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.
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.
Originally built in the 1920s and heavily renovated in 1998, the NorVa is a local music venue that can accommodate up to 1500 people. This petite structure has two full bars that also serve food, two mini bars, a lounge and a balcony. The state-of-the-art music system and cool ambiance draws large variety of bands. Seating is first-come, first-served, but don't worry if you get there late - standing room is perfect for dancing!
The Nauticus Maritime Center is a huge complex on the waterfront in Downtown Norfolk. The interactive exhibits help visitors explore nautical science, Nofolk's naval history and marine life. Touch tanks bring you as close as you can get to sea creatures like starfish, anemones, even nurse sharks! Included in the admission price is entrance to the 3D Theater.
Established in 1979, this historic theater is named for its original proprietor, the Father of Vaudeville, Jake Wells. Today, the Wells is home to the Virginia Stage Company and regularly hosts productions. The Wells and the VSC in the past have put on such productions as My Fair Lady and A Christmas Carol. Besides theatrical productions, workshops, residential programs for artists and performers and summer camps at the theater are also organised by the company.
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.
Attucks Theater is a popular cultural center that was established in 1919 by a few African-Americans. From then, the theater has been providing entertainment and culture to the Norfolk community. It hosts many shows and events including music recitals, poetry reading, writing competitions, plays and concerts throughout the year. Music and dance classes for children, teenagers and adults are also organized. Community engagement programs are also frequently undertaken. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of the city, head to The Crispus Attucks Cultural Center (CACC) and be prepared for a great time.
This 83-foot tall granite statue is a wonderful memorial to one of the principle defenders of American civil liberties, Martin Luther King. The base of the monument is inscribed with his most significant quotes. It is one of the tallest monuments of its kind in the United States and it well worth a visit. Only street parking is available.
The Queen Street Baptist Church is a historic church that caters to Norfolk's African-American community. Constructed between 1910 and 1911, the rectangular structure is an imposing one that draws from Late Gothic Revival traditions. From the pointed spire to the arched windows, the structure exhibits classic architectural features of this style. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Queen Street Baptist Church is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks.
Counted as the oldest Baptist place of worship of Norfolk, First Baptist Church is a 19th-century structure. Established in the year 1800, this historic edifice was built to the designs of R.H. Hunt and apportioned in the year 1906. Serving as a fine specimen of Romanesque-Revival style of architecture, it features a heavily adorned facade, complete with limestone and pink granite brickwork. Its imposing tower stands tall at eight storys, while a shorter one is found at the opposite end.
This beautiful planetarium at the Norfolk State University is available for civic groups and educational organizations to enjoy the stars, free-of-charge. The planetarium also holds many public lectures and workshops and there is the possibility that participants might learn more about the state-of-the-art Rapid Response Robotic Telescope. E-mail for more details.