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Home to the largest naval base in the world, and featuring a waterfront packed full of typical American food chains, docks, plenty of off-duty sailors, and enough waterfront taverns to fill any seedy novel, Norfolk, Virginia is the second largest city in the state behind Virginia Beach, situated in the middle of the Hampton Road metropolitan vicinity at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. At first glance, this is not a tourist destination, and many people shrug it off due to the presence of the naval base, automatically assuming that there is nothing going on here above and beyond official military duties, but what many people fail to realize is that Norfolk is actually a major cultural hub for the state, with a thriving arts community, museums, operas, and plenty of cultural heritage to keep anyone entertained.
From the nearby historic district of Ghent, packed with historical homes interspersed with tree-lined streets looking like they are straight off of a postcard, to the various restaurants and bars of the downtown district, Norfolk is anything but ordinary. With access to the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay, the once-famous premier beach community known as Ocean View—now on the rise to one of the city’s most desired residential housing after years of slumbering in the shadows—and plenty of shopping opportunities, Norfolk is definitely a thriving city.
Make no mistake, however; this is a typical American town, which means there's lots of well-known chains of stores and restaurants, but beyond that the city has close to 400 years of history since things first began developing here, making it one of the oldest sections of the United States. Not to mention, this is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with the largest naval vessels to sail the open seas, which by themselves are reason enough to come.
A self-governing metropolis located in Hampton Roads city quarter of Virginia next to the Atlantic sea close to the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is the most populated city in Virginia, and is considered one of the most classic beach destinations in the United States, with a reputation for being one of the few family-friendly ocean-front destinations catering specifically to the family. With a mild climate year-round, a resort theme, and surrounding countryside full of state parks, national wildlife refuges, and plenty of outdoor adventures to experience if the beach proves to be something you only want to spend half your time enjoying, Virginia Beach is easily one of the best places to choose when it comes to enjoying a mild and relaxing coastal holiday.
In many ways, Virginia Beach harkens back to the times when the Victorian Brits first popularized the concept of a seaside holiday. This is a place where you can go, with or without your family, and experience a wholesome, entertaining, and relaxing holiday without having to worry about drunken frat parties, spring break crowds, or any other sort of interruptions. But beyond the beach itself, the views looking out over Chesapeake Bay are simply breathtaking, and there is plenty of national history to explore nearby, such as First Landing Cross, which is where the first English settlers landed in 1607, as well as the Cape Henry Lighthouse, first built in 1792.
There is also the Mount Trashmore Park, and more than 18,000 acres of state parks and national wildlife refuges just outside of the city to explore if you get tired of the beaches. And since Virginia Beach is a resort destination, you can simply choose to relax and indulge in the all-inclusive setting of your chosen resort, simply lazing on the beach and enjoying the amenities. Either way, this is a splendid coastal holiday destination.
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Do you know of anything else about the enviroment that makes you happy to come to Portsmouth? If it's a city or neighbourhood are there any climatic, or microclimatic features that you could tell others about. If the location is a building or place, then can you describe it maybe as "sun-lit", or "cold in the mornings". We'd love you to contribute - why not let us know in the drop box below
Graphic showing average weather in Portsmouth in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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