Statistics from the US Department of Transportation show more than 700,000 registered motor carriers are traversing our highways and roads. These trucks, which can be packed with everything from bricks and stone to dog food and grocery items, keep thousands of American businesses afloat. For business owners shipping these products across the country, precise planning and high-level tracking are required. But with increasing rates and a wide range of delays to overcome, overseeing a shipment of LTL freight is easier said than done.
For overworked business owners, managing multiple shipments can seem impossible in today's freight landscape. But the reality is that many businesses rely on less-than-truckload shipments to keep their doors open. When these shipments are compromised, their business is too. But there's a viable solution: LTL freight brokers in Norfolk, VA like RelyEx provide reliable solutions to common LTL shipment problems, eliminating the stress and worry of LTL shipping.
With more than 30 combined years of LTL experience and a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx is your go-to choice for streamlined, efficient LTL shipping services. To understand the true value of RelyEx's less-than-truckload shipping options, it helps to understand first what LTL shipping is and why it's used.
In the freight industry, LTL stands for "less-than-truckload." It is a widely-used method of transportation for smaller shipments that don't require the space of a full truckload. In an LTL shipment, several customers' loads are placed onto one truck, which helps reduce how much it costs to ship those products.
In fact, if your freight doesn't fill an entire trailer but weighs 150-15,000 lbs., LTL freight shipping in Norfolk, VA, may be the most efficient, cost-conscious way to transport your products. That's because, in an LTL setup, you're only paying for the space your freight takes up. LTL shipping companies like RelyEx optimize LTL loads by choosing the most efficient routes at the best rates so your cargo gets to where it needs to go without any issues.
Business owners often choose LTL freight services in the following circumstances:
When it comes to LTL delivery options, there are a lot to choose from. But not every LTL broker is created equally. Some LTL companies do not have the tools or technology to track your shipments and optimize your routes. In worst-case scenarios, they may not be insured or reliable. If you're looking for an experienced LTL carrier that exceeds expectations with time-tested strategies and innovative technologies, look no further than RelyEx.
With more than two decades of experience in LTL operations, our team utilizes the power of GlobalTranz to compare rates across hundreds of approved carriers in the blink of an eye, while also providing the most cost-effective options for moving your freight. When you choose RelyEx for LTL shipping, you can leverage our expert team to handle your shipments. You can also manage the process yourself via GTZShip, which is Globaltranz's user-friendly management system. With GTZShip, you can access and compare LTL shipping rates, track your shipments, and manage your financials, all from one intuitive platform.
When it comes to LTL freight in Norfolk, VA, clients trust their products with RelyEx for many reasons, including the following:
Because GTZShip keeps outsized freight available, it can negotiate the best LTL rates on your behalf. Our clients can access these extra-low rates in one of two ways:
Regardless of the option you choose, RelyEx's knowledgeable customer care reps will cover all of your LTL shipping options, so you can make an informed shipping and purchasing decision for your freight.
Yes, you read that right - in addition to giving you access to industry-leading rates, RelyEx's partnership with GTZShip gives you full management of your freight. We're talking about access to reporting, tracking, and much more. This extensive visibility is essentially a one-stop shop for everything related to the status of your freight.
Unlike some LTL shipping software, this system requires no contracts or signup fees, making it simple to provide quotes and book immediately when you're ready. Whether you use GTZShip directly or rely on our team to book your freight, your company will always have access to this free technology.
While it's true that RelyEx provides customers with the best rates and technology in the LTL industry, we go above and beyond the normal call of duty. Why? Because we strive to treat your shipment as if it's our most important one. Put simply, we put a lot of time and effort into making sure we do things right the first time around. Our fierce commitment to the customer and to quality protects not only your reputation, but your bottom line by preventing lost customers and sales.
RelyEx excels at LTL shipping because we are:
From dedicated LTL solutions to transactional relationships, RelyEx is here to help. Unlike other LTL companies, we get the job done right with customer-focused service, industry expertise, and Globaltranz's industry-leading Transportation Management System.
Our dedicated team of LTL specialists provides you with the best freight visibility available, whether you need a few shipments a week or you need hundreds. In order to do so, we communicate with carriers throughout the entire shipping process, so you know your items are delivered on time. Though rare, if we spot an issue, we'll provide you with an alternative solution immediately.
Plus, if you have large quantities that need to be shipped, our team is happy to provide you with customized reporting for free. That way, you can access at-the-moment updates and important shipment documentation with a few clicks or taps.
