Norfolk VA Art and Foodie Getaway: Under the Radar No More

WHY GO: Norfolk Virginia is home to the world’s largest Naval Base and is one of the busiest shipping ports on the East Coast. But, this maritime town has always had an appeal to outsiders, with leafy cobblestone streets, an historic waterfront, and a working harbor.

One of the dozens of Mermaids in Norfolk VA

Now, Norfolk VA is upping its tourist game as “The City With Bite:” a great culinary and arts destination. Trendy new eateries join renowned establishments. The NEON Arts District, features witty, patriotic, and creative murals on exterior walls in transitioning neighborhoods. 

Norfolk’s got pagodas and NEON, waffle cones and meerkats, sunset cruises, and abundance of glass art. And of course, Naval History.

Leafy cobblestone street in Freemason area of Norfolk VA

How can you NOT like a town whose mascot is a mermaid! You’ll see them all over the place on this romantically artsy, Naval, foodie Getaway. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Norfolk Virginia, just read on.

Combine this with a visit to neighboring Hampton VA and/or Newport News VA for a complete Hampton Roads vacation.

And FYI, the Marriott Waterfront made it onto our 20 Best Romantic Hotels Northeast USA 2021 list.

And, Norfolk remains permanently on our Best Romantic Getaways in Virginia list. So, if you’d like to venture further in State, check it out.

Things to Do in Norfolk VA

Japanese Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden VA

VISIT: Norfolk Botanical Gardens

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens, with its mission to “immerse guests in the world of beauty,” has been a serene and lovely respite from city life since it first opened in 1939.

Since then, it’s gone through some major changes – and continues to grow and thrive – and even features something no other Botanical Garden in the world can boast: it shares a property border with an International Airport. (But more on that later).

Fountain plaza at Norfolk VA Botanical Gardens

The Garden also juts out into the 4.5 square mile Lake Whitehurst Reservoir – rendering this parcel of land the only peninsular Botanical Garden on the East Coast (or possibly the USA). Cut through with canals, you can even take a boat ride around and near plazas, overlooks, bridges, gardens, and glades.

When you arrive, however, arrange to take a 30-minute narrated tour (free with admission) on one of the organization’s new electric trams, which provides an overview of its 60 themed gardens on over 175 acres.

The tram guide provides nuggets of information and an overview of the property. So, take time to get off at various stops to explore the Enchanted Forest, Butterfly Garden, Wildflower Gardens, Japanese Garden, Camellia, Rhodys, Hydrangeas, as well as a beautiful 3-acre rose garden (the largest on the East Coast), and so much more, on foot.

Side view of 3-acre rose garden at Norfolk VA Botanical Gardens

Before leaving, however, you’ve got to do some plane-spotting. There’s what looks like a levee on to your right as you drive in to the Visitor’s Center.

Hear Commercial Jet Pilot Chatter

Climb the berm’s well-trod path to the top, and lo and behold, you’ll see a small airport with full-sized airplanes. (That explains the earsplitting roar of jet engines you’ll hear every so often as you meander around what is ordinarily a quiet place).

Watching planes take off and landing at Norfolk International Airport from Botanical Gardens

Amazingly, not only can you watch take-offs and landings, but you can hear the chatter between pilots and the traffic control tower through speakers near a couple of benches. It’s actually quite exhilarating, and something you don’t equate with an institution that celebrates nature.

Garden of Tomorrow

As for coming attractions, the Garden of Tomorrow – a modern conservatory, soon to be a “Noah’s Ark” for endangered plants – will be opening in 2025.

Scientists are collecting and protecting these plants to address the critical habits that are now threatened, in order to reestablish them in the future.

Conservatory designers say that by terraforming a landscape from scratch, visitors will be immersed in the experience – with the ground rolling under your feet as you walk through a desert canyon, or immersed in a tropical canopy – rather than just idling by a bunch of plants in a row, and then leaving. Norfolk Botanical Garden expects yearly visitors to grow from half a million to 750,000 after this opens. Check website for hours and dates open, open seasonally.

The Hermitage Museum and Gardens main home Norfolk VA

VISIT: The Hermitage Museum and Gardens

Built in 1907 by wealthy New Yorkers, William and Florence Sloane, in the Arts and Crafts style, The Hermitage Museum and Gardens served as their summer cottage for decades.

