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Downtown Norfolk is the real heartbeat of the city. Downtown, visitors will find all kinds of attractions, from museums to theaters, boutiques, restaurants, bars and a beautiful waterfront view. Make sure Downtown is on your list when you visit Norfolk. It's hard to miss!
Situated right near the waterfront in Downtown Norfolk lies this beautiful two-story pagoda, a gift from Taiwan in the early 1980s to honor Virginia's commercial ties with Taiwan. Formally known as the Marine Observation Tower, the pagoda also stands as the centerpoint of the Oriental gardens that surround it. In the gardens, visitors will find traditional features like an arched bridge, cherry trees and waterfalls. A perfect location for a pleasant day outdoors in Norfolk.
Part of the Nauticus Maritime Center, the USS Wisconsin came to Norfolk in 2000. The ship is over 60 years old, first launched in 1943, and is one of the largest battleships ever built by the US Navy. Children and history buffs especially love it, and docents are placed in various spots on board to answer any questions about the ship's colorful history.
The Norfolk Botanical Gardens offer many different signature and theme gardens for guests to stroll around, such as the Virginia Native Plant Garden, the Bristow Butterfly Garden and the Enchanted Forest. In addition to the numerous beautiful gardens, the Norfolk Botanical Gardens also put on special events and exhibits. Among these are bike nights, sculpture exhibits and guided tours of the gardens.
An independent resort city, Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the State. It is located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and enjoys the title of having the 'Longest Pleasure Beach in the World' in the Guinness Book of Records. It is home to miles of oceanfront beaches that are lined with hotels, motels and restaurants. Popular with tourists as it is with locals, Virginia Beach hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships and several beach soccer tournaments.
Touted to be one of the largest estuaries in the United States, this bay stretches for miles and miles from its northernmost part to the Atlantic Ocean. First approached by Europeans in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Chesapeake Bay majestically spans the states of Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. Captain John Smith was one of the first to explore the area. What was once the site of a crucial battle of the American Revolution, stands today as a center point of the fishing industry. Fed by a tracery of meandering rivers, the bay is much favored for its unabashed natural beauty and water activities. A site replete with delightful marine vegetation, the bay is also teeming with motley species of crabs, fishes, oysters and more.