When your freight is too light for full truckloads but too heavy for basic parcel carriers like UPS, LTL shipping is a great option to consider. When you use an LTL shipping company like RelyEx, you get even more value. We've been over some of the basics associated with LTL freight shipping - now let's touch on some of the biggest benefits of using a company to handle logistics from start to finish.
One of the most common reasons clients use LTL services is because they're able to save money. LTL shipping is much less expensive than the alternative, which is to hire a private driver and truck. When you go in on LTL services with other shippers, you can have your products delivered at a fraction of the cost of going private. In this setup, you pay for space you use, not the space you don't use, which is common in full truckload freight shipping.
As an added benefit, relying on an LTL freight company like RelyEx can lower your warehouse costs since more shipments can be sent at a time. That means you don't have to wait weeks or even months for a trailer to fill up.
When you use a parcel carrier like FedEx, you can only ship up to 150 pounds at a time. That means you'd have to break down your shipment into separate boxes in order to ship. With LTL freight shipping, your packages can be palletized and shrink-wrapped so they're shipped in a single load.
At RelyEx, our team knows how important your shipment is, whether you're sending thousands of pounds of products or a single pallet. That's why we ensure your products are packaged correctly and have security protocols baked into every service we offer. Plus, by keeping your freight together, we decrease the chance of damaging your cargo, which pleases your clients and boosts your customers' satisfaction.
The magic of LTL shipping lies in the fact that we fill fewer trailers with more freight. Doing so reduces global emissions and makes the process much quicker. Imagine using a semi-truck to haul products that only fill a quarter of the trailer. It would waste money, time, and space that could be used for other products. With LTL shipping, you're protecting the environment and reducing the number of partially-filled trucks on the road. This, in turn, saves you money and makes you an eco-friendly company - something you can use as a selling point for your business.
LTL providers like RelyEx use advanced logistics technology to ensure your cargo arrives on time and without damage. By investing in technology like GlobalTranz, we save our clients from doing so themselves. With GlobalTranz, our clients gain access to robust tracking options like real-time freight locations, so you can monitor your shipment's progress. With GlobalTranz, you get more than just a way to book your LTL cargo â you benefit from our qualified network of carriers, expert logistics support, and leading technology features.
It's impossible to say exactly how much your LTL shipping may cost because the NMFC, or National Motor Freight Classification, determines those prices. Using this standard, pricing is dictated for commodities moving in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce. Items are grouped into 18 different classes, based on four characteristics:
If you're shipping a product that is more likely to be damaged, stolen, or cause damage to other items, it may affect LTL shipment pricing.
Does your product require specific care or handling instructions? If so, you can probably expect higher prices.
This factor accounts for how much space your item occupies in relation to its weight or the weight per cubic foot for each piece of freight you are shipping.
How easy is it to load and transport your commodity? Can it be loaded and transported with other items?
When combined, these characteristics are used to establish an NMFC code for your LTL cargo. These codes are crucial, as they help your LTL carrier understand the challenges of shipping your products. If the item you need to ship has a high NMFC code, it's because it's more difficult to transport, which usually means it's more expensive to ship.
Depending on where and how often you ship LTL freight, your broker may choose a regional or national LTL carrier. Regional carriers often service a group of states within a region. National carriers have a larger footprint and can often eliminate the need to use several carriers for your shipments. RelyEx has the infrastructure and strategies for all of your LTL shipping - contact our office today to learn more about your options.
Though regional and national carriers are different, they often use similar models for shipping. Two of the most popular types of shipping methods include hub and spoke distribution and LTL consolidation.
In this traditional model, your shipments go through a network of warehouses, terminals, and hub facilities where your products are grouped with other shipments. Your freight then travels to local "spokes" (or terminals), where they are delivered. If you need to ship freight over short distances, this model may be a good choice to consider.
Some common benefits of the hub and spoke model include:
LTL consolidated shipping is a model where LTL carriers bring several shipments from different shippers to a final destination. Instead of using hubs and spokes along the shipping route to bundle freight and move cargo, LTL consolidation works by taking multiple shipments and turning them into a single truckload. This truck then makes multiple stops, where your products are delivered.
Some of the most common benefits of LTL consolidation include:
At RelyEx, our goal is to expertly manage the movement of your freight so you can focus on your core business. With more than 20 years of combined experience with LTL freight shipping in Norfolk, VA, our team can select the most efficient and cost-effective model for your needs. That way, you can accomplish your day-to-day tasks while we handle the heavy lifting and any logistical challenges.
