Historic Sites • Museums • Art Galleries Performance Venues • Eco-Adventure Golf & Recreation • Narrated Tours
Good times. Good friends. Great events! Year-round family-friendly events make Suffolk a fun and affordable destination. In the Spring, we host a variety of events including Drive-In Movies, The Eggstravaganza, National Train Day Celebration, and the kick off to the Suffolk Farmers’ Market season. Summer brings concerts on the river front and at Bennett’s Creek Park; the Stars & Stripes Spectacular; Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival; and the Taste of Suffolk Downtown Street Festival.
Suffolk’s Nuttiest Celebrity Who wouldn’t brag about being the birthplace of the world’s most famous nut? Mr. Peanut, that is. His dapper appearance— with signature monocle and cane, sporting a debonair top hat—resonates as the quintessential southern gentleman who just happens to be renowned worldwide. When he was just a sprouting legume, Mr. Peanut was the result of a 1916 contest when Planters Nut and Chocolate Company called on the public to offer suggestions for the peanut company’s brand icon. Having moved the Planters manufacturing plant to Suffolk just three years prior to the contest, owner Amedeo Obici set forth to find the ideal image to advertise his growing company. That nut we’ve all grown to love was the brain child of 14-year-old Antonio Gentile of Suffolk. Of course, Mr. Peanut got a little gussied up by a company artist, but the concept belonged to Gentile, who was rewarded with $5 for his creation. Later, Mr. Obici paid Gentile’s way through college and medical school. Through the decades, Mr. Peanut has evolved into a treasured American icon, garnering attention from memorabilia collectors, marketing companies, and of course, consumers. In 2004, Mr. Peanut was honored as the world’s third most recognizable icon, receiving a star on Madison Avenue’s Advertising Walk of Fame. Beaten only by the Aflac Duck and the M & M’s characters, Mr. Peanut will always be number one in Suffolk. In fact, stop by and see him at Character Corner in downtown on the corner of Main and Washington Streets. He happily poses for photos, but please no autographs—he’s busy keeping a monocled eye on his home town.
We welcome Autumn with the Suffolk Peanut Fest; Driver Days Fall Festival; Touch a Truck, Train & More children’s event; ReStored Pop-Up Shops; and outdoor family movie nights. For a complete calendar of events: VisitSuffolkVa.com Photos top to bottom, left to right: We’re Nuts for Suffolk! Kids enjoying street fest fun; Happy patron at Suffolk Farmers’ Market; HO-Scale model train exhibit at the Seaboard Station Railroad Museum; Riddick’s Folly House Museum; Suffolk Art Gallery Changing Exhibits; Summer Concert Series at Bennett’s Creek Park.
A Sampling of Suffolk Events Driver Days Fall Festival Holiday Artisan Gift Fair Holland Founder’s Day Juried Photography Exhibit Motorcycle Rallies Mutt Strut Dog Festival Nansemond Indian Tribal Pow Wow Outdoor Family Movies ReStored Pop-Up Shops Stars & Stripes Spectacular Suffolk Art League Antique Show & Sale Suffolk Farmers’ Market Suffolk Grand Illumination Suffolk Holiday Parade Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival Suffolk Peanut Fest Suffolk Restaurant Week Summer Concert Series Taste of Suffolk Downtown Suffolk Festival Touch a Truck, Train & More Tour de Cure Cycling Event Photos this page, top to bottom, left to right: Saturday night at Suffolk Peanut Fest; Grand Illumination at Market Park; Taste of Suffolk fun; Laughing child with Petting Zoo guest; Main Street corridor; Musical entertainment at the Suffolk Farmers’ Market; Mr. Peanut; Smiles at Suffolk Peanut Fest; Serving customers at the Suffolk Farmers’ Market Photos front cover: top to bottom, left to right: Bennett’s Creek Marina featuring Decoys Restaurant; Child enjoying Suffolk Artisan Gift Fair; Family photos with Mr. Peanut at the Suffolk Visitor Center; Roasted peanuts at the Planters Center in Downtown; Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts; Monster Truck rides at Suffolk Peanut Fest; Louie Sloan the English Labrador enjoying a canoe ride at Lake Drummond. Photos Tour Suffolk pages: top to bottom, left to right: Legends of Main Street: A Suffolk Ghost Walk; Suffolk Visitor Center at the Historic Nansemond County Courthouse; Angel statue at Cedar Hill Cemetery; Birdwatching at the Great Dismal Swamp; Boardwalk at Lake Drummond; Black bear at the Great Dismal Swamp; Cypress tree at Great Dismal Swamp.
