24 May 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Seafood in Norfolk

From the Chesapeake Bay to the Elizabeth River, Norfolk is surrounded by water – we have 144 miles of shoreline to be exact. This directly correlates to the abundance of fresh seafood available in our restaurants. You can find seafood in almost every form including deep-fried, raw, baked and sautéed, pleasing everyone’s seafood flavor palate. Below are the best places to enjoy seafood in our waterfront city.

Downtown

456 Fish

456 Fish, located downtown on Norfolk’s “restaurant row,” is famous for its potato chip-crusted crab cake. The entrée is served with a huge scoop of garlic whipped potatoes, locally sourced vegetables and a special “Inner Beauty” remoulade.

Freemason Abbey 

Freemason Abbey encompasses the three pillars of our city – astounding art, rich in history and a thriving culinary scene. The building that Freemason is housed in was once a church and dates back to 1873 — making it one of the oldest establishments in the city. You will see that the restaurant’s stained glass windows are stunning works of art and original to the building. Most importantly is their delicious seafood dishes. Most known is their award-winning She Crab soup with other scrumptious dishes on their menu including the Seafood Fantasia (shrimp and sea scallops sautéed with peppers and onions, tossed with linguini in a white wine Old Bay cream sauce and topped with lump crab meat). 

@saltinenorfolk, Instagram

Saltine

Hilton Norfolk’s The Main hotel houses three restaurants including the popular seafood restaurant Saltine, located at street level. Saltine offers an airy, open environment, with garage door windows that open to the main streets of downtown Norfolk. We recommend their VA Blue Crab Cake appetizer served with a gazpacho aioli and their Norfolk Rockfish Chowder entree  (mussels, corn, clams, lardons, tri-color potato with a grilled baguette garlic herb aioli and kale).

Todd Jurich’s Bistro

This downtown bistro has been open since 1992 and offers rotating seasonal menus. Chef Todd Jurich uses only the freshest ingredients from local vegetable gardens and Virginia produce farms. The Bistro holds the Triple AAA Four Diamond Award and serves hand-harvested oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore that are served on the half shell, fried or in his famous oyster stew. 

Norfolk Seafood Company & Big Easy Oyster Bar

A bi-level seafood restaurant that is tucked away off Granby Street is Big Easy – as locals call it. They have a speakeasy-style atmosphere in their downstairs dining room with a full mahogany bar and a more upscale scene on the upper level. No matter which floor you dine on, their menu offers delicious fresh seafood with a cajun creole twist.  

@feastforks, Instagram

Stripers

With beautiful, sweeping views of the Elizabeth River, Stripers offers a variety of fresh catch seafood inside the Waterside District. Their outdoor patio makes for the best ambiance when slurping down an oyster or snacking on their bacon-wrapped scallops. Entrees range from light Mahi Tacos to more filling dishes like their Seafood Pasta (shrimp, scallops, mussels, tomatoes and spinach in a white wine butter sauce over penne pasta and served with toasted bread). 

Historic Ghent

@poplo231, Instagram

AW Shucks Raw Bar and Grill

Located in the heart of Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood, AW Shucks is an unpretentious, shanty seafood restaurant where all the locals can be found. Their laid-back atmosphere makes slurping down a fresh oyster acceptable. Their seafood selection is endless and their raw bar is extensive with locally caught oysters, shrimp, crab, clams and mussels. Also, don’t pass on their desserts — they are homemade, always changing and completely worth the calorie intake.

Chelsea, North Colley and Beyond

Off the Hook

Off the Hook’s casual atmosphere makes a great place for family dinners with their menu being extremely accommodating. They have fresh, raw, steamed and fried seafood. Order their Shrimp Tacos which are dished beautifully and served with hush puppies — making the perfect mix of tastes for a southern coastal town! For the land lovers, Off the Hook has a great selection of meat entrees.

Ocean View and East Beach

Longboards East Beach

Sitting on the docks of East Beach Marina is Longboards, where their Hawaiian tiki decor will make you want to relax and sip a Mai Tai all day long. Their seafood dishes range from fish tacos and seafood platters to their Big Fish Sandwich (fried wild-caught Atlantic cod, lettuce and tomato topped with sunset remoulade sauce). Or go all-in with their Crab and Bacon Burger which is topped with bacon and their famous crab dip.