At RelyEx, we believe that trustworthy, comprehensive, and streamlined LTL shipping options are better for your business. And for us, what's better for your business is better for ours. That's why, when it comes to LTL shipping, we work tirelessly to ensure every aspect of your freight experience is embedded excellence. We take this unique approach because our management were once customers like you. They were people who, for one reason or another, had to deal with frustrating and often unsolved shipping and logistics challenges. Today, we take pride in solving those challenges and only partner with carriers who match our high standards.
If you're looking for an LTL company in Norfolk, VA that prioritizes customer service, strong communication, and proactive thinking, we're here to help you avoid delayed shipments and missed expectations.(843) 885-3082
With an abundance of outdoor activities, Norfolk is the perfect destination to enjoy some sunshine. From exploring our gardens to setting sail along the Chesapeake Bay, there is a variety for you to explore. You won’t want to miss these unique ways to get outside!GardensNorfolk is home to plenty of lush green spaces, including the largest botanical garden in Virginia. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, there’s a beautiful assortment of greenery to peruse at these locally loved gardens.The ...
With an abundance of outdoor activities, Norfolk is the perfect destination to enjoy some sunshine. From exploring our gardens to setting sail along the Chesapeake Bay, there is a variety for you to explore. You won’t want to miss these unique ways to get outside!
Norfolk is home to plenty of lush green spaces, including the largest botanical garden in Virginia. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, there’s a beautiful assortment of greenery to peruse at these locally loved gardens.
The Hermitage Museum and Gardens offers visitors a dose of history, art and horticulture all in one spot. With the Hermitage sitting right on the Lafayette River, it’s a perfect backdrop for a day spent outdoors! During the warmer months, be sure to check out their Sunsets on the River concert series for an evening of outdoor entertainment including local music, food trucks, art, local craft beer and wine. Best of all, they allow your well-behaved dog to join in on the fun!
The beautiful Norfolk Botanical Garden has over 60 themed gardens on the property, and there is always something to explore. Most blooms can be spotted during the spring and summer months, but make sure to check out their year-round gardens too. The WOW Children’s Garden features world-themed splash fountains, plus a nature walk through Plant Safari habitat gardens.
Taking the road less traveled is certainly an option. But when there’s well-established trails featuring historic points of interest, restaurants, breweries and wildlife nearby, we say it’s okay to stick to the path. Explore these trails as you get to know more about Norfolk’s past and present!
This self-guided tour marks 400 years of Norfolk and American history. The Cannonball Trail winds along the shoreline of the Elizabeth River and through the districts of Downtown Norfolk. Pay attention to the historic sites noted on this tour for bonus history lessons on this walking trail adventure!
The Elizabeth River Trail (ERT) is a 10.5-mile biking and pedestrian urban trail that will satisfy the highly active. No bike? No problem. Pedego Electric Bikes are available to rent Downtown, so get ready to cruise along as you enjoy some fantastic scenery.
Did you know that Norfolk has 144 miles of shoreline? We’re home to the Chesapeake Bay, plus the Elizabeth and Lafayette Rivers, which equals no shortage of water activities, whether you feel like being active, exploring via boat or simply relaxing on the sand.
Did you know that Norfolk has its very own sandy beach? The areas of Ocean View and East Beach are your gateway to beach days, sandcastles, water activities, seafood and gorgeous sunsets. These beaches are perfectly situated on the Chesapeake Bay where warm waters and gentler waves make it ideal for families. Here are ideas for things to do in Ocean View, Norfolk.
There’s arguably no better way to reconnect with nature than by paddling out on a kayak tour to explore the gentle rivers and quiet coves which some of Norfolk’s most beautiful wildlife calls home. Rent a vessel through Norfolk Kayak Tours, embark on a guided journey at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, or BYOK (bring your own kayak) to paddle off from a public launch.
Bordered almost entirely by water and home to the longest fishing pier in North America, Norfolk is geographically positioned for the ultimate fishing trip. No matter what your choice of fresh catch may be, you’re sure to find it in the nearby Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean or Elizabeth River. Norfolk’s mild climate and wide variety of aquatic life have made the region’s waterways one of the top fishing destinations in the world. Thousands of visitors flock to the area’s shores each year in search of the perfect fishing trip.
