A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Jacksonville vs. Norfolk for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Jacksonville and Norfolk. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a fun, vibrant, and under-rated city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for beaches, shopping, and museums.

Norfolk

Norfolk is a authentic, blue collar, and maritime city. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Jacksonville and Norfolk: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

You'll generally find more things to do in Jacksonville than Norfolk. Jacksonville is bigger than Norfolk, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Jacksonville is well known for its beautiful beaches and lively downtown area. Also, Jacksonville is famous for Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. Norfolk is well known for its naval base and military presence.

How is Jacksonville different from Norfolk?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Norfolk and Jacksonville. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Jacksonville offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city has a number of museums that range from art museums to science or kid-friendly museums. Some favorites are the Museum of Science and History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society, and Kingsley Plantation.

Norfolk offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are some interesting museums in town like the Chrysler Museum, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the Norfolk Police and Fire Museum. You should also check out the Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin.


Is the Food Better in Jacksonville or Norfolk? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Jacksonville makes for a great culinary experience. Local cuisine has its own identity. Unique dishes around town include garlic crabs, seafood boil, gumbo, and shrimp and grits. The local cuisine is similar to Lowcountry dishes with a lot of Cajun influence. If you want something different from seafood, you should try the barbecue.

Norfolk has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. You'll find a decent collection of restaurants in the downtown area. Food options include local seafood, brunch, casual eateries, and fine dining.

Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Nightlife?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a great destination for nightlife. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife and partying.

The people in Jacksonville know how to have a good time. The young population brings out the nightlife scene. There's a great concentration of bars and clubs in the area known as The Elbow, which is at the intersection of N. Ocean and E. Bay Street. You'll find plenty of cocktail bars, lounges, and clubs around town that make for a fun night out.

If you're looking for night time activities Norfolk has a few options to choose from. Downtown is where you'll find the most busy nightlife venues. The city has great breweries, and the live music scene has taken off. There are also lounges, dance clubs, and wine bars to choose from.

Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Beaches?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a great destination for its beaches. However, Norfolk is not a beach destination.

Jacksonville is considered a top beach destination. There are a number of beaches that are just a short distance from the city. Some have a historic vibe while others are more lively. Atlantic Beach is about a half hour drive from the city. For a laid back vibe head to Neptune Beach and the most popular beach in the area is Jacksonville Beach.

Norfolk is not a beach destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a great destination for shopping. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Jacksonville is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are countless malls and shopping districts around town. Some of the best shopping is found at St. John's Center, Five Points, and Avondale.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Norfolk. There's a mix of shopping malls, local boutiques, farmer's markets, and shopping centers around town.

Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Families?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Both Jacksonville and Norfolk are notable family-friendly destinations.

Jacksonville is a family-friendly city. It's filled with adventure parks, zoos, animal farms, nature centers, and gardens. Adults will have as much fun as kids exploring the city and all of its family-friendly attractions.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Norfolk. The Norfolk Zoo is always a hit with kids. You should also visit the USS Wisconsin which offers tours, as well as the Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum.

Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Couples?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a popular place for romance. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for its romantic activities.

Jacksonville is a nice destination for couples. It's a young city that's near nature and has plenty of adventurous activities. There's sailing, botanical gardens, restaurants, and plenty of bars around town.

Most people don't think of Norfolk as a couple's destination. There are some nice hotels and several great parks and outdoor activities.


Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a popular place for backpackers. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Jacksonville. There are a few hostels in town as well as affordable motels. The city has a young population with plenty to do. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there's a surprising and underrated appeal to the backpacker crowd.

Norfolk is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. This is an often overlooked area for backpackers.

Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Students?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a popular place for students. However, Norfolk is not popular with students.

Jacksonville is popular with students. There are a few colleges and universities in town. The city's population is also very young, making it a great place to study.

Norfolk is not popular with students.

