Norfolk’s historic Ghent Neighborhood is a vibrant community filled to the brim with character, culture and delicious cuisine. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Colley Avenue, and adjacent 21st and 22nd streets are lined with eclectic eateries, unique shops, art galleries and antique stores.
For soul-satisfying blast from the past, head to Doumar’s Cone and BBQ, a classic drive-in, whose owner created the world’s first waffle cone! Drive up, order and dine in the comfort of your own car or grab a seat inside and take a step back in time. While in the neighborhood, sip and savor at Mermaid Winery, Virginia’ first urban winery, and enjoy a tasty bite paired with a delicious wine flight in their intimate tasting room. Check out what’s on tap at O’Connor Brewing Company, a local Norfolk craft brewery, or the Public House on Colley. If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan-friendly dishes, restaurants throughout Ghent offer an array of options to quell your cravings.
Ghent is a hotbed of boutique and locally-owned shops, antique stores and specialty retailers. If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your stay in Norfolk, look to boutiques like Le Marche, Kitsch, and A. Dodsons along Colley Avenue. The neighborhood is a collector’s and antique enthusiast’s paradise with vintage and antique shops around every corner! You never know what you’ll find so be sure to factor in some extra time to really dig around. In need of a tasty beverage? Stop by bottleBOX for craft beer to go! Or if you’re shopping for a tasty treat, don’t miss Pendulum Fine Meats’ Deli and Market and be sure to stop by Savor the Olive for one of the widest selections in fine oils and vinegars in the region.
If you are visiting Norfolk during their seasons, grab tickets to the Virginia Symphony and the Virginia Opera for truly world-class live performances. Lovers of the arts are encouraged to explore over 5,000 years of arts in one of the country’s most impressive museums, the Chrysler Museum of Art. Here you’ll find everything from painting and sculpture to decorative arts, photography and a nationally acclaimed glass collection. Speaking of glass, head to the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio on the museum’s campus for a free glassmaking demonstration at noon. The studio is one of the country’s most cutting-edge and offers classes at all level s of expertise, from beginner to advanced. For an engaging activity the whole family can enjoy, be sure to check out the Color Me Mine ceramic studio. Or for a Norfolk Memento, head to the Mermaid Factory where you can unleash your creativity through paint and create your very own mermaid to bring home.
Norfolk’s Colley Avenue was voted the People’ Choice designation for Great Places in America in 2015.