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.
Fort Norfolk is the last of the George Washington authorized harbor-front ports. Set on four acres next to the Elizabeth River, the fort had a significant role in the War of 1812. Sites to be seen include the dungeon, ramparts and barracks, most of which date back to 1810. Located in the historic Ghent area, Fort Norfolk is an interesting and educational outing.
Norfolk has a long-standing military tradition, and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum is dedicated to celebrating this rich history. Located inside the Nauticus Maritime Center, the museum also operates the USS Wisconsin exhibit. Featuring uniforms, documents, photos, and other artifacts, history buffs should not miss this treasury of local history.
The Freemason District contains some of the major historical sites in Norfolk. Part of the original plot of land given to Captain Thomas Willoughby in 1636, the streets are cobblestone, with brick houses and trees lining the sidewalk. Among the many museums and history centers here are the Moses Myers House, Norfolk History Museum, and Hunter House Victorian Museum.
Built-in 1903 Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum was constructed to preserve the history of Virginia's marines and their communities. The elaborated displays help visitors understand life at sea more closely.
Stemming from a streetcar station dating back to the 1880's, the Ocean View Station Museum houses exhibits on the history of Ocean View. Get a chance to browse through photographs, memorabilia, and stories showcasing the history of the city, its various neighborhoods and its past culture. In addition to the fascinating historical exhibits, the Ocean View Station Museum also plays hosts to special events, such as movie showings and book signings.
Built in 1896, Epworth United Methodist Church is a noteworthy historical church. Designed by James Edwin Ruthven Carpenter, and John Kevan Peebles. Built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the church is made of yellow sandstone and granite. Though the architecture and the design of the church is quite beautiful, it is the numerous stained glass windows that lend the church its aesthetic appeal. The Ascension flanked by two Tiffany windows is the most famous of them. The church also has a bell It has a bell tower and a triangular red tile roof. An important religious center for the community and a popular tourist attraction, Epworth United Methodist Church is one of the must-visit destinations during your time in Norfolk.
Nestled in downtown Norfolk, the MacArthur Memorial is a series of four buildings commissioned in the 1960s to commemorate the life of one of America's most awarded military heroes, General Douglas MacArthur. In 1964, General MacArthur was laid to rest in the main building. The memorial also pays tribute to the men and women who served alongside the General during both World Wars and the Korean War. The memorial site is complete with a museum, a visitor center and the MacArthur Memorial Theater. The museum, in particular, lends deep insights into the life and times of the valiant man, with the help of original archives, artifacts, displays, myriad murals, mementos and memorabilia. History is frozen in every nook and cranny of this memorial which the city greatly prides itself upon.
Slover Library is conveniently located in the heart of the city and is a public treasure. The library is well-maintained and up to date and is well-organized with well-divided sections for movies and entertainment, fiction literature, magazines, e-books, government documents and public records, and educational books. They also have numerous computers that are free to use, internet access, free Wi-Fi, private reading rooms, conference and meeting rooms, an art gallery, and much more. Everything you could possibly need in the research, technology and entertainment space can be found here. The staff and librarians are very friendly and helpful and the library itself is well-organized, clean, and has a serene ambiance.
Nestled close to the southern bank of Norfolk, Owen B. Pickett United States Custom House houses the offices of custom services. Established in 1852, the structure was designed by Ammi Burnham Young, who drew influences from Palladian architecture. The Custom House in Norfolk won the Norfolk Design Award for its magnificent facade in 2001; following which it was renamed, commemorating Owen B. Pickett, a Democratic member of the U.S house of Representatives from Virginia.
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.