Top 10 Budget-friendly Things to do in Norfolk, Virginia (VA)

October 16, 2021 Natalie Tallman

An early English settlement, Norfolk is filled with historic sites and monuments. Norfolk is also home to the oldest U.S. naval port, as well as the Battleship Wisconsin, which was in service from World War II through the Persian Gulf War. Locals and visitors head to Town Point Park for outdoor concerts and annual events such as the Bayou Boogaloo and Cajun Food Festival. Families enjoy relaxing in Norfolk Botanical Garden and touring the harbor on a 19th-century Mississippi riverboat.
Restaurants in Norfolk

1. Chrysler Museum of Art

1 Memorial Pl, Norfolk, VA 23510-1540 +1 757-664-6200 [email protected] http://www.chrysler.org
Excellent
84%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 978 reviews

Chrysler Museum of Art

Reviewed By CMDA - Danville, United States

Beautiful building with 220,000 square feet of exhibit space with an excellent collection of American and European artists and some timely current exhibitions. Strong showing of Hudson River School. Located in Ghent district which is well worth a stroll around.

2. Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises

Excellent
89%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 1,766 reviews

Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises

NAVAL BASE CRUISES ABOARD THE VICTORY ROVER. Your front row seat to the Naval Fleet. 2 Hour Narrated Naval Base Cruises depart daily from Nauticus, home of the Battleship Wisconsin. The Captain provides a fascinating and entertaining commentary aboard this Coast Guard inspected vessel. Cruising the smooth waters of the Elizabeth River you will see the sights of one of the world’s busiest sea ports including the world’s largest naval base, home of the Atlantic Fleet: Destroyers, Guided Missile Cruisers, Submarines, Aircraft Carriers and more. Up to 150 guests enjoy plenty of comfortable seating, air conditioned enclosed deck, open air shaded upper deck, snack bar and souvenir shop. $25 Adults, $15 Children. Summer Schedule (June – August): 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily. Spring (April-May) and Fall (September-October): 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. 5:30 p.m. available on certain days. March, November and December: 2pm every day but Monday –

3. Slover Library

235 E Plume St, Norfolk, VA 23510-1706 +1 757-431-7429 [email protected] http://www.sloverlibrary.com/
Excellent
90%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 60 reviews

Slover Library

Reviewed By deh99 - Norfolk, United States

Extensive collection, well-organized, great staff. Pretty good reading room with magazines and papers.

4. Scotch and Soda the Lions

1515 Hampton Blvd Intersection of Hampton and Spotswood, Norfolk, VA 23517-1713 +1 202-236-9188 [email protected] https://www.facebook.com/scotchandsodathelions/
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 24 reviews

Scotch and Soda the Lions

Tours of the Mansion are available by appointment only, except for October and December, when Ghost and Christmas Tours are regularly scheduled. The home is available for rent for special occasions or can accommodate overnight guests, with advance reservations required. Donations are encouraged to help the family offset the cost of maintaining this nearly 100 year old historic home. Scotch and Soda are the iconic lions that stand guard over the 1923 Georgian Mansion at the corner of Hampton Blvd and Spotswood Avenue, Norfolk, VA. The original lions disappeared in 2013 and were replaced by the concrete giants known to the community as Scotch and Soda. They have hundreds of followers on Facebook and commuters along Hampton Blvd. enjoy their ever changing wardrobe & costumes.

Reviewed By j0nthanh

The tour was very good and well beyond my expections, of the decorations history and stories of how the mansion was bought. and the owner and tour guide was so very good and captured our attention

5. Nauticus

1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510-1737 +1 757-664-1000 [email protected] http://www.nauticus.org
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,062 reviews

Nauticus

Nauticus inspires and educates with engaging & interactive experiences that celebrate our connections with today's maritime world. We are a contemporary museum that uses the natural setting of Norfolk's harbor to showcase global maritime commerce and the world's largest Navy. Touch a shark, learn about marine life, explore naval history, catch a 3D educational movie, and climb aboard a battleship. Memorial Day – Labor Day: Open Daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Rest of the year: Closed Mondays, Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon – 5 p.m. Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Please call for other holiday hours.

