Second in size only to Virginia Beach, Norfolk is a city with a big impact on the region and residents alike. With a population of approximately 246,000 residents, the city of Norfolk has a diverse economic and cultural base that makes it such an interesting place to live, work and play. With miles of waterfront property, home buyers seeking to live in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area can find plenty of options.
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MORE ABOUT NORFOLK
Early European settlers quickly noted the area’s access to deep waterways and the military advantages of its location. Originally part of Elizabeth Cittie and Elizabeth City Shire in 1634, the Norfolk area was later divided into counties of Upper and Lower Norfolk. Agriculture, particularly tobacco, drove the early economy well into the 1700s and the trading and shipping industry caused the area to thrive. The city incorporated in 1705 and was one of the richest cities in Virginia by 1775. Norfolk structures were completely destroyed during the Revolutionary War, save a few, and that plus soil exhaustion in subsequent years thrust the city into hard times. The city struggled well into the 1800s, and voted to secede from the Union in 1861. It was occupied by the Union troops for most of the Civil War. Post-war prosperity was due to the construction of large naval bases and via annexation of nearby communities. Increased transportation via roads and railway turned Norfolk into a shipping and transport hub which ushered in a new era of prosperity well into the 20th century. With urban revival efforts, today’s Norfolk is a prosperous city with a bright future as the economic, cultural and entertainment heart of the area.
Many of Norfolk’s neighborhoods were once independent communities and have therefore retained their unique identities. Willoughby Spit, Fairmount Park, Ghent, Ocean View, Freemason District, Larchmont-Edgewater and Downtown Norfolk are just a few of the historic neighborhoods in Norfolk. The economy is based primarily on commercial trading and shipping, importing and exporting cargo, defense contracting, tourism like cruise ship ports, and many manufacturing and service industries.
Norfolk offers plenty of unique experiences when it comes to attractions and points of interest. Its rich history means plenty of historic sites like x. Museums abound, like the Chrysler Museum of Art, Nauticus, Hermitage Foundation Museum and more. Arts and culture are well-represented with the Virginia Opera, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Attucks Theater, The Norva, and many more venues for concerts, music and entertainment. Outdoor activities are plentiful thanks to an extensive parks system, as well as golf courses and tennis courts. The Norfolk Botanical Garden, Bayou Boogaloo, Cajun Food Festival, Fourth of July Celebration, and many music festivals provide annual excitement and entertainment.
Norfolk remains a highly desirable place to live in Virginia, and is at the top of many home buyer lists thanks to the strong economy, prime real estate and high quality of life.