The City of Norfolk

Norfolk Virginia on the Edge of the Chesapeake Bay

Norfolk, Virginia is a charming city beside the Chesapeake Bay that dates to the 17th Century when the English colonists first settled it. Norfolk is a wonderful place to live, raise children, seek a higher education, become culturally enriched, or succeed in business and commerce. Because Norfolk is home to the largest Naval Base on the East Coast, the city has the distinction of being a military center. Tidal waters surround the Norfolk area with the Chesapeake Bay on the northeastern edge, the Elizabeth River on the western side, and the Lafayette River cutting through its center. Norfolk is the center of the Tidewater area, and has always been known as a port city and shipping capital.

History in Norfolk Virginia

Before Norfolk was settled in the 17th Century, Native American tribes inhabited it for over 10,000 years. During settlement in the 17th Century, Norfolk became a thriving center for shipping and commerce and has continued this trend up until the present time. Norfolk was the site of some pivotal naval battles in the Revolutionary Era and also during the Civil War. During World War I and World War II, Norfolk was a focus for military activities that included defense of the Chesapeake Bay from foreign invasion or attack.

Why Relocate to Norfolk, Virginia?

There are many reasons to want to relocate to Norfolk Virginia. Many people live in Norfolk because it is more convenient to shopping, entertainment, and dining and many neighborhoods are either located on the water or very near. The Norfolk lifestyle is one of relaxed beaches, summer festivals, fishing and fun.

Shipping: A Way of Life in Norfolk

Norfolk is not only a major Naval installation. The ease of access to the Chesapeake Bay attracts container ships from all over the world, making importing and exporting of goods common in Port Norfolk. The port of Norfolk is home to Norfolk Southern, one of the largest railroads in the South. Trains stop to load and unload coal and other stock, day and night at nearby piers, and trucks from all over the United States make deliveries to the docks on a daily basis, too. All of this activity keeps Norfolk humming with activity and excitement.

Economic Development in Norfolk

Norfolk is an urban center. Across the United States, the population of urban centers is on the rise due to the high cost of gas and long hours of commuting. The City of Norfolk has been actively engaged in multiple economic development initiatives in neighborhoods from downtown Norfolk, to Granby Street, to Ocean View, to attract young professionals, families, retired people, and businesses to the area. In 2005 Forbes Magazine named Norfolk one of the top locations for business and careers. In 2008, The governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine, visited Norfolk to announce the development of a new light rail system to serve the city. The Tide light rail system will be built in stages and fully functional by 2010.

Education for Children

Norfolk’s public schools are known for racial and ethnic diversity. There is also a wide selection of private schools within the City of Norfolk. Some of the better known schools include Norfolk Academy and Christ the King School. For a complete list of private schools in the Norfolk, visit

Continuing Education for Adults

For adults wishing to continue their education, there are several excellent choices within Norfolk’s boundaries. Old Dominion University is well known for its computer science, business, and engineering programs. Norfolk State University is an historically African-American university that is located on the edge of downtown. Tidewater Community College is affordable and easily accessible, in the heart of Norfolk’s downtown district. Other institutions of higher education in Norfolk include Eastern Virginia Medical School, Troy University and Virginia Wesleyan College.

Outdoor Parks in Norfolk

Norfolk maintains a good deal of open space for residents’ enjoyment. There are multiple outdoor public parks in the City of Norfolk that are perfect for a number of recreational activities. Northside Park is in the northern part of town, alongside Tidewater Drive and provides an indoor pool, playground, softball fields, walking paths and more. Ocean View Beach Park is a 6.5 mile stretch of beach along the Chesapeake Bay where local residents swim, sunbathe, fish, and play volleyball and other sports. Lakewood Park, Lafayette Park, Tarrallton Park, and Barraud Park are additional parks in Norfolk.