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Suffolk, Virginia

If you love Small Town Charm, Eco-Adventure, Performing & Visual Arts, History, Festivals, Boutiques, Chef-Owned Restaurants, Recreation, Golf, Guided Tours, and Peanuts – you’ll love Suffolk, Virginia.

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts – As Suffolk’s premier visual and performing arts venue for Suffolk, the Suffolk Center boasts a year-round schedule featuring musical performances, theatrical productions, ballet, art exhibits, lectures and galas. The classic Greek-Revival structure was built in 1922 and served as Suffolk High School until 1990. Situated in the heart of downtown, the impressive structure houses a 500-seat theater, which is the stage for concerts, ballets, musicals, dramatic works, symphony performances, films, children’s plays, puppet shows and so much more.

Seaboard Station Railroad Museum – This restored Main Street station displays a two-room HO-scale model of Suffolk in 1907 that was built by the Tidewater Division of the National Model Railroad Association. 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. Many original features were saved and restored such as the doors, windows, coffered ceiling, fireplace and porch. In 1918, there were six railroads coming through Suffolk with 32 passenger trains and 70 freight trains per day. The museum contains a collection of items from the Seaboard Airline Railroad, the Virginian Railway, the Norfolk and Western Railroad, and the Atlantic and Danville Railroad. Items include bells from steam locomotives, a light from a steam locomotive tender, cast iron and concrete signs, railroad lanterns, railroad tools, as well as a nice collection of smaller items, including silver items used in dining cars, office items used in the agent’s offices, and advertising items. There are also a number of models of railroad locomotives and cars used by the railroads. The museum features railroad memorabilia and changing exhibits. 

Riddick’s Folly House Museum & Gift Shop – In early 1837, a fire ravaged dozens of homes and outbuildings at the north end of Main Street in Suffolk. Out of the ashes of that fire, Mr. Mills Riddick built the home that is known today as Riddick’s Folly. Mills Riddick was a member of a large and prominent family in Suffolk and Nansemond County. He was the grandson of Revolutionary War hero Col. Willis S. Riddick and was a captain of cavalry during the War of 1812. In 1819 and 1829 he served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing Suffolk and Nansemond County. 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 five 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 four floors, 21 rooms and 16 fireplaces; all four floors are open to the public. The building features elegantly-furnished double parlors, a gentleman’s library, and adults’ and children’s bedchambers. Also open are the laundry and dining rooms, a restored kitchen and a tastefully-stocked gift shop that includes artwork and pottery by local artisans, as well as fine and costume jewelry, local history publications, Civil War items and collectibles.

Suffolk Waterways – Suffolk has over 8,000 acres of lakes and miles of river shoreline which include Lone Star Lake, Bennett’s Creek Park, Cedar Creek, Chuckatuck Creek, Sleepy Hole Park, Constant’s Wharf (City Marina), and Dismal Swamp Accessways.