28 March 2024

Things to Do on a Monday in Norfolk

There’s little doubt that Norfolk, Virginia is the spot along the Mid-Atlantic coast to get your fill of events, attractions, dining and culture. But what if you’re here on a Monday? Nothing is ever open on Mondays, is it? 

Turns out, much more than you might expect. 

While several major Norfolk attractions and eateries close up shop on Mondays to give their staff a much-needed day of rest, others keep plowing ahead, and that’s great news for you. 

So, let’s look at some of the top things to do on a Monday in Norfolk, VA.  

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Outdoors Attractions

Norfolk enjoys a full four seasons, which means three-quarters of the time, it’s pretty enjoyable outdoors. Open year-round, the Norfolk Botanical Garden (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is a great option for a Monday visit. With 175 acres of gardens, wildlife and kids’ exhibits, it’s perfect any time of year. Speaking of wildlife, the Virginia Zoo (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) lets you explore the plains of Africa where you’ll meet crocs, orangutans, snakes and other exotic critters without leaving Tidewater. 

If you’re up for a walk, Downtown Norfolk has plenty of paths that take you to several only-in-Virginia type attractions. Stroll through the grounds of the Taiwanese Pagoda Garden Teahouse to see one of Norfolk’s most photographed locations, then make your way down to the site of the historic (and majestic) Battleship Wisconsin. While the ship and museum are shuttered on Mondays, you can still walk the length of the ship on the adjacent dock, where many a classic Norfolk selfie has been taken. Look behind you and you’ll see the Trail of Honor, the city’s nod to its citizens who fought in battles from the Civil War to Vietnam. 

Two nearby parks are worth your time. Closest to downtown is Town Point Park (6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.) a seven-acre waterfront park with water fountains and green spaces for chilling out on a warm day. Up the road a bit is Plum Point Park (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.), which boasts five acres of paths, Navy tributes and views galore of the Elizabeth River. The adjacent Elizabeth River Trail connects both parks and is a must-see for anyone touring the area on foot or bicycle. And, while the estate is closed on Mondays, there’s not much to stop you from walking around the 12 beautiful acres of the Hermitage Museum and Gardens grounds and admiring the scenery. 

Get on the Water

On warmer days, the Elizabeth and Lafayette rivers are positively beckoning you to spend time on the water. Fortunately, the rivers don’t care that it’s Monday, so hop over to Electrified Marina for a battery-operated boat rental that will give you otherwise inaccessible views of Norfolk. Or, hop into a smaller craft you can paddle at Norfolk Kayak Rentals. If you want to let someone else do the driving, we totally get it. For that, take a cruise on the Victory Rover or American Rover (both 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the Spirit of Mt. Vernon. Learn more about cruise schedules and pricing on our Harbor Cruises page

Dig Into Culture

Art, anyone? Norfolk is happy to oblige. While downtown, swing into the Glass Light Hotel Gallery (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) to see glass artworks from Dale Chihuly, Peter Bremmers and other masters of the medium. Or, walk around and see the colorful – and often inspiring – murals that dot the city’s landscape. 

The NARO Theater in Ghent, Norfolk, VA.

Feeling up for a movie? The Naro Expanded Cinema is a throwback single-screen theater in the historic and vibrant Ghent neighborhood. They routinely play first-run films alongside classics from the past and, yes, they’re open on Mondays. 

Pick up a few souvenirs on your way into or out of town when you stop by the VisitNorfolk Mermaid Market (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 232 E. Main St. next to the Selden Market (also open for shopping on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  

Ocean View Beach, Norfolk

Hit the Beach 

Perhaps you don’t want to be in the water so much as adjacent to it. Well, we’ve got a beachin’ good time for you. Head 20 minutes north from downtown to Ocean View Beach Park where you’ll find lighter crowds and plenty of shoreline on which to relax. The nearby Ocean View Pier is the place to fish (gear for rent in the pier’s tackle shop) and dine during the spring, summer and early fall.   

Delve into History

Take a walk along the Cannonball Trail, which winds along the shoreline of the Elizabeth River and traverses 400 years of local and national history. See if you can spot the Revolutionary War-era cannonball still lodged in the wall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church!

To go further afield, hop on the Elizabeth River Ferry for a short (less than 10 minute) ride over to Old Town Portsmouth, kick around there and hop back on to return to Norfolk. The ferry runs daily every half-hour from 5:45 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. with seasonal/holiday hours varying. 

Elizabeth River Ferry

For more history, visit the inspiring End of Massive Resistance Wall, an eight-foot tall, 57-foot-wide tribute to a group of students who broke the color barrier in Norfolk city schools in 1959. Honor Norfolk’s fallen citizens – both military and civilian – at the historic, peaceful West Point and Cedar Grove cemeteries on Princess Anne Blvd. near Ghent. Both resting grounds are great for a meditative morning of photography, but keep it respectful: both are still in active use. 

Norfolk’s moving Armed Forces Memorial uniquely recalls final letters from soldiers sent just before they paid the ultimate sacrifice. It is located at the end of Town Point Park, nestled between the Elizabeth River and Downtown Norfolk.

Fort Norfolk

Finally, see the town’s last remaining harbor-front forts at Fort Norfolk, authorized in 1794 by President George Washington. The fort overlooks the Elizabeth River and includes earthwork embankments, ramparts, a dungeon, officers’ quarters, powder magazine, barracks and guardhouse. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the site and it’s open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You May Also Like

May 2024

Norfolk has a great lineup of May events to kickstart the warmer months! With festival season kicking off, live outdoor music, Mother's Day, shows…
Learn More

Things to Do in Ocean View and East Beach

Did you know that Norfolk has its very own sandy beach? The areas of Ocean View and East…
Learn More

Group Tour Itinerary: 3 Days in Norfolk

Norfolk, Virginia is a city on the water but never watered down. Find inspiration on our…
Learn More

Norfolk and Virginia Beach Group Tours

If you’re searching for a group tour that combines beautiful beaches, fascinating history…
Learn More