A summertime smooth jazz experience runs for two days and is the region’s longest-running outdoor jazz festival. Musical starlets have included the Superstars of Jazz Fusion featuring Roy Ayers, Tom Browne, Lonnie Liston Smith, Wayne Henderson and Ronnie Lawson. In addition to an impressive national lineup, the Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival also features local and regional jazz favorites. This three-day itinerary will draw your group in with an unmatched smooth jazz experience on the water while also introducing you to some of Norfolk’s greatest attractions.
Wake up to the wonders of nature at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. The Garden encompasses 155 beautiful acres intertwined by bridges, coastal waterways and 12 miles of pedestrian trails. Enjoy a tram tour through the garden where countless African American helped construct the garden during the Great Depression with the Works Progress Administration.
Historic Ghent is the local hot spot for lunch. One local favorite is Doumar’s, a classic drive-in, whose original owner created the world’s first waffle cone! While in the neighborhood, sip and savor at Mermaid Winery, Virginia’s first urban winery, and enjoy a tasty bite paired with a delicious wine flight in their intimate tasting room. Or stop in Maker’s Craft Brewery for a craft beer with good friends.
Then spend the afternoon relaxing along a tree-lined riverbank at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens. This early 20th century historic home appears frozen in time, offering visitors an extraordinary trip through antiquity. The museum and gardens consist of a worldwide art collection and contemporary exhibition galleries, all surrounded by 12 acres of formal gardens and natural woodlands.
Time to head to Town Point Park for the Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival to enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz complete with larger-than-life live performances including national jazz recording artists and local jazz favorites, all along with the setting of the Downtown Norfolk skyline and Elizabeth River. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the last performance starts at 9 p.m.
Time to wake up and head over to the Chrysler Museum of Art, home to Walter Chrysler Jr.’s world-class collection of more than 30,000 pieces of art. The museum features a world-renowned Tiffany glass collection, Art Nouveau furniture and works of art from African, Egyptian, pre-Columbian, Islamic and Asian cultures. Take part in “The Friends of African American Art” guided tour, which includes private African American artwork collections.
Enjoy lunch with smooth sounds of jazz while sailing down the Elizabeth River on a jazz brunch cruise aboard City Cruises Norfolk. This lunch cruise offers great food, live music and dancing!
After lunch, join a walking tour with Norfolk Tour Company focused on African American history, Norfolk’s churches, historic architecture and more.
Head over to Norfolk’s beloved restaurant and jazz spot Brothers featuring live jazz performers for an early dinner or glass of wine. This fine dining restaurant and live jazz spot is owned by longtime NBA referee Tony Brothers.
The jazz continues for the second night at Town Point Park with the smooth tunes of larger-than-life live performances including national jazz recording artists and local jazz favorites along with the setting of the Downtown Norfolk skyline and Elizabeth River.
Before you head home, shop till you drop at Selden Market featuring a rotating lineup of Norfolk’s up-and-coming concepts in retail, food and more.