Stony’s Dockside Bar & Grill

Looking for a water view with your seafood? Then head to Stony’s! They have a great screen-in outdoor space to keep the summertime buzzing of bugs away from you while you dive into their Seafood Mac N Cheese (lobster, scallops, crab and shrimp tossed in cajun cream sauce). Also a hit with the locals is their fresh catch sandwich!

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19 April 2022

Your Complete Norfolk, VA Spring Bucket List

Spring is here, and with it comes warmer weather and these top 9 things to do outdoors. We’ve put together some local favorites and recommendations for your ultimate spring bucket list! 

1. Pack a Picnic

@seldenmarket, Instagram

Norfolk is surrounded by water on three sides, which makes for many parks with waterfront views. Grab sandwiches from Pendulum Fine Meats’ Luncheonette, some of the most sustainably sourced meat in town, and make your way to a relaxing picnic at Norfolk’s Plum Point Park to watch the sailboats glide by. Or for a downtown picnic,  pick up a colorful throw or fabric from Pure Lagos, a Stockpot Toastie of the day and stroll across the street to Town Point Park for a picnic on the waterfront.

2. Attend the Norfolk Tides Home Opener Baseball Game 

Break out your baseball caps its time to head to Harbor Park Stadium to cheer on the Norfolk Tides. I know you missed a good ole’ hot dog, beer and chanting “hey batta batta” to the opposing team. Get your tickets today for the Tides home-opener, or really any of their games this 2022 season! 

3. Walk Under the Cherry Blossoms

While we may not be a top destination for cherry blossoms, Norfolk is still a cherry blossom dream once everything starts to bloom. Most of these beautiful trees can be found wandering around Downtown or Freemason District, but Norfolk Botanical Garden has several throughout their property. Take shade underneath them, have a photoshoot or just awe in their vibrant pink flowers – and don’t forget to tag us in your photos.

4. Watch a Sunrise at the Beach

@quintthepup, Instagram

The sun rises in the east, and we are blessed in Norfolk with soft sand and beautiful sites of the sunrise on two of our beaches, East Beach and Ocean View. Grab a coffee to-go from Cova and make your way to either location for a gorgeous sunrise over the water. Bring the pup! Dogs are allowed on both beaches until 10 am.

5. Gather Fresh Produce at a Farmer’s Market

There’s nothing better than snacking on fresh berries and organic veggies. Peruse our Top Farmers Markets in Norfolk and find some sun-soaked produce and fun souvenirs like handmade soap and local honey.

6. Explore a Themed Garden

The beautiful Norfolk Botanical Garden has over 60 themed gardens on the property and there is always something to explore. Most blooms can be spotted during the spring and summer months, but make sure to check out their year-round gardens too. The Sensory Garden is year-round and filled with plants that will please all of your senses. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the sights, textures and smells of this space.

7. Enjoy a Rainy Day

Yes, we said it… ENJOY your rainy day. With spring comes showers, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit inside! Explore our abundance of museums, including the Chrysler Museum of Art, Nauticus Maritime MuseumHermitage Museum & GardensMacArthur Memorial and the Hunter House Victorian Museum. Be sure to splash in a rain puddle on your way in! For more museums, click here.

8. Find a Piece of Art

Giant sculptures, iron statues and a life-size kaleidoscope are all pieces that are scattered throughout our city for your enjoyment. While there are more than 50 pieces of public art (and counting), we’ve rounded up the must-see pieces for you. 

9. Go for a Bike Ride

Our favorite neighborhoods to ride through are Larchmont and Lochaven, for their tree-lined, grandiose homes that make it easy to daydream. If you’re looking more for a trail, try the Elizabeth River Trail. Biking with a warm spring breeze hitting your face is the perfect way to kick off your spring. Need to rent bikes? Check out Pedego. 

10. Dine on the Patio

Located in the south, Norfolk boasts a warm spring. What better way to soak up the sun than to dine and sip outside? Check out Longboards for a surf shack vibe and marina views, or grab a bite of Italian food on a rooftop patio with garden lights at Leone’sCheck out more patio dining here.

11. Walk Among Animals at the Zoo

The Virginia Zoo is located in the heart of the city. Stroll the 53 acres of luscious gardens and visit its 700 furry, feathered and scaly animal friends. Witness the animals in their natural habitat; giraffes outstretching for leaves, monkeys swinging from branch to branch and grasp a moment of tranquility with the songs from a Magpie bird before you head home.