In 1938, while still living here, the Sloanes opened up half of their 42-room mansion to the public as a museum, showcasing the art pieces they picked up on their jaunts around the globe. (Florence was the driving force behind the founding of what became the Chrysler Museum – originally the Norfolk Museum of Arts & Science. She was later presented with the Distinguished Service Award for Civil Service – the first woman to receive it).

Now billed as a museum of arts and crafts from around the world, The Hermitage is known primarily for its striking interior woodwork, and 12-acre waterfront garden.

Garden features at The Hermitage Museum and Gardens Norfolk VA

With a concentration on Eastern civilizations, you’ll find cases full of Japanese swords, jade pieces and Buddhas from China, bronze Tibetan sculptures, South Indian statues, silver Russian icons, and even an engraved silver Torah shield and Kiddush cups. Although the Sloanes were not Jewish, they were good friends to the small Jewish community in Norfolk.

The setting of the Hermitage itself is a treasure – and I recommend it to anyone seeking to reduce their blood pressure, and just chill out. Birdsong, shade, flowering gardens – it’s Zen serene and quite the surprise just 20-minute drive from the bustle of Norfolk harbor downtown. Amazingly, and quite wonderfully – admission is free.

Nauticus Museum complex Norfolk VA

TOUR: Battleship Wisconsin and Museums at Nauticus

You could spend a few hours – or more if you’ve got young kids – at Nauticus and the attached Battleship Wisconsin. It’s definitely worth a trip, albeit a bit tough to explain.

Nauticus is a huge building – just a couple of blocks from waterfront hotels – with two floors of museums and a gangway to one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the US Navy.

The second floor features the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and Battleship Wisconsin. The Naval Museum is free to the public – and covers the Navy’s history from its inception during the Revolutionary War to today.

Battleship Wisconsin Norfolk VA

Once on the Wisconsin, you’ll find several guides posted off the gangway. You can sign up for a tour of the ship, or take a self-guided stroll, with plenty of informational signage, and somewhat loose directions. One of the most striking stops is right beneath six “Big Guns” in the bow. Towering overhead, you can just imagine their might in battle.

Kids in particular love to climb up and down to platforms all over the massive ship. Inside, you can peek into bunkrooms, utility rooms, the mess hall, and other spaces to get an idea of life onboard.

Norfolk Through Time exhibit at Nauticus - Norfolk VA

The third floor of Nauticus has gone through some changes over the last few years: rendering the whole experience much more fun and collaborative.

In an exhibit called Norfolk Through Time – kids, parents, couples and school groups are working on experiments, making waves (literally), and excitedly solving problems together.  

US Navy Stewards of the Sea Exhibit - Nauticus Museum Norfolk VA

In the U.S. Navy: Stewards of the Sea section you can learn about environmental careers – ongoing Navy projects that include marine habitat and sonar studies, whale identification, and so much more.

Be sure to step into one of the “Science of Sound” kiosks, where you can listen to sonar “sounds of the sea,” heard from submarines. Hear what a bearded seal and a sub sounds like underwater. Both are interesting – but nothing is as spooky as the sound of “singing ice:” a soundtrack to nightmares for sure.

Exterior Chrysler Museum of Art Norfolk

VISIT: Chrysler Museum of Art

You can totally get your steps in as you move through the centuries at the imposing and utterly impressive Chrysler Musem of Art.

The Chrysler is home to one of the world’s largest glass art collections, and, in the US, second only to the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate NY.

Purple Room Chrysler Museum of Art

With 50 unique galleries and 30,000+ objects, featuring ancient artifacts, Tiffany glass, and modern masters (Matisse, Degas, Picasso, to start), to see it all would take hours. Or, at a brisk pace – a bit over an hour. But, oh, what an enjoyable power-walk it is. Check website for admission fees, days and times open.

WATCH: Perry Glass Studio Glassmaking

Enjoy a narrated glassmaking demonstration at the Chrysler Museum of Art’s Perry Glass Studio, where their internationally acclaimed glass collection comes to life. Check website for dates and times open – and entry fees.