With the Elizabeth River and the Chesapeake Bay running along its west and north borders, Norfolk is the ideal home for sailing. Still learning? Check out Sail Nauticus and its informative boating excursions. Sign up for a weekend course emphasizing on-the-water instruction and earn a U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat certification.
Sometimes it’s nice just to sit back, relax and let someone else be your guide for the day. Here are some tours you can sign up for if you’re looking to learn more about Norfolk’s history, see the city line from a new point of view or perhaps indulge in a scrumptious buffet, cocktails and dancing.
Norfolk’s own tall sailing ship, the American Rover is a three-masted topsail schooner with “tanbark” sails. They offer two-hour narrated harbor tours and sunset cruises April through October embarking from Waterside Marina on the Downtown Norfolk waterfront. Once on board, guests can choose to hoist a sail with the crew, take a turn at the helm or just sit back and enjoy the scenic view. The sunset cruise also features live, acoustical entertainment.
See incredible views of the Norfolk harbor and the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet aboard City Cruises Norfolk. Enjoy delicious new menus and specialty drinks. Then, dance to DJ entertainment or relax on the new rooftop lounge. It all adds up to the perfect Norfolk experience. Cruising year-round from downtown Norfolk, Spirit offers lunch, brunch, dinner, cocktail, moonlit cruises and more.
Experience the most popular way to see the world’s largest naval base and the Port of Virginia. Two-hour cruises depart daily from Nauticus, home of the Battleship Wisconsin, in Downtown Norfolk. Cruise past the vessels that ensure our freedom—destroyers, cruisers, submarines, aircraft carriers and more. A fascinating fact and fun-filled narration is provided.
There’s plenty to see, do and learn off the water as well! Take a self-guided tour of Norfolk’s incredible public art murals, or join a guided tour to learn more about Norfolk’s history, art, architecture and more!
Experience Norfolk in a whole new light with guided tours from Norfolk Tour Company. Explore Norfolk’s most haunted houses and theatres or enjoy the colors of the murals in the NEON District. Walk the city and learn more about its unique history with a tour through Historic Freemason or the “Underground River: Black History Tour on the ERT.”
With self-guided tours aplenty and even guided tours focused on Norfolk’s NEON District, our city’s burgeoning arts scene provides a platform for a multitude of artists to create public murals on local businesses showcasing Norfolk. Any space, whether on a building wall, a house, a shed or even the sidewalk, can be transformed into a stunning display by local artists whose love for the city is obvious in every scene.
Show mom how much you care this Mother’s Day by taking her out and about in Norfolk! There are many Mother’s Day events planned throughout the city that give you and mom a chance to be outside, brunch hard, get on the water and spend some time bonding. It’s a Mother’s Day that neither of you will forget!May 12, 2023Norfolk Yacht & Country ClubKick off Mother’s Day weekend with a luncheon and silent auction. This uplifting event pays tribute to some of the community’s most fierce child a...
Show mom how much you care this Mother’s Day by taking her out and about in Norfolk! There are many Mother’s Day events planned throughout the city that give you and mom a chance to be outside, brunch hard, get on the water and spend some time bonding. It’s a Mother’s Day that neither of you will forget!
Kick off Mother’s Day weekend with a luncheon and silent auction. This uplifting event pays tribute to some of the community’s most fierce child advocates while shedding light on the vital work of court-appointed special advocates (CASA) in the lives of children who are court-involved due to abuse and neglect.
One of Crystal Palate’s more popular educational tasting experiences returns to its original tasting format: a casual, walk-around style tasting of seven wines that all share a connection. Fine out why rosés are so much fun. SCENTSory provides the means to identify a wine’s aromatics, the confidence of conversing with others about those wines and feeling empowered to taste unknown wines with ease.
Get ready for The Mother’s Day 90s R&B Ladies Night Extravaganza. For One Night Only, witness this epic event with iconic R&B groups from the 90’s singing all their hit songs. Artists include Dru Hill, 112, Silk, Hi Five and Soul for Real.
Norfolk Cycle Sisters celebrate moms with an easy-peasy family-friendly ride leaving and ending at Local Bike Shop. Ride starts at 10 a.m.
Join in for a two-hour cruise aboard the elegant sailing ship, American Rover. The top deck provides ample comfortable seating with plenty of shade. Relax with Mom and be entertained by the ship’s musician.
Grain is serving a special, all-day brunch buffet to celebrate Mom! Enjoy the sumptuous buffet you’re accustomed to at Grain, along with a crepe station, carving station with prime rib and whole roast chicken, seasonal salads and quiche and so much more.
