Portsmouth Travel Guide

  • One of the cobblestone streets
    One of the cobblestone streets
    by Tom_Fields
  • High St
    High St
    by Tom_Fields
  • Gosport Shipyard
    Gosport Shipyard
    by Tom_Fields

Portsmouth Things to Do

  • Olde Towne

    Portsmouth's Olde Towne Historic District offers a trip through early American history. The homes are all well-maintained, and many are beautiful. There are guided tours and special events, but you can enjoy the district by just walking around. For specific information on upcoming events, check the website.

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  • Courthouse Galleries

    Housed in the old Courthouse built in 1846, this museum offers a modest art collection, youth programs, lectures, performances, and educational classes. It also serves as a good source of general information about the town of Portsmouth and its many attractions. Be sure to visit the outdoor sculpture garden. And don't miss the kite collection...

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  • Naval Shipyard Museum

    This museum covers the entire history of the town and its famed Gosport Naval Shipyard. With an impressive collection of models and memorabilia, it's a great place to learn about Portsmouth's naval heritage. The ticket also includes admission to the Portsmouth Lightship Museum. Similar to the lightship in Baltimore, it served many years guiding...

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  • Historic District

    We didn't get a chance to do this when we docked in Portsmouth as we were (I was) too beat. Hot weather just enervates me. But there were a number of things that I would have liked to do like take a walking tour, and go and see where the ferry docked.I suggest that you visit the Visitor Information Center - which can provide admission tickets and...

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  • Naval Shipyard Museum

    The Naval Shipyard Museum is in Portsmouth. But the shipyard is called the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Which is confusing, at least to me. The name was chosen because at the time, there was already a Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire."During the Revolutionary War, the shipyard was described by the British as “the most considerable one in America.”...

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  • Visiting Portsmouth

    As retirees, we’ve had the time and, therefore, the fun of doing some travel by car around this lovely country of ours. Most recently, we’ve been in Virginia, and have discovered the delightful little town of Portsmouth....just across the water from Norfolk. A seafaring town, its “Olde Towne” retains a bit of that flavor and is decorated with many...

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Portsmouth Hotels

Portsmouth Restaurants

  • European Bistro

    Advertises a "Top shelf bar with over 50 creative martinis and a fabulous wine list"What would have appealed to me more was the Certified Angus Beef and the "Wild and Wonderful Dessert"Live entertainment on weekends - serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.(Omlets, gormet sandwiches, pastires, salads, posta, beef and poultry..)Famous...

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  • Fancy Marina Restaurant

    Even though it was November, it was too hot for me to walk out into town to a more reasonable priced restaurant and I was really tired as we'd had a long day. So we ate here. This restaurant was over the marina office on the 2nd floor looking out toward Waterside which was across the way.They had a sports bar type area with big screen TVs and also...

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  • Mexican Food

    There are two of these restaurants in Portsmouth. I took the picture because I thought it looked interesting, but we were not in Portsmouth at mealtime.When I looked it up on the internet, I saw that it features authentic Mexican cuisine. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.However, the very first reference on the...

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  • Coffee and Sandwiches

    There are two of these places. The one on High Street has gourmet coffee, espresso, Cappuccino, Danish, homemade scones, cookies, muffins, snacks. The other one - Olde Towne News & Coffee II 355 Crawford St, Portsmouth, VA, 757-393-0667, A cafe offering salads and sandwiches, in the lobby of the First Virginia Bank Building This photo is taken...

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  • Wednesday Night Seafood Buffet

    This place is open Mon-Sat 11:30 to 9:00 and Sunday 12 noon to 8:30. They have delivery in a limited area - minimum order $8.00 for dinner.In person there is an all you can eat buffet for $7.95 for dinner plus the Wednesday nigh super buffet for $8.95 which includes also steamed shrimp, walnut shrimp and mussels. Crab legs are $4.59/lb. with the...

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  • Eclectic Southern Cuisine

    This is one of those restaurants where each dish is a chapter in a novel. For instance:Seseme crusted airline chicken breast with honey mango soy glace, warm purple cabbage slaw & almond orange sugar snaps for $17.95 (which was one of the cheaper entrees).Starters were $7.95 for the shish kabob to 9:95 for smoked salmon with caviar, portabello...

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  • Portsmouth's Answer to "Cheers"

    Ever since 'Cheers', every bar and hamburger place seems to want to be like it. This one says it has casual atmosphere, live accoustic music Thursday, Friday and Saturday (don't remember 'Cheers' having that) and nightly specials. It is the Home of the Famous Baron Burger, and it features burgers, sandwiches and salads.

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  • Local Sub Chain

    This place wasn't one we considered for dinner although it would probably have been reasonable in price. It advertises the best selection of fresh sub sandwiches, and also has catering and party subs.It appears to be some kind of local chain because there is another one over at Waterside.

