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.
James Apostle Fields was born a slave in Hanover County, Virginia and found refuge at Fort Monroe during the Civil War in 1862 as "Contraband of War." Mr. Fields was one of the first twenty pupils to graduate from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) in 1871. In 1881, Fields graduated from the School of Law at Howard University. In 1887, Fields served as the Commonwealth's Attorney for Warwick County (now Newport News). In 1889, Fields served in the Virginia General Assembly. In 1908, a team of four doctors pioneered the establishment of the first hospital for blacks in the city. Other than the city's jail infirmary, this institution was the only hospitalization outlet for blacks.