Area Sites — Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Historic Triangle
In Norfolk, preparations are underway and excitement is building to welcome back our SGMP friends and colleagues! Situated in the heart of the mid-Atlantic coastal region, Norfolk is a city known for its scenic waterways, outdoor adventure, thriving port, cutting-edge restaurants, historic sites, diverse culture and entertainment, and enviably moderate climate.
Norfolk's waterfront location is the perfect setting for outdoor adventures. With the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay running along its west and north borders, it is no surprise that Norfolk has become home to a wide array of water sports and boating excursions. Sailing Norfolk’s Elizabeth River offers spectacular downtown views. Multiple river cruises are easily accessible from downtown Norfolk’s Town Point Park, conveniently located within walking distance of SGMP’s host hotels. Getting around town could not be easier! The Norfolk Electronic Transit (NET) is a free shuttle service running a 2 mile circuit around Norfolk’s downtown. By 2011, accessibility will be expanded with the completion of the Norfolk Tide light rail system.
Town Point Park is Norfolk's newly renovated outdoor festival venue where nearly 100 festivals take place annually including the popular Harborfest. Harborfest, which takes place June 10–12, 2011, is considered Hampton Roads’ largest summertime event featuring a parade of sail, visiting international tall ships, national and local entertainment, food, dancing, fireworks and more! Extend your conference stay by one day and experience this fun summer festival!
From Norfolk's state-of-the-art Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center, visitors can set sail aboard a luxury cruise ship to a host of fun-filled destinations. Because of its central location, Norfolk serves as the ideal cruise port. Within days of leisurely cruising, passengers debarking Norfolk can be in exotic locations such as the Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and St. Thomas. Adjacent to Half Moone is Nauticus, a maritime-themed science center featuring an aquarium, hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, presenting 225 years of naval history.
Ghent, the nearby historic district famous for its antiquing, is also home to Norfolk's Chrysler Museum of Art. This attraction houses a vast collection of contemporary art, photography, Tiffany glass and historic works of art. In the evenings, visitors can treat themselves to a performance by the Norfolk-based Virginia Symphony, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Virginia Stage Company or Virginia Opera. Many performances take place within downtown national landmarks such as the Wells Theatre and Harrison Opera House. Get a taste of local art by taking a stroll through the d'Art Center, a unique visual arts facility downtown featuring 40 resident artists, creating and selling original fine art.
While you’re here, dine at one of our distinctive restaurants. Norfolk has become well-known for its wide variety of cuisine and is home to more than 80 chef-owned restaurants in the downtown area, many featuring Virginia wine and Virginia-grown produce and meat. Norfolk becomes alive after hours, especially on Granby Street where you’ll find everything from roaring sports bars to laid back pubs.
Norfolk is also a city thinking green. A number of our hotels and restaurants have become Virginia Green Certified. Stay here and feel good about your convention’s footprint on the environment. Affordable, accessible, friendly, and easy to get around in, Norfolk has something for everyone. Check back here later for information on optional tours of Norfolk you can enjoy starting on June 11th.
Norfolk is part of a growing, seven-city region known as the Hampton Roads Area — formerly known as Tidewater — that also includes the Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. Hampton Roads is the birthplace of Colonial America, where centuries of American history blend with the most modern technology, the richest culture, the liveliest nightlife, and a breathtaking landscape surrounded by water.
Check back here later for information on optional tours of Hampton Roads you can enjoy starting on June 11th.
The Historic Triangle consists of the colonial communities of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
Jamestown was the site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World in 1607. Its two main areas to vist are the Jamestown Settlement living history interpretive site and the original site of James Fort at Historic Jamestowne. Queen Elizabeth II attended events in 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.
Williamsburg once served as the state capital and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. In 1693, the College of William & Mary was established there. Today, Colonial Williamsburg has been restored to its 18th century splendor as a large living museum of early American life.
Yorktown was the site of the last land battle of the American Revolutionary War. The surrender there of General Lord Cornwallis to General George Washington in 1781 prompted the British government eventually to negotiate an end to the conflict. Yorktown today features two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area.
Check back here later for information on optional tours.