NEON Arts District Norfolk VA

EXPLORE: NEON Arts District

The NEON District (an acronym for the New Energy of Norfolk) houses 80+ works of public art. Once a blighted neighborhood, these murals started to grace the walls of abandoned buildings about five years ago, and are growing in number by the week.

Now, this area is a magnet, not just for tourists, but also for restaurants and coffee shops (e.g. Café Milo), and of course, artists.

The Plot NEON Arts District Norfolk VA

Start at The Plot (across from Commune), an outdoor event space. And then explore Granby Street and Magazine Lane.

Bobs Gun Shop Mural Norfolk

Most murals were commissioned. Take the one on Bob’s Gun Shop, for example. Though much more colorful than its inspiration, the design is a nod to the black and white camouflage painted on WWI Navy ships.

Military Uniform Mural NEON District Norfolk

Be sure to check out the mural on West Olney Rd near the Glass Wheel Arts Center – an homage to our men and women in uniform.

Magazine Lane Graffiti Norfolk VA

And, don’t forget to walk down Magazine Lane – for un-commissioned work done by graffiti artists. Comments a local, “Every day, it seems, there’s always something new.”

The NEON Arts District is one of the best quirky Places to Propose in Virginia

Battleship Wisconsin on the Cannonball Trail Norfolk VA

WALK: The Cannonball Trail

The Cannonball Trail – a self-guided tour in Downtown Norfolk – takes you by over 40 historic sites (e.g. Camp-Hubbard House, Wisham Roper House, Old Norfolk Public Library, John Cary Weston House) spanning 400 years of Norfolk and American history should take you about two hours. Like the Freedom Trail in Boston, you can spend as much or little time as you’d like at each historical site.

Douglas MacArthur statue

TOUR: MacArthur Memorial

Dedicated to the life and legacy of General Douglas MacArthur, the Memorial Museum also pays tribute to the millions of Americans who served during World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Tombs of Douglas MacArthur and Wife Norfolk VA

Pay your respects to MacArthur, one of the most highly decorated soldier in US history, and his wife, interred side by side. Check website for hours open, free.

Along the Elizabeth River Norfolk VA

WALK: Elizabeth River Trail

This 10.5-mile Elizabeth River Trail runs along the Downtown Norfolk waterfront, connecting 28 unique neighborhoods, and offering views of the Elizabeth River and passing ships. Plans are in the works to create more parks, kayak launches, and other improvements along the 12 sections of the trail.

Freemason District street Norfolk VA

EXPLORE: Freemason District  

Less commercial than Baltimore’s Fell’s Point, or New Bedford MA’s Whaling District, Norfolk’s oldest standing neighborhood along the Elizabeth River, the Freemason District, features beautiful tree-lined cobblestone streets and historic homes presenting three centuries of architectural styles.

The Pagoda Norfolk VA

Pagoda & Oriental Garden

Freemason District is also where you’ll find the Pagoda, a gift to the Commonwealth of Virginia from Taiwan in 1983. The two story octagon structure was built on the site of a molasses storage tank. Quite the improvement. The surrounding garden is exquisite – and a popular place to walk dogs.

Virginia Zoo Entrance Norfolk

GO: Virginia Zoo

If you have time, check out the Virginia State Zoo, conveniently located in Norfolk, for its easily navigable African and Asian exhibits. In each section, you follow one path to see that continent’s indigenous animals: lions, tigers, giraffes, and other large exotics.

Alert Meerkat Virginia Zoo Norfolk

But for me – it was a passel of small critters that got my attention and consumed my time. Meerkats! They were digging, digging, digging, until I showed up. Then, to attention! In one case, it was as if he was posing for the cover of Nat Geo. Open year round daily, check website for hours and ticket prices.

American Rover Sunset Cruise Norfolk

DO: Sunset cruise American Rover

Experience Norfolk VA’s beauty and history from the water as you sail on the three-masted topsail American Rover schooner on a narrated sunset cruise with live music. Check website for dates, tour times, and ticket prices.

SHOP/EAT: Selden Market

Don’t you just love incubators for small businesses? Not only will you stumble on cool crafts, inventions, and foodstuffs, but you’ll meet the people who make them.  That’s the beauty of Selden Market.

