It’s finally Summer, and the perfect season for exploring our city’s gleaming waterfronts, beautiful biking and walking trails and long list of outdoor parks, gardens and entertainment venues. If you’re new to the area, or simply haven’t yet taken the time to explore the natural, outdoor beauty that fills our vibrant city, now is your chance.

Norfolk is certainly well known for being an industrial hub, home to the Norfolk Naval Base, a breeding ground for arts and culture and the home of some of the area’s finest restaurants and shops. Norfolk is also a historic, coastal city, positioned alongside the Elizabeth and Lafayette Rivers, as well as the Chesapeake Bay at Ocean View. In other words, our city is as energetic and exciting as it is pristine and beautiful. We’ll take it!

If you’d like to explore the great outdoors in our city this summer, here are some of the best spots to visit on your time off. Anytime you’d like tips on places to visit or explore, feel free to pop by or call our office, and we’re happy to help you learn all about this beautiful city you now call home!

Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a regional treasure, a historic landmark and a non-profit museum located just minutes from your front door. Featuring a children’s garden, gardens for all seasons, butterfly gardens, splash fountains, seasonal events and so much more, your entire family can spend hours exploring and gawking at natural beauty at the gardens. Purchase a family pass and get outdoors with nature all year round, or check out one of their many special events or classes.

Ocean View Beach and Pier
Take the family fishing along the Ocean View pier, stay for lunch or dinner afterward, or simply wander the beach beside the bay on foot. Ocean View’s calm and relaxed waterfront is a perfect way to get close to the water without the traffic and congestion of the busy Virginia Beach oceanfront. A lovely spot to explore, walk or run along just about any time of year, we’re especially fond of spending summer evenings watching the sunset sink behind the bay.

Town Point Park & Waterside District
Town Point Park is located beside the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk, and leads directly to newly reimagined Waterside District, as well as Nauticus, the USS Wisconsin and the Portsmouth Ferry. Grab your friends or family and head to the park anytime for biking, walking or exploring. Stop by Waterside District for a cool beverage or bite to eat, then hop aboard the Ferry to Portsmouth to take in the sunset along the river or simply enjoy breathing in fresh air on the water.

Northside Community Park
Northside Park is almost a stone’s throw from our front doors, and features a playground, picnic area, basketball courts, skateboarding and so much more on it’s 62 acres of land. You can walk over with kids for an active Saturday, or pack a picnic and soak up the Summer sun in their casual picnic area.

Elizabeth River Trail
The nine-mile Elizabeth River Trail is a beautiful walking and biking trail that winds around the city through various access points including Town Point Park, West Ghent and Norfolk State. Leading its way through natural, preserved landscapes, quaint neighborhoods and industrialized sections of our historic city, you’ll enjoy walking or biking it as much as you will enjoy the sites along the way.