5 Fun Facts About Norfolk, VA: How Well Do You Know Your City?


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Along the scenic Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk is more than just a naval hub; it’s a hub of fascinating facts and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From its role in maritime commerce to its quirky attractions, this Redfin article will take you through the delightful and interesting facts that make Norfolk a city unlike any other.

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Quick Facts about Norfolk

Median home sale price $308,500
Average monthly rent $1,263
Walk Score 82/100
Transit Score 78/100
Bike Score 53/100


1. The mermaid is the city’s symbol

Norfolk is known for its iconic mermaid statues scattered throughout the city. These statues are part of a public art project and each one is uniquely designed, adding a touch of whimsy to the city’s streets.

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2. Home to the world’s largest naval base

Naval Station Norfolk, spanning 3,400 acres, is the world’s largest naval base and headquarters for the Atlantic Fleet. It serves as a vital logistics center and command hub for the United States Navy, facilitating rapid deployment and maritime operations globally.

3. American headquarters for NATO

Norfolk serves as the American headquarters for NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT), a key component in the alliance’s efforts to adapt to evolving security challenges. Located within Norfolk’s Joint Forces Command, ACT plays a central role in shaping NATO’s military strategies, doctrines, and capabilities to ensure collective defense and interoperability among member states.

4. Norfolk has a 400-year old port history

Norfolk has a rich maritime heritage with a port history dating back 400 years, making it one of the oldest and most storied port cities in the United States. From its early days as a colonial trading post to its modern role as a bustling seaport, Norfolk has been a vital nexus for commerce, trade, and naval operations along the East Coast.

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5. Home of the original waffle cone

Norfolk takes pride in preserving timeless traditions, crafting creamy shakes, ice cream sundaes, and more just as they were enjoyed by previous generations. As the birthplace of the original waffle cone, Doumar’s Cones and Barbecue upholds its legacy by handcrafting waffle cones on the very same iron waffle machine, dating back to 1905.


MethodologyThe median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.
Ana de Guzman

Ana de Guzman

Ana is a Marketing Specialist on the Content Marketing team at Redfin, where she has spent the past two years writing about real estate, home improvement, and localized content. Living in the Greater Seattle area, she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors. Her ideal home is a charming cottage-style residence in the countryside.

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