If you’re searching for a group tour that combines beautiful beaches, fascinating history, vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, you’re in luck. The neighboring cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia are a combined destination for beachgoers, history lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and foodies who can appreciate top-notch cuisine. Here are some ideas for group tour activities in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Naval History and Historic dining in Norfolk, VA
Spend the morning at Nauticus, a fun, exciting and interactive maritime discovery center, to explore the power of the sea. Discover the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, where you will be introduced to over 200 years of naval activity in Hampton Roads. Walk the teak decks of Battleship Wisconsin, one of the last and largest battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Stand beneath her 16-inch guns and feel the excitement of being aboard a historic warship.
Visit the MacArthur Memorial, the final resting place of General Douglas MacArthur and his wife. Discover the compelling story of this five-star Army General and the millions of American men and women who served our nation during the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Occupation of Japan and the Korean War.
Enjoy dinner at Stripers at Waterside District with a local, fresh seafood menu and waterfront views. The menu offers a wide variety of foods including she crab soup, pasta, fish, seafood and choice prime rib. End the evening with a famous waffle cone from Doumar’s. Abe Doumar invented this sweet novelty by rolling a waffle into a cone shape, to which he added ice cream. Doumar’s still bakes cones on the original cone machines.
Nature, shopping, Cruising and Brewery Hopping in Norfolk, VA
Take a fun-filled boat ride at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and explore the waterways or stroll the garden’s paths to discover a variety of plants from the cultivated to the wild. Stop for lunch and shopping at Norfolk Premium Outlets. Great deals are made to be found for the perfect outfit, accessory or souvenir to take home.
Set sail for an afternoon cruise aboard the American Rover Sailing Cruise or City Cruises Norfolk. Both cruises sail down the Elizabeth River with a guided tour of the waterfront where passengers can see the world’s largest naval base, Naval Station Norfolk.
Savor dinner at the historic Omar’s Carriage House, whose original patrons were horses! Omar’s specializes in American-Mediterranean fusion plates, and their Moroccan Mondays are a cultural gem of a dining experience.
Cap off the evening at a local brewery. Bold Mariner Brewing Company is a veteran-owned and -operated brewery with a unique spin on traditional style ales. Or try Norfolk’s Rip Rap Brewing Company owned and operated by two Coast Guard sailors.
Art, Military Aviation and Seafood in Virginia Beach, VA
Enjoy an old-fashioned breakfast at Doc Taylor’s, inside a 1920s beach cottage featuring classic breakfast offerings in a comfy diner. Open your mind to new creations and ideas with a tour of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art where you’ll experience ever-changing exhibitions featuring locally relevant and nationally resonate contemporary art that’s exceptional.
Then have a guided tour aboard the motorcoach for an overview of the area’s history including Fort Story and the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the oldest government-built lighthouse in America.
Then head over to the Military Aviation Museum to enjoy the sights, sounds and even the smell of the glory days of military aviation. You can experience one of the world’s largest collections of warbirds in flying condition. Each plane has been beautifully restored to its prior military condition, using original parts whenever possible.
Enjoy dinner at Waterman’s Surfside Grille, known for its sustainably sourced seafood and seriously good orange crushes. You may run into the Doorway Singers for a musical trip back to the 1940s, while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Pancakes, Museums and Dolphin- and Whale-watching Tours in Virginia Beach, VA
Start the day with a fluffy pancake breakfast at Pocahontas Pancake House & Waffle Shop. Then stop in for the Surfman Chronicles at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum, or visit the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, an 1895 beach cottage and the oldest remaining structure on the oceanfront.
Don’t leave without an unforgettable dolphin- or whale-watching tour via Rudee Tours. These excursions take you offshore where dolphins splash in the warmer months, and whales’ migration path follows in the cooler weather. Back at the marina, enjoy a waterfront lunch at Rockafeller’s.