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Norfolk, Virginia is a city of some 240,000 residents and more than 100 diverse neighborhoods. It is the cultural, educational, business and medical center of Hampton Roads, hosts the region's international airport and is one of the busiest international ports on the East Coast of the United States.
Founded in 1682, Norfolk grew up on the water, and its miles of lake, river and bay front are central to many of its neighborhoods. The city's popular logo -- an elegant young mermaid, which can be spotted in outdoor sites from Downtown to Ocean View -- symbolizes 300 years of maritime and naval heritage and its modern reputation as a city on the move.
One visit to Portsmouth and you'll be hooked. Amble along the famous Seawall. Stroll through three centuries of historic neighborhoods. Go antiquing. Take in some art. Stand inside a giant soap bubble at the largest children's museum in the state. And did we mention that Portsmouth is home to some of the most delightful restaurants in the region? Many of Portsmouth's attractions are clustered within easy walking distance of each other, making it the perfect place to spend a day. And with its central location, it's easy to get to - just a quick ferry ride from downtown Norfolk, a 20-minute drive from Virginia Beach, and less than an hour from Colonial Williamsburg.
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SKYLINE DRIVE... The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. You can enter Shenandoah at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, and Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day.
As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side (right side if you are traveling south) of the road. These posts help you find your way through the park and help you locate areas of interest. The mileposts begin with 0.0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park.
The speed limit is 35 mph, so you can roll down your windows, feel the breeze and experience every curve and turn of this beautiful drive. There are 75 overlooks that offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east. The park purposely leaves the roadsides unmowed so wildflowers put on a show all year long.