Moving to Norfolk

Welcome to the gateway of your next adventure - moving to Norfolk, VA! Nestled between the spirited churn of the Atlantic and the tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay, there lies a community that brims with coastal charm yet pulses with a vibrant urban beat. Picture living in a region rich in history and culture, complemented with modern amenities and stunning natural beauty. Whether you're relocating for work, retiring by the sea, or simply craving a fresh start, our comprehensive Norfolk relocation guide weaves essential information with local insight smoothly turning your move from overwhelming to exciting. Buckle up, let's jump-start your journey!

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What to Know Before Moving to Norfolk

1. It's not Norfolk, it's Nor-Fok!

First things first, let's get the pronunciation right! If you've been saying Nor-folk, as in "folk music," you've been doing it wrong. The locals prefer Nor-Fok, pronounced as 'Naw-fok'. Now you're sounding local and ready to fit in, Nor-Fok style!

2. The Weather is a Mixbag

Climate is a significant factor to consider when moving to a new place. In Norfolk, you're going to face all four seasons. Winters can drift down to the 30s, summers can spike into the 90s, but spring and autumn are mild and offer respite. Bound by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, Norfolk can occasionally play host to hurricanes, too. Be prepared, weather-wise, for a bit of an adventure!

3. Stardom Struck Streets

Did you know Norfolk is home to famous celebrities like Missy Elliott and Timbaland? The city's rich culture and vibrant arts scene surely must have something to do with it. Norfolk has an exciting music scene with festivals such as the Bayou Boogaloo Music & Cajun Food Festival making summer weekends delightful. So who knows, you might just bump into a celebrity at the next music festival!

4. Your Seafood Dreams Come True

Buckle up seafood lovers! Located on the Chesapeake Bay and close to the Atlantic Ocean, Norfolk is a seafood lover's paradise. Chesapeake Bay crabs and Lynnhaven oysters are cherished with local pride, but you're going to find so much more to whet your appetite here. Norfolk's annual Harborfest is a seafood enthusiast's heaven and shouldn't be missed.

5. The Mermaid Mystery

Ever wondered what's with Norfolk's obsession with mermaids? Well, they are the city's symbol and are part of a public art program started in 1999 known as "Mermaids on Parade". These fantastic creations are found throughout the city, in various sizes and designs, making the place even more vibrant. So get ready to find these sea creatures, not in the water, but around every corner!

6. The Navy's in the Neighborhood

Get ready to salute! Norfolk is home to the world's largest naval base, the Naval Station Norfolk. This brings a fantastic mix of culture and diversity to the city, as people from all over the globe come here to serve. You'll also find the extraordinary Nauticus - a maritime-themed science center and museum, featuring the Battleship Wisconsin. So prepare yourself for a wonderful blend of knowledge, entertainment, and diversity.

In conclusion, with its rich history, military presence, fantastic culture, unique culinary scene and the ubiquitous mermaids, Norfolk offers an enticing and vibrant lifestyle. If you're planning a move, this ocean-side city gives you a fascinating mix of flavors and experiences in the lap of Virginia's serene natural beauty. Norfolk might just be the place where your dreams find a dock!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Norfolk

Pros of Living in Norfolk

Rich Historical and Cultural Scene

Norfolk, VA, has a wide variety of historic landmarks and cultural institutions. Here you can explore the Naval Station Norfolk, Chrysler Museum of Art, or take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of the Freemason District. The city also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate its diverse cultural heritage.

Oceanfront Living

Being situated on the Chesapeake Bay means Norfolk offers a beautiful oceanfront and a myriad of water-related activities. The scenic views and recreational options like sailing, fishing, or simply relaxing on the beach contribute to the overall quality of life in the city.

Fine Dining and Breweries

Norfolk is known for its vibrant food scene which includes everything from farm-to-table restaurants to local breweries. The Granby Street and Ghent district are popular food destinations showcasing the city's culinary richness and variety.

Outdoor Activities

Access to diverse recreational activities is another positive for Norfolk residents. With its numerous parks, trails, and botanical gardens, Norfolk is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, the temperate climate allows for year-round outdoor enjoyment.

Naval Presence

Home to the largest naval base in the world, Norfolk has a strong military presence that brings with it job opportunities and a sense of community and patriotism. The Department of Defense employs many Norfolk residents, providing a stable local economy.

