Norfolk is located in Southampton County in southeast Virginia in the Central Region of the state. It is situated in the "Hampton Roads" area; Lake Drummond and Dismal Swamp are nearby.
Norfolk's fine harbor accommodates supercarriers, merchant ships and United States Navy vessels. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard in nearby Portsmouth, as well as the Naval Station and Naval Air Station in Norfolk, are among the largest naval facilities in the world.
Norfolk boasts a 400-year history. In 1585, English settlers reached Roanoke Island and in 1591, the Roanoke Colony was found with no survivors. In 1607, colonists established Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America. In 1776, English ships opened fire on Norfolk, burning many of the buildings to the ground. During the Civil War, the Virginia and the Monitor fought in Hampton Roads. World War II doubled Norfolk's population.
Norfolk is part of the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News metro area.