Norfolk Itinerary: Ships, Entertainment & Food at Norfolk’s Harborfest
The Itinerary at a Glance
Norfolk is host to the annual festival favorite, Harborfest. Each June Norfolk celebrates nautical history by displaying tall ships, along with martime events, entertainment, delicious food and a spectacular fireworks display all along the downtown waterfront. Itinerary highlights include the Parade of Sails, tall ship tours, Chrysler Museum of Art and Norfolk Botanical Garden.
Unique Experience on This Trip
- Hampton Roads Naval Museum
- Norfolk Botanical Garden
- Chrysler Museum of Art
Duration: 4 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
The Hampton Roads Naval Museum introduces you to over 200 years of naval history in Hampton Roads. Located next to Nauticus is the Battleship Wisconsin, the largest and last battleship ever built by the U.S Navy.
Come aboard the Spirit of Norfolk for the Parade of Sails. Watch tall ships sail down the Elizabeth River in a spectacular two-hour parade. You will have the best view of the harbor, with 200 boats and vessels to see, as well as several tall ships.
Afterwards, come explore an outdoor festival on the water at Harborfest. Enjoy live music and great food accompanied by art and educational programs. Tall ships are open for tours after the Parade of Sails for visitors to explore the decks and talk to sailors.
Stroll through the streets of Ghent, a National Historic District and one of Norfolk’s most charming neighbors. Explore Ghent’s unique blend of locally-owned boutique stores, fine restaurants and cafés. Tucked into Ghent is Virginia’s first urban winery. Tase a fight of wines at Mermaid Winery, where you can view the winemaking process from the tasting bar.
Tour the Douglas MacArthur Memorials and discover the compelling story of General Douglas MacArthur, a five-star general of the Army, and the millions of Americans who served our nation through five wars. Located in downtown Norfolk’s restored 1850s City Hall, the complex contains a museum, theater and special exhibit galleries.
Scroll over to Granby Street, just one block walking distance from Harborfest. Experience over 30 locally owned and operated restaurants from American bistro to tapas to Mexican.
Head back over to Town Point Park for Harborfest and enjoy over 50 food vendors, live concerts on three stages and fireworks along the downtown waterfront. Do not forget you jump aboard the Victory Rover or Spirit of Norfolk for the best seats in the house for the fireworks!
Take a fun-filled boat ride at Norfolk Botanical Garden and explore the waterways or stroll the gardens and discover a variety of plants from the cultivated to the wild. Shop till you drop and enjoy a leisurely lunch at MacArthur Center with over 70 retailers anchored by Nordstrom and Dillard’s.
Head to Hermitage Museum and Gardens. Formerly home to the Sloane family, the Hermitage is “home to the arts” with a nationally recognized art collection spanning 5,000 years. Art includes contemporary exhibition galleries, working artist studios and 12 acres of gardens and grounds.
Before you depart for home, head to Chrysler Museum of Art, recently expanded andrenovated with new galleries and engaging programs to bring the collection to life. Enjoy 5,000 years of art in one of the country’s most impressive museums, featuring a newly expanded restautant, library, gift shop and theater.
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