Cons of Living in Norfolk

Weather Extremes

Norfolk residents can experience a fair share of weather extremes such as hurricanes and high humidity during the summer months. This can lead to discomfort and potential property damage, which necessitates adequate insurance coverage.

Traffic and Transportation

As with any city, Norfolk can have heavy traffic, especially during rush hour. The city does have public transportation, but it may not be as efficient or comprehensive as in larger metro areas, making a car a necessity for most residents.

Cost of Living

While less expensive than cities like New York or San Francisco, the cost of living in Norfolk is higher than the national average. This is due in part to the costs associated with oceanfront living and the popularity of certain neighborhoods.

Education Quality Varies

While there are excellent private schools in Norfolk, the quality of public schools can be inconsistent. It's important for families considering a move to Norfolk to research multiple schools before deciding on a neighborhood.

Crime Rate

Although efforts have been made to reduce crime in Norfolk, the city has a higher crime rate compared to some other U.S. cities. However, it's worth noting that crime rates can vary significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Modern day picture of Norfolk, VA highlighting pros and cons of living in Norfolk, VA

Is Norfolk a Good Place to Live?

Norfolk, VA is a great place to live because of its thriving arts scene, beautiful water views, and historical charm. It is home to a variety of outdoor activities and has an environment friendly for families, students, and military personnel. The city also has a unique blend of cultures that result in an array of delicious cuisines available at local eateries.

What Is Norfolk Famous For?


Norfolk Naval Station

Known as the world\'s largest naval station, Norfolk Naval Station homes the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The hustle-bustle of aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines mark the city's skyline and echo its rich naval history.

Virginia Zoo

Boasting a wide-ranging assortment of animals from every corner of the world, the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk is a must-visit for kids and adults alike. Bask in the diversity of species and engage in interactive zoo experiences that spark curiosity and conservation inspiration!

Nauticus Maritime Centre

A maritime lover's paradise, the Nauticus Maritime Centre is both a museum and a center for science. Take a journey through maritime history, explore interactive exhibits, walk the deck of the Battleship Wisconsin, or delve into the depths with submarine-themed displays.

Town Point Park

Town Point Park is Norfolk's favorite gathering spot for community festivals and concerts. From the entrancing Virginia Wine Festival to the lively Norfolk Harborfest, the park hosts a series of events throughout the year, all against the backdrop of a stunning waterfront.

' Capital building of Norfolk, VA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Norfolk, VA, as of 2023, the property tax rate is $1.25 per $100 of assessed value, which is one of the highest in the state of Virginia. Compared to the national average property tax rate, Norfolk's rate is also higher, leading to higher yearly costs for homeowners.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Norfolk is composed of the Virginia state tax of 4.3%, a 1% local tax, and an additional 1% on facilities related to eating and lodging, totaling to 6.3%. While this rate is consistent with the overall state sales tax, it is slightly higher than the average US sales tax of around 5.7%.

Income Tax

Virginia's income tax is a progressive system with rates ranging from 2% to 5.75%, and Norfolk residents are subject to these rates. These values are comparably lower than the national average state income tax rates, allowing for a greater net income for residents.

Housing Market

The Norfolk, VA housing market offers significant value compared to other US regions. As of 2021, the median home value in Norfolk is $217,245, which is considerably lower than the national median. This affordability, coupled with a low cost of living, makes it attractive for homebuyers. However, the market is very competitive with homes selling approximately 2% above the listed price. For renters, average rent is about $1,100 per month for a single-bedroom apartment, slightly below the national average. However, demand typically outpaces supply, meaning potential tenants must act quickly to secure suitable accommodation.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Norfolk, VA is relatively moderate compared to other American cities. This cost includes housing, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and miscellaneous expenses. Norfolk is notably more affordable than cities like New York or San Francisco, but slightly higher than the national average. The most significant factor is housing, with median home prices below the national average. However, healthcare costs are slightly higher than average. Overall, Norfolk offers a balanced cost of living, providing a coastal lifestyle that can be more financially manageable compared to other coastal cities.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Norfolk, VA is situated in the moderate, humid subtropical climate zone that culminates in a blend of delightful seasons. Summers are typically warm and humid, with temperatures peaking in the high 80s (F). Winters are relatively mild, with average temperatures hovering in the 40s. The city garners an annual precipitation of 47 inches, more than the national average. Fall and spring usually bring pleasant temperatures and subtle rainfall, acclaiming an appealing transition between seasons. However, Norfolk's coastal positioning subjects it to several nature-induced risks. The city experiences occasional hurricanes, particularly between June and November. It also contends with nor'easters in the winter which may cause coastal flooding. Sea-level rise due to climate change has posed increased flooding risk too. Despite these occasional hazards, Norfolk remains a charming waterside city characterized by its warm climate and significant natural beauty.

