Visit the Hermitage Museum & Gardens along the Lafayette

A trip to the Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk—with its some 5,000 works of art, sweeping expanse of serene gardens decorated with pristine sculptures, and cozy Arts and Crafts style architecture—is a fairytale-like escape. Surrounded on three sides by the Lafayette River and filled with iconic treasures from around the world, the museum is a testament to the original owner. The early 20th-century house once belonged to patron of the arts Florence Sloane, who built an art collection spanning pottery, woodwork, tapestries, and paintings. With free admission, visitors can see the Sloane collection and a lineup of specialty rotating exhibits Tuesdays through Sundays. 

Photo courtesy of Hermitage Museum & Gardens

Outside the impressive mansion, the Hermitage’s 12 acres of semiformal gardens continue to awe guests. The picturesque grounds feature a one-of-a-kind 1920s Italian fountain, a rose garden, authentic historic mill stones, and Edward McCartan’s enchanting bronze fountain, “Girl Drinking From a Shell.” TheHermitageMuseum.org


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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