Suffolk / Local Attractions

There are many attractions in Suffolk including parks, marinas, historical sites, wildlife refuges, and more.

Cedar Hill Cemetery


N Main Street & Constance Road
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-514-4136

Hours


Open dawn to dusk, daily.

Location / Entrances


Entrances are located on Mahan Street, Constance Road and behind the Suffolk Seaboard Station Museum.

Civil War Trails & Confederate Monument


Originally constructed as "Green Hill Cemetery," this 32 acre expanse of hilly terrain and ancient cedar trees has many stories to reveal. Also home to one of Suffolk’s official Virginia Civil War Trail sites, The Confederate Monument.

Tours


Tours are scheduled throughout the year - please see our Tours page. To inquire about taking the tour or to make reservations, contact the Suffolk Visitor Center at 757-514-4130.
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Constant's Wharf Park & Marina


110 E Constance Road

757-514-7250

Located on the Nansemond River, John Constant founded this important trading center and village known as Constant's Wharf, which would become the Town of Suffolk in 1742.

Boating, Concerts & Festivities


Now this park is full of life, located directly behind The Hilton Garden Inn and Suffolk Conference Center. The 28-slip marina is ideal for boaters and the 6-acre park is the setting for summer outdoor concerts, festivals, movie nights and more.
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First Suffolk Church Site


Western Avenue
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-514-4030

The site of the first church erected in Suffolk is memorialized by a monument surrounded by towering magnolia trees. The Church survived the burning of Suffolk by the British in 1779 but fell to ruin and was razed by 1802.

Glebe Episcopal Church


4400 Nansemond Parkway
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-538-8842

Glebe Episcopal Church Website

One of the oldest landmarks in northern Suffolk, the church is on the National Register of Historic Places. An extensive history of Glebe Episcopal Church is available on the church’s website.

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge


3100 Desert Road
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-986-3705

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Hours


Monday - Friday
8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The headquarters is closed on weekends and federal holidays; the hiking and biking trails remain open.


The Great Dismal Swamp is anything but dismal. Despite its foreboding moniker, the Great Dismal Swamp is one of few remaining American wildernesses. 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. This Nature preserve encompasses over 111,000 acres where visitors enjoy wildlife observation, history, mystery and lore.

Species


Because of its geographic location and climate, the Great Dismal is known for its unique blending of northern and southern species.

It is a haven for:
  • Black Bear
  • Bobcats
  • Rare Plants
  • Rattlesnakes
  • River Otters

Less fearsome creatures include 200 species of:
  • Birds
  • Frogs
  • Lizards
  • Salamanders
  • Toads
  • Yellow-Bellied and Spotted Turtles

Lake Drummond


Lake Drummond, a 3,108-acre lake located near the center of the swamp is the largest of only two naturally occurring lakes in Virginia. It stands only 18 feet above sea level, and though it is 3 miles wide, it is only 5 to 6 feet deep, allowing great cypresses to rise from its still, shallow waters. Tannic acid from forest vegetation stains the water.

Activities


Despite its impressive size and age, the Great Dismal Swamp remains a mystery to most people. Its foreboding 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. Visitors may participate in:
  • Biking
  • Fishing and Boating
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Nature Photography
  • Wildlife Observation

Fishing & Hunting


Fishing and boating is permitted year-round on Lake Drummond with access via the Feeder Ditch, connecting Lake Drummond (a 3,108-acre natural lake in the heart of the swamp) with the Dismal Swamp Canal. A public boat ramp is located north of the Feeder Ditch on the Dismal Swamp Canal. Boats must be small enough to portage around the water control structure near the lake or to be lifted by electric tram to the higher level of the Lake. Lift weight is restricted to a maximum of 1,000 pounds. Vessels are limited to 25 horse power on the Lake. A Virginia fishing license is required. Boating access at the Interior Ditch boat ramp is by special permit on weekends only during the fishing season of April 1 to June 15. Additional information is available from the Refuge office.

Deer hunting by permit is available during the fall.

Trails are open year round, sunrise to sunset.

Great Dismal Swamp Tours are available through the Suffolk Visitor Center - please see our About page. Call 757-514-4130 for more details or to make reservations.
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Nansemond County Courthouse (Suffolk Visitor Center)


524 N Main Street
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-514-4130

Hours


Open daily 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.


Overlooking the Nansemond River, the provincial Roman Revival style structure with its very tall Tuscan columns was an impressive site for early travelers arriving on the river. Today the building retains its commanding presence and historical significance as the Suffolk Visitor Center. The first floor provides an exhibit gallery highlighting the history of Suffolk and the Great Dismal Swamp, a greeting and information area and a gift shop. The second floor houses municipal offices for the Department of Economic Development and Division of Tourism.

Structures, Fires, Historic Events


The former Nansemond County Courthouse (1840), is the third such structure on this site at the busy intersection of Main Street and Constance Road. Two previous courthouse buildings were destroyed by fires. The first fire occurred in May 1779 during the Revolutionary War when the British burned the town. Then, on June 3, 1837, “The Great Fire” destroyed both sides of Main Street from the north of Mahan Street to the courthouse.

During the Civil War, the courthouse was reportedly used as barracks for Union soldiers as the neighboring Mills Riddick home on its south served as Union Army headquarters. The periods of 1894 and 1958 brought repairs and varied remodeling, and the structure retained little original interior trim except for window architrave moldings. Street widenings and parking lots claimed its surrounding white-picket fence and once - impressive green vistas.