This Mother’s Day, Saltine is offering a two-course chef special addition to their weekend brunch. Hummingbird French Toast and Deviled Chocolate Trifle make for a sweet combo to treat Mom to. The special will be available in addition to their weekend brunch menu. Price is $30 per person for the prix fixe menu.
Celebrate mom with the whole family at Varia! They’re serving up a delicious and decadent selection of salads, appetizers, plated entrees and dessert. Price is $65 per person. Make your reservation today!
Hop aboard City Cruises for a beautiful brunch or a classy evening dinner on the water. While onboard, treat the mom in your life to a special day with a holiday buffet, classic cocktails and Norfolk’s most incredible views. Celebrate with dining and dancing from City Cruises’ climate-controlled interior, or soak in the picturesque backdrop from an outdoor deck.
Put Mom on a pedestal with a three-course brunch at one of Norfolk’s most beloved wine bars. Start with everyone’s favorite, cheese and charcuterie, before moving on to beautiful soup and salad selections and irresistible entrees. Save room for their sinfully good desserts, and don’t forget a specialty Mother’s Day cocktail. Kids’ menu items are available as well. Reservations are strongly encouraged; give them a call!
Need more brunch options? Check out our brunch guide here! For more events? Here’s our full calendar. Happy Mother’s Day!
Spring in Norfolk is a downright magical time. Trees throughout the city are showing off with their beautiful pink and white blossoms. Farmers markets are back with a full bounty of spring produce and homemade goodies. Outdoor recreation is in full swing with bikers, joggers and kayakers taking advantage of ideal temperatures. Plus, festival season is back and ready to entertain with a whole lineup of reasons to gather and celebrate. We’ve put together a spring bucket list to ensure you’re getting the most out of your time in Nor...
Spring in Norfolk is a downright magical time. Trees throughout the city are showing off with their beautiful pink and white blossoms. Farmers markets are back with a full bounty of spring produce and homemade goodies. Outdoor recreation is in full swing with bikers, joggers and kayakers taking advantage of ideal temperatures. Plus, festival season is back and ready to entertain with a whole lineup of reasons to gather and celebrate. We’ve put together a spring bucket list to ensure you’re getting the most out of your time in Norfolk during this most wonderful season.
Norfolk is surrounded by water on three sides, which makes for many parks with waterfront views. Stop by Virginia Cheese Co. to pick up an assortment of fine cheeses and accoutrements, or grab sandwiches from Pendulum Fine Meats’ Luncheonette. Then make your way to a relaxing picnic overlooking the Hague near Chrysler Museum of Art or at Norfolk’s Plum Point Park along the Elizabeth River Trail to watch the sailboats glide by. Or for a downtown picnic, pick up a colorful throw from Pure Lagos and a Stockpot Toastie of the day and stroll across the street to Town Point Park for a picnic on the Elizabeth River.
Break out your baseball caps; it’s time to head to Harbor Park Stadium to cheer on the Norfolk Tides! The 2023 opener game is scheduled for April 4, but any of their games are a home run. Get ready for an ice cold beer, hot dogs (or veggie dogs) with all the toppings and a chance to meet Rip Tide and friends as you root, root, root for the home team.
While we may not be a top destination for cherry blossoms, Norfolk is still a cherry blossom dream once everything starts to bloom. Most of these beautiful trees can be found near Downtown or Freemason District, but Norfolk Botanical Garden has several throughout their lush landscape as well. Take shade underneath them, have a photoshoot or just awe in their vibrant pink flowers—and don’t forget to tag us @visitnorfolkva in your photos.
The sun rises in the east, and we are lucky to look out over East Beach and Ocean View to see the sun coming up brightly and beautifully over the Chesapeake Bay horizon. Grab a coffee to-go from COVA Brewing Co. and make your way to either location for a gorgeous sunrise over the water. Bring the pup! Dogs are allowed on both beaches until 10 a.m.
There’s nothing better than scoring locally grown fruits and veggies that were picked just hours earlier. Peruse our farmers markets in Norfolk and find some fun souvenirs like handmade soap and local honey, along with sun-soaked produce. In the springtime, look for locally grown spinach, asparagus, green onions, peas and strawberries.
The beautiful Norfolk Botanical Garden has over 60 themed gardens on the property, and there is always something to explore. Spring is a prime opportunity to behold some blooms. Daffodils begin in late February, mingling with lovely camellias in all hues. In April, azaleas take over in the most wonderful way, followed by a rainbow of tulips. Around May, the rose garden is an absolute dream for the eyes and the olfactory system.