Cooking With Greens at Selden Market Norfolk VA

Cooking With Greens

The upbeat Derak and Anita Green make dozens of salt and no-salt spice blends that will vivv up any kind of food.  Plus, they sell excellent cookware without the typical cookware store markup, through their own brand, Cooking With Greens. “We’re a mom and pop Williams Sonoma,” Derak says. The Greens plan to start doing cooking demos at the Selden Market. Drop by and say hi!

More Food Vendors

Love sweet treats? Try them at S’Mores Amore or Café Genevieve. Love sweet or savory waffles? Stop in at Granby Waffle Shop.  A fan of artisanal breads? Pick up some at Amale Tre Foccaeria. Are you vegan? Try CLTRE- VGN JNT.

Selden Market interior hall, Norfolk VA

More Craft/Jewelry/Leather Vendors

You’ll find the owner of Werther Leather Goods at her workbench – constructing fine leather and canvas handbags and backpacks. Head to LNK for baby stuff, books, toys, and “permanent jewelry” – 14k gold-filled dainty chains without a clasp. Perfect for couples.  For more high-end permanent jewelry – go next door to Lorak. Looking for a great souviner from Virginia – there’s a VA Goods store at Selden Market, too!

Make It Yourself

Studio Kumba is a creative arts studio for adults. Make your own bracelet, collage, or painting on a mini-canvas – or bring your girlfriends for a fun party. There’s always an instructor on hand to help.  For more technical stuff – e.g. 3-D printing, laser cutting – head down the hall to the Maker Studio.  

Where to Eat in Norfolk VA

LeGrand Kitchen exterior Norfolk VA

EAT: LeGrand Kitchen

Named for the Norfolk-based record label that gave the world Gary “This Little Girl is Mine” US Bonds, LeGrand Kitchen is a bit out of the way. But, I’m telling you: you really need to find it.

Predominantly known for its award-winning LeGrand Burger (Double patty, griddled onion, pickled lettuce, jalapeño, American cheese, roasted shallot mayo, Big Marty bun), the restaurant has also been discovered by foodies of all stripes for its innovative dishes that are not burgers. Not only that – LeGrand is up there in the top echelon of craft-cocktail kitchens around town, with a young genius mixologist – Patrick – who concocts his own extraordinary drinks.

Codex Restaurant Norfolk VA

EAT: Codex

Codex shows its great farm-to-table chops in a small industrial – chic setting. The combination of textures and tastes in green salads, plenty of ways with veggies (like the Tempura Fried Oyster Mushrooms), and multi-culti flavor profiles render this place a Norfolk favorite for people who appreciate inventive dishes and cocktails with a side of smooth jazz.

Crudo Nudo exterior shot Norfolk VA

EAT: Crudo Nudo

In the Ghent neighborhood, the very yummy, often-recommended-by-locals, Crudo Nudo, does a star quality turn, serving classic Spanish tapas.  

This area of Norfolk is a virtual U.N. of eateries – with a Middle Eastern Street Food spot next door, and in succession: Japanese, Pho, Vietnamese, and Korean BBQ, restaurants.  If you’re a multi-culti grazer, you’ll be in heaven here – starting with Crudo Nudo.

Luce Restaurant exterior Norfolk

EAT: Luce

This intimate Italian restaurant, Luce, is dominated by its bar, dramatically backlit red. Planks of wood from Italian wine crates line the walls, along with family photos.

Bar scene at Luce Norfolk VA

Chef/Owner, Antonio Caruana, works his magic in a small open kitchen up front. Caruana is inked to the max, which lends a “bad-boy at the stove” sense of quirkiness to this exceptional restaurant.

Luce Chef/Owner, Antonio Caruana

Luce excels at dishes from three regions of Italy. Everything is made from scratch, including the pastas: el dente and dressed in deliciously flavored sauces. And, as good chefs work with the best ingredients of the day, the menu changes all the time. You can’t go wrong: Pasta, Pesci, Pollo, or Carne. The hardest part is deciding what to get.

Brothers Restaurant Norfolk

EAT: Brothers

No, a bunch of brothers don’t own this swanky steakhouse-jazz club. In this case, “Brothers” is longtime NBA referee and Norfolk native, Tony Brothers.