Is Jacksonville or Norfolk Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville is a popular place for its public transit. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Jacksonville, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The public transportation system includes trolleys, the Skyway, buses, water taxis, and the ferry.

Public transit is mostly limited in Norfolk. While there are buses, ferries, and even lightrail in the area, you really want to have a car to get around.


Is Jacksonville or Norfolk a more walkable city?

Jacksonville
Norfolk

Jacksonville and Norfolk are notable when it comes to walkability.

Jacksonville is a somewhat walkable city. Downtown Jacksonville is the most walkable part of the city.

Norfolk is somewhat walkable. Downtown is the most walkable part of the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Jacksonville Worth Visiting? and Is Norfolk Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Norfolk or Jacksonville?

How long in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Jacksonville or Norfolk to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Jacksonville than Norfolk because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Jacksonville, and 1-2 days is enough time in Norfolk.

Families should spend more time in Jacksonville than Norfolk. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Jacksonville, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Jacksonville than Norfolk. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Jacksonville that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Jacksonville than Norfolk if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Jacksonville.


  • How many days in Jacksonville or Norfolk? Ideal Length of Stay
    Jacksonville 2-3 
    Norfolk 1-2

One day in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

In Jacksonville, you'll find nightlife and food. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In Norfolk, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this blue collar city offers. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. In one day, you should have a good grasp of this city.

A weekend in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

In Jacksonville, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Most people come for the beaches. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Jacksonville has to offer.

Norfolk is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Jacksonville is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the maritime destination of Norfolk. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

A week in Jacksonville or Norfolk?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Jacksonville. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Jacksonville. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Norfolk is a popular place to visit. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, and The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Norfolk or Jacksonville?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Jacksonville is $220, while the average daily cost in Norfolk is $166. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Jacksonville and Norfolk in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Jacksonville $92
    Norfolk $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Jacksonville $184
    Norfolk $168
Compare Hotels in Jacksonville and Norfolk

Looking for a hotel in Jacksonville or Norfolk? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Jacksonville


Hotels in Norfolk


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Jacksonville Hotel Prices and Norfolk Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Jacksonville $53
    Norfolk $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jacksonville

Also for Jacksonville, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Carnival Cruise Port Jacksonville to City - Arrival Transfer: $64
  • Carnival Cruise Port Transfer to Jacksonville: $339
  • Carnival Cruise Port to Jacksonville Airport (JAX) - Departure Private Transfer: $56
  • JAX Airport Transfer to Amelia Island: $195
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville City - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville Cruise Port -Arrival Private Transfer: $56
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $111
  • Private Transfer from Carnival Port to Jacksonville Airport (JAX): $56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Norfolk

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Norfolk:

  • Bamville Transportation (Private & Airport Transfers): $275

Is it cheaper to fly into Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Prices for flights to both Norfolk and Jacksonville change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Jacksonville $96
    Norfolk $49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Jacksonville

For Jacksonville, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 1 Hour of Chocolate Pizza Making Class in Jacksonville: $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Norfolk

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Norfolk.

  • Norfolk Buffet Dinner Cruise : $89
  • Buffet Dinner Cruise: $89
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Dinner Cruise: $126
  • Norfolk 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $182

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Jacksonville $20
    Norfolk $14

Tours and Activities in Jacksonville

For Jacksonville, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 20 Minutes Chocolate & Candy Factory Tour in Jacksonville: $6.00
  • Scenic A1A Byway Self Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Murray Hill Walking Mural Tour: $25
  • Downtown Fernandina Historical Walking Tour: $30
  • Jacksonville Ghosts and Ghouls Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Amelia Island Area Kayak Rental on Lofton Creek with Adventures Up The Creek: $36
  • Self-Guided Kayaking: Real Florida Adventure: $45
  • Self Guided Family Friendly Kayak Rental Experience Old Florida : $48
  • Eight Flags Road Tour: $50
  • Guided Kayak Eco Tour: Real Florida Adventure: $55
  • Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour of Lofton Creek : $60
  • Electric Bike Art and Architecture Guided Tour in Jacksonville : $60

