Downtown Norfolk is vibrant, compact, pedestrian-friendly, and home to popular arts and entertainment venues, historic sites, chef owned restaurants, museums and so much more.
History enthusiasts take note: Norfolk’s downtown is home to some of the oldest, most storied sites in the region with historical landmarks around almost every corner! A journey along the Cannonball Trail, a self-guided historical tour, is a must-do; just be sure to factor in at least two hours to see it all! On this tour you’ll get a sense of what daily life was once like; and you’ll see historic homes including the Moses Myers House, the Willoughby- Baylor House and the Hunter House Victorian Museum. You’ll see the MacArthur Memorial, the final resting place and museum honoring General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and his wife; the Armed Forces Memorial and the Norfolk Southern Museum.
After strolling along the streets of the neighborhoods you’ve likely worked up quite the appetite! Well you’re in luck, because our downtown is home to some of the regions most revered, and delicious eateries. For classic seafood dishes served in an upscale- causal atmosphere, head over to 456 Fish on Granby Street. Granby Street is often referred to as “restaurant row”, and offers up everything from authentic Asian cuisine to refined, farm-to-table fare and much more! If you’re looking for something more exotic, head to Chartreuse Bistro or Saint Germain; both are sure to have something to sate your plate. Want to experience a part of Norfolk’s history while dining? Then reserve a table at the historic Freemason Abbey Restaurant, a beautifully preserved 142 year-old church turned restaurant.
Downtown is undoubtedly one of the city’s major hubs for culture, the arts and nightlife. Jam out with major musical artist at the NorVa, a historic concert venue that was recently named one of America’s Venues that Rock’s the Hardest by Rolling Stone Magazine. Just around the corner from the NorVa is the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center where you can catch live theater, musical performances and films every week. With its rich river view landscapes, Town Point Park hosts a variety of premier festivals and events, including the annual Norfolk Harborfest® and tall ships parade of sail into the Norfolk Harbor as well as the bi-annual wine festival.
If you’re looking for a hands-on experience, check out Todd Rosenlieb Dance across the street for class, training and performance opportunities for both professional and amateur dancers alike. Don’t miss the world-class performances put on by the Virginia Stage Company at the historic Wells Theatre and the Virginia Arts Festival. If you’re looking for edge-of–your–seat entertainment, you’re sure to find it at Norfolk Admirals Ice Hockey games at downtown’s Norfolk Scope Arena and cheering on the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A affiliate, at Harbor Park!
If you’re in search of retail therapy, you’ve come to the right place. Conveniently located in the epicenter of downtown, MacArthur Center shopping mall has something for everyone. At the mall you’ll find plenty of stores you won’t find anywhere else including J. Crew, White House Black Market and Apple, and is anchored by Dillard’s and Nordstrom. If you’re looking for a souvenir with local flair, head across the street to the historic Monticello Arcade for jewelry, shoes and homemade goods stores.