Opened February ‘21 during Covid, Brothers’ “Chops/Seafood/Spirits” is just getting going. The elegant dining room on the main floor was half full early on a stormy June Thursday night, with patrons chowing down on $49 steaks, and $30 Salmon, among other traditional American fare.

Upstairs was another scene. Rogers Brown, and his RaJazz Trio drew fans for their mellow, mood-enhancing  “Jazzy Thursdays” – 6-9pm. I dined on expertly flavored Lamb Chop Lollipops ($18) while grooving to great Jazz and R&B.

Dumars Cones and BBQ Car service Norfolk VA

EAT: Doumar’s Cones & Barbecue

Drive up to Doumar’s, Home of the World’s First Waffle Cone, for old school curb service. You’ll feel as if you’ve time traveled back to the ‘50s. In 1905, “Great Uncle Abe Doumar” created a device that would make these ice cream cones by the hundreds: a true Coney Island sensation! In 1907, Abe moved to Norfolk VA – and the rest is history.

Amazingly, you can witness that very same machine in action, run by a younger member of the family.

World’s First Waffle Cone Still in Use Doumars Norfolk VA

With all these old-fashioned recipes and great service, no wonder this ice cream and BBQ joint is a local favorite. It’s also been featured on Rachel Ray and Diners Drive Ins and Dives. Current generation Doumar, Kathy, and her family still dish out pork BBQ on homemade buns, Lime Aide, and best selling ice cream – on waffle cones, of course.

Cure Coffee in Freemasons District Norfolk VA

COFFEE: Cure Coffee

Care for a PB&J or Carrot Cake Latte?  Or are you hungry for your “Morning Cure” – a hard-fried egg, bacon, and cheese on a bagel? (My favorite). You can get these and more at Cure Coffeehouse in Norfolk’s Freemason District. It’s a short and lovely walk on cobblestone streets from the downtown harbor area to this very chill, gathering spot and remote workspace.

Virginia Cheese Co Norfolk VA

EAT/SHOP: Virginia Cheese Co.

Next door to Cure Coffee, Virginia Cheese Co. is a wine and cheese shop – but is also known for having the best “sammies” in town. That probably has a lot to do with the ooey-gooey melted cheeses in those fan-favorite sandwiches.

Vessel Coffehouse Norfolk VA

COFFEE: Vessel Craft Coffee

Originally located in Selden Market, Vessel Craft Coffee has recently relocated to a new location in Chelsea. With a strong focus on the community and sustainability, Vessel creates craft beverages while giving back.

Coffee cake at Bakehouse at Chelsea Norfolk VA

EAT/BAKED GOODS: Bakehouse at Chelsea  

This bakery (next door to Vessel), Bakehouse at Chelsea, is known for its Neapolitan-inspired pizza and baked goods. Everything is made from scratch, shaped by hand and baked in a wood-burning oven.

Commune Restaurant NEON District Norfolk

EAT: Commune

Virginia’ first farmer-owned restaurant, Commune takes up an industrial space, replete with large, properly distanced tables. As its name implies, communal tables impel groups to dine on real food together.  The menu features seasonal produce and all local and sustainable dishes, as well as coffee, cocktails, and a great non-alcoholic beverage menu.

EAT/DRINK: Hilton Norfolk The Main

What’s your pleasure? Cocktails or Craft Beer? Good news – the Hilton has two nightspots – Saltine and Grain – so you can go to both in one night.

Saltine at Hilton Norfolk VA


Indulge in carefully crafted cocktails at Saltine, a street-level seafood restaurant that offers up inventive creations at their Apothecary Bar.

Grain Bar Craft Beer Hilton Norfolk


Beer lovers will revel in a variety of flights at Grain’s rooftop beer garden, located on the 6th floor. Grain features the most craft beer taps in town and a large open-air patio overlooking stunning views of the Elizabeth River.

EAT: Locals Love

Handsome Biscuit – sweet potato biscuits, stuffed with the likes of Nashville Hot Chicken. Freemason Abbey, in a historic church – famous for its She-Crab Soup. The Restaurant at 411 York – attached to a B&B and an uber popular brunch spot. Blanca – owned by a young (30-something) woman – in the Riverview Neighborhood.