Reviewed By BethWI - Muskego, United States

We came here with our four kids, ages 7,9,12, and 13. We did a tour of the Battleship, but this review is for the Nauticus museum part. The kids enjoyed this science and technology museum. They were able to man a robotic arm to pick up a ball and put it into a bowl. They also were able to man a seabot in a tank to pick up a ball. They could touch a shark and horseshoe crab. There were a few aquarium tanks with other ocean life. Plenty to learn, touch, and experience here. They love these types of hands on activities. We spent about two hours in Nauticus. My kids could have stayed longer, but we were all getting hungry.

6. MacArthur Memorial

198 Bank St, Norfolk, VA 23510-2303 +1 757-441-2965 http://www.macarthurmemorial.org/
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 303 reviews

MacArthur Memorial

Memorial to the five-star US Army General who served in three major wars: WWI, Korea and WWII.

Reviewed By JohnKBachmann - Port Orange, United States

With both the museum and mausoleum for Five Star General MacArthur and his wife and father Three Star General Arthur the Memorial commemorates their family. Located in downtown Norfolk it is a excellent presentation of their lives with personal momentous, honors and of course the final resting place for both the General and his wife, Jean. With three buildings on the square a visit covers the ability to research their lives as well as the aforementioned museum and mausoleum.

7. Battleship Wisconsin

1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510-1737 +1 757-664-1000 [email protected] http://www.nauticus.org/exhibits/battleship-wisconsin
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,573 reviews

Battleship Wisconsin

Berthed at Nauticus, the Battleship Wisconsin is one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. Explore its deck through a self-guided tour or, with an additional charge, one of our guided tours that will take you back in time to experience this majestic ship that earned five battle stars during WW II

Reviewed By 223wendyg - Grand Rapids, United States

This was part of a reunion group for a ship that had been decommissioned. Since we could not see the other ship, this was a great substitute. Just about everything was accessible and it was easy to imagine how the sailors lived on a ship The kitchen, living quarters, and dental areas were a few that were open to the public. The full deck was open to look around in the harbor and was accessible to wheel chairs. There were kids who walked through, and they were also amazed. Definitely a must see when going to Norfolk.

8. Moses Myers House

331 Bank St, Norfolk, VA 23510-2419 +1 757-333-1085 http://www.chrysler.org/about-the-museum/historic-houses/the-moses-myers-house
Excellent
56%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 39 reviews

Moses Myers House

Reviewed By steven22222018 - Seattle, United States

I had three knowledgeable ladies Cindy Karen and Mary who all combined to give me a complete tour of the house and a feeling for the Jewish life in revolutionary times I was lucky to be there at closing time on a dreary rainy Sunday where I had these three knowledgeable women as My personal tour guides I am from Seattle and being of Jewish family was interested in the life of a Jew before the civil war Especially in the south. I wish I had more time here in Norfolk but I have to drive back to seattle Monday. I find that southern people are more friendly than we are in seattle and hope I didn’t ask too many minutiae questions! Ladies it was a pleasure The only comment that I would add would be to put more light in the rooms so that you could see some of the detail better but then again I got a Picky!

9. Virginia Zoo

3500 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23504-1329 +1 757-441-2374 [email protected] http://www.virginiazoo.org/
Excellent
53%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 857 reviews

Virginia Zoo

Reviewed By TheCarrs52601 - Norfolk, United States

We have a membership at NBG and every year enjoy the Annual Swap with VA Zoo! We took our 4 grandkiddos and had a blessed visit! The covid precautions are very well done at the zoo and the animals look very healthy too! The baby giraffe is adorable, the tiger beautiful, the meerkats so cute, and we loved watching the orangutans! The train ride isn’t very long but reasonably priced at $2 each. The Run Wild Discovery Zone was a hit with the kids with the stump jump and balance beams & logs & they always enjoy the climbing on the huge snake & it’s a fun photo op! It’s wonderful having a zoo close by and the Swap is such a fantastic practice between VA Zoo & NBG!❤️

10. Norfolk Botanical Garden

6700 Azalea Garden Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518-5337 +1 757-441-5830 http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,081 reviews

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Reviewed By JasonG134 - Baltimore, United States

Although there understandably isn't much in bloom in the fall, it's still worth a visit even if that's the only time you can go (as was the case with me). Be sure to take the tram ride as it gives you a nice overview of the expansive grounds so you can figure out where to best spend your time.

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