Norfolk, Virginia
Go here: Sprinkled throughout Norfolk, Virginia is the image of a young mermaid, who, as Norfolk's popular logo, represents the 300 years of marine heritage the city boasts. Aside from the naval heritage, Norfolk is also home to the Virginia Symphony, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Virginia Opera, Virginia Stage Company and the Virginia Chorale and Commonwealth Theatre Company. Norfolk has nearly a quarter million people that live near one of the busiest ports on the East Coast. Norfolk is surrounded by lakes, rivers and is near the Chesapeake which allows visitors to enjoy the water both through history and aquatic activities. A new cruise terminal offers cruises to the Bahamas and Bermuda. The city also has beaches and historic homes.

Stay here: Norfolk Waterside Marriot Hotel, 235 East Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510. This high rise hotel has plenty rooms that overlook the waterfront. It is in the downtown area making it a hot spot for visitors who want to enjoy the restaurants, landmarks, and historic sites all with in walking distance. Rates range from $209 to $229 per night.

For a cozy place to stay, try the Page House Inn on 323 Fairfax Avenue, 757-625-5033, is in a central location in Norfolk. Nestled in the Ghent Historic District of Downtown Norfolk and right next door to the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Page House Inn's package includes full breakfast, fresh cookies and bicycles for touring the city. There are seven rooms, starting at around $150 a night on weekdays and $160 for weekends and holidays.

Eat here: Vintage Kitchen, 999 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23510; 757-625-3370. This critically acclaimed restaurant has a good eats and a view of the Elizabeth River. For an authentic European dining experience, visitors in Norfolk can go to Monastery Restaurant at 443 Granby Street, 757-625-8193. The restaurant is located in downtown Norfolk and serves food from Hungary, Germany and Poland.

Don't miss this: Visit the Battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin, 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23510; 757-664-1000. This battleship is one of the last built by the U.S. Navy and you can experience it first had by viewing battleship memorabilia and other various exhibits.The Virginia Zoo, at 3500 Granby St., is home to 350 animals, on 53 acres of land. The zoo is split into three exhibits: Africa, the North American Walk and Virginia Barnyard. Tickets range from $5 to $7 depending on age.

Get there: By car, take Interstate 95 South toward Richmond to Interstate 295 South toward Norfolk. Then take Interstate 64 West.

For more information: Visit www.norfolkcvb.com or call 757-664-6620