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  • 100 Kinds of International Beer

    This place advertises authentic home cooked German cuisine (which might have been nice on a cooler day) and over 100 international beers, which doesn't appeal to me at all.

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Portsmouth Transportation

  • Hampton Roads Transit (HRT)

    Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) operates a ferry service between Portsmouth and Norfolk. It runs from 10:00 am to 11:30 pm, from the Ferry Landing on High St and from the North Landing near the Visitors Center. It's only a dollar each way (exact change, please). The views of the Elizabeth River, Portsmouth, and Norfolk are worth the trip. It's a very...

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  • "Paddlewheel" ferry

    The ferry "Carrie B" a replica sternwheel riverboat departs from in front of Waterside every half hour at quarter of and quarter after, and takes 15 minutes. It costs about $1.00 and senior citizens get a discount. We first 'ran into' the ferry on our trip down in 2000, and finally in the spring of 2004, we actually rode the ferry. Except for the...

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  • Squyres Marine Services (Water Taxi)

    This little red 'tugboat' came in to the dock while we were waiting for the ferrry. I thought it was SO cute. I don't know the cost, but the website says:Try a new route between downtown Norfolk and Portsmouth! Our professional water taxi is available for commute across the water on a regular basis or by reservation for special event charters....

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Portsmouth Shopping

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Aug 5, 2004

    The gift shop has a variety of gifts including: maps, puzzles, jewelry, dolls and historic Portsmouth-related prints. They also have a lot of books (some of them pictured) about the history of the area which can be ordered on-line.

    The gift shop is open during museum hours.

    What to buy: I wanted to buy an inexpensive souvenier for my grandson, but I could not find anything. What they had was good quality but more than I wanted to spend.

    Museum )Center building) from ferry with insetsi
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Portsmouth Local Customs

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Written Jan 2, 2004

    At some Sunday in late December (this year it was Sunday December 28, 2003) people gather for some kind of parade at the corner of Queen and Washington at 3:30 and walk from there to the foot of High Street ferry terminus

    Apparently anyone can join, and afterwards there is free whisky tasting (21 and over with a designated driver).

    This is a Hogmanay celebration.

    We weren't able to do this since it we were not there on the right date but it certainly sounds interesting.

    Brochure
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Portsmouth Off The Beaten Path

  • Great Dismal Swamp

    This is one of the largest swamps in the Southeast. It has several hiking trails, the most popular being the Washington Ditch Trail. This takes you four and a half miles into the swamp, and is easy to walk (you remain high and dry). It follows a ditch originally surveyed by George Washington himself. Along the way, if you're observant, you may spot...

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  • Portsmouth Lightship

    Even though it was the first of November it was just too hot for me to walk to the National Historic Landmark Portsmouth Light Ship. HISTORYLightship Vessel #101 was launched on January 12, 1916. Her first station was off Cape Charles, Virginia beginning in the Fall of 1916. She was named CHARLES and her home port was Portsmouth. During the next 8...

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  • Portsmouth Hotels

    9 Hotels in Portsmouth

    2 Reviews

Portsmouth Sports & Outdoors

  • MM 000.4 TIdewater Yacht near ICW mile...

    We decided to go past Old Point Comfort Marina since the Chamberlain Hotel (almost the only place to eat) and the commissary have both closed. I couldn't get Waterside on the phone, so made a reservation here. It was a mistake.They charged us $!.30/ft plus $5.00 for 30 amp and the marina was subject to a LOT of wakes. I could hardly get off the...

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  • Mile Zero Anchorage

    The anchorage at Hospital Point (mile zero) is quite famous (the local name is Holiday Harbor). We've never used it as it is unprotected from wakes (large merchant ships and tugs violate the "No Wake" signs frequently) and subject to quite a bit of debris, and also not very quiet. We've always gone to one or another marina either in Hampton,...

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  • MM 000.6 Free Docks, Boat Ramps and...

    According to the City of Portsmouth web page, in addition to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Tidewater Yacht, Ocean Marine, and the anchorage at MM Zero, there are many other facilities available in Portsmouth.The other marinas includePORTSMOUTH MARINAS & SERVICES: Nautical Boats and Marina3825 Adams Street(757) 483-6148Fax (757) 686-5383Boatyard, 200...

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Portsmouth Favorites

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Dec 28, 2003

    Favorite thing: We decided to come in to Tidewater Yacht (#1)instead of going to Waterside (#3 and #21) hoping that we could walk around out in town and see some sights. But it was so-o-o hot I just didn't have the energy. I think it would be better just to take the nice ferry from Waterside (#8 to #7) if I wanted to see Portsmouth.

    Fondest memory: There are guided tours, and an "Olde Town Walking Tour" pamphlet which outlines a 45 stops, and there is a trolley tour.

    In addition to the Lightship(#10), attractions include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum (#11), the Children's Museum (#13), and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (#14). For information call 800-PORTS-VA.

    Map from brochure and sign in Olde Towne
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