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The Hermitage Foundation Museum holds the Sloan art collection that includes pieces collected from across the world. The Chinese tomb figures and pieces from Czar Alexander's collection are particularly striking pieces. The museum also conducts art classes and holds workshops. Surrounded by 12 acres of well planned gardens, the Hermitage Foundation Gardens are a particularly picturesque. The gift shop sells creations of local artisans and designers.
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.
Located in Downtown Norfolk, on the waterfront, Town Point Park host scores of events throughout the year. Events include the Friday-after-work concert series, Harborfest, Town Point Jazz and Blues Festival, and the ever popular Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival. The park is situated adjacent to the Waterside Festival Marketplace.
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.
In 1999, the year after Norfolk adopted the mermaid as their city logo, a city-wide art project was developed to bring this symbol to life throughout the city. Local artisans created the mermaid statues scattered throughout the city, interpreting the mermaid mythology and life in Norfolk. Dozens of mermaid statues adorn the city's streets and buildings. See how many you can find! One of them is installed at the famous Nauticus.
As part of a tribute to all that have served in our nation's military, and especially those that died in battle, sits the Armed Forces Memorial in Norfolk. The memorial is located on a port that carried servicemen and off to war and then returned them home to their family and friends. Also found at this memorial are 20 letters written by servicemen to their families, all of whom eventually lost their lives in battle. Each of these letters are cast in bronze and found all across the memorial.
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.
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.
The Virginia Zoo has been collecting animals since the beginning of the 20th Century. The zoo houses animals from all over the world, from domestic farm animals to Siberian tigers and white rhinos. In addition to animals, the zoo simultaneously houses a large horticultural collection as well. The zoo can also host birthday parties and other private events, as well as zoo camps, Girl and Cub Scout programs and family programs.
One of the largest naval complexes in the world, the iconic Norfolk Naval Station is a beacon of America's maritime prowess. Situated in the Sewells Point area of Norfolk, this naval base has a wealth of ships, hangars and carriers. The station is situated near the site of the Monitor and Merrimac battle, on the original site of the Jamestown Exposition. Looking across as far as the Indian Ocean, the Norfolk Naval Station is the sight of many nationally-significant flight operations. Having played an integral role in many of the country's scientific and naval ambitions, the Norfolk Naval Station is a prized possession of Virginia,
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!
The Legends of Music Walk of Fame, running along Granby Street, is Norfolk's version of the concept Hollywood made famous. The plaques in the sidewalk commemorate the musicians who have called the Hampton Roads region home like Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown and Bruce Hornsby. Take a stroll along Granby and see if you can find them all.