Historic Attractions & Points of Interest 1 CEDAR HILL CEMETERY (1802) Originally constructed as “Green Hill Cemetery,” this 32-acre expanse of hilly terrain and ancient cedar trees has many stories to reveal. Self-guided walking tour. 105 Mahan St., 757.514.4130 2 CONSTANTIA HOUSE The original Constantia House was built in 1720 by John Constant in the area known today as Cedar Hill Cemetery. The original house was razed in the early 1930s and The Suffolk Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution had a replica built which is now situated behind R.W. Baker Funeral Home in downtown. 509 W. Washington St. 3 CONSTANT’S WHARF (C. 1720) John Constant founded this important trading center and village on the Nansemond River, which later became the Town of Suffolk in 1742. 110 E. Constance Rd. 4 GLEBE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (1738) One of the oldest landmarks in northern Suffolk, the church is on the National Register of Historic Places. 4400 Nansemond Pkwy., GlebeChurch.org
5 NANSEMOND COUNTY COURTHOUSE (1839) The original structure was burned by the British in 1779 and was rebuilt shortly after the Revolutionary War. In 1837 the courthouse again burned during “The Great Fire” and was rebuilt the same year. During the Civil War, it served as part of the headquarters of Major General Peck of the Union Army. Currently the Suffolk Visitor Center. 524 N. Main St., VisitSuffolkVA.com, 757.514.4130
15 GREAT DISMAL SWAMP NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE This nature preserve encompasses over 112,000 acres of wildlife observation, history, mystery and lore. Fishing and boating are permitted year round on the waters of Lake Drummond, a 3,100-acre natural lake in the heart of the swamp. Bear and deer hunting by permit is available during the fall. 3100 Desert Rd., fws.gov/northeast/greatdismalswamp, 757.986.3705
6 OBICI HOUSE (1870 FARMHOUSE RELOCATED AND EXPANDED) This 1920s Art Nouveau-style mansion was built along the Nansemond River by Amedeo Obici, an Italian immigrant and founder of Planters Peanuts. Open to the public and features include a snack bar, golf pro shop and event space. 4700 Sleepy Hole Rd., TheObiciHouse.com, 757.373.4217
16 KID ZONE PLAYGROUND located off Main Street adjacent to Holly Lawn Cemetery. The playground area is surrounded by a walking track, two shelters, a skate park, a dog park, and the Howard Mast Tennis complex. 757.514.7250
7 PLANTERS PEANUT CENTER (1889) Step back in time and enjoy the aroma of peanuts roasted in the shell daily by a 1936-model roaster. Offering a wide variety of Planters peanuts, candies and other snack products. 308 W. Washington St., SuffolkPeanuts.com, 757.539.4411 8 REMARKABLE TREES Two impressive trees have gained statewide recognition for their size and uniqueness. 1. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is 90 feet tall and was transplanted from California to Suffolk in 1954. Located behind R.W. Baker Funeral Home. 509 W. Washington St. 2. Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) boasts a 14 ft. circumference and has a Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) tree emerging from its trunk. Located inside Cedar Hill Cemetery. 105 Mahan St. 9 RIDDICK’S FOLLY HOUSE MUSEUM (1837) During the Civil War, this 21-room, Greek Revival-style home served as headquarters for the Union. Gift shop. 510 N. Main St., RiddicksFolly.org, 757.934.0822 10 ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH (1755) Located in Chuckatuck Village, St. John’s is on the National Register of Historic Places. 828 Kings Hwy. 11 SEABOARD STATION RAILROAD MUSEUM (1885) The restored Main Street Station displays a two-room HO-scale model of Suffolk in 1907. Railroad memorabilia and gift shop. 326 N. Main St., SuffolkTrainStation.com, 757.514.4135 12 PHILLIPS-DAWSON HOUSE This c. 1881 house serves as headquarters for the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society. The beautifully appointed historic home offers a changing exhibit gallery, an array of archival materials and objects relating to the histories of Suffolk and Nansemond county, a gift shop, and meeting/rental space. 137 Bank St., SuffolkHistory.org, 757.539.2781 VIRGINIA CIVIL WAR TRAILS SITES include Riddick’s Folly House Museum (1837) and Cedar Hill Cemetery (1802). CivilWar-VA.com, 888.248.4592 (toll free).