That’s right, enjoy your time, even if the weather isn’t ideal. With spring comes showers (it’s how we get those May flowers, after all), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Explore our abundance of museums, including the Chrysler Museum of Art, Barry Art Museum, d’Art Center, Nauticus, Hermitage Museum & Gardens, MacArthur Memorial and the Hunter House Victorian Museum. Be sure to splash in a rain puddle on your way in! For more museums, click here.
Giant sculptures, iron statues and a life-sized kaleidoscope are pieces scattered throughout our city for your enjoyment, particularly in the NEON District. While there are more than 50 pieces of public art (and counting), we’ve rounded up some must-see pieces for you.
One of our favorite springtime excursions is hopping on our bicycles for a picturesque ride along Norfolk’s Elizabeth River Trail. This 10.5-mile-pathway takes you through some of Norfolk’s coolest neighborhoods, with plenty of spots along the way to take a break for a brew or a view. Need to rent bikes? Check out Pedego for an electric bike experience you’ll love.
There’s arguably no better time than spring to enjoy a meal outdoors. Luckily, Norfolk has some great options for patio dining. Check out Longboards for a surf shack vibe and marina views, or grab a bite of Italian food on a rooftop patio with garden lights at Leone’s. Check out more patio dining here.
The Virginia Zoo is located in the heart of the city. Stroll the 53 acres of lush gardens and visit its 700 furry, feathered and scaly animal friends. Witness the animals in their respective habitats; giraffes outstretching for leaves, monkeys swinging from branch to branch and Magpies singing songs.
Festival season in Norfolk springs into action starting with the Virginia International Tattoo in April. This annual event showcases inspirational military music, majestic massed pipes and drums, show-stopping drill team maneuvers and hundreds of international performers! Next up is the Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival, along with the Stockley Gardens Spring Arts Festival (held during the same weekend in early May). The Bayou Bon Vivant Cajun Music & Food Festival brings a taste of Louisiana to Norfolk while the Patriotic Festival celebrates the branches of our armed forces.
From the Chesapeake Bay to the Elizabeth River, Norfolk is surrounded by water; we have 144 miles of shoreline to be exact. This means an abundance of fresh seafood is available in our restaurants. You can find seafood in almost every form, including raw, grilled, baked, sautéed, boiled and fried to please everyone’s seafood flavor palate. Below are the best seafood restaurants in Norfolk.456 Fish456 Fish, located downtown...
From the Chesapeake Bay to the Elizabeth River, Norfolk is surrounded by water; we have 144 miles of shoreline to be exact. This means an abundance of fresh seafood is available in our restaurants. You can find seafood in almost every form, including raw, grilled, baked, sautéed, boiled and fried to please everyone’s seafood flavor palate. Below are the best seafood restaurants in Norfolk.
456 Fish, located downtown on Norfolk’s “restaurant row,” is famous for its potato chip-crusted crab cake. The entrée is served with a huge scoop of garlic whipped potatoes, locally sourced vegetables and a special “Inner Beauty” remoulade.
Freemason Abbey encompasses three pillars of our city: astounding art, rich history and a thriving culinary scene. The building that Freemason is housed in was once a church and dates back to 1873, making it one of the oldest establishments in the city. The restaurant’s stained glass windows are stunning works of art and original to the building. The seafood here is celebrated and awarded. Most popular is their award-winning she crab soup. Another scrumptious dish is the seafood fantasia (shrimp and sea scallops sautéed with peppers and onions, tossed with linguini in a white wine Old Bay cream sauce and topped with lump crab meat).
Hilton Norfolk’s The Main hotel houses three restaurants including the popular seafood restaurant Saltine, located at street level. Saltine offers an airy, open environment, with garage door windows that open to the main streets of downtown Norfolk. We recommend their VA Blue Crab Cake appetizer served with a celeriac remoulade and their whole roasted stuffed trout served with scallop mousse line, succotash, pickled watermelon rind relish and watermelon molasses.
This downtown bistro has been open since 1992 and offers rotating seasonal menus. Chef Todd Jurich uses only the freshest ingredients from local vegetable gardens and Virginia produce farms. The Bistro holds the Triple AAA Four Diamond Award and serves hand-harvested oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore that are served on the half shell, fried or in his famous oyster stew.
