Being part of a military family has afforded me the opportunity to live throughout the United States; one of which was in Norfolk, Virginia. Everywhere you walk you discover a piece of history “if” you’re looking for it. The oceanfront, amusement parks, and festivals are right at your fingertips, but if you want to really experience Norfolk try visiting one of their many museums.
“The Chrysler Museum” is located at 245 West Olney Road in downtown Norfolk. Here you can see “American Painting and Sculpture” exhibits such as “Colonial Folk Painting” and “American Impressionism,” “Contemporary Art” exhibits featuring “Elizabeth Murray” and “Sam Gilliam,” and “Decorative Art” exhibits with pieces from “Louis Majorelle” and “Emile Galle.” In addition to these you can watch films, concerts, and attend a trunk show. Business hours are Wednesday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Thursday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit www.chrysler.org for more information or call 757-664-6200.
“Hermitage Museum and Gardens” is surrounded by 12 acres of formal gardens and natural wetlands. It’s home to a world-wide art collection and contemporary exhibition galleries. “The Hermitage Museum and Gardens” is bordered on three sides by the “Lafayette River” and just minutes to the largest U.S. naval base. Business hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm; closed Wednesdays, Thursdays, and federal holidays. Visit them at 7637 North Shore Road or for more information log on to www.hermitagefoundation.org.
“The Hunter House Victorian Museum” was built in 1894 as a family home for Mr. James William Hunter, his wife Lizzy Ayer Barnes Hunter, and their 3 children. The children didn’t marry and continued to live in the family home throughout their adulthood. Eloise Hunter was the last surviving member of the family and created “The Hunter Foundation.” As per her will her home would be operated as a museum containing all the decorative pieces and furniture from the Victorian Era. “The Hunter House Victorian Museum” hosts special tours, exhibits, and events from April through December and is located at 240 West Freemason Street. Call 757-623-9814 for hours, admission fees, and events or visit them on line at www.hunterhousemuseum.org.
“The Naval Shipyard Museum” is located at 2 High Street on the Portsmouth Virginia’s waterfront. This is America’s oldest and largest naval shipyard covering over 250 years of Portsmouth’s History. The shipyard offers history from Colonial to Civil War Times where you’ll see military artifacts, uniforms, and model ships including exhibits that portray life in the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm; closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information log on to www.portsnavalmuseums.com or call 757-393-8591.
There are many places to visit when vacationing in Virginia, so whether you’re in town for a weekend or a full week make sure to put these museums on your itinerary.