Known for its large naval base and coastal cuisine, Norfolk, Virginia, might surprise visitors with its lively art scene in the NEON district. Short for New Energy of Norfolk, NEON serves as a creative cultural center in downtown Norfolk, drawing locals and tourists to take in its bold murals, peruse Chrysler Museum of Art and enjoy nights at the opera or comedy theater.
Arts & Entertainment
Art lovers must allocate time to explore Chrysler Museum of Art. Boasting more than 30,000 original works spanning more than 5,000 years, this museum features everything from a Botticini painting to a Rodin bronze statue to American paintings to pre-Columbian artifacts and art. This museum also boasts Perry Glass Studio, a 7,000-square-foot facility next to the main museum housing the resources to accommodate aspiring and master glass artists.
For a night of laughter, head to Push Comedy Theater, a 90-seat venue in the NEON district where local and national acts perform. On weekends, live sketch, improv and standup comedy comprise just some of the many performances available.
Virginia Opera, once a World War II USO theater, is considered one of the finest regional opera companies in the country. Hosted by Harrison Opera House, this venue offers an intimate atmosphere with sweeping staircases and bistro tables.
Food & Drink
A day exploring Norfolk’s arts and entertainment scene can work up an appetite, but this city doesn’t just boast a thriving art scene. For a healthy option, Zeke’s Beans and Bowls offers açai and poke bowls, as well as coffee, salads, smoothies, juices and more.
At Commune, guests enjoy a farm-to-table experience with the region’s best ingredients featured in each dish. The restaurant also offers the option to pair dishes with a carefully curated selection of Virginia wines and local beers.
Want the best of both worlds? Sanctuary is a gallery and bar featuring art by C.A. Simmons. The gallery also showcases local artists as guests enjoy time on an outdoor deck eating tacos and burritos and sipping on cocktails, wine and beer.
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