16 August 2022

5 Reasons to Road Trip to Norfolk, VA

Road trips provide perfect opportunities to create timeless memories by piling everyone into the car and hitting the road for some fun. Norfolk will easily check off all the “must-haves” your group is looking for in a destination: beach days for the sunbathers, Downtown rooftop decks for those wanting to slurp down oysters with a view, a zoo for the animal lovers and numerous pet-friendly breweries for those who bring along their furry best friend. Here are the top reasons to make Norfolk your next road trip destination.

1. Our Proximity to You

Living in the D.C or Richmond area? Our proximity to these cities allows for easy last-minute getaway trips, while our location in the Mid-Atlantic creates convenient accessibility for a slightly longer car ride. 

Who doesn’t love exiting the highway and having a short commute to your hotel? Norfolk is located just off of Interstate 64, allowing for a quick drive to your final destination. Whether you are looking for a weekend trip, week-long vacation or a stopover on your way to the Outer Banks, our proximity to you is unmatched!

2. Free Parking

When traveling to a new destination, it can be confusing to understand where you are allowed to leave the car for the day. With free parking in many of Norfolk’s most popular neighborhoods, you won’t have to worry. Our beaches offer free parking and have multiple public access points via boardwalks and paths. 

The Chelsea neighborhood, which is also extremely pet friendly, is our favorite to explore by bike, but their free street parking makes exploring Chelsea by foot a breeze. Once you find a spot, venture over to The Birch and devour one of their famous grilled cheeses paired with a fabulous beer, cider or mead on tap. Looking for more options in Chelsea? Wander over to Benchtop Brewery and sip on a Gose, or enjoy Orapax’s mouth-watering Greek cuisine!

@iamanar92, Instagram 

3. Our Walkability

Our Downtown consists of 12 walkable city blocks, filled with endless activities. All Downtown hotels are within walking distance of savory restaurants (many with outdoor patios), recreational spaces like Town Point Park, thrilling art experiences at The Chrysler Museum’s Perry Glass Studio and rich, historic landmarks along the Cannonball Trail, an outdoor historic self-guided experience. Our small-scale Downtown also brings you access to multiple boat cruises, City Cruises by Hornblower, American Rover, Victory Rover and personalized sailing excursions with Nauticus. Mile Marker Zero, the Elizabeth River Trail and Fort Norfolk are also all accessible by foot when you are downtown. Our small town charm mixed with our high-rise southern waterfront city will quench your long awaited need to escape for a vacation. 

4. Abundance of Outdoor Activities 

Packing your vehicle to the brim is an art form, especially when you suit up your vehicle with all your outdoor gear (kayaks, bikes, paddle boards etc.) but don’t fret, Norfolk is worth the packing hassle. From 10.5 miles on the Elizabeth River Trail (ERT) to 144 miles of shoreline there is plenty to satisfy an outdoor fanatic! The ERT tours you through Norfolk’s downtown, parks and prestigious neighborhoods while our shorelines are trickled with boat ramps and kayak launches. The Chesapeake Bay has minimal waves making it the perfect spot for paddle boarding or floating the afternoon away on an inflatable tube. Don’t forget your fishing gear for fishing charters or fishing off the Ocean View Pier. Let Norfolk become your outdoor playground!

5. Our Cuisine

What’s a road trip without experiencing the local eats? Norfolk is home to about hundreds of restaurants, with approximately 600 operated by individuals. Because of our high concentration of locally-owned restaurants, the caliber and diversity that transpires through each owner’s personalized menus, distinctive atmospheres and true Southern hospitality makes Norfolk incomparable to other cities our size. Not only will you experience high quality food, but you will single-handedly aid in the support of small businesses. Come hungry, and taste your way through Norfolk!

You May Also Like

Neptune's Fury

Imagine taking that first glorious sip of morning coffee as you gaze out on Norfolk’s sparkling Elizabeth River. Embrace the warm…
Learn More

Shop Like a Local

Looking for that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for your loved one (or yourself)? How about a vintage conversation piece, a new outfit…
Learn More


The Best of Norfolk, On Display Norfolk is filled with plenty of museums for you to explore; offering everything from art-focused museums such as…
Learn More

Public Arts and Galleries

Art Is Everywhere Downtown Norfolk is home to some of the area’s best public art collections. In addition to…
Learn More