Her name means, literally, "territory of the southern people," and it is quite fitting since in Southeastern Virginia, Suffolk lies south of Norfolk. Situated approximately twenty miles from Norfolk and nearly an hour and a half from Richmond, Suffolk is attractive to Virginia residents for its distance from the more populous areas of Hampton Roads. In recent years, too, many major industries have come to set up large offices in Suffolk, among them Unilever and Target. However, this does not detract from the rural charm of this growing city, and it is certainly one place anybody visiting southern Virginia should see.
Where other areas of Hampton Roads offer excitement at the shore and historical interest with Colonial-era curiosities, Suffolk's attractions are unique and as equally interesting. Suffolk is a haven for the outdoors-bound with opportunities for fishing, camping, golf, and hiking. Part of the Great Dismal Swamp lies in Suffolk, close to the North Carolina border, and here visitors may explore the over 100,000 acres of natural wildlife refuge. Boating is permissible year round, and deer hunting is permissible during the season.
Cycling enthusiasts will want to visit Suffolk in the fall for the Great Peanut Tour. Many people know that Suffolk is home to Planters Peanuts - the original Planters Peanut Center is still open to visitors and sells all sort of delicious peanut treats - and the Peanut Ride is just one way people in southern Virginia celebrate Suffolk's heritage. Each year, thousands of cyclists embark on a series of rides over Suffolk and neighboring towns, fueled by a love of the sport and the energy of a few peanuts!
Even more popular is the annual Peanut Festival, a weekend long fair celebrating the best of Suffolk. Thousands of visitors descend upon the fairground each year to sample local fare and enjoy top music acts. The Peanut Festival is one of the top fairs held annually in Virginia, and is a must-see if you are visiting in the fall.
Peanuts made Suffolk famous, but the city's natural beauty and offerings for outdoor recreation make Suffolk a place to visit any time of year.