Eco-Adventure, Golf & Recreation 13 BENNETT’S CREEK PARK AND BOAT RAMP This 50-acre park offers two free boat ramps, disabled-accessible fishing and crabbing pier, a playground, tennis courts, shelters, a nature trail and open fields. Suffolk Parks & Recreation. 3000 Bennetts Creek Park Rd., 757.484.3984 14 DAVIS LAKES AND CAMPGROUND This family fun spot south of downtown Suffolk has 138 campsites and offers nature trails, swimming, fishing and more. 200 Byrd St., DavisLakesCampground.net, 757.539.1191 EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES Numerous facilities are located throughout the city. For information visit the Suffolk Horse Show Association. SHSAVa.org FISHING STATIONS Lakes Cohoon, Kilby, Meade and Speight, Burnt Mills Reservoir, Lake Prince, and Western Branch Reservoir, Lone Star Lakes and Crumps Millpond. Boat permits are required, information can be obtained at the Suffolk Visitor Center. 757.514.4130
17 LONE STAR LAKES PARK Over 1,000 acres with 11 lakes for fresh water fishing, nature trails, picnic areas, playground, horse trail, archery range, crabbing, disc golf and model airplane flying field. Currently in development nearby: Mattanock Town is a 70+ acre project developed by The Nansemond Indian Nation featuring an authentic Native-American Algonquin dispersed village. It will include nature trails, a tribal center, burial grounds, event facilities, etc.For more details: 1 Bob House Pkwy., Nansemond.org Suffolk Parks & Recreation, 757.255.4308 18 SUFFOLK SEABOARD COASTAL TRAIL The former Seaboard Coastal Railroad right-of-way is now a 10-foot wide trail for pedestrians and bicycles. Beginning in the village of Driver, the Trail extends 3.3 miles eastward to the Suffolk/ Chesapeake city line. 757.514.7250 19 SKYDIVE SUFFOLK, INC. Located at Suffolk Executive Airport, USPA- certified instructors offer tandem and accelerated freefall from the first jump through expert licenses. Reservations required. 200 Airport Rd., SkyDiveSuffolk.com, 757.539.3531 20 SLEEPY HOLE PARK 66-acre park, located off Sleepy Hole Road on the Nansemond River, offers an 18-hole golf course, a variety of natural areas, open spaces and breathtaking views, trails, fishing pier and kayak launch, a 30-acre lake, 12 picnic shelters and a playground. 4700 Sleepy Hole Rd., Suffolk Parks & Recreation, 757.538.4102 21 SUFFOLK FARMERS’ MARKET AT THE PAVILION Seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit; plants and flowers; jams, jellies and crafts. Special events and activities for the entire family. 524 N. Main St., Saturdays, 9am-1pm: Spring to Fall, 757.514.4130 22 CEDAR POINT COUNTRY CLUB A private membership 18-hole course off Route 17 on the Nansemond River in northern Suffolk. 8056 Clubhouse Dr., CedarPointCountryClub.com, 757.238.2275 23 NANSEMOND RIVER GOLF CLUB A public 18-hole course on the Nansemond River with 14 holes on the waterfront. 1000 Hillpoint Rd., NansemondRiverGolfClub.com, 757.539.4356 24 RIVERFRONT GOLF CLUB at Harbour View is a semi-private 18-hole course designed by Tom Doak on the banks of the Nansemond River near the mouth of the James River. 5200 River Club Rd., RiverfrontGolf.com, 757.484.2200 25 SLEEPY HOLE GOLF COURSE A public 18-hole course located at Sleepy Hole Park on the Nansemond River in northern Suffolk. 4700 Sleepy Hole Rd., SleepyHoleGolfCourse.com, 757.538.4100 26 SUFFOLK GOLF COURSE A public 18-hole course bordering Lake Kilby near downtown Suffolk. 1227 Holland Rd., 757.539.6298
Arts & Entertainment 27 HARBOUR VIEW GRANDE CINEMAS A Regal Entertainment Group 16-screen movie theatre, Harbour View Grande Cinemas is located in North Suffolk. Nestled among shoppes and eateries, this theatre offers leather recliners, reserved seating, first run movies and a full selection of concessions. 5860 Harbour View Blvd., 757.638.7827 28 SUFFOLK ART GALLERY As a community partner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, this gallery offers changing art exhibits as well as open mic nights, artists’ demonstrations and an array of art classes. The Gallery is also home to the Suffolk Art League. 118 Bosley Ave., 757.514.7284 29 SUFFOLK CENTER FOR CULTURAL ARTS This three-story brick 1922 former high school in downtown is now the state-of-the-art Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts boasting musical, theatrical and dance productions. The 62,880-square-foot facility features a 500-seat theater, a ballroom and banquet hall, art galleries, Jester’s Gallery Gifts, classrooms and an on-site restaurant. 110 W. Finney Ave., SuffolkCenter.org, 757.923.2900 30 SIMPLY VINTAGE An upscale vintage, furniture and arts collective featuring retail space, events, classes and workshops. 