Also, Omar’s Carriage House – known for its Moroccan Monday menu and Moroccan French dishes: “great escargot.” Press 626 in a former bank in the Ghent Neighborhood, with three female sommeliers, and wine cellar in the former bank vault. Mermaid Winery – the only urban winery in Virginia.

Where to Stay In Norfolk VA

Glass Light Hotel and Gallery Norfolk VA

STAY: Glass Light Hotel, an Autograph Collection Hotel

The Glass Light Hotel is where you stay when you’re looking to have the most fun in a town that isn’t on many tourists’ radars: but should be. Located on foodie-centric Granby Street – and just a block from the waterfront, The Glass Light Hotel is perfectly positioned for a surprisingly romantic getaway.

The historic 1912 Royster building (housing a fertilizer company, of all things), was gut-renovated, and opened in 2019 as a 113-room boutique hotel.

Glass carrot in every room at the Glass Light Hotel and Gallery Norfolk VA

Owned by Norfolk art patrons, Doug and Pat Perry, a two-story connected gallery features the couple’s exceptional collection of glass art by world renowned artists, Peter Bremers, Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly, and others from all over the planet.

First Impressions of the Glass Light Hotel

As soon as you walk in, you can’t miss the two rather cheeky half-ton glass rabbits: One that greets visitors by the reception area, and the another, in neon pink, stretching out a hare’s breath from the bar.

What gives?

Well, Pat Perry is “Grandma Pat” to her grandchildren. “Pat the Bunny” was their favorite book. So, the playful Pat commissioned glass artist, Peter Bremers, to create two big whimsical wabbits for prominent placement in her hotel. To make the kids happy.

At its core, Glass Light Hotel is an art museum that just happens to have luxury guest rooms, and one of the best bars in town.

Pink glass bunny Glass Light Hotel Norfolk

Drinking and Dining At Glass Light Hotel

The lobby restaurant and bar hops nightly with happy guests. Bartenders become friends. Watching chefs cook in their open kitchen serves as entertainment.

The whole gestalt gives in-the-know gallery opening vibes. It’s colorful, fanciful, stylish, and sociable.  And, thanks to a new chef and crack kitchen crew, the restaurant is a destination unto itself.

Guest Room at the Glass Light Hotel Norfolk VA

Rooms at Glass Light Hotel

Rooms are modern, eclectic, and vary in size and style – but all are cool-beans in décor. Bathrooms gleam subway tile white, with slate black floors. Sink basins are hammered metal – a very funky effect.

Beds sport crisp white duvets with navy piping; furniture is Crate and Barrel contemporary; and each room features glass art, including a carrot-shaped paper weight. For, you know, the bunnies. What’s up doc?

Corner Guest Room Marriott Norfolk VA Waterfront

STAY: Norfolk VA Waterside Marriott

This upscale Norfolk Waterside Marriott overlooks Norfolk Harbor – so for a real thrill, book a corner room on one of the top floors, which offers 180 degree views of the waterfront. A block from Granby St, the Marriott is within walking distance to attractions like Nauticus/ Battleship Wisconsin, Elizabeth River Trail, river cruises and the hottest restaurants in town.

Reception is quick and friendly, the modern, spare lobby scrubbed to Covid protocols.

All rooms have been recently renovated, in nautical teaks and grays. Bathrooms are well lit and pristinely clean, with large showers and lighted mirrors.

Norfolk Harbor views from Marriott Waterfront 24th floor

For the best bang for your buck, stay on a concierge floor (23rd or 24th), which not only grants you access to the M-Club, where breakfast and a light dinner are complementary, and snacks, juice, and water is available all day long, but to some of the best water views in town.

STAY: Hilton Norfolk The Main

The tallest hotel in the Historic District, the Hilton is another swanky choice for visitors. It’s just steps from Granby St., Nauticus, and Selden Market, putting you clearly in the center of the action.

STAY: Sheraton Norfolk VA Waterside

Closest to the waterfront, but only several stories tall, rooms at the Sheraton have gone through a nice refresh. If your intent is to be closest to the docks, chose this.

Norfolk VA Getaway Pin


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine,, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

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