Military Parades and Historic Gardens
DAY ONE - Wednesday
Late Afternoon - Delight and discover the story of Rowena's and her famous pound cakes. Learn the secret of the pound cake and how this company started from three fruit trees. Rowena's is a quaint store in the Freemason District filled with pound cakes, an assortment of curds, jams, and sauces all for the tasting!
P.M. - Stroll through 5,000 years of art history at 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. The museum also offers an extensive European and American collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts.
Dinner - Enjoy dinner at the Freemason Abbey Restaurant and Tavern, a restaurant located in an over 135 year-old renovated church in the Freemason Harbour area of Norfolk. The menu offers a wide variety of foods featuring fresh lobster, pasta, fish, seafood, and choice prime rib. End the evening with a famous waffle cone from Doumar’s where Abe Doumar invented the waffle cone by taking a waffle and rolling it into a cone, to which he added ice cream. Doumar’s still bakes cones on the original cone machines. Your group can delight in fresh made ice cream cones from the original machine.
DAY TWO - Thursday
A.M. - Relax along a tree-lined riverbank at the Hermitage Foundation Museum. This early 20th century historic home appears frozen in time, offering visitors an extraordinary trip through antiquity. The museum and gardens consist of a world-wide art collection and contemporary exhibition galleries, all surrounded by twelve acres of formal gardens and natural woodlands.
Lunch - The Historic Ghent and Freemason neighborhoods offer a collection of boutiques, art and antique galleries, and outdoor cafes and eateries. Ghent is rich in history and a place where you can experience the very best in cultural activities. This delightful and vibrant community offers an exciting combination of treasures!
P.M. - Norfolk’s’ Home and Garden tour is a part of Virginia Garden’s Week. Explore and peek inside private mansions only open on this day to the public. Every year a different historical neighborhood in Norfolk is showcased. Homes are within an easy walking or driving distance. Special events include floral demonstrations, private home tours, wildlife sanctuary guided tours, and more are all included in the ticket price.
Dinner - Located in downtown Norfolk, Omar’s Carriage House is sure to please! This historic site in Norfolk was built in the early 1840s, when the original patrons were horses. Savour fresh jumbo lump crab cakes and succulent potato crisp flounder at Omar’s contemporary bistro.
7:30 P.M. - Enjoy the Virginia International Tattoo which is part parade and part performance, featuring top military bands, precision drill teams, massed pipes and drums with over 1,500 performers.
DAY THREE - Friday
A.M. - Take a fun-filled boat ride at Norfolk Botanical Garden and explore the waterways or stroll the gardens and discover a variety of plants from the cultivated to the wild. While you are visiting, be sure to take part in the one of Garden’s popular programs such as Active Gardeners, Creative Gardeners or Garden Design. The Norfolk Botanical Garden’s professional horticultural staff will be on hand to share their knowledge and experience and inspire new ideas for your garden.
AM/Lunch. - Shop till you drop at MacArthur Center with over 140 retailers anchored by Nordstrom and Dillard’s. While there, take part in one of MacArthur Center's special packages including a cooking class at Williams-Sonoma. (Coupons are available to groups). Or enjoy lunch on the water at Norfolk's newest entertainment and shopping venue The Waterside District. Arriving in the Spring of 2017, the revitalized waterfront will be a central place to dine and shop. It will feature the best of national, local and regional restaurants and will offer live music, festivals and more
Depart for home
Naval History and Patriotic Pride
Norfolk continues to thrive as a Navy town but celebrates the Armed Service everyday. Experience the world’s largest Naval Base, the Douglas MacArthur Memorial and the world’s last and largest Battleship. Norfolk offers more than 15 naval sites to revisit America’s naval history, patriotic pride and rediscover freedom.
Afternoon Spend the afternoon strolling through history at the Armed Forces Memorial. Bronze letters are scattered throughout the park. Each letter is a letter written to home from a solider at war.
Be bold at Bold Mariner Brewing Company, with a full calendar of events, food trucks, and great beers on tap. The owner has been active in the Navy for over 18 years and had always dreamed of opening a brewery. Right down the street is Rip Rap Brewing Company, which was started by two sailors who met at the Coast Guard Academy. After departing they took their hobby of hoe brewing to new heights by opening their own craft brewery.
Dinner Savor dinner at Omar’s Carriage House. Built in the early 1840's, this building is a historic site in Norfolk. Be sure to try the fresh jumbo lump crab cakes and potato crisp flounder while dining at Omar’s.
A.M. Learn about Norfolk’s past and present highlights on a guided bus tour of the city.
A.M. Explore the power of the sea inside Nauticus, an interactive science and technology center, where you can explore the power of the sea. While there, step aboard the 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 an historic warship. Stroll through the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and experience 200 years of Naval history in Hampton Roads.
Lunch Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the Norfolk Skyline with lunch aboard the Spirit of Norfolk, listening to great music and dancing as you cruise Norfolk's historic waterways. The Spirit of Norfolk will provide a narrated tour of Naval Station Norfolk by water, giving the best views of U.S. Naval fleet.
P.M. Take part in a guided bus tour of the world’s largest naval installation, Naval Station Norfolk. A knowledgeable, active duty Navy guide will give a narrated tour of the base highlighting the U.S. Naval Fleet, Admirals Row, and how the base is a working city.
Dinner Dine at No Frill Bar & Grill located in Norfolk’s Historic Ghent. Specializing in sandwiches, wraps, full-course entrées and overflowing concoctions from the bar, No Frill Bar & Grill offers a contemporary setting and diverse menu featuring daily culinary creations.
A.M. Discover the compelling story of General Douglas MacArthur and the millions of Americans who served our nation through five wars at The MacArthur Memorial. The MacArthur Memorial is a museum and research center dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the life of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. The Memorial also pays tribute to the millions of men and women who served with General MacArthur in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Situated in downtown Norfolk Virginia, the Memorial consists of a museum, archives and research center, education center, theatre, welcome center and a gift shop. A visit to the Memorial will allow you to explore the life of one of America’s greatest generals.
Lunch Enjoy lunch at MacArthur Center’s 600-seat food court or at one of its numerous sit-down restaurants. This vast selection of food offers something for everyone.
P.M. Board the Victory Rover Naval Base Cruise for a two-hour narrated cruise which offers the fastest way to see destroyers, frigates, nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers at Norfolk Naval Station.
Dinner Dine at the Freemason Abbey Restaurant and Tavern, a restaurant located in an over 135 year-old renovated church in the historic Freemason Harbor area of Norfolk. The menu offers a wide variety of food, featuring fresh lobster, pasta, fish, seafood and choice prime rib. Make sure to order the she crab soup, a Norfolk favorite!