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Norfolk, VA: Waterfront History Tour

December 29, 2020

Norfolk is a city on the coast of Virginia and home to many monuments and sites of American history. When you think of Norfolk, a contrast of city sights and waterfront views is what comes to mind, as well as being home of the world’s largest naval base and the North American Headquarters for NATO. From museums to parks, Norfolk has a variety of places that are a must-see for tourists and residents alike, and what better way to travel around the city than on an electric bike? Luckily for you, Pedego Norfolk is located in the heart of downtown and is the perfect place to start for a fun day of sightseeing around the beautiful city. What are you waiting for? It’s time to gather your loved ones and head to Pedego Norfolk because the perfect day awaits!

Planning the Perfect Day

1. Start at Pedego Norfolk

Before you start on your fun day ahead, you must visit Pedego Norfolk to pick out your bike. Whether you are planning to rent or pull the trigger and buy a bike, the friendly faces at Pedego Norfolk are happy to assist you in finding the perfect model to suit your needs. Pedego Norfolk offers Pedego’s full lineup of e-bikes, so whether you want to ride solo on an Interceptor or ride with a loved one on a Tandem, they have you covered.

With a Pedego bike, you are sure to have a great time, no matter what your fitness level or age is. Pedego allows you to get in a hard workout if you desire, or just sit back and enjoy the ride, and once you’re ready to hop on your bike and get going, the first destination is only a short distance away.

223 E. City Hall Ave. Suite 101
Norfolk, VA

Pedego riders outside of the Norfolk storefront.

2. MacArthur Memorial

The first stop is at the MacArthur Memorial, located a few blocks from Pedego Norfolk. The MacArthur Memorial is a museum and research center dedicated to preserving and sharing the life of Army General Douglas MacArthur. The Memorial is located in the original Norfolk City Hall building and houses the tomb of both General MacArthur and his late wife. It also pays tribute to the men and women that fought alongside the General during his tenure in the Army and holds exhibits featuring artifacts, uniforms, medals, and weapons that belonged to MacArthur himself. Before taking off to your next destination, snap a few photos out front as the outside of the building is a momentous part of history you won’t want to forget.

198 Bank St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

3. Owen B. Pickett U.S. Customs House

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the MacArthur Memorial is the Owen B. Pickett U.S. Customs House. Established by the First Congress in 1789, The U.S. Customs Service is the oldest federal agency. It is known for assessing and collecting duties and taxes on imported goods, controlling carriers of imports and exports, and combating smuggling and revenue fraud. The Owen B. Pickett U.S. Customs House is located near the waterfront of downtown Norfolk and is a testimony to the importance of commerce and trade within the city. Construction on the building was completed in 1858, and it stands tall in the same place decades later as a historic pillared building for tourists and residents alike to visit. Once you have finished taking in all that the Customs House has to offer, it’s time to hop back on your Pedego and ride to your next stop.

101 E. Main St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

4. Town Point Park

Don’t ride too fast, because located a short distance away is the beautiful Town Point Park! Town Point Park is known as “The People’s Park” as it provides 8 acres of relaxing outdoor spaces, nestled upon the riverbanks of the Elizabeth River and located in the heart of the business district in downtown Norfolk. Often the park holds major outdoor concerts, award-winning festivals, and special events including Norfolk Harborfest, Bayou Boogaloo, and 4th of July celebrations. What makes Town Point Park special though, is it offers a green space of peace and tranquility in the middle of an urban setting. Feel free to take a break from your Pedego tour and lay out a blanket or have a picnic on the grass to enjoy the juxtaposition between nature and city life.

113 Waterside Dr.
Norfolk, VA 23510

5. Armed Forces Memorial

Located in Town Point Park is the Armed Forces Memorial which is a truly moving tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country. It is a 160-foot monument with 20 bronze cast letters scattered across the base of the flagpole, which are actual letters written to loved ones by members of the Armed Forces who never returned from war. This monument was built in 1998 and is dedicated to veterans of American conflicts from the Revolutionary to the Persian Gulf War. Before riding to your next destination, take a free moment to read the letters and reflect on the meaning behind them, if you please.

113 Waterside Dr.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Pedego bikes in front of USS Wisconsin

6. Pagoda & Oriental Garden

Get your cameras ready for this next stop, as it is one of the most picture-worthy locations on this tour! The Pagoda and Oriental Garden are located on the waterfront in the Freemason Harbor, just a few minutes from the bustling city activity in downtown Norfolk. Once you enter the gates of the garden you will be welcomed by the gentle swaying of bamboo and experience a serene oasis where East meets West over an acre of urban space. The two-story Pagoda is a piece of history in itself as it sits on the concrete foundation of an old molasses tank and has influences of Chinese architectural details and ornamentation. If you go to the second floor of the Pagoda, you will be welcomed with a panoramic view of the surrounding Oriental Garden, the USS Wisconsin, and a beautiful outlook over the Elizabeth River. After you take a few photos in front of these gorgeous views, it’s time to head to the next historic destination on this tour.

265 W Tazewell St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

7. Selden House

Located along the waterfront is the Selden House, which is the home of Dr. William B. Selden, who served as the Surgeon General of the Confederate Army. He is famously known for hosting Robert E. Lee at his home when Lee traveled through Norfolk after the war. The house stands tall in exceptional condition even though it was constructed in the 1800s, and is one of Norfolk’s noteworthy landmarks.

