Think you have to travel all the way to Washington, DC to enjoy cultural events, art, and music? For the best in symphony, dance, and visual arts on the Eastern seaboard, one can easily absorb inspiration for all senses in Norfolk, Virginia, the cultural capital of the Tidewater region.
Whether you live in the Hampton Roads area or have come on vacation, to enjoy a trip to historic Williamsburg or sunny Virginia Beach, a stop in Norfolk enhances any vacation with her many cultural delights. Intimate venues off the downtown area like the Harrison Opera House and the Chrysler Auditorium are home to the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Ballet, and the Virginia Opera, among other nationally renowned performing arts organizations. Each year, too, theater enthusiasts are treated to a program of traveling plays and musicals fresh from the Broadway stage.
Spring in Norfolk brings the annual Tattoo, a majestic display of military pomp and rousing marching bands that coincides with the popular Azalea Festival. Visitors interested in coming to the city in April for these musical and floral feast are strongly suggested to make hotel reservations early, as area lodgings have been known to fill completely.
For the art lover, Norfolk is home to the Chrysler Museum of Art, a small yet impressive collection of paintings, sculpture and other media dating from ancient times to the modern day. On occasion special collections are made available for display; patrons of the Chrysler have been treated to the works of Andy Warhol, Mary Cassatt, and Edgar Degas, among other noted artists. Each Wednesday, the foyer is filled with live jazz music for all to enjoy. Fans of film noir and cinematic art have the Naro, one of the oldest movie theaters in Hampton Roads. Newly restored, the Naro presents independent and foreign films not usually seen in the mega-plex theaters, and is host to film festivals offered throughout the year in conjunction with area colleges. Norfolk's most recent entertainment venue, the Ted Constant Center, is fast becoming a popular destination for popular musicians and performers.
For the visitor looking to enrich a vacation, or for the Virginia resident seeking a cultural experience without having to drive too far, Norfolk is the perfect stop.