A bi-level seafood restaurant that is tucked away off Granby Street is Big Easy, as locals call it. They have a speakeasy-style atmosphere in their downstairs dining room with a full mahogany bar and a more upscale scene on the upper level. No matter which floor you dine on, their menu offers seafood with a cajun creole twist.
With beautiful, sweeping views of the Elizabeth River, Stripers offers a variety of fresh catch seafood inside the Waterside District. Their outdoor patio makes for the best ambiance when slurping down an oyster or snacking on their bacon-wrapped scallops. Entrees range from light mahi tacos to more filling dishes like their seafood pasta (shrimp, scallops, mussels, tomatoes and spinach in a white wine butter sauce over penne pasta and served with toasted bread).
Located in the heart of Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood, AW Shucks is an unpretentious, shanty seafood restaurant where locals can be found. Their laid-back atmosphere makes slurping down a fresh oyster most enjoyable. Their seafood selection is endless, and their raw bar is extensive with locally caught oysters, shrimp, crab, clams and mussels.
Take advantage of the stunningly spectacular prepared raw fish (crudo) available at this Ghent restaurant that specializes in Spanish tapas. Choose from raw salmon, tuna or bay scallop, each prepared in a special blend of oils and seasonings. Prefer cooked over crudo? They’re well known for their octopus with marinated white beans, mussels with chorizo and saffron broth, or sautéed shrimp or calamari.
Known for both seafood and barbecue, The Fishin’ Pig couples the finest from land and sea to offer a menu that’s pleasing to all. Their seafood appetizers include Better Than Bang Bang Shrimp and blacked ahi tuna. Entree favorites are creole baked salmon, Billy’s seafood platter, Caribbean jerk redfish, plus baskets with either fried Alaskan pollock or catfish. Finally, their delicious shrimp, catfish or blackened tuna can be found on tacos, salads and sandwiches.
Longboards sits on the docks of East Beach Marina, where their Hawaiian tiki decor will make you want to relax and sip a Mai Tai all day long. Their seafood dishes range from fish tacos and seafood platters to their big fish sandwich (fried, wild-caught Atlantic cod, lettuce and tomato topped with sunset remoulade sauce). Or, go all in with their crab and bacon burger.
Looking for a water view with your seafood? Then head to Stony’s! They have a great screened-in outdoor space to keep the summertime buzzing of bugs away from you while you dive into their seafood mac and cheese (lobster, scallops, crab and shrimp tossed in cajun cream sauce). Also a hit with the locals is their fresh catch sandwich!
Dive down into the local culture to discover the buried treasure known as Captain Groovy’s, a haven for the hungry, thirsty and sandy. Their breezy atmosphere, friendly staff and appetizing morsels have earned a place in the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike.
Downtown Norfolk is the perfect destination for a fun-filled weekend. It’s got with never-ending historic sites, attractions, a waterfront, tours and endless places to munch and mingle. Make sure you stop by the VisitNorfolk Visitor Center for free maps, guides and recommendations to help you make the most of your stay here. While you’re here, browse our ...
Downtown Norfolk is the perfect destination for a fun-filled weekend. It’s got with never-ending historic sites, attractions, a waterfront, tours and endless places to munch and mingle. Make sure you stop by the VisitNorfolk Visitor Center for free maps, guides and recommendations to help you make the most of your stay here. While you’re here, browse our Mermaid Market to find some Norfolk- and Virginia-centric gifts to remember the best moments.
While strolling through Downtown and visiting these destinations, you can check into the spots through our Discover Downtown Pass and earn your way to some Norfolk freebies. You will earn free swag for every five check-ins; no purchase required. Download the free pass here!
Downtown Norfolk is filled with many attractions and shops, but one of the best parts is the city’s bikeability. Venture to Pedego bike shop, located within MacArthur Square, for electric bike rentals to explore our 12 tight-knit blocks—water views of the Elizabeth River, the Cannonball Trail, Harbor Park, the Battleship Wisconsin and Freemason District are all among the things you may see while rolling through our streets.
Once you’re tuckered out from pedaling, make your way to Leone’s on Granby Street for a pre-dinner cocktail. It’s Norfolk’s only Italian rooftop restaurant and offers sweeping views of Norfolk’s famous historic Granby Street. Cocktails are classics with an Italian twist: Mojito Italiano, Limoncello Martini and Margarita Italiano, for example. Wines and beers are available as well.
