Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 234,403 as of the 2000 census, it is Virginia's second-largest incorporated city behind its eastern neighbor, Virginia Beach.
Norfolk is located in the Hampton Roads region, named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA. The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay. It also shares land borders with the independent cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. One of the oldest of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads, Norfolk is considered to be the historic, urban, financial, and cultural center of the region.
The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point. Norfolk Naval Base is the world's largest such base, and the world's largest military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has its defense headquarters here. The city also has the corporate headquarters of Norfolk Southern Railway, one of North America's principal Class I railroads, and Maersk Line, Limited, who manages the world's largest fleet of US-flag vessels. As the city is bordered by multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property. It is linked to its neighbors by an extensive network of Interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and bridge-tunnel complexes.
Norfolk is the cultural heart of the Hampton Roads region. In addition to its outstanding museums, Norfolk is the principal home for several major performing arts companies. Norfolk also plays host to numerous yearly festivals and parades, mostly at Town Pointe Park in downtown.
The Chrysler Museum of Art, located in the Ghent district, is the region's foremost art museum and is considered by the The New York Times to be the finest in the state. Of particular note is the extensive glass collection and American neoclassical marble sculptures.
Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, opened on the downtown waterfront in 1994. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria, digital high-definition films and an extensive variety of educational programs. Since 2000, Nauticus has been home to the battleship USS Wisconsin, the second to last battleship to be built in the United States. It served briefly in World War II and later in the Korean and Gulf Wars. The General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, located in the 19th century Norfolk court house and city hall in downtown, contains the tombs of the late General and his wife, a museum and a vast research library, personal belongings (including his famous corncob pipe) and a short film that chronicles the life of the famous General of the Army.
The Hermitage Foundation Museum, located in an early 20th century Tudor style home on a 12-acre (49,000 m2) estate fronting the Lafayette River, features an eclectic collection of Asian and Western art, including Chinese bronze and ceramics, Persian rugs, and ivory carvings.
Hotel Deals in Norfolk