Where else can you explore a battleship, pet a shark, tour the galaxy and take a walk back in time? Come to Coastal Virginia and see two historic seaport cities divided only by the Elizabeth River that are joined together by their rich cultural history in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia!
Enjoy a great lunch with some local entertainment on the water at Norfolk’s Waterside District with the City of Portsmouth as your backdrop across the water. Enjoy the view of boats sailing down the waterfront while dining in one of the many restaurant options from local seafood to tasty barbecue.
In the afternoon, set sail along the Elizabeth River aboard the elegant American Rover Sailing Cruise for a two-hour narrated tour. Enjoy the spacious top decks, or relax below in the climate-controlled cocktail lounge. Upon your return from an afternoon on the calming seas, stroll through Town Point Park passing the Armed Forces Memorial. Here you can see 20 letters cast in bronze, written by U.S. service members who lost their lives in war. The letters are scattered across a portion of the park as if blown there by the wind.
Later in the evening, dine on Granby Street at Byrd & Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse, a traditional steak and chophouse. This amazing steakhouse serves only grain-fed Midwestern all-natural beef, aged on site to ensure only the finest product. Premier wine selections are available to ensure a memorable dining experience. Or, just stroll down Granby Street to find over 20 locally owned restaurants that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds.
Start the morning with a guided tour of the world’s largest naval installation, Naval Station Norfolk while aboard the Victory Rover. In your front-row seat to the naval fleet, you’ll see destroyers, submarines and other vessels while taking in sights of the harbor.
Stroll through 5,000 years of art history at the Chrysler Museum of Art. You’ll discover a world-renowned Tiffany glass collection, Art Nouveau furniture, works of art from African, Egyptian, Pre-Columbian, Islamic and Asian cultures, plus an extensive European and American collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts. Watch works of glass art being created right before your eyes at the Perry Glass Studio.
Lunch time! Board the paddlewheel ferry from Downtown Norfolk for a quick, 10-minute ride right to the streets of Olde Towne Portsmouth. Then enjoy lunch at Fish and Slips located at Tidewater Yacht Marina for an amazing view of Downtown Norfolk’s beautiful skyline.
In the afternoon, stop by the Visitor Information Center located across from the Children’s Museum in Olde Towne. Make sure to pick up a self-guided Path to History Tour brochure and take a walk through Olde Towne Historic District to discover three centuries of history and architecture. Ask a living history guide what tours will be offered that day. You can also spend the afternoon exploring the shops, museums and galleries along High Street.
As the day draws to a close, relax and enjoy a quiet dinner in one of the many trendy restaurants found scattered along High Street.
If you are looking for a late night activity, check out the Commodore Theatre, a beautifully restored 1945 art deco theater found on the National Register of Historic Places. The Commodore offers food, drinks and movies with a state-of-the-art sound system and a huge 42-foot screen. Also check out the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion for a concert, or stop at one of the local establishments for live music and other events.
Wake up and spend the morning at Nauticus, a fun and exciting interactive science and technology center, exploring the power of the sea. Discover the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, where you will be introduced to over 200 years of naval activity in Coastal Virginia. Then walk the teak decks of Battleship Wisconsin, one of the last and largest battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Stand beneath the 16-inch guns and feel the excitement of being aboard a historic warship.