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19 April 2022

Recently Opened in Norfolk

Since Norfolk is always evolving and changing, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on all the new talented chefs, baristas, boutique owners or pit masters opening up businesses. Whether it is trying an innovative dish or buying a new outfit, we’re always excited to try out the new locally-owned shops and restaurants. Although we cannot list every new entity that joins Norfolk’s culture, we encourage you to follow along with us on social media for more openings and happenings within the city!

We will keep this content as fresh as possible and rotate out businesses as the new ones open. Be sure to check back monthly for the newest additions to our emerging city! 

Three Ships Coffee

This beloved Virginia Beach-born coffee shop has finally graced Norfolk with a brick and mortar. While you can find Three Ships Coffee grounds at a few of our local coffee shop locations, you can now support their delectable latte and specialty coffee drinks within Assembly – their Norfolk location.

Plant Norfolk

@plantnorfolk, Instagram

Attention plant moms and dads, this one is for you. Plant Norfolk just opened up their doors in the heart of the NEON District and is ready to help fill your home with all things green and blooming. From six-foot-tall fiddle leaf fig trees to small snake plants that any plant parent can keep alive.

TFK Taco

TFK Tacos opened its doors along Granby Street and is serving up a totally gluten-free menu. Their name may look familiar to you as they started whipping up their taco creations via food truck. Check them out at their new permanent location today! 

Voyager

Another new coffee shop graces Norfolk, this time specializing in nitro cold brew. Their beans are all from Hawaii and their drink names pay tribute to the tropical paradise because the owner is a native to the islands. Grab a cold brew from their tap or order some canned cold brew for the road.

Cool and Eclectic 

@macarthurcenter, Instagram

MacArthur Mall has a brand new tenant but without brand new merchandise. Cool and Eclectic is a gift shop housed with one-of-a-kind collectible items. Gifts range from signed records, and untouched comic books to autographed souvenirs from all of the greatest sports legends. 

Old Virginia Ham

While Old Virginia Ham has been native to Norfolk since 1956, its new location is the reason it makes our list of recently opened businesses. While you can order some classic ham here, Old Virginia Ham also sells some famously delicious sweet potato biscuits, southern jams and local bbq sauces.

Skys the Limit Yoga Studio

One of the best pop-up yoga instructors in Norfolk recently opened up her own studio. Whether you drop into a class while you’re in town or become a member, let’s show her some support. Be sure to keep an eye on her continued pop-ups!

@lpevarphoto, Instagram

Bonaire Custom

With Bonaire Custom’s 3D body scanner, you can now own a perfectly fitted pair of jeans or a professional suit. The scanner takes your precise measurements and custom creates your most perfect fitting outfit. While this is an experience in itself, Bonaire Custom’s also doubles as a coffeehouse. What better way to wait for your custom jeans than by sipping on a cappuccino. 

New Festival: Patriotic Festival

Norfolk is a truly southern city, and home to the world’s largest naval base, so what better celebration to join our festival round-up than Patriotic Festival. Join us Memorial Day weekend along the Elizabeth River at Town Point Park for all things military and Scope Arena for the country music stars’ performances! 

Breeze Airways Announces New Service 

Starting this February you will now be able to directly fly to and from Long Island, NY and Palm Beach, FL on Breeze Airways out of Norfolk International Airport. Happy flying!

Glass Light Gallery

The newest gallery to hit Norfolk is The Perry Glass Art Collection which is approximately 4,500 sq ft and encompasses two floors of over 65 glass art pieces from world-renowned artists. Some that are currently featured are Dale Chihuly, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Nancy Callan, Karen Lamonte, Peter Bremers, Katherine Gray and Lucy Lyon. The artwork displayed will be rotated out to feature new artists. This Gallery is free to hotel guests and the public, Tuesday – Saturday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. These times may change in the future.

Capo Capo Norfolk

Located inside the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Capo Capo, is Downtown’s newest Italian Steakhouse. Fill up on their Dry Aged Grilled Ribeye – six ounces of Koji dry-aged Ribeye, truffle parmesan fries and a tomato rosemary peppercorn sauce. You can also enjoy appetizers and a bottle of wine at their outdoor street-level patio which overlooks the hustle and bustle of downtown Norfolk.