The building, however, remained in service as a courthouse until the completion of the Mills Godwin Courts Complex in 1998.
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Historic Obici House


Sleepy Hole Golf Course
4700 Sleepy Hole Road
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-538-0336

Historic Obici House / Sleepy Hole Golf Course

History


This 1920s Art Nouveau-style mansion was built along the Nansemond River by Amedeo Obici, an Italian immigrant and founder of Planters Peanuts. The house was home to him and his beloved wife Louise. The Obicis were well known in Suffolk for both their philanthropy and gracious hospitality.

Current Use


This historic home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was recently renovated to much of its original grandeur and now has taken on a new life as a popular special events venue and restaurant.

The Obici House is ideal for hosting:
  • Business and Civic Meetings
  • Club Luncheons
  • Conferences
  • Fundraisers
  • Galas
  • Holiday Parties
  • Rehearsal Dinners
  • Reunions
  • Weddings
Obici House Catering provides for all of your dining and beverage needs.
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Planters Peanut Center


308 W Washington Street
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-539-4411

Planters Peanut Center

Hours


Monday - Friday
10 a.m.-  5:30 p.m.

Saturday
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Step back in time and enjoy the aroma of peanuts roasted in the shell daily by a 1936-model roaster. The retail store offers a wide variety of Planters Peanuts, candies and other snack products. Gift packs and shipping. Complimentary peanut recipes upon request.

Regal Harbour View Grande 16


5860 Harbour View Boulevard
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-638-7827

This 16-screen movie theater offers stadium seating, incredible sound, snacks, lobby area with arcade games and many nearby eateries and shops.

Riddick's Folly House Museum & Gift Shop (1837)


510 N Main Street
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-934-0822

Riddick's Folly House Website


Hours


Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Saturday
10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Sunday

1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Riddick's Folly is closed on major holidays. 

Admission Rates


Adults - $7
Military and Seniors 55 and older - $6
Students 18 and under - $3
Children 5 and under - free
Partial tours - $4

House Details


While Mills Riddick's contemporaries may have mocked his Greek Revival home when it was built in 1837, the house now stands as a beautiful reminder of the past.


The impressive structure is situated on North Main Street and features striking architectural details. The 5 frieze band windows across the front of the house are rarely seen in eastern Virginia. The front of the mansion is bricked in Flemish bond, and double chimneys rise from both ends of the stately historic landmark. Slender columns of the Greek Revival period frame the main entrance. The interior showcases intricately carved moldings and elaborate ceiling medallions throughout the house.

Riddick's Folly has 4 floors, 21 rooms, and 16 fireplaces. All 4 floors are open to the public. The building features elegantly furnished double parlors, a gentlemen's library, and adult and children's bedchambers. Also open are the laundry and dining rooms, and our newest restoration project, the kitchen.

Registered with the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. During the Civil War, Riddick’s Folly served as headquarters for the Union Army.

Guided tours are available during Riddick’s Folly’s normal operating hours. Group tours are also available; please contact the museum in advance. Visitors should plan to spend an hour to an hour and a half at Riddick’s Folly.
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Seaboard Station Railroad Museum (1885)


326 N Main Street
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-923-4750

Seaboard Station Railroad Museum Website

Hours


Wednesday - Friday
11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Saturday
10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Sunday
1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

This restored Main Street station displays a 2-room HO-scale model of Suffolk in 1907 that was built by the Tidewater Division of the National Model Railroad Association. A quaint gift shop appeals to the Conductor In all of us.

Annual Events


The Railroad Museum hosts several events annually, including:
  • Book Signings
  • Craft Fairs
  • Holiday Open Houses
  • Thomas the Train days for the kiddies
  • Wreath Sales

The station was built in 1885 and has remained basically unchanged over the years. The Queen Anne style building is reminiscent of the Victorian age. It has an interesting tower with a beautiful, walnut, spiral staircase.

Restored Features


Many original features were saved and restored such as the:
  • Coffered Ceiling
  • Doors
  • Fireplace and Porch
  • Windows

In 1918, there were 6 railroads coming through Suffolk with 32 passenger trains and 70 freight trains per day.
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Southern Gun Works & Museum


167 S Main Street
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-934-1423

This museum offers a wide selection of the finest limited edition military art. This unique store also carries reproduction weapons for the re-enactor. They carry:
  • Bayonets
  • Headgear on Display
  • Military Firearms
  • Paper Documents
  • Swords
  • Uniforms
  • War Photos
  • War Souvenirs

St Johns Episcopal Church


828 King's Highway
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-255-4168

Located in Chuckatuck Village, this church is on the National Register of Historic Places. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. 

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts


110 W Finney Avenue
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-923-0003 administrative office
757-923-2900 box office

Suffolk Center Website

Hours


Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Ticket window opens 90 minutes prior to events.

Founding


Suffolk High School, built in 1922, has been restored and repurposed as the premier visual and performing arts venue for Suffolk.

In the heart of downtown, the classic Greek-Revival structure houses a 500 seat theatre which is the stage for:
  • Ballets
  • Children’s Plays
  • Concerts
  • Dramatic Works
  • Films
  • Musicals
  • Puppet Shows
  • Symphony Performances


The 62,880-square-foot facility offers studios for dance, painting, sculpting, weaving classes and several other arts related classes. Within the massive 3-story Center, there is a ballroom and banquet hall, classroom museum, gift shop and an on-site restaurant (Mosaic by Holland’s).

Suffolk Art Gallery / Suffolk Art League


118 Bosley Avenue
Suffolk, VA 23434

757-514-7284
757-925-0448

Heart and Soul Suffolk Website
Suffolk Art League Website

Hours


Tuesday - Saturday
10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Sunday
1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The Museum hosts a variety of exhibits and through a partnership with the Suffolk Art League and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers year-round programming. From painting and pastels to weaving and quilting, you can find a variety of art classes and workshops offered by the Suffolk Art League.
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