Next, head to Codex, a modern American eatery featuring a fabulous selection of farm-to-table dining that mixes upscale food and a resolutely casual vibe. They serve rare and hard-to-find beers and wines, as well as curated cocktails. Start out with oysters served with yuzu mignonette, or go for a twist on a Southern favorite like pimento cheese or a chicken liver tart with a pistachio crust. For entrees, you’ll find anything from freshly caught seafood to top-notch burgers.
Today will be busy, but fueling up at Stockpot will give you all the energy you need to make it through a full day of exploration. Stockpot’s menu is all about healthy comfort foods created with fresh ingredients that are full of nutrients. You won’t feel guilty eating options like their Southender, a rosemary biscuit with house-made sausage, pimento cheese, an over-easy egg and a side of strawberries. Their vegan chocolate oats bowl features cocoa-coconut overnight oats, sliced banana, honey and toasted hemp seed.
Now, onto shopping. One of Stockpot’s exits feeds you directly into Selden Market, an eclectic, historic shopping hall that features local artisans, chefs and new pop-up shops weekly. Because it is ever-changing, you’ll see new vendors each time you visit. Shoppers may find an assortment of offerings like handmade leather goods, unique jewelry, candles, international cuisine and more.
Now, head over to the Freemason District to grab one of the best baguette sandwiches in the city. Virginia Cheese Company offers lunchtime bites on fresh, locally made breads. Their Lemon Whipped Feta features turkey, bacon, tomato, arugula and lemon whipped feta served on a warm baguette. While we love their classic sandwiches, they are best known for their cut-to-order cheese counter. Their variety is endless and the best place to create a custom cheese board. They also sell wine, ciders, spreads, crackers and more!
Neighboring The Virginia Cheese Co. is a Norfolk favorite, Cure Coffeehouse. Cure is a petite kitchen in historic Freemason District that turns out amazing coffee concoctions, pastries and more. They exclusively serve Counter Culture Coffee from Durham, N.C. and take pride in the shop’s comfortable, laid back and welcoming environment.
Now that you’re fully caffeinated, explore the Hunter House Victorian Museum built in 1894 for local merchant and banker James Wilson Hunter and his family. It was designed and built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and serves as a rich example of Victorian decorative arts and architecture. Be sure to call ahead to schedule a tour.
Walk or bike along the Elizabeth River Trail (ERT). This 10.5-mile urban trail takes you from Norfolk State University through Downtown, past the Battleship Wisconsin through the Freemason District all the way to the Lochhaven neighborhood where you will find the Hermitage Museum.
Time to slow down for the day and enjoy dinner and drinks. After freshening up, head to Gershwin’s, a swanky piano lounge along Granby Street. While there is no fancy dress code required, their wait staff dons tuxedos to coincides with their speakeasy scene. Gershwins serves up elevated dishes and specialty cocktails like their Grand Illumination, Makers Mark smoked directly in front of you with cherry wood. While your taste buds are relishing one of their New York Strip steak entrees, your earbuds will be humming to the tunes of Frank Sinatra or Cole Porter music.
Once the meal is complete, take a stroll down brightly-lit, historic Granby Street and make your way to Norfolk’s high-end rooftop beer garden, Grain. Grain has sweeping views of the Elizabeth River, a birds-eye view of Granby Street and a unique head-on perspective of the Downtown icon, the Battleship Wisconsin. Grain hosts live music as well, with live performers ranging from country to rock. While Grain has more than 50 beers on tap, know that they save spots for local breweries for you to try.
Stroll the picturesque gardens that surround the Pagoda, a vibrant iconic Tawainese building located along the Elizabeth River Trail, where bamboo sways with the wind and water rushes through fountains, making for the perfect zen morning in the heart of Norfolk.
Once your morning walk is over, head to Four Eleven York for brunch, and bring your appetite! They put together some incredible classic brunch dishes like their French Toast made with housemade brioche topped with maple syrup. Their more unique meals like fried oyster Benedict features Wicked Salt oysters, crispy bok choy, English muffin and hollandaise. Oftentimes, Four Eleven treats guests to something truly special: their house-made doughnuts created in a variety of yummy flavors.
A final site to see, Fort Norfolk is the last remaining of 19 harborfront forts authorized in 1794 by President George Washington. In the Civil War, Confederate forces seized the fort and used its magazine to supply the CSS Virginia (Merrimack) during its battle with the USS Monitor. In 1862, the fort was recaptured by the Union Army and used as a prison. Guided tours are available from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.