Typical weather in Norfolk, VA

Economy & Job Market

* Defense and Aerospace Industries

* Tourism

* Manufacturing and Industrial

* Port and Maritime Industry

* Health and Medical Services

When it comes to Norfolk, VA, the economic scene is as interesting as the city's tantalizing crab cakes! With deep historic roots in defense and aerospace industries, thanks to the presence of the naval base, Norfolk's economy has historically thrived. Fast forward to the present day, and the city has developed a healthy and diverse economic environment. Norfolk has become a regional center for the maritime industry thanks to its prime location on the Chesapeake Bay. Manufacturing and industrial sectors are flexing their muscles too, and the city has a escalating presence in health and medical services. But let's not forget its tourism industry! The city's rich history, vibrant arts scene, captivating waterfront views, and finger-licking southern cuisine play a big role in attracting millions of tourists each year.

If you're packing your bags and moving to Norfolk, VA, take a deep breath and don't worry about the job market. Dive right in! Norfolk boasts an employment rate consistently above the national average. Most job opportunities revolve around the city's top industries, with a ton of jobs in government services, manufacturing, port operations, and healthcare. The defense sector, including the Department of Defense and the US Navy, is a major employer here, so if you have a background in these areas, you're in luck! The bustling tourism industry often has job openings in hospitality--from swanky hotels and gourmet restaurants to captivating museums and lively performing arts centers. As for healthcare, the presence of top-class hospitals, including the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, offer numerous job opportunities for medical professionals. So, unleash your professional prowess and get ready to make waves in Norfolk!

Traffic and Transportation

Greetings from Norfolk, a city where you can sail to work or catch a bus. Our average commute time is about 20 minutes, puts a fresh spin on 'going on a road trip'. Don't fret, we're teasing! Your morning coffee will still be hot when you clock in.

Don't feel like driving? Welcome to the world of Hampton Roads Transit, our public commuting carrier. Jump on a bus, light rail, or ferry and forget the stress of traffic. Enjoy 'rush hour' with riverside views or fascinating downtown scenery.

Is your wanderlust rearing its head? Our sky-chariot, the Norfolk International Airport, is well-equipped to whisk you away. With airlines galore, air travel from Norfolk is your passport to domestic and international destinations. Trust us -- our transportation is nothing short of a magic carpet ride!

What is the traffic like in Norfolk, VA?

Best Neighborhoods in Norfolk

1. Ghent

Craving a neighborhood with a healthy dose of history, charm, and a scenic environment? Welcome to Ghent! Known for its historic homes, tree-lined streets, and an impressive array of dining options, Ghent has something for everyone. For lovers of art, the Chrysler Museum and the up-and-coming NEON Arts District won't disappoint. Ghent's laidback ambiance makes it an ideal spot for evening walks or post-work unwindings, with waterside views that are undeniably therapeutic.

2. Downtown

For the urbanite in search of a pulsating live-work-play scenario, Downtown Norfolk is a perfect fit. This neighborhood boasts an exciting blend of culture, entertainment, shopping, and dining options. The Slover Library, a combination of evolving technologies and historical architecture, captures the spirit of this region. Along its cobblestone streets, you'll find Granby Street, famously regarded as 'restaurant row,' showcasing a diverse and delectable culinary scene. Plus, the stunning waterfront and Town Point Park is perfect for scenic strolls and outdoor concerts.

3. East Beach

Yearning for a more laid-back, beach-town atmosphere? East Beach is your destination. This beautiful neighborhood, located on the Chesapeake Bay, is a Top-20 nationally recognized community. It offers a prime spot for soaking up the sun, surfing, or just relaxing with a good book on the beach. Additionally, the neighborhood is lined with a unique setup of restaurants and local boutiques, with beautiful homes designed in classic coastal architecture style that gives off an incredible beach-town vibe.

4. Larchmont/Edgewater

Larchmont/Edgewater has a charm that instantly appeals to families. The neighborhood is one of Norfolk's oldest suburbs and home to Old Dominion University. It spells tranquility with tree-lined boulevards, stately homes, and a strong sense of community. The streets are pedestrian-friendly, ideal for jogs, bike rides, and leisure walks. The local library, great schools, and vicinity to both the Norfolk Yacht & Country Club and the tranquil Elizabeth River add to the long list of perks.

