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Pagoda at Norfolk Oriental Gardens © m01229/Flickr
Pagoda at Norfolk Oriental Gardens © m01229/Flickr
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The Top 10 Things To See And Do In Norfolk, Virginia

Picture of Harriet Lawrence
Updated: 9 February 2017
Norfolk is rich with activities to partake in whilst visiting college campuses or the naval base. Be sure not to miss these 10 activities that can brighten up any dreary day at the Virginian port.
Chrysler Museum of Art © Gosscj/WikiCommons
Chrysler Museum of Art | © Gosscj/WikiCommons
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Chrysler Museum of Art

The Chrysler Museum of Art is a great ‘world class’ museum and much more than what you would expect. There is a large variety of artwork and the displays are dazzling. If there is a free tour with a guide when you visit, be sure to try and get on it so can be walked you through the exhibits.

One Memorial Pl. Norfolk, VA 23510 +1 757 664 6200

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Norfolk Botanical Garden

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is absolutely glorious in the springtime. There are dozens of different themed gardens, which can be viewed from a train if you so choose. Riding the train around the whole botanical garden takes about 30 minutes.

6700 Azalea Garden Rd. Norfolk, VA 23518 +1 757 441 5830

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Virginia Zoo

Virginia Zoo, though not the biggest in the States, is still a lot of fun. It’s easy to spend 2-3 hours walking around and taking pictures. There’s a variety of animals and you’re able to be up close and personal with an open yard of kangaroos and wallabies. Though make sure you tell your little ones to look but don’t touch.

3500 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23504 +1 757 441 2374

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Mermaid Factory

Mermaid Factory is a unique shop that sells products based on Norfolk’s mascot, the mermaid. The result of a trip there is a hand painted, wooden mermaid statue in a variety of sizes. This place is usually very busy so be sure to make a reservation for a rainy day.

919A W 21st St Norfolk, VA 23517 +1 757 233 0733

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MacArthur Center

The MacArthur Center is the place to go in Norfolk when you need your shopping fix. This well-stocked mall has affordable parking and a Regal Theater for when you want to watch a movie. With children’s play areas and lounges throughout the mall, this is a place where you could spend all day without even doing any shopping.

300 Monticello Avenue Norfolk, VA 23510 +1 757 627 6000

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Virginia Stage Company At The Wells Theater

The Virginia Stage Company at the Wells Theater is a local theater group with legendary live performances. The plays are well-written and thoughtful while acted out in a charming and intimate setting. There is a varied amount of drinks and snacks for your perusal and dining pleasure, a comprehensive guide to the theater, and a great view of the stage.

108 Tazewell St Norfolk, VA 23510 +1 757 627 1234

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The Fresh Market

The Fresh Market is, in essence, a grocery store, but it’s definitely not the typical one. They have top quality meat and seafood, served fresh every day for a reasonable price. You can try anything from the deli case in the center of the store before you buy. There is a wide selection of baked goods, organic food, and bulk nuts and snacks.

924 W 21st St Norfolk, VA 23517

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Moses Myers House

The Moses Myers House, built in 1795, was the residence of the first permanent Jewish family in Norfolk. A rare gem, the Myers House is furnished almost completely with items that actually belonged to the family. Knowledgeable gallery hosts take you back in time and help you to walk in the family’s shoes. If you love historical houses, the Myers House is a must see. Go during Halloween for a special spooky tour.

323 East Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 +1 757 333 1087

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Smartmouth Brewery

One of the best local breweries in Virginia, Smartmouth Brewery is located in a more industrial area of Norfolk. The friendly staff is willing to discuss and explain what beers they have on tap. They also offer generous flights for tasting in addition to their seasonal beers not on the tasting menu. There’s a food truck on the premises in case you need sustenance to counteract all the boozy tasters.

1309 Raleigh Ave Ste 300 Norfolk, VA 23507 +1 757 624

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Pagoda & Oriental Garden

While the Pagoda & Oriental Garden lives up to it’s name by being a garden, this attraction is also an restaurant. It has a wonderful view from the upper level and a beautiful courtyard and garden surrounding the pagoda. The pricing is moderate and the food is fabulous.

265 W Tazewell St Norfolk, VA 23510 +1 757 622 0506