Norfolk or Portsmouth?

Old Sep 9th, 2001, 07:34 PM
Sylvia Hutson
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Norfolk or Portsmouth?

We're planning an October trip to Virginia. We'll be in Charlottesville and Williamsburg and then will have one night in either Portsmouth or Norfolk. After reading about the area, I can't decide which would be best. I would like to stay in an area with water, shops, restaurants, etc. We'll be there on Sunday, leaving on Monday driving from Williamsburg. Any advice on hotels and restaurants will be appreciated.
Old Sep 9th, 2001, 08:34 PM
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After Charlottesvill and Williamsburg, I'm afraid you may be a little dissappointed by Norfolk or Porsmouth. There are a few interesting sites in Norlfolk, but I would rather stay at the old Chamberlain Hotel (located on Fort Monroe)in Hampton or even in the V. Beach area. It should only take an hour to drive from Williamsburg down 64 to Tidewater. Some sites to consider in the area: Fort Monroe's Civil War fort, Yorktown battlefields and Yorktown, Newport New's Maritime Museum, the Cape Henry Lighthouses at the entrance to the Chespeake Bay. I'm not too fond of the rows of hotels along the V. Beach Boardwalk, but there are gook restaurants in V. Beach (my alltime favorite Italian restaurant Pasta y Pani)with chef Angelo Serpi.
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 06:25 AM
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I vote for Portsmouth. We visited there in August and had a great time. Stayed in Old Towne Portsmouth at a Holiday Inn, right on the Elizabeth River. We went to an outdoor concert at the Intelos Pavillion, which was within walking distance. We took a wonderful trolley tour around Old Towne. There is a beautiful new hotel right on the water. I think it is called the Renaissance. There are some small museum type places to visit. The next day we took a water taxi for 75 cents to Norfolk. The taxi is very close to both hotels. It is a 7 minute ride to Norfolk. We went to Nautica and toured the USS Wisconsin for free!! You do not need to pay to get into Nautica to tour the Wisconsin. We shopped at Waterside and ate there too. It was a great weekend. Reasonable priced. We are in our forties and had three kids with us in the 8-9 age range. They loved it. I vote for this over the is much different and has interesting things to do!! Good Luck!
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 06:33 AM
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The harbor area is quite different from Charlottesville or Williamsburg, but I doubt you will be disappointed. There are 2 hotels in Portsmouth on the harbor facing the downtown Norfolk skyline--the new Renaissance Hotel, and Holiday Inn. Water taxis dock near both and run frequently across to Norfolk--about 5 minutes to cross, only 75 cents each way. There are some antique shoppes downtown Portsmouth harbor area, but otherwise, I'd stay on the Norfolk side. Sheraton Waterside, Marriott, and the James Madison are good choices downtown. Lots of shopping, museums, and inexpensive eateries on the Norfolk side. In the same weekend you could take in an opera, see a VanGogh exhibit, watch a AAA baseball game, shop 'til you drop, have inexpensive seafood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, take a harbor cruise, take in a concert or festival, and never need a car. The downtown NET busses are free (last I checked).
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 07:20 AM
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Hi Sylvia,

I live in that area and with the water taxi, you can easily explore both cities, although my vote goes to downtown Norfolk. The USS Wisconsin, Nauticus, Waterside, MacArthur Center (upscale shopping mall), Ghent area, etc. You won't lack things for to do! I can't help with hotel suggestions, since I'm a resident, but if you have particular kinds of foods you like, I can give my suggestions, although my favorite restaurants are in VA Beach and I'm not sure you'll want to do a lot of driving with just one day/night there. You're visiting this area at a wonderful time of year - humidity way down and daytime highs in the 70's for the most part.

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