Portsmouth, VA

Travel Guide
Portsmouth which includes a bay or harbor

For fans of antiques shops, historic homes and waterfront dining, this bustling seaport on Hampton Roads harbor serves all your interests.

A visit to Portsmouth satisfies just about every travel yearning. For marine history, there are shipyards and museums to explore. Numerous antiques shops have hidden treasures. If you enjoy public art, you can view more than a dozen displays over eight city blocks. This historic little city has been around since 1752. Despite its age, it remains one of the hippest seaports in the country.

Start your Portsmouth exploration with a self-guided walk along the Path of History, a waterfront walkway that strings together several historical sites. Stroll through the charming Olde Towne Historic District, with its many antiques shops, multiple museums, fine dining and centuries-old homes.

Wander from Olde Towne to the Lightship Portsmouth Museum, where you’ll find uniforms, models and photos in a 1915 lightship docked on land. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Plan to wander for a couple hours here, learning about the shipyard’s nearly 250-year history through ship models and artifacts from the 1700s through 1900s.

In addition to studying marine history, stop at Portsmouth’s many other highlights, including the Children’s Museum of Virginia, a must for families. From antique trains to a hands-on port exhibit to a full-dome planetarium, the museum caters to kids’ imaginations. Nearby, the historic Commodore Theatre offers delights in its own way, with full-service dining while you watch the latest film, in a setting that has been restored to its original art deco style.

After these explorations, satisfy your appetite at one of Portsmouth’s many great restaurants. Find menus with everything from Southern comfort foods, international cuisine, burgers and fries to crabcakes.

Portsmouth is in Virginia at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay. Get here from Norfolk by car or the pedestrian Elizabeth River Ferry. You can also travel back and forth by water taxi and kayak. Park for free for up to 2 hours on High Street. Metered spots, garages and lots offer free parking on Saturdays and Sundays and weekday evenings.

Where to stay in Portsmouth

Riverwalk Inn & Suites
Riverwalk Inn & Suites
2 out of 5
333 Effingham St, Portsmouth, VA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $48 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Located in the heart of Portsmouth, this motel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Commodore Theatre, Waterside Festival Marketplace, and USS Wisconsin BB-64. Norfolk Scope ...
2.2/5 (147 reviews)
"Bath tub dirty"

Reviewed on Nov 30, 2021

Riverwalk Inn & Suites
Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
3.5 out of 5
425 Water St, Portsmouth, VA
The price is $122 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 13
Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and Children's Museum of Virginia. Waterside Festival ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (963 reviews)
"No towels were available on the second day. Room was not cleaned on 2nd day stay."

Reviewed on Nov 26, 2021

Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Quality Inn & Suites Olde Town
Quality Inn & Suites Olde Town
2.5 out of 5
347 Effingham St, Portsmouth, VA
The price is $72 per night from Dec 15 to Dec 15
Located in the heart of Portsmouth, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Commodore Theatre, Waterside Festival Marketplace, and USS Wisconsin BB-64. Norfolk Scope ...
3.8/5 Good! (393 reviews)
"Staff was very friendly and prompt ehen responding to requests."

Reviewed on Dec 6, 2021

Quality Inn & Suites Olde Town
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Quiet, Clean and Cozy Private Suite
Quiet, Clean and Cozy Private Suite
Portsmouth, VA
The price is $60 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Situated in Portsmouth, this vacation home is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Frank D Lawrence Stadium and within 6 mi (10 km) of Chesapeake Square Mall and Sentara Norfolk ...
Quiet, Clean and Cozy Private Suite
Romantic Yurt Glamping with hot tub!
Romantic Yurt Glamping with hot tub!
Portsmouth, VA
The price is $100 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Situated in Portsmouth, this romantic campground is within 6 mi (10 km) of Frank D Lawrence Stadium, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and Norfolk Scope. Chrysler ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
What wasn't amazing
"If I could give this host 100 stars on everything I would. They were amazing and very hospitable will stay again."

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2021

Romantic Yurt Glamping with hot tub!
This is near l- 264 off Portsmouth Blvd.near shopping:Walmart, 15 to airport
This is near l- 264 off Portsmouth Blvd.near shopping:Walmart, 15 to airport
Portsmouth, VA
Located in the heart of Portsmouth, this vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Frank D Lawrence Stadium, Commodore Theatre, and Emanuel AME Church. Virginia ...
This is near l- 264 off Portsmouth Blvd.near shopping:Walmart, 15 to airport
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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