This is our third time to live in Norfolk. The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point and is home to the world's largest military base, Naval Station Norfolk, as well as a bustling international port and airport, and is connected to its neighbors by a variety of bridges, tunnels, interstate highways, and railroad lines. As the middle class residents moved from the city limits out to suburban areas, in particular the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake areas, much of the city fell into disrepair and the families on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum lived in crumbling neighborhoods. Much has been done in recent years to re-attract businesses to the downtown area, and to revitalize the residential areas surrounding it.
Norfolk is home to a thriving arts landscape with venues for concerts, the theatre, the symphony, and opera. There are two universities and a community college. Numerous shopping centers are located around the city and an outlet mall recently opened with IKEA coming soon. Major roadway construction is doing much to cope with the notorious traffic.
This has been our favorite time to be in Norfolk. We have taken advantage of the cultural offerings and explored the many eclectic restaurants and small business owner shops. The city has a host of festivals and events for all tastes and the marine emphasis means that there is always something to do on the water. It's an up and coming place to visit.