Codex 

While Codex itself is not new to Norfolk, its new location is all the buzz. Codex started out as a counter-only restaurant within Pendulum Fine Meats, graduated to a larger kitchen space within the popular brewery, The Veil, and is now a brick and mortar that is tucked behind the orange door on Granby Street. They are a modern American restaurant that mixes upscale, farm-to-table cuisine with casual vibes.

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07 February 2022

Top 8 Things You Should Know About the Attucks Theatre

The Attucks Theatre is a historical icon here in Norfolk and it was the heartbeat of Church Street back in its heyday, 1919. This theater played a crucial role for African Americans in Norfolk, it was the hub of entertainment, rich in culture and a place of joy and zero responsibilities. The hustle and bustle this theater brought to Norfolk was paramount in the city gaining its “Harlem of the South” status back in the 1920s. Find some of the most interesting facts about the Attucks Theatre below. We hope that one day you can experience the theater’s historical and cultural beauty in person!

One

In 1919, the Attucks was among the first theaters in the United States to be designed, financed, built and operated by only African Americans.

Two

The Attucks was known for its legendary performers such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Mamie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and so many others – it was known as the Apollo of the South. For those who may not know what the Apollo is, it is a theater in NYC that opened its doors in 1913 and played a major role in the emergence of jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues and soul. So taking on the nickname, Apollo of the South speaks to the caliber of shows, entertainment and influence the Attucks offered Norfolkians. 

Three

@starkandleguminc, Instagram

Attucks Theatre was named after the first African American to lose their life in the Revolutionary War, Crispus Attucks. Today, you can find a depiction of the final scene when Attucks lost his life on the theater’s main stage curtains. 

Four

Aside from hosting famous performers, the Attucks Theatre was also a movie house for silent films and office space for African Americans. In fact, Harvey Johnson, the architect of the building, had his office here. 

Five

While the earliest memories were made at the Attucks, the next generation of show-goers knew the theater as Booker T. The theater had shut down to undergo some renovations back in 1933 and when it reopened its doors, this new name came with it.

Six

In 1953 Attucks closed its theater doors for good. Soon after, Stark and Legum, a men’s haberdashery (a store that sells iconic brands of men’s apparel and designer hats), decided to move in and house their store here: and they did so for 35 years. While they have moved their storefront around a few times, Stark and Legum has been in Norfolk since 1924. Today you can find them at 723 Granby Street. 

Seven

In 1977, the United States Congress deemed The Attucks Theatre a National Historic Landmark. 

Eight

The Attucks underwent a multi-million dollar restoration and reopened in 2004 as the theater you see today. 

Today, you can visit the theater and travel back in time to see what the beautiful space once looked like. Enjoy a show here since legendary performers still frequent this venue. For a schedule of the Attucks Theatre shows, click here.

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18 January 2022

Romantic Getaway to Norfolk

Escape to Norfolk for a romantic getaway among waterfront sunsets, great cuisine and friendly folks that are ready to show you some of that famous Southern hospitality. Below you will find the best things to do in Norfolk for couples!

Splurge on a suite

FOUR ELEVEN YORK INN AND RESTAURANT

Nestled among the cobblestone streets of Freemason is the boutique inn and restaurant, Four Eleven York. Their rooms are styled and decorated beautifully with each having its own personality. Slumber like a royal on a Hypnos mattress (the exclusive supplier of mattresses for the residences of the Royal Family) in the gorgeous Magnolia Suite. Light some candles, ignite the in-bathroom fireplace and take a much-needed deep soak in their volcanic limestone soaking tub.

Glass Light Hotel and Gallery

Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the Glass Light Hotel and Gallery is a beautiful representation of our cities love for glass art and history. The Glass Light Hotel is situated in a century-old building dating back to 1912 and stands tall along the bustling downtown street of Granby. Their Junior Suite offers sweeping views of the Elizabeth River, downtown Norfolk and the majestic Battleship Wisconsin. Cuddle up in a robe, munch on some chocolate-covered strawberries and cherish the moment!

