Patriotism And Pride In Norfolk, Virginia
NORFOLK, VA – Whether it is while standing on the deck of the last battleship ever built in the U.S.A., the Battleship Wisconsin, or taking an awe-inspiring tour of Naval Station Norfolk, home to more than 100 ships in the Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia qualifies as one of the most nationalistic travel experiences worth considering for patriotic getaways. Whether a trip to Norfolk is timed to coincide with Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Veterans Day or any ordinary weekend, this 400 year-old city-by-the-sea is a destination of distinction, offering endless opportunities for proud Americans.
Here are noteworthy and nostalgic choices for a meaningful and memorable weekend in Norfolk:
• Tour the Battleship Wisconsin. Built by the United States Navy, the battleship won five battle stars during World War II. It can be toured daily, either by an audio guide or with the assistance of active duty military and retired Navy volunteers on deck. The battleship is the largest exhibit of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, which is otherwise housed inside Nauticus.
• Get interactive at Nauticus. Located right next door to Battleship Wisconsin, this arena for light-hearted family fun presents 150 nautical exhibits that give a slice of naval life, including a simulated destroyer, saltwater aquariums and a "shark touch" tank.
• Visit Naval Station Norfolk on a two-hour narrated tour of the world’s largest naval base aboard Victory Rover. The tour passes giant aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines, frigates and amphibious assault ships. On Independence Day, a special fireworks cruise takes place after sunset.
• Experience the evocative Armed Forces Memorial in Town Point Park, a tribute to lives lost in war via 20 scattered bronze-cast letters.
• Discover the final resting place of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. The MacArthur Memorial holds an extensive collection of military and personal artifacts that allows visitors to discover the compelling story of MacArthur and the millions of Americans who served during the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Occupation of Japan and the Korean War.
• Trace the city’s historic links to the past, including famous military sites, by following the self-guided Virginia Civil War Trail, sites include Fort Norfolk, the historic Freemason District and the West Point Memorial which commemorates black veterans of Civil and Spanish-American Wars.
• Norfolk is one of America’s great walking cities and can best be enjoyed when experienced on foot. Not to be missed: Windows on History a series of display windows depicting four centuries of historic people, places and events located along the exterior of the MacArthur Center mall in downtown Norfolk. The Norfolk History Museum at the newly-refurbished Willoughby-Baylor House (circa 1797) is another opportunity to experience a large swath of Norfolk’s history, including the various stages of its long history as an international port and maritime center and the area’s naval and military heritage. The Cannonball Trail is a walk-it-yourself tour through downtown historic Norfolk which connects the historic sites through storytelling. Visitors listen to stories about each site in order to form their own interpretation of Norfolk’s rich and multi-faceted history.
~More Patriotic Reasons To Visit~
• Virginia International Tattoo features ceremonial performances of military music by massed bands that honors our nation's military. Presented at Norfolk Scope in the Spring.
• Held in the Spring, when azaleas are in full bloom, Norfolk salutes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), headquartered here, with a celebration known as the NATOFest. The 50-year-old tradition is an effort to create new friendships, provide a basis for cultural exchange, and recognize the military's role in maintaining peace in the world.
Visitors with varied interests also have the option of interspersing a patriotic pilgrimage to the destination with enlightening culture via worthwhile museums like the Chrysler Museum of Art. Norfolk’s nearly 80 chef-owned restaurants also have cosmopolitan flair, thanks, in part, to the demanding palates of the international clientele served here, including many of our country’s military leaders.