Did you know that Norfolk has an Amtrak station that resides downtown near our baseball stadium, Harbor Park? The station is just steps away from connecting you to our whole city.
Whether you’re catching the train in D.C, Richmond or another Northeastern city, your trip is sure to be seamless and exciting. Once aboard the train, you will start soaring through the beautiful countryside of Virginia and gaining glimpses of what small town USA is really like. As the train makes a stop in the quaint town of Ashland, crossing guards and local spectators will wave at your arrival. As the trip continues, you’ll pass marinas, worn farmhouses and small country stores. Arguably the best landscape you’ll see is the highway that’s jam-packed with cars that are stuck in traffic -- perfect reassurance for you taking the Amtrak.
Ashland, VA Amtrak stop, pictured above
Amtrak offers their guests Wi-Fi, comfortable seating for those who want to take a nap and tables in the dining car for those who need to work remotely. Grab a bite to eat while traveling to Norfolk, coffee or even a glass of wine while you relax. Taking the train has its perks for both leisure and business travelers, but the most obvious of them all is a stress-free commute. When your next meeting is in town or you want a weekend getaway, let the convenience of the train be your answer.
Once the train ends its journey in our beloved city, exit the train and walk a short three minutes until you reach Norfolk’s light rail system, the Tide. Here, you’ll find yourself at the Harbor Park Tide Station. Once on board the Tide, take the light rail to MacArthur Square Station and you will find yourself in the heart of downtown Norfolk. With six downtown hotels, you’re only a short walk from your home away from home.
Norfolk's Light Rail system the Tide at the Harbor Park stop, pictured above
After check-in, you will be ready to explore our beautiful city that is full of great culinary spots. In downtown Granby Street, also known as restaurant row, is home to numerous restaurants ranging in cuisine from modern American fare at Saint Germaine, Green House Kitchen and Grilled Cheese Bistro to French bakeries like Lamia’s Crepes and La Brioche. The cuisine doesn’t end there, seafood restaurants like Saltine and Stripers decorate our waterfront while our juices and health foods are represented at Town Center Cold Pressed and Zeke’s Beans & Bowls.
Granby Street, pictured above
You can also walk over to the Freemason District, arguably the most picturesque area in the city for its cobblestoned streets, architecture from different eras and the perfect spot to watch a sunset. Check out the historic Hunter House Victorian Museum, or Freemason Abbey, an 1870’s church turned restaurant; we highly recommend their she crab soup. Cure Coffee House and the Pagoda are other hidden gems found in this district that serve some of the best coffee, cocktails and macarons in town.
The Pagoda, pictured above
Downtown by Bike
If walking is not your preferred way to explore, Norfolk also has the Elizabeth River Trail (ERT), a 10.5-mile waterfront path that is perfect for biking. Discover spots on the trail by using Norfolk’s PACE bike share program (rentable bikes through an app on your phone) or try Pedego, an electric bike rental company located downtown.
The ERT starts right where you exited the train, Harbor Park. Hop on the trail here for a start to finish ride or visit ERT’s website for a virtual map of where to pick up the trail.
If you hop on the ERT downtown, enjoy a short ride over to Norfolk’s Chelsea District, you’ll pass the Battleship Wisconsin, the Pagoda, Hague Bridge, Plum Point Park and many more picture-worthy stops. Once you arrive in Chelsea, you’ll find local food favorites and lots of craft beer including Benchtop, Smartmouth and beer bar, The Birch. The Birch, named as one of the top ten beer bars in America by USA Today, is just as it sounds, an incredible beer bar. Local tip: order a brick oven pizza from neighboring restaurant Bakehouse at Chelsea and request they deliver it to you at the Birch.
The Bakehouse at Chelsea pictured above
Continue biking through Norfolk’s beautiful neighborhoods filled with established trees and stunning older homes. The path ends near the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, a 20th-century arts-and-crafts estate located on the shore of the Lafayette River.
Hermitage Museum and Gardens pictured above, @geoff_kabaservice, Instagram
To purchase your Amtrak tickets click here.