Home to the world's largest naval base, it's not surprising that Norfolk had a reputation as a rowdy port town filled with drunken sailors. In recent years, the city has worked hard to clean up its image through development, gentrification and focusing on its burgeoning arts scene. Norfolk is now the state's second-largest city, with a diverse population of 243,000. But at the end of the day, it still revolves around the US Navy, as evident by the frequent sights of mammoth warships offshore and sounds of screaming fighter jets above.
There are two visitor centers: Interstate and Downtown. The historic Ghent district, west of the city center, is where this town's refugee population of artsy types, foodies and cappuccino-lovers flocks.