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Gay Norfolk: Granby Street and Beyond



Photo courtesy Rainbow Cactus Company

Framed by the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay in Eastern Virginia, Norfolk offers the intrepid gay local and traveler a lot, especially in a very conservative part of a conservative, antigay state.--from rich historic traditions to happening nightlife destinations. The city is home to Norfolk Naval Basethe worlds largest strategic military and transportation pointso keep an eye out for, well, seamen. Non-gay tourists flock to nearby Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, but Norfolk tends to fly under the radar of mainstream beach-seekers. The city has undergone revitalization projects over the past few yearsand it shows.

The neighborhood surrounding Granby Street represents the heart of the city, and has been a popular nightlife hot spotand a hip gay destinationsince the 1970s. Redevelopment efforts over the past five years have brought successful theaters, restaurants and businesses to the historic commercial district. The Granby Street neighborhood is flush with the Elizabeth River up to the Chesapeake Bay.