Words and Image courtesy of the Downtown Norfolk Council.
Downtown Norfolk Council has partnered with Norfolk Tour Company to offer FREE monthly walking tours of the NEON District and Downtown Norfolk. The tours begin in April and run through December 2021. The 21 walking tours include the NEON District, a tour highlighting the importance of the Granby Street corridor, a history of Downtown theater tour, an urban design-themed tour focusing on Downtown's redevelopment, the Elizabeth River Trail, as well as tours of historic homes and churches in Downtown.
“Downtown Norfolk has so many unique attributes and stories to tell that we are excited to be able to share this with the community,” said Downtown Norfolk Council President and CEO Mary Miller. “We continually look for new opportunities to safely gather in person and bring people here to appreciate everything we have Downtown.”
The NEON District tours explore more than 93 pieces of public art and a multitude of local businesses that make up the neighborhood fabric. The tours begin at The Plot at the corner of Granby Street and Olney Road. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a friend (furry ones welcome too!). NEON District public parking is available on the street, at the Plot's parking lot, Chrysler Museum of Art and the Harrison Opera House lot. The NEON District Tour Facebook event pages offer more information and tour details.
NEON District Walking Tours
Thursday, Oct. 21: Two tours during the NEON Festival (time TBD)
Friday, Oct. 22: Two tours during the NEON Festival (time TBD)
Downtown Norfolk Walking Tours
Friday, April 2 @ 6 pm Houses of Worship
Friday, May 14 @ 6:30 Historic Houses
Saturday, June 12 @ 7 pm Granby Street
Friday, Sept. 24 @ 6 pm Historic Theaters: A Downtown Norfolk Walking Tour
Friday, Oct. 1 @ 5:30 pm Elizabeth River Waterfront
Saturday, Nov. 6 @ 2:30 pm Urban Design
Saturday, Nov. 20 @ 6 pm Houses of Worship
Due to COVID-19, tour attendees will not enter any indoor spaces; the entire tour will be outdoors, but masks are encouraged; everyone will be required to stand at least six feet apart; and the tour guide will have a speaker and mic so that attendees can remain physically distant and still hear the program.
"I am very excited to be expanding the partnership with Downtown Norfolk Council,” said Joshua Weinstein, owner of Norfolk Tour Company. “The increase in vibrant activities in the city is very encouraging. We believe our tour programming will further enrich Downtown Norfolk life by highlighting its attractions and architecture, as well as the beauty and intrigue of its stories. We offer these tours to the public for free, thanks to DNC."
These popular tours started in 2018, and participants include locals and tourists. Norfolk Tour Company was founded in 2018 by Joshua Weinstein, who has spent years crafting tour programming of Norfolk's historic cemeteries, the Chrysler Museum and the NEON District. In addition to local walking tour programs focusing on history, public art, architecture and food, Norfolk Tour Company also provides tours, step-on guides, escorts and tour assistants to out-of-town groups visiting Norfolk. For more information, please visit toursofnorfolk.com.
Norfolk’s first official arts district, NEON (New Energy of Norfolk), is home to long-time cultural institutions like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House as well as studio-based ventures like d’Art Center and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, all providing artists a place to make, create and show. Within a few short blocks you can see a muralist at work, take in an improv comedy performance at Push Comedy Theater, watch a live glass-working demonstration, shop for unique home goods, get a tattoo or dine out at an eclectic restaurant. Learn more at NEONNFK.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Downtown Norfolk Council is a private, not-for-profit membership organization comprised of businesses and individuals working toward a dynamic, attractive and prosperous Downtown. DNC also manages the Downtown Norfolk Improvement District, a 50-block special services district with enhanced services that keep Downtown friendly, safe and spotless. Connect with Downtown Norfolk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit DowntownNorfolk.org.