5. Lambert's Point

Couple an industrial past with modern renovations, and you've got Lambert's Point. This neighborhood is a hidden gem that's quickly gaining popularity among young professionals. Home to the Lambert's Point Golf Club, a spot with beautiful vistas of the Elizabeth River, it also features a community park, a modern recreation center, and lively eateries. Being in close proximity to Old Dominion University brings a youthful and dynamic vibe to the neighborhood, making it an awesome spot to live in Norfolk.

In conclusion, Norfolk, VA, has a range of neighborhoods to cater to diverse lifestyle preferences, whether you're a history buff, city slicker, beach lover, family-oriented person, or a young professional. Each neighborhood offers its unique spin on life in Norfolk and boasts attributes that make it especially wonderful. So, grab your suitcases and let your Norfolk adventure begin!

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Things to Do


Welcome to Norfolk, Virginia! This bustling coastal city is a treasure trove when it comes to entertainment and attractions. With its rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant nightlife, there's always something new and exciting to see and do in Norfolk. In no particular order, here are seven must-do items to add to your Norfolk bucket list. Why not scratch beneath the surface of this charming city and allow us to guide you through a few hidden gems.

1. Explore the Norfolk Botanical Garden

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is the perfect escape from the busy city. Spanning over 175 magnificent acres, the garden features more than 60 different themed gardens, a butterfly house, a tropical display, and even bike trails. This lush, multicolored oasis is perfect for nature lovers who like to take leisurely walks amidst the flowers, plants, and trees. The tram tour is highly recommended for first-time visitors!

2. Visit the Chrysler Museum of Art

Whether you're an art lover or not, a trip to the Chrysler Museum of Art will steal your breath away. With a collection of over 30,000 pieces from around the world and across various time periods, it's a great option for a rainy day. But it's not all art! The museum also houses a fantastic glass studio, offering live demonstrations and workshops.

3. Dig into Norfolk's Food Scene

Don't just feed your soul with art and natural beauty; spoil your taste buds too! Norfolk's food scene is booming with diverse delectable menus. From mouth-watering seafood to Southern comfort food and vegan delights, Norfolk's food scene caters to all palates.

4. Come Aboard the USS Wisconsin

As one of the largest and last battleships built by the U.S. Navy, the now-museum ship USS Wisconsin is an absolute must-visit. Walk along the teakwood decks or venture below to the enlisted sailors' quarters as part of the self-guided tour - it's a captivating experience. It's docked next to the fantastic Nauticus, a maritime-themed science center.

5. Take a Walking Tour of West Freemason

This may seem a little off-beat, but the West Freemason area in downtown Norfolk is a charming district worth strolling through. With cobblestone streets, restored period homes, and quiet parks, it's like stepping back in time.

6. Watch a Performance at the Attucks Theatre

This little-known historic theater is an absolute hidden gem. The Oldest Remaining Theater in the United States which catered specifically to African Americans, the Attucks Theatre, is a site of stunning beauty. It presents a range of performances throughout the year, from blues and jazz to contemporary pop and dramatic presentations.

7. Discover the Neon District

The last stop on our list is the thriving and hip Neon District. Its combination of public art installations, murals, and galleries make this cultural neighborhood a hotspot for both locals and tourists. Make sure to explore this lively and artistic corner of Norfolk at night when neon lights frame the charisma of this district.

With unbeatable cultural attractions, delectable culinary offerings, significant historical spots, and a budding art scene, Norfolk, Virginia, never fails to surprise and captivate its visitors. Whether you find peace in serene botanical gardens, gain knowledge at historic sites, or indulge in local delicacies, Norfolk has something for everyone, waiting to be explored. Soon enough, you will certainly feel at home in this cozy coastal city of Virginia.

' Things to do in Norfolk, VA?

Find Movers for Your Norfolk Relocation

After discovering all that Norfolk, VA has to offer from our comprehensive guide, you may already be planning your big move. Why not start by ensuring a smooth transition? Request a free quote from Great Guys Moving, a trusted partner in the moving industry. They handpick the finest, insured, and certified movers to meet your specific needs. From affordable pricing to quality service, make your relocation as stress-free as possible. Just a few clicks and you will be connected with reputable moving companies equipped to service your move. Initiate your wonderful journey to Norfolk by securing a free moving quote now.

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