Hilton Norfolk The Main

Take the weekend and live in pure glamor. Open the door to your Presidential Suite and you will quickly be greeted by stunning panoramic city views, a classic grand piano and a large soaking bathtub in the spacious bathroom. The room at sunset just exuberates love! Lucky for you, the Main also has some of the tastiest restaurants in Norfolk. Order room service or simply ride the elevator to Varia, a scrumptious Italian Trattoria, Saltine, where you’ll find fresh seafood fare or the rooftop beer garden, Grain.

Sunsets with your sweetheart

@t.cue.l, Instagram

Ocean View and East beach

Picture this, you’re wrapped up in a blanket with your favorite person overlooking the bay, dolphins showing fin in the distance and the sun is kissing the horizon. Maybe you’ve picked up a sweet treat from Chocollage or have a bottle of champagne back at the room, either way, we invite you to sit back and enjoy a romantic sunset at Ocean View and East Beach

@__d_w_p__, Instagram

Nauticus Pier

This hidden gem in Norfolk plays the perfect role for a quiet romantic spot. The Elizabeth River, locally painted benches, merman statue and mile marker zero (free and open to the public) make for the perfect backdrop for a sunset smooch. 

Dine by candlelight

Some of our local favorite spots to enjoy with your sweetheart are Four Eleven York, where you can woo your love with complimentary donuts at their courtyard garden brunch, Luce, which has a finer-diner-like atmosphere while serving up handmade pasta dishes, Todd Jurich’s, a classic Norfolk restaurant which arguably has the best She Crab soup in town and Blanca Food + Wine, which will have you batting your eyelashes at one another over a glass or two of wine from their old world wine list.

Explore the outdoors

@andrewandtianna, @mariagracephotography, Instagram

Norfolk Botanical Garden 

Spend your day roaming the Norfolk Botanical Garden, with 60 different gardens to explore we promise you’ll find the perfect one for that romantic photo she’s been dying to take. Enjoy foliage in the fall, roses blooming during the summer, Million Bulb Walk during the holidays and flourishing azaleas all spring long.

Elizabeth River Trail

Discover Norfolk’s 10.5-mile-long Elizabeth River Trail. The ERT parallels the water, romantic cobblestone streets of historic Freemason, Ghent and Chelsea neighborhoods. Hold your darling’s hand, stroll the seascape of Norfolk and stop along the path to grab a bite to eat, something sweet or a coffee to go. Check out Norfolk’s best desserts here.

Hermitage Museum and Garden

Love is in the air year-round at the Hermitage Gardens, a popular wedding venue and the perfect backdrop to any photo. This 20th-century historic house museum sits on twelve acres of luscious gardens and natural woodlands. Step inside to experience contemporary exhibition galleries and a worldwide art collection. 

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29 November 2021

Norfolk Holiday Bucket List

Stroll the cobblestone streets of Freemason District 

Rebuilt shortly after the destruction of the Revolutionary War, Norfolk’s Freemason District features cobblestone streets and beautiful historic homes with colonial architecture. Located along the waterfront, the area’s charm provides a perfect location for a stroll after a big family meal.

Go Ice Skating at MacArthur Center 

While it may get cold in Norfolk, ice and snow is a rarity, except at MacArthur On Ice. Here, you can enjoy a night of ice skating and snow right in the center of downtown. Afterward, stop in next door for a bit of shopping and meet Santa at MacArthur Center.

View the Lighted Boat Parade 

Norfolk’s love of the water and holiday lights combine each Saturday at 6pm for a lighted boat parade at Nauticus. In the tides at dusk next to the Battleship Wisconsin, beautifully lit boats will sail by as Santa waves from the water to those watching from the shore.

Snuggle up at an outdoor fire pit

Baby, it’s cold outside in Norfolk during the winter! Snuggle up at one of our many outdoor fire pits and grab a snack, cocktail, or glass of wine. 

See the lights at Norfolk Botanical Garden

The light show at the Norfolk Botanical Garden was named one of the “best botanical garden holiday light shows in the country” by USA TODAY. Grab a hot coco from their Marigold & Honey Cafe food truck and walk through this dazzling landscape.

@smartmouthbeer, Instagram

Try the Holiday Helper IPA at Smartmouth Brewing Co.

Smartmouth Brewing Co.’s Holiday Helper IPA-Red is a local wintertime favorite here in Norfolk. Find it on tap at the brewery’s headquarters, located on the banks of the Elizabeth River. Bring the pup to have some whole-family fun.

