1986, offering 1 ½ and 2 hour narrated Harbor or Sunset Cruises, from April through October. More Information>>  

Join the Party at the Water's Edge

Celebrating it’s 40th year in 2016, Norfolk Harborfest is three explosive days of tall ship visits, national, regional, and local entertainment, electrifying fireworks show and the biggest outdoor dock party in Hampton Roads. The June 9-12 weekend festivities include more than 130 hours of live entertainment on multiple stages, featuring national, regional, and local musical acts, tall ship tours, fireworks, a Craft Beer Garden, pirates, mermaids and so much more. More Information>>

Experience the Spirit of Norfolk

See incredible views of the Norfolk harbor and the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet aboard the Spirit of Norfolk. Enjoy delicious new menus and specialty drinks. Then, dance to DJ entertainment or relax on the new rooftop lounge. It all adds up to the perfect Norfolk experience. Cruising year-round from downtown Norfolk, Spirit offers lunch, brunch, dinner, cocktail, moonlit cruises and more. More Information>> 

Take the Bait and Go Fishing

No matter what your choice of fresh catch may be, you’re sure to find it in the nearby Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean or Elizabeth River. The Chesapeake Bay is home to a whole host of saltwater fish including trout, flounder, cobia, croaker, red drum and striper. Norfolk has two fishing piers. The Ocean View Fishing Pier & Willoughby Fishing Pier are both are open around the clock. More Information>>

Hit the Beaches in Ocean View

Ready for a swim.  Norfolk has three beaches located in the low-key Ocean View area that are perfect for swimming.  These include Sarah Constant Beach Park, just east of 4th View Street, Community Beach Park, and Ocean View Beach Park, farther east near Norfolk Avenue. More Information>>

Step off the Garden Path

Norfolk Botanical Garden offers more than strolls through beautiful landscapes. Take a pontoon boat tour of Lake Whitehurst, the beautiful body of water that surrounds NBG. Boat tours are offered May 1 – October 15 at12PM, 2PM, 4PM and 5PM daily.  A guide provides a narrated tour of the Garden as seen from the canals and information on the watershed, lake and wildlife while on Lake Whitehurst. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. More Information>> 

Cruise by the Base

The Victory Rover is your front row seat to the U.S. Navy’s Norfolk-based fleet.  Departing from a berth just a short walk along the Downtown Norfolk Harbor from Nauticus, the Victory Rover offers a 2-hour narrated naval base tour, an enjoyable option to the bus tours offered on base.  From a vantage point aboard ship, passengers will witness the majesty of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, guided missile cruisers, and other vessels that make up the world’s most powerful sea-going armada. More Information>>