3117 Kings Hwy., facebook.com/simplyvintageva, 757.809.4000 31 MAKE SOMETHING STUDIO An all-inclusive DIY studio, including Paint Your Own Pottery, for children and adults. 3235 Bridge Road, Suite 8, MakeSomethingVA.com, 757.354.5426 32 ONE PAST 7 A working artist studio featuring gallery exhibits, workshops, classes and special events. 100 N. Main St. 33 SPARC SHOPPE A retail sales gallery featuring local artists and creatives. You will find a variety of handmade, original artwork, gifts, jewelry and home decor. 126 N Main St., 757.809.3229 34 HUB 757 This 28,000-square-foot facility offers an urban chic, industrial atmosphere capable of accommodating all types of events. Hosts concerts and entertainment, arts and crafts fairs, conferences, expos, and other events. 6801 Bridgeway Dr., hub757.com, 757.800.1800 35 WINE & DESIGN A great place to unwind and have fun. Private and public paint & sip parties for all ages, groups and talents. Specialties include “girls’ nights,” birthday parties, corporate events, date nights, etc. 6255 College Drive, Suite R-1, wineanddesign.com/locations/suffolk, 757.977.1101
Untap the Possibilities 36 NANSEMOND BREWING STATION Suffolk’s first brewing company, located in a 4,700-square-foot building dating back to 1915. Originally a car dealership for Chalmers then Fords in the 1930’s. Today it is a brewing company with a 3,000-square-foot tasting room, a ten barrel brew house and a total for 40 barrels of fermentable space. 212 E. Washington St., NansemondBrewing.com, 757.514.1591 37 DECENT PEOPLE TAPROOM Located in Harbour View area of north Suffolk offering 44 self-serve craft beers, ciders, wines and using an innovative selfserve system where patrons can pay by the ounce. Decent People Taproom is also a full service restaurant. 5140 River Club Dr., DecentPeopleTaproom.com, 757.977.1211 Photos this page, top to bottom, left to right: The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts; Children collaborating at the Suffolk Art Gallery; Patrons having a cocktail at one of Suffolk’s many eateries.
Tour Suffolk Legends of Main Street: A Suffolk Ghost Walk A hair-raising encounter with the “spirited” side of Suffolk. Follow a costumed guide through the shadows of historic Main Street discovering stories, legends and “unexplained occurrences” by lantern light. Tales of unsolved mysteries and unresolved affairs abound throughout Suffolk’s historically hip Ghost Walk. Not appropriate for children under nine or the faint of heart.
Great Dismal Swamp Safari (Narrated Tour) The Great Dismal Swamp is one of few remaining American wildernesses and is home to black bear, bobcats, river otters, rattlesnakes and many rare plants. It is the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Especially attractive to birders and nature lovers, the Great Dismal Swamp boasts 200 species of birds, yellow-bellied and spotted turtles, lizards, salamanders, frogs and toads. Despite its impressive size and age, the Great Dismal Swamp remains a mystery to most people. Its thick forests protect its wildlife and ward off intruders. But for those who venture in, the Dismal Swamp shelters a wealth of history and lore, flora and fauna. This tour is led by a biologist specializing in the unique habitat of the Great Dismal. Reserve your adventure today! Guided Nature Walk Great Dismal Swamp Historic Suffolk Narrated Bus Tour Suffolk’s rich heritage dates back to the early 17th century, when Captain John Smith first encountered the Nansemond Indians on the Nansemond River. Even now, you can trace Suffolk’s legacy through our historic homes and neighborhoods, churches and Virginia Civil War Trails. Guided by Suffolk Tourism, you meet the people and places that made Suffolk the city it is today. Guided Cedar Hill Cemetery Stroll Cedar Hill Cemetery’s 32 acres of hilly terrain and ancient cedar trees have many stories to reveal. Home to one of Suffolk’s official Virginia Civil War Trail sites—the Confederate Monument—the Cemetery is historically fascinating. Enjoy a 90-minute guided stroll through Suffolk’s history.
Meet the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in a new way— up close and personal! Enjoy a biologist-led nature walk as you learn about the flora, fauna, wildlife and history that abound in the 112,000-acre wilderness.
Photos above, top to bottom, left to right: The Seaboard Station Railroad Museum; Suffolk Farmers’ Market attendees; Love Local Buy Suffolk banner in downtown Suffolk; Taste of Suffolk fun; Kayaking on Lake Drummond in the Great Dismal Swamp.
City of Suffolk DIVISION OF TOURISM Suffolk Visitor Center Open Daily 9am - 5pm
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day)
524 North Main Street • Suffolk, VA 23434 757-514-4130 • VisitSuffolk@suffolkva.us •VisitSuffolkVa.com