I spent a week in Norfolk last Fall, revisiting my old haunts from my Navy days in the early '70s, when Norfolk was my ships' homeport. The weather can be miserably hot and humid from mid-Spring to mid-Fall, and winters raw and wet, but you'll rarely see snow. There are some good beaches nearby, but some kitschy, trashy ones, like the Boardwalk at Va. Beach, to avoid; those on the DelMarVa peninsula suit me best. Culturally, it's got a lot of history, particularly of the maritime kind, along with Revolutionary and Civil War sites nearby, and its arts scene has come along way in recent years. It's gay scene, not so much, but you are close to DC, Richmond and the whole East Coast megalopolis. Seafood restaurants abound, as do Southern food places. If you live in Norfolk, Ghent, Freemason, and Larchmont remain the place to be, and the Arts District is coming up as well; it's full of artists studios, clubs, and trendy cafes, as its name suggests. You might also choose to live in one of the surrounding cities - Hampton has some really cool neighborhoods near Ft. Monroe - but accept that you may become a bridge 'n' tunnel commuter and those commutes are lousy
ones. In sum, as someone else said, it's an OK place, but that would have to be a pretty good job offer to get me to move there; is Columbus really that bad???
As for places to avoid:http://www.city-data.com/forum/hampton-roads-area/684840-neighborhoods-avoid.html
Good luck to you wherever you land!