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Town Point Park

Town Point Park

Courtesy of Norfolk Festevents

The waterfront park in downtown Norfolk offers nature, history, activities and great eats.

Originally the site of forts to protect Norfolk from invasion, Town Point Park in the heart of downtown’s business district is now the epicenter of the city. The eight-acre green space along the banks of the Elizabeth River is easily accessible (arrive by boat, ferry, water taxi, car, bike or on foot) and boasts interactive fountains, landscaped walking paths, gourmet eats and an array of special events for you to catch while in town. Here, a guide to help navigate your visit.

DO: The best way to explore Town Point Park is via the self-guided trails that run throughout the park and beyond. History buffs shouldn’t miss the Cannonball Trail, which helps tell the story of the city’s rich history and culture. For scenic views of the river and downtown Norfolk, try the Elizabeth River Trail, a former railroad spur turned walking and bike path. Art-lovers should be on the lookout for Mermaids on Parade, an innovative citywide art project featuring more than 375 mermaid sculptures designed by local artists.

SEE: While walking or biking the trails, make sure to stop to see the variety of monuments and museums honoring those who have served the U.S. armed forces. Highlights include the Armed Forces Memorial, The Homecoming statue, Battleship Wisconsin, Hampton Roads Naval Museum (on the second floor of Nauticus) and The Lone Sailor statue, which is surrounded by eight bronze plaques to commemorate Norfolk-based ships that met tragedy and the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.

PLAY: When you need a break head to the park’s summer hotspot, TowneBank Fountain Park. Bring a book or laptop and enjoy free Wi-Fi while lounging in a comfy chair, at a bistro-style table or under a colorful umbrella. On a hot day, cool off in the interactive fountain with 28 water jets shooting up to 12 feet into the air. From April through October you’ll find an array of activities, including live music, movies, exercise programs, games of chess, beanbag toss, opera, theatre, dance and much more.

EAT: Before you leave, walk over to Omar’s Fountain Café for a bite to eat. Owner Omar Boukhriss is a local restaurateur who serves up freshly prepared dishes for lunch and dinner while the weather is warm. See a breathtaking sunset over the river or watch the dancing fountain illuminated show while enjoying a crab cake sandwich or a turkey and havarti panini with honey mustard. Free live entertainment and special themed menus are scheduled from May to early October.

IF YOU GO:
The park is located on Waterside Drive along the downtown Norfolk waterfront.
TowneBank Fountain Park Hours: Tu.-Su. 11 a.m.–sunset
Omar’s Fountain Café Hours: Lunch: Tu.-Su. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: W 5-10 p.m., F 5-9 p.m., Sa. 5-10 p.m. (Extended hours during special events.) Reach the café at 757-632-4990.
Call 757-441-2345 for more information.

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