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Take to the Seas in Norfolk, Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay meets the vast Atlantic Ocean at the U.S. city of Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk is home to the globe’s biggest naval station, and the Norfolk port is one of the largest in the East Coast, which means the city knows how to get the most out of the nearby waterways. Consider heading here on your next trip to get a taste of America’s vast history and have fun on the ocean.

Norfolk VA
What to do

The most obvious thing to do in Norfolk is to head out on the ocean or bay. Several boat tours, including the Spirit of Norfolk and Victory Rover, offer a water view of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Fleet. From aircraft carriers to nuclear submarines, you can probably sneak a peek at anything parked at the base. If military vessels are not on your list of things to see, there are also boat operators throughout the area that offer great ocean views, dinner and an opportunity to dance. You and your party can even take a trip on the American Rover, a tall sailing ship with three huge masts modeled after a 19th-century cargo schooner.

Once you get back on dry land, visit the Hampton Roads Naval Museum for a closer look at what you saw on the water. Operated by the U.S. Navy, this is a great collection of boats and artifacts from throughout the more than 200-year history of the fleet that calls Norfolk home. You can take a free self-guided tour of what remains of Fort Norfolk, the original navy base authorized by George Washington in 1794. For a museum that focuses on art instead of the military, the Chrysler Museum of Art is free to the public and houses art from ancient civilizations to the present day. It’s home to one of the largest glass collections in the United States, including works by Tiffany, Waterford and Chihuly.

Where to eat

Norfolk’s spot on the coast makes it the perfect place to enjoy seafood. The city also has a growing craft beer scene full of breweries to check out, as well as unique bar food options. If you want to try all of it in a short period, consider taking a Taste Virginia tour of the city. You can choose the Norfolk Craft Beer Tour to focus on the best hops have to offer, or the Historic Norfolk Tour to see and taste the city’s past and where it is today. Other tours focus on wineries outside of Norfolk and some of the farms that give the big city its best ingredients.

Its position on the northern edge of the South means that you can find good comfort food in Norfolk. Consider Cherry-O To Go’s lauded barbecue offerings or Supper Southern Morsels for staples like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits and crab cakes on a rooftop patio.
Norfolk, Virginia is a great place to visit for a long weekend or as part of an extended road trip in Old Dominion. Make sure you stop in for a great view of the water and America’s naval roots.

This article is presented by BMW of Cincinnati North.
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