Tours and Activities in Norfolk

Here are a few actual costs in Norfolk for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Electric Bike Rental Downtown Norfolk (self guided tour) : $60
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Norfolk with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Neon District Contemporary Art Walking Tour: $32
  • Norfolk Buffet Brunch Cruise : $74
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Brunch Cruise: $114
  • Norfolk's Passport to Fun Admission Tickets and Savings: $37
  • Elizabeth River Candlelit Buffet Lunch Cruise: $59
  • Elizabeth River Sunday Buffet Brunch Cruise: $74
  • Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket: $38
  • Skip the Line: Virginia Living Museum Admission Ticket: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Jacksonville $20
    Norfolk $10

Sample the Local Flavors in Jacksonville

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Jacksonville:

  • Jacksonville Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Jax Brewery Tour (Drinks Included): $135

Sample the Local Flavors in Norfolk

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Norfolk:

  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Downtown Norfolk: $30


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Jacksonville and Norfolk, we can see that Jacksonville is more expensive. And not only is Norfolk much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Norfolk would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Norfolk and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Jacksonville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Jacksonville than you might in Norfolk.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Jacksonville Expensive? and Is Norfolk Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Jacksonville has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Norfolk. When comparing the sizes of Jacksonville and Norfolk, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Jacksonville or Norfolk?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Jacksonville or Norfolk in the Summer?

Both Norfolk and Jacksonville during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Jacksonville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Norfolk for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Jacksonville is around the same temperature as Norfolk. Typically, the summer temperatures in Jacksonville in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Norfolk averages at about 79°F (26°C).

In Norfolk, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Jacksonville. In the summer, Jacksonville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk. Jacksonville gets 286 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 279 hours of full sun.

Norfolk gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Jacksonville. Jacksonville usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Norfolk. Jacksonville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Jacksonville 82°F (28°C) 
    Norfolk 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Jacksonville or Norfolk in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Jacksonville and Norfolk. Many travelers come to Jacksonville for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Norfolk in the autumn for the shopping scene.

In October, Jacksonville is generally a little warmer than Norfolk. Daily temperatures in Jacksonville average around 70°F (21°C), and Norfolk fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Norfolk this time of the year. In Jacksonville, it's very sunny this time of the year. Jacksonville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk during autumn. Jacksonville gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Jacksonville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Norfolk. Jacksonville gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November is the hurricane season in Jacksonville.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Jacksonville 70°F (21°C) 
    Norfolk 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Jacksonville or Norfolk in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Jacksonville as well as Norfolk. Many visitors come to Jacksonville in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Norfolk for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Norfolk can be very cold during winter. Jacksonville is much warmer than Norfolk in the winter. The daily temperature in Jacksonville averages around 53°F (12°C) in January, and Norfolk fluctuates around 39°F (4°C).

In the winter, Jacksonville often gets more sunshine than Norfolk. Jacksonville gets 191 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 168 hours of full sun.

Jacksonville usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Norfolk. Jacksonville gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Jacksonville 53°F (12°C) 
    Norfolk 39°F (4°C)

Should I visit Jacksonville or Norfolk in the Spring?

Both Norfolk and Jacksonville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Jacksonville for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Jacksonville is a little warmer than Norfolk. Typically, the spring temperatures in Jacksonville in April average around 68°F (20°C), and Norfolk averages at about 58°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in Norfolk. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Jacksonville. Jacksonville usually receives more sunshine than Norfolk during spring. Jacksonville gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Jacksonville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Norfolk. Jacksonville gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November in Jacksonville is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Jacksonville 68°F (20°C) 
    Norfolk 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Norfolk and Jacksonville

Jacksonville Norfolk
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 56°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 62°F (17°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (180 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Oct 70°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)