Norfolk Museums & History
Norfolk always seems to be poised toward the future. This forward-looking Virginia city embraces all that lies ahead primarily because it has learned from its varied, dramatic history. It's connection to the United States Navy as well as other significant historical events have placed Norfolk squarely in history's formidable grasp. The stories and the people that make up that history are acknowledged and celebrated in many of Norfolk's museums and historical sites.
The Hampton Roads region is the site of the Navy's most important port. Because of its stature, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum
tells the story of all of the events that have shaped this area into the Navy's most vital points of activity. The museum proudly presents a wide variety of artifacts that span 220 years of Naval history. These include more than 60 ship models, artifacts, uniforms and vintage navigation instruments.
Address: One Waterside Drive, Suite 248, Norfolk, VA 23510 - MAP
Phone: (757) 322-2987
The Lightship Portsmouth Museum
tells the story of this retired lightship that was built in 1915 and is now a National Historic Landmark as well as a history-laden maritime museum. The "Portsmouth" was launched in 1916 then went through some reconstruction and was relaunched in 1926. After several years of service as well as collision damage, the vessel was finally retired in 1964. Three years later it was donated to the city and has undergone extensive renovation and repair that has restored this impressive ship to its original glory.
Address: London Slip, Water and London Streets,
Portsmouth, VA 23704 - MAP
Phone: (757) 393-8591
, the National Maritime Center, you will go on an unforgettable aquatic adventure. This impressive 120,000 square-foot museum features several floors where you can take in more than 150 exhibits. These include multimedia and interactive pieces that both entertain and educate visitors about marine biology, nautical techniques and various navigation equipment. Also, the Battleship Wisconsin is conveniently located right next door, so be sure to make time to visit that popular attraction as well.
Address: 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23510 - MAP
Phone: (757) 664-1000
The Hermitage Museum and Gardens
is a veritable compendium of art that is visually stunning. This highly eclectic collection of Western and Asian art represents the work of various cultures, with some pieces dating all the way back to 2000 BC. The artwork is all displayed in this 1908 English Tudor style home that is situated on a twelve-acre estate along the Lafayette River, adding an even deeper sense of regal beauty to the artwork found inside.
Address: 7637 North Shore Road, Norfolk, VA 23505 - MAP
Phone: (757) 423-2052
Travel back in time to get a taste of what life was like in Norfolk in the 1700s when you visit the Willoughby-Baylor House
. Constructed in 1794, this federal townhouse tells the story of the city's beginnings through the creative use of its décor and ambiance. The house museum and its property also features a lovely flower and herb garden as well as other interesting amenities that help paint a classic picture of how Norfolk's forefathers lived.
Address: 601 East Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 - MAP
Phone: (757) 664-6283
The Children's Museum of Virginia
is fun for kids of all ages! This is a state-of-the-art facility that offers an impressive 60,000-square-feet of hands-on, interactive fun for the whole family. Among the many activities the kids can enjoy are exhibits that show how to blow giant soap bubbles, how gravity works and what some of the night sky's most beautiful constellations look like. This is a great day of fun that won't be soon forgotten.
Address: 3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504 - MAP
Phone: (757) 622-7218