@virginiacolonial, Instagram

Go caroling in the Ghent neighborhood

While you really could carol everywhere in Norfolk, our historic Ghent neighborhood boasts beautiful tree-lined residential streets, parks, and water views of the Hague. Take your pick of hundreds of eclectic eateries, unique shops, and antique stores along your path.

@archers_green, Instagram

Shop local fares at Selden Market 

Located in the heart of downtown, the Downtown Norfolk Council recently received top honors for the innovative Selden Market. Selden houses local retail start-ups and pop-up shops that are cycled out, so you’ll always find something new and exciting. Can’t find a business you loved there before? Try looking around town! Many of these retailers open permanent locations after their Selden Market days.

@shailaja_ra0, Instagram

Admire the giant tree at Townebank Fountain Park

The massive Christmas tree located on the waterfront in Townebank Fountain Park provides a great location to snap cute holiday photos. Afterward, stop by Waterside District next door for yummy food, or walk through the park to Nauticus where you can explore Winterfest.

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28 November 2021

The Best Ways to Get You into the Holiday Spirit in Norfolk

The holiday season is here and with it brings the usual traditions of decadent food, quality time with family and hanging with friends. Just because you have a tried-and-true holiday tradition, doesn’t mean you can’t add in some unexpected holiday fun! Here are some unique activities to spice up your joyous holiday season.

WinterFest on the Wisconsin 

For the second year in a row, the historic Battleship Wisconsin will be lit up with a dazzling walk-through light trail with over 250,000 lights for WinterFest on the Wisconsin. This seven-week, mainly outdoor experience features holiday lights, vignettes, music, Santa sightings and festive treats. Grab a hot cocoa and marvel at the tree lighting ceremonies – 5:30 PM & 7:00 PM.

Grand Illumination Cocktail from Gershwin’s

Located amid the hustle and bustle of Granby Street, also historically known as Norfolk’s “restaurant row,” you’ll find Gershwin’s, a classy piano lounge, lit up by vintage marquee lights. At night, a large Christmas tree glitters from the front windows as performers sing and play jazz music to a captivated audience.   Settle in under chandeliers reminiscent of the 1930s and warm up with their signature cocktail with the same name as Norfolk’s regionally famous holiday parade, the “Grand Illumination” – Maker’s Mark and orange peel smoked tableside with Cherry Wood.

Hotel Decor at The Main

Photo credit Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN

Marvel at the Hilton Norfolk the Main’s holiday decor as all corners of the hotel will be decked out in Christmas trees, poinsettias (650 to be exact) and their larger-than-life gingerbread house. This scrumptious holiday gingerbread house is constructed of 10 gallons of syrup, 500 pieces of gumdrops and 100 pounds of butter! Wander the levels of the hotel, grab a brew at the outdoor rooftop restaurant, Grain and you’ll be living the life like Kevin from Home Alone 2 at the Plaza!

Festive Treats at The Birch

@thebirchbar, Instagram,

Holiday desserts are delicious, but they’re even better when you don’t have to make them for yourself. Norfolk’s Chelsea neighborhood stays abuzz year-round but the vibe is electric during the holiday season. Delight in The Birch’s cider or mead while you devour a delectable Apple & Peach Cobbler – Virginia peaches and Red Delicious apples soaked in spiced cider, topped with a brown sugar cinnamon walnut crumble and served with house-made gelato. 

Hunter House Victorian Museum

Nestled along the historic cobblestone streets of Norfolk’s Freemason District, sits the immaculately decorated Hunter House Victorian Museum. The Hunter sisters, Harriet and Eloise, who never married and pushed the Victorian boundaries of feminine social life in the South, chose to have their home live on as a museum of decorative arts and furnishings. The museum plays elegantly to their wishes, draping the extravagant home in handmade garlands, Victorian tea sets and a lavishly decorated towering Christmas tree. The best part about the museum during the holidays though is the themed events like the Merry Little Christmas Tea, and reenactments of the childhood favorite, The Night Before Christmas.

Explore Downtown Norfolk 

Downtown Norfolk is illuminating for the holiday season! Buildings are decked with holiday lights, big red bows adorn streetlamps, windows glow with cheery displays (check out VisitNorfolk’s Visitor Center window!), giant Christmas trees tower over passerbys in city squares and festive art lines historic Granby Street. Shop small at eclectic boutiques inside Selden Market or explore the NEON Stars art exhibit showcasing creative holiday décor painted by Norfolk artists.

