Norfolk Botanical Garden is the largest of its kind in Virginia, USA, and one of the stand-out highlights of any visit to Virginia Beach.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the aptly named Virginia Beach is known for its sands. But the area is also packed with history and culture, to be explored in its wide array of tourist activities like First Landing State Park, where the early colonists came ashore, and its marine science center. The Norfolk Botanical Garden is a real jewel in the town’s crown, featuring miles of floral trails and gorgeous roses and azaleas. Whether you’re here for the flowers or the fish, stay at one of our top hotel picks – bookable via Culture Trip.
If you’re traveling with a pooch in tow, then this pet-friendly Westin is a great bet. There’s also a pool and fitness center, and you can even request a WestinWORKOUT guest room complete with a private exercise bike – so there’s no reason to drop your workout routine on the road. The Westin trademark Heavenly Bed is a plus for any room – with its pillow-top mattress, it’s certainly deserving of its name. This stay is right in the heart of Virginia Beach so you can drive to the botanical garden, the beach, or Norfolk International Airport, all in under 20 minutes.
Another super convenient pad, this one is just 3mi (5km) from the airport, and just a mile from gorgeous designer shopping outlets – just the thing for some holiday retail therapy. After a day at the beach, the botanical garden, or the shops, you can return to your room to flop out in front of its big-screen TV, hit the gym, or take a dip in the heated outdoor pool. Free hot and cold breakfast seals the deal.
This north Norfolk motel is a great choice for those who like their accommodation simple. Turn up, park your car for free, and get a clean room with a fridge, microwave, air conditioning, wifi, and cable TV. Room decor is basic but there’s a lovely garden in the center of the property that’s a real suntrap. Room service is available from the 24-hour reception, and the beach is a four-minute walk away. It’s all you need, really.
Located in the historic Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk, VA, this cozy colonial-style inn is a short drive from Virginia Beach. Choose from one of seven rooms and suites – we love the Ghent suite for its relaxing pale decor, private sitting room, and two-person whirlpool bath (particularly great for soaking after a day at the botanical garden or the beach). The breakfast is delicious – continental, with the addition of a chef’s special that changes daily – and you can help yourself to tea, coffee, and homemade snacks all day.
Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of boutique hotels, Glass Light is the product of a culturally inspired reimagining of an early 20th-century hotel. In the heart of Downtown Norfolk’s Local Historic District, it doubles as a gallery for – yes, you’ve guessed it – glass art by legends like Peter Bremers and Lino Tagliapietra. Basque in its glow while eating at the on-site French restaurant and sophisticated bar space.
If you’re flying in (or out) from Norfolk International airport and want super convenience, then this smart stay is a great choice. Just 2mi (3.2km) from the airport (there’s a free shuttle), and 3mi (4.8km) from the botanical garden, it comes with a gym, swimming pool, and bar, as well as clean comfortable rooms as standard. Free wifi and complimentary bottled water each day are the cherry on top.
High end and high rise, this Hilton makes a fantastic hub for a city break. Located in Downtown Norfolk, it’s under a 20 minutes drive away from Virginia Beach and the Norfolk Botanical Garden, and there’s plenty to do within walking distance, too. Views are supercharged from the roof, where you’ll find Norfolk’s first rooftop garden bar. After a sharpening cocktail there, you’ve got the choice of more than 50 restaurants for dinner, all within a 10-minute walk, including two on-site: an Italian trattoria and Saltine for tasty fish dishes.
Right on the Elizabeth River, this impressive upscale Sheraton hotel is a top choice, whether you’re here to sightsee, party, or do business. Guests enjoy a luxury experience thanks to its top-of-the-range fitness center, outdoor pool, and rooms with pillow-top mattresses as standard. If you’re planning a meeting or event while you’re in Norfolk, this hotel can cater to all of your needs whether you’re hosting a few people or 200 – thanks to no less than 17 separate venues for hire.
This gorgeous old manor house, built in 1860, has certainly seen some sights in its 200-year history. Formerly part of a working farm, since the 1990s it’s been a bed and breakfast, hosting Barack Obama and Caroline Kennedy, among others. The main house was renovated in 2021 and larger groups can rent its adjoining three-bedroom carriage house, with opulent furnishings and use of a tennis court.
Looking for somewhere different? Book into one of the best hotels in Virginia Beach, or, if you’re feeling bold, try a night at one of the most haunted places in the area. Immerse yourself in Virginia’s nature by finding out where best to see fall foliage. We know the best places for a cup of Joe, too.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.