Norfolk, Virginia, is best known as the home of the world's largest naval-base complex (Naval Station Norfolk), which has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. It was also an important port city in the colonial period: St. Paul's Church, built in 1739, still stands, as does Fort Norfolk, the only remaining fort along the East Coast authorized by George Washington.
Norfolk has experienced a downtown renaissance. Establishments that once bordered on seedy have been transformed into charming restaurants, swank nightclubs and an upscale urban mall. Many of the entertainment venues sit along the waterfront and take advantage of Norfolk's prime location and seafaring heritage.
As with any port town, Norfolk attracts a mixed, eclectic lot—boaters cruising the Chesapeake Bay, officers tending to the East Coast's largest naval fleet, artsy bohemian types sipping chai in the Ghent District and martini drinkers in posh clubs along Granby Street. Any good sea captain witnessing Norfolk's rise to fame has yarns to tell of this storybook port and once-again thriving community.
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