Photo curtesy of DNC

Glass Blown Ornaments from Chrysler Museum Glass Studio

Holiday desserts are delicious, but they’re even better when you don’t have to make If you’re looking for something truly different to do this holiday season, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to create your own glass blown ornament at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. After you choose your colors and pattern, an artist will assist you in heating and turning the molten glass as you blow the shape yourself. Bring the whole family and warm up by the furnace as you create a masterpiece that will be the jewel of your holiday decorations.

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15 November 2021

Best Things to Do Indoors in Norfolk, VA

Norfolk is known for its sprawling water views and outdoor activities, but when the weather calls for some indoor fun, these are our top picks.

Eat & Drink

Looking to get cozy during a cold or rainy day? Try some of our favorite comfort food restaurants! Indulge in authentic ramen at Alkaline, grab made-from-scratch soups and rosemary biscuits at The Stockpot Norfolk, warm up with the spices of Indian Chaat street food at Tamarind or take a seat at Grilled Cheese Bistro with one of their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Local Tip: Enhance your grilled cheese with an order of fresh Tomato Bisque. If you’re in Norfolk’s Ocean View neighborhood, be sure to stop by My Mama’s Kitchen for Southern comfort dishes like barbecue-y Mama’s Wings and some of the best cornbread in town.

Located in the South, we know Norfolk can bring some hot and steamy days where there’s nothing better than a light meal and place to cool off. Dig in to creamy gelato at Strawberry Fields, where flavors are made fresh daily using Old World methods, then stop by Mermaid Winery and catch a buzz with a refreshing flight of white wines or COVA Brewing Company for an iced latte. For lunch or dinner, opt for our fresh, local seafood at A.W. Shucks, or meander into the A/C hotspot along the waterfront at Waterside District, where a plethora of foodie options are available with a view of the river.

Explore

Discover Norfolk’s maritime history at the Hampton Roads Naval History Museum located inside of Nauticus on the second floor, peruse paintings, dolls and glass art at the Barry Art Museum or explore over 30,000 original works of art that span more than 5,000 years at Chrysler Museum of Art – all venues offer free admission every day. Catch live music at any one of these top venues. Some of our favorites are the NorVA, named the No. 1 Concert Venue in the Country by a Rolling Stones readers’ poll and Smartmouth Brewing Company’s new warehouse entertainment space, where local artists get to shine bright while you enjoy top tier craft beer.

If you’re wanting to get active, try Latitude Climbing and Fitness, where adults can participate in bouldering and yoga while kiddos can tire themselves out in the kid’s corner, or throughout the gym with your supervision. Kick back and relax while watching a Norfolk Admirals hockey game at Scope Arena, or enjoy an Indie film at the NARO Expanded Cinema.

Create

Feeling creative? Make your way to the Chrysler Museum’s Perry Glass Studio for a glass blowing class, or catch a free demonstration every Tues-Sun at Noon. If playing with fire isn’t your thing, paint and decorate your very own Norfolk mermaid at the Mermaid Factory, or get your hands dirty throwing clay at All Hands Pottery. Plant lovers will delight in building their own bouquets or picking up a new plant baby at Horticulture Design Co. Check out their open workshops to create something fun like a tabletop garden or kokedama (Japanese moss ball).

Shop

Treat yourself to unique shopping at Selden Market, a historic indoor arcade where you will find a mix of local businesses that specialize in everything from handmade leather goods and jewelry to gourmet waffles and streetwear fashion. Across the street, be sure to check out MacArthur Center mall for brand name stores like Dillard’s and more. MacArthur Center also offers a full movie theatre for your entertainment.

Out toward the Norfolk International Airport you will find the 331,000 square foot IKEA, where you can wander through Swedish home furnishings until your heart’s content. Looking for something a bit more unique? Peruse the aisles of Local Heroes comic book store in the historic Ghent neighborhood, which caters to readers of all ages.

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01 November 2021

Gobble Up these Tasty Thanksgiving Dishes in Norfolk, VA

The season of giving thanks is back again along with a few of our favorite delectable holiday dishes and drinks. To get you into the spirit, we’ve rounded up places that will bring the holidays to you in every flavorful sip and bite. Whether you’re craving apple pie, pumpkin, cranberry sauce or all the comfort food you can handle, we’ve got you covered and hope you are hungry.

