Chelsea, North Colley & Beyond

Surrounding the historic Ghent neighborhood are the districts of Chelsea, North Colley and beyond- a diverse and delightful intersection of commercial, industrial and undeniably local.


No history buffs trip to Norfolk is complete without a visit to historic Fort Norfolk, located along the Elizabeth River as you head from downtown to the Chelsea District. It is the last remaining of 19 harbor-front forts authorized in the 1794 by President George Washington and helped protect the city during the War of 1812. The four-acre site includes earthwork embankments, ramparts, barracks and a guard house.  To get a glimpse into the U.S. armed forces more recent history, take a tour of Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base. The 45-minute tour takes you dockside to the home of the Atlantic fleet for an up-close look at aircraft carriers, destroyers and other U.S Navy vessels protecting our nation every day.


You’ve come to the right place for some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and watering holes. Chelsea’s craft brewery, Smartmouth Brewing Company is a must for craft beer enthusiasts. This 20-barrel brew house typically churns out 100 barrels of hoppy goodness a month and offers a guided tour of the facility and cozy tasting room. From the bite of their India pale ale to one of the Saisons brewed in Virginia, you can get a true taste of our local flavor. If you’re seeking out something incredibly fresh, search no farther than LeGrand Kitchen for the freshest regional produce and meats. Enjoy dining in North Colley at Cogan's Pizza North, Chow, Dirty Buffalo or Fellini’s. Refuel at the distinct and delicious neighborhood eateries like Tortilla West, Torch Bistro, Orapax, and The Bakehouse at Chelsea. Continue your tour of tastes at Birch Bar, Norfolk’s high-profile beer and cheese artisanal cheese bar.  Named one of the top five bars in America, Birch Bar is housed in a redeveloped industrial building and serves over 20 rotating drafts on tap and dozens more on their weekly bottle list.


While in the area, take time to explore Norfolk’s “Home of the Arts” Hermitage Museum and Gardens. Formerly home to the Slone family, the museum boasts a nationally recognized art collection spanning 5,000 years! The hermitage also includes contemporary exhibition galleries, working artist studios and 12 acres of gardens and found along the peaceful waters of the Lafayette River. Catch a basketball game at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. If you’re looking for a cozier, café-style performance center, check out Venue on 35th for weekly open mic events and local performances. Or tee off at Lambert’s Point Golf Club, a beautiful links-style, nine-hole golf course on the bank of the Elizabeth River.

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