A urban waterfront that's surrounded by natural beauty.
Downtown Norfolk boasts an authentic, breathtaking, and accessible urban waterfront, offering unmatched views and uses. From daily harbor tours and tremendous public festivals to the scenic Elizabeth River Trail and an urban kayak launch, the Downtown Norfolk waterfront has something for everyone, all just steps away from a bustling and vibrant Downtown, complete with delectible dining, unique shopping experiences, top-tier arts, exciting nightlife, and a robust events schedule. To see all that Downtown Norfolk has to offer, check out the rest of DowntownNorfolk.org!
Just a few highlights of what Downtown Norfolk's remarkable waterfront has to offer...
Harbor Park is proud to be the home of the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles AAA baseball team. Nestled on the Elizabeth River waterfront, the 36-acre Harbor Park also hosts NCAA baseball and concerts. The 12,067 seat stadium boasts 20 luxury suites, press facilities that include two TV broadcasting booths, and a 300-seat restaurant. Harbor Park also features a complete picnic area for private parties, as well as an exceptional variety of concession food and beverages for stadium guests.
Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel
Norfolk's only waterfront hotel, the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel offers the best of both worlds, with uninterrupted waterfront views of the Elizabeth River and beautiful views of vibrant and unique Downtown Norfolk. The Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel is positioned on the riverbank Downtown, just steps from diverse shopping, dining and entertainment on Granby Street and year-round concerts and festivals at the Town Point Park waterfront esplanade. With 46,000 square feet of modern meeting and special event space, highlighted by the Merrimac Ballroom, overlooking the harbor through floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a range of spacious, pet-friendly rooms and suites to meet any need, Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel is equally suited for business or leisure stays. Discover how good life on the water can be.
Located in the heart of the central business district and adjacent to the City of Norfolk's world class waterfront and festival site Town Point Park, the Waterside District is a central gathering place for local residents and visitors. A $40 million overhaul and rebranding of Norfolk's iconic Waterside Festival Marketplace allows visitors to enjoy the best national and local brands and concepts in an atmosphere that integrates Downtown with its glorious waterfront. The Waterside District is being developed by The Cordish Company of Baltimore. The refurbished complex is scheduled for completion in Spring 2017.
Elizabeth River Ferry
HRT’s Elizabeth River Ferry is a system of three 150-passenger paddle-wheel ferry boats. The Ferry travels from Downtown’s Waterside Marina to two locations in Olde Towne Portsmouth. The Ferry is wheelchair accessible and allows passengers to walk on with their bicycles. For route schedules and general information, call 757-222-6100 or visit gohrt.com. Dial 711 for TTY.
TowneBank Fountain Park
The beautiful interactive fountain in TowneBank Fountain Park, situated alongside Waterside Marina and Waterside District, bookends Town Point Park and Nauticus. The responsive fountain is a great way to cool off from the summer heat, entertaining visitors with daily performances of 28 water jets shooting water up to 12 feet into the air and enhancing its nighttime performances with illumination.
Town Point Park
Town Point Park is the People's Park. Anchored at both ends with attractive fountains, this beautiful waterfront park provides eight acres of peaceful outdoor spaces located on the riverbanks of the Elizabeth River, right in the heart of the Downtown Norfolk business district. Town Point Park is more than a premier waterfront park with incredible views of the Elizabeth River harbor: it is a social space where friends meet, eat lunch, chat, stroll, listen to music, work on the wireless network, or simply relax, taking a break from a busy schedule. Town Point Park is also an epicenter of activity, hosting a 10-month schedule of award-winning festivals, concerts, military tributes, tall ship visits, holiday programs, and recreation and athletic events. A variety of public art elements are placed throughout the park as well, including the Armed Forces Memorial, the Homecoming statue, a restored 19th century cannon retrieved from the river, a large Navy anchor, and a new installation of tiled images capturing Norfolk's military and maritime past.
Elizabeth River Trail
The Elizabeth River Trail is a 10.5 mile urban biking and pedestrian trail along the Norfolk waterfront, maintained and marketed by the Friends of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation with support from the City of Norfolk. The Foundation aims to enhance and expand the trail as a recreational, social, and educational destination that improves environmental awareness, neighborhood connectivity, and innovative economic development in Norfolk, Virginia. The Trail can be accessed at various points along the Elizabeth River including Town Point Park, Harbor Park, and the historic Freemason District. The trail offers scenic views of the Elizabeth River and interpretive markers tell the history of the area and environment.
Located on Downtown Norfolk's waterfront, Nauticus is an exciting 120,000 square foot science and technology center exploring the power of the sea. It is also home to the USS Wisconsin, one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. From Escape Ship challenges, Dickens' Christmas Towne, camp programs, and informative exhibits, to Haunted Battleships, an urban kayak launch, and scavenger hunts, there’s always something new and exciting happening at Nauticus.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Nauticus is teaming up with Virginia Beach-based Chesapean Outdoors to offer an urban kayaking program that will help people join in on the waterfront fun in Downtown Norfolk. Rentals will be available Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. The cost is $20 per hour; Double kayaks are $30 per hour. Reservations are recommended. Guided tours, which cost $50 per person, will be offered daily at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Both rentals and tours will be offered through Labor Day. For reservations, please call 757-961-0447 or visit www.chesapean.com.
Pagoda & Oriental Garden
Located on the Downtown Norfolk waterfront in Freemason Harbor, The Marine Observation Tower, also known as the Pagoda, is the centerpiece of the tranquil garden, a serene oasis where East meets West on more than an acre of urban space. This peaceful respite, just minutes from the bustling city activity, features gateways embraced by gentlly swaying bamboo, winding walkways perfect for strolling, and exquisitely arranged landscape of plants, water, stone and architectural features. This unique spot provides a panoramic view of the beautiful garden, the USS Wisconsin, and sunsets over the Elizabeth River; views along the path framing the Pagoda change by season, revealing a layered beauty of both natural form and culture.
For even more of what Downtown Norfolk's waterfront has to offer, please explore the rest of DowntownNorfolk.org.