351 Botetourt St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

8. Hague Bridge

A short bike ride away is the Hague Bridge located in the Ghent neighborhood of downtown Norfolk. Once you arrive here, be sure to get off your bike and walk it across the bridge as it is a footbridge and no bicycle riding is permitted across it. However, it is a great place to snap a few photos as it looks out over the water and is decorated with new and old padlocks which symbolize the eternal, never-ending love of couples, or even the commemoration of a beloved one, who has passed. If you have the opportunity to, bring a padlock with you on your Pedego ride so you can add it to this historic bridge, and it will be there for years to come.

Ghent Commons Dr.
Norfolk, VA 23517

9. Plum Point Park

The next stop on this tour is Plum Point Park, which is located on 5 acres of land and is a site for environmental restoration. The park has direct access to the Elizabeth River and occupies a prominent point adjacent to the historic Fort Norfolk. Offering magnificent views of the river from a park-like setting, the City of Norfolk initiated plans to protect the natural character of this site by converting this once developable waterfront into a public park. If you want to take a quick rest from your ride, lock up your Pedego and go on a stroll through the park or layout on the grass and take in the beautiful views surrounding you– you won’t regret it!

Southhampton Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23507

People riding Pedego tandem electric bikes along the waterfront in Norfolk.

10. Chrysler Museum of Art

Once you get back on your bikes it’s time to head to the Chrysler Museum of Art. The Chrysler Museum of Art was founded in 1933 and originally named the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. It wasn’t until 1971 when the automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler Jr., donated most of his extensive art collection to the museum when the name officially changed to what we know now. Today, the Chrysler Museum has fifty galleries, a growing collection of over 30,000 objects, an interactive space for families, and the only glass studio of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region. Admission to the museum is always free, so feel free to hop off your bikes and take a look inside at all the amazon works of art inside.

1 Memorial Pl.
Norfolk, VA 23510

11. Hunter House Museum

Once you finish touring the Chrysler Museum, it’s time to make your way to the next museum on the tour, the Hunter House Museum. The Hunter House is a Victorian museum that was built in 1894 and is located in the Freemason Historic District of Norfolk. It was the family home of Mr. James Wilson Hunter, his wife Lizzie Ayer Barnes Hunter, and their three children James, Harriet, and Eloise. With no heirs and Eloise as the last surviving member of the family, she created the Hunter Foundation. Depending on which time of year you visit, guided tours are available from April through December. Take a peek inside at the gift shop or take a guided tour along your way, as the Hunter House is filled with various facets of Victorian social history and custom.

240 S. Freemason St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

12. Moses Myers House

The next stop on the tour is the Moses Myers House, just down the road from the Hunter House Museum. “The Moses Myers House and its peerless collection create an exceptionally accurate picture of the late Federal period and the life of this prosperous Jewish family,” says Chrysler Museum of Art. Moses Myers was an early American entrepreneur, and model citizen, who built this house to accommodate his growing family and social prominence. Over the years, this house was passed down from generation to generation within the family and eventually to the Mayor of Norfolk, Barton Myers, who carried out early architectural restoration in 1892. This museum is only open on Saturdays and Sundays; however, admission is free so feel free to lock up your bikes and wander around inside to learn more about Moses Myers and the history behind this property. After you’re done looking around, the last stop on the tour is just a short distance away!

323 E. Freemason St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

13. British Cannonball in Saint Paul’s Church

Your last stop before heading back to Pedego Norfolk is at Saint Paul’s Church. Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church is a historic church, constructed in 1739. It is the sole colonial-era building that survived the multiple wars that Norfolk faced over the years. At the church, there is a cannonball in the side of the wall, which was fired by Lord Dunmore on January 1, 1776, and currently stands as a reminder of the final act of the fleeting governor amidst a revolution. The cannonball is a unique sight to see, so snap a few photos before heading back to your starting point at Pedego Norfolk.

201 St. Paul’s Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Best Pedego For Your Ride

Pedego Norfolk offers Pedego’s full lineup of bike options for rental, but our recommendation for this ride is one of our Interceptors. The Pedego Interceptor is America’s best selling electric bike, as it combines beach cruiser comfort and style with breathtaking performance and user-friendly features. It will allow you to ride with ease through Norfolk, and if it feels like it was made just for you– that’s because it was!

The Interceptor is offered in two different models, Classic and Step-Thru. The Step-Thru model provides a comfortable and easy way for you to step through to the other side of your bike; whereas, the Classic frame is built higher and requires you to swing your leg over the seat to get on. Regardless of which model you choose– comfort is something that won’t be compromised.

Once you decide on which Interceptor model you prefer, it’s time to get on and ride! You can get a good workout by altering your Pedal Assist settings or use the throttle and cruise along if you are interested in a more laid back ride.

Unsure about which Pedego model would be best for you? The friendly faces at Pedego Norfolk are more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have. To see the complete range of Pedego electric bikes available, check them out here.

Yellow Pedego Interceptor electric bike.

Hello, Fun!

The only step left to take is to gather your family and friends and head down to Pedego Norfolk, as the perfect day is calling your name!

To schedule your rental or answer any questions, feel free to contact Pedego Norfolk at [email protected] or call (757)320-2400.