Norfolk, VA Gay City Guide

Norfolk is a coastal Virginia town that is considered part of the larger Hampton Roads metro area. It is known as being a diverse city with a strong maritime heritage, a friendly coastal vibe, welcoming people and plenty to see and do, including lots of natural outdoor beauty. If you're interested in making a move to Norfolk, chances are you'll be glad you did!

A Bit of Norfolk History

The history of Norfolk is a long one. In fact, Norfolk was settled before the United States itself was. Modern-day settlement began in the area in 1636, and the city was officially incorporated 100 years later in 1736. It was actually burned to the ground by the British during the Revolutionary War but was quickly rebuilt. The 19th and 20th centuries were a time of significant growth in the area, and today the city is a major American naval and world shipping hub, as well as a city with a thriving arts and culture scene, plenty of opportunities and more than enough for everyone to see, do and enjoy. It also has a thriving and vibrant LGBTQ community. Norfolk would truly make a wonderful place to call home.

A Few Fun Facts About Norfolk

  • Norfolk is home to the world's largest naval base and is also the North American Headquarters for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
  • Norfolk is known for its many different antique stores that offer unique finds as a result of the rich history and age of the city.
  • One of the things that sets Norfolk apart from other cities is its beautiful green spaces and scenery. In fact, Norfolk is nationally designated as a tree city.

Read more fun facts about Norfolk here.

Norfolk's LGBTQ Community                                            

Norfolk values and celebrates its LGBTQ community and all that it adds to the city. Some of the LGBTQ community resources in Norfolk include:

LGBTQ Life Center

The LGBTQ Life Center is a community center that has been working to support, advance, and celebrate the LGBTQ community in the Norfolk area for over 30 years. The Center offers a variety of services including support groups, events, health resources, education and training programs, network opportunities and more.

PFLAG Norfolk

PFLAG Norfolk is the city's local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

What's the Weather Like in Norfolk?

Norfolk residents can expect to experience all four seasons. Typically fall and spring are the most pleasant seasons of the year, with spring bringing beautifully colored flowers and fall offering crisp breezes and brightly colored leaves. The city receives 47 inches of rain on average per year, and around 5 inches of snow. Highs in the summer months can reach around 88°F and the lows in the winter typically drop down to about 33°F.

The Best Events in Norfolk

The Virginia Arts Festival

The Virginia Arts Festival has been an extremely popular and incredibly entertaining and inspiring festival held throughout the Norfolk and Hampton Roads area for over 20 years. The festival showcases art from artists and performers throughout the world, and it is one event that you will want to put on your calendar each year!

Hampton Roads Pride

Hampton Roads Pridefest is the Norfolk area's annual pride celebration. Held in Norfolk's Town Point Park every June since 2011, the festival includes parades, parties, networking opportunities, and more. Hampton Roads Pride also has the only PrideFest Boat Parade in the United States, honoring the area's significant maritime heritage.  

Norfolk's Best Neighborhoods

Unlike some larger cities that have one distinct "gayborhood", in Norfolk, there are many neighborhoods that the LGBTQ community lives in and enjoys, and which would make wonderful places to buy a home. Two of the most popular include:


This area is very progressive and features several LGBT-owned businesses.  The homes in Ghent tend to be older, but they've been kept up very well and are very beautiful.  The median list price of homes currently for sale in Ghent is approximately $330,000.


Homes in this district sit on the Lafayette River.  It's near the downtown area and many restaurants and shops.  Neighbors are very friendly, and the community is fairly close-knit. The median sale price of homes sold over the last year in Lafayette was approximately $303,000.

Arts and Entertainment

The Virginia Stage Company

The Virginia Stage Company is one of the leading professional theatre companies in the Norfolk area. The company strives to enrich, educate, and entertain the region by creating and producing theatrical art of the highest quality, and in a wide variety of genres and styles. There are plenty of shows each year to fit every preference and taste.

The Chrysler Museum of Art

Since the time that it opened in 1972, Chrysler Hall has been the premiere performing arts center of the Norfolk area. Many performing arts groups perform throughout the year at Chrysler Hall, including Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Norfolk Forum, the Virginia Arts Festival, Broadway in Norfolk, and others. There is truly a show to suit everyone's tastes, and you won't want to miss the chance to enjoy one yourself.

Parks and Recreation

Norfolk Botanical Garden

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is a beautiful garden and arboretum covering more than 75 acres in Norfolk. The natural beauty displayed here is stunning, and it's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

Ocean View and East Beach

Whether you enjoy swimming, crabbing, sailing, fishing, or simply sitting in the sun and watching the waves, Ocean View and East Beach are wonderful places to do so, while enjoying the Norfolk area's unique coastal beauty.

Norfolk Nightlife

The Rainbow Cactus

The Rainbow Cactus Company is a popular LGBTQ nightclub featuring DJs & dancing, as well as drag shows, dancers, karaoke, pool & live bands. It's a great spot to spend a night out dancing and having fun with old friends – and meeting new ones.

The Wave Norfolk

Contact a Norfolk Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Norfolk, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Norfolk, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Norfolk gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!