The Bonbonnier 

Calling all pumpkins spice lovers, this one’s for you! The Bonbonnier layers moist pumpkin cake dotted with tart, fresh cranberries covering it with cinnamon cream cheese frosting to create their delicious Pumpkin Cranberry Cake. Also available as a cupcake, this is the perfect treat for family and friends to enjoy together.

 @grilledcheesebistro, Instagram.

Grilled Cheese Bistro  

Offering everyone “A Taste of Thanksgiving” starting in November, the Grilled Cheese Bistro serves up a flavor-packed sandwich filled with smoked turkey, cranberry chutney, cinnamon cayenne fries and brie cheese on jalapeño corn bread.

The Ten Top 

In the mood for some delicious holiday fare? The Ten Top dishes out a changing line-up of unique soups all season long, but their crowd favorite is the Coconut – Curry Pumpkin.

Taste Unlimited 

This November, find all your favorite Thanksgiving flavors in Taste’s Turkey and Stuffing Sandwich; juicy turkey slices topped with sweet and tart cranberry sauce and savory stuffing on airy ciabatta bread. This is the Thanksgiving leftover’s dream sandwich and is sure to satisfy your holiday cravings. 

bar_q_desserts, Instagram

Bar-Q Desserts

An infamous Texas style barbecue joint (located inside Bold Mariner) is making waves in the dessert world. Pulling inspiration from her mother and grandmother, baker Nikki offers a rotating selection of decadent southern styled treats. Now, check out their Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies topped with orange and black sprinkles, the perfect fall treat!

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21 October 2021

2021 Veterans Day Events in Norfolk

Buy-A-Vet-A-Beer 

O’Connor Brewing Co.

October 11 – November 11

Until November 11th, you can purchase a beer for an active duty member or veteran to enjoy on Veteran’s Day! Pay for the beer, write a personal note, an honor to a veteran or your own service dates and we’ll post them on the wall. On Veteran’s Day, any active duty member or veteran can redeem a voucher for a beer on you!

Veterans Day Celebration 

Nauticus 

November 11 – 14, 2021

All Veterans and Active Duty Service Members will receive 50% off general admission tickets at the Nauticus admissions desk.

Proper ID is required and the discount applies to service members only, additional guests will need to purchase tickets online or at the admissions desk. Honor your loved one with a permanent plaque aboard the historic Battleship Wisconsin. Military or civilian, living or deceased – an engraved plaque placed aboard the last battleship built by the United States Navy is a meaningful and memorable gift.

Winterfest on The Wisconsin – Opening Day

Nauticus 

November 11, 2021

All Veterans and Active Duty will get a complimentary ticket to opening night on November 11th, 2021.

WinterFest on the Wisconsin is back with more lights and more nights! The region’s only waterfront light festival returns aboard the Battleship Wisconsin this holiday season with new light zones, live entertainment, new below-deck experiences, lighted boat parades on the river, and a guaranteed forecast of snow every night!

#BuyABeerForAVeteran 

Bold Mariner

October 22 – November 11, 2021

The veteran-owned brewing company, Bold Mariner promotes #BuyABeerForAVeteran from October 22nd until November 11th. Pre-buy a beer for a Veteran; all beers will be given out on Nov 10th and 11th to Active Duty and Retired Military.

Veteran’s Day Glass Blowing 

Chrysler Museum of Art

November 11

Veterans and active-duty military members are invited to create one blown-glass holiday heirloom at the Perry Glass Studio with the help of the Chrysler’s Studio Team. Participants may allow a child or other family member to make the ornament in their stead.

Free. Reservations are required. Register by calling the Studio at 757-333-6299.

Military Appreciation 

Norfolk Premium Outlets

Year- round

Norfolk Premium Outlets proudly supports those that serve, their families, and our veterans. To receive special discount offers, show your valid military ID at participating retailers. Look for the patriotic star on their window!

MacArthur Center 

Year-round

MacArthur Center mall offers year-round discounts to those who have served and are serving our country. 

Granby Waffle Shop

Throughout November

For the month of November, Granby Waffle Shop is offering 15% off for all veterans and active military in honor of Veteran’s Day.

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