Norfolk Travel Review


Nicholas Scoggins

Aircraft carrier at the naval base

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

This summer, I visited Norfolk, Va. It was one stop of a larger trip I started in Washington D.C. and ended in Norfolk. Despite seeing several iconic landmarks such as the capitol building in D.C. and the Confederate White House in Richmond, I wished I had stayed in Norfolk longer. There was tons to do there, and I could not see everything.

Norfolk is a city in southern Virginia just north of North Carolina. It is around a three hour drive from D.C. or you can take a flight there. It is most famous however as being the main base of operations for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. I arrived in the city on July 3 after sightseeing in Richmond and spent the rest of the day resting.  

On the Fourth of July, I visited the retired battleship USS Wisconsin at the Nauticus Museum. This was a cool place as the ship dates back to World War II and is located in an excellent spot to see both the city and the base. Afterward, since my mom’s boyfriend is a Navy veteran and knows a worker at the base, we managed to access the base and get a tour of an in-commision submarine. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and was the highlight of the trip. The ship in particular was the USS Newport News, and  it was amazing to see the interior of not only just a submarine, but one still in service. While this is not something the average person can do, if you know someone who is either a veteran or still serving, you may be in luck.  

The next day we met up with some local friends and went to the Military Aviation Museum. It had several cool planes, but there were some rude guests that kind of ruined the experience. After, we went to a really cool military surplus store that I would have bought some stuff if it wouldn’t have given the TSA a heart attack. Then we said goodbye to our friends and went to Chantilly to fly out.

I would recommend Norfolk about 4.5 out of five stars. It is such a cool city that most overlook. First of all, it is on the ocean, not too far of a drive to Virginia Beach, and the entire city has a seaside vibe. Second, there is tons of stuff to do. We did not get to half the stuff we wanted as there was just so much. The city is of much historical significance, and as such there are numerous historical sights such as the wreck of the Civil War-era ironclad USS Monitor,  which is on display at the Monitor Center.  

The coolest part for me as an American however, was to see America’s military might on full display in the city. The Navy keeps some of their largest warships there including aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers and transport vessels. Even though you can’t enter the bases as a civilian unless you know a guy, it is very easy to see the ships from afar because they are so large. It gives you a patriotic feeling that is hard to find elsewhere in the country. Surely enough, the last thing we saw driving out of the city were two aircraft carriers tied up at the dock.

Overall I would recommend visiting Norfolk, whether your trip includes just the city itself or as part of a larger trip, you will not regret it.