Experience the best of the best with this Top 8 list of things to do and see in Portsmouth.
Walk through history and see Olde Towne’s origins and it’s continued evolution.
Plan for your visit and explore Portsmouth with the Visitor Directory.
Looking to travel and spend part of the day with your fur-baby? This “Doggy Fun Day”, discover a new side of Portsmouth, Virginia with an experience in history, nature, and the water. We’ve gathered some research from dog owners. So here’s a few good ideas to make it a “Paw-Some” time for your 4-legged friend. This well-rounded expedition will be educational, joyful, and extremely healthy for both you and your pet.
If you’re a morning person, start your morning off with a brisk walk (or jog) around the Seawall. This is a nice opportunity to catch a beautiful sunrise along the Elizabeth River. Starting at Gosport Park, witness the history of the Navy in Portsmouth through the years. As you pass through High Street Landing, see boaters making history traveling the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) at Mile Marker Zero (buoy #36). Now over to Ft. Nelson Park, Where you’ll see the 757’s First High-Rise (Building 215 at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth). This morning jaunt is just under 2 miles and will take 30 minutes to an hour depending on your pace (if you don’t stop to read all the Path of History signs).
From there, head on over to Red Lion Square and have your pet take a short water break. If you have kids with you, there is a great playground waiting to show them some fun. Once you are rested, continue to meander through Olde Towne, and catch up on history by reading and enjoying the all new “Path of History” signs. Here, you’ll learn some of Portsmouth’s history and enjoy over three centuries of architecture. It’s a great time for the fur baby to sniff out the news of the day as well!
All caught up on Olde Towne history? Hop on over to the Coffee Shop, sit on the sidewalk, and enjoy an awesome light breakfast while trying one of their famous beverages – all while your fur-baby hangs out too! Here, you’ll find it to be a happy atmosphere with friendly towns-folk and lively conversations. Just don’t forget to take your dog across the street (beside the Children’s Museum), and introduce them to “Hero” (one of 33 R Hero sculptures in the US placed to honor firefighters and first responders who protect both humans and animals).
If that’s not cutting it for you, and you want something a little more open and spacious, perhaps a picnic? Then check out “Portsmouth Virginia Restaurant Take-out Menus And Deals” and make an “on the fly” picnic, or prepare ahead of time. Then, drive on over to Portsmouth’s City Park. It’s a great place to do it all; it has12 picnic areas with grills, a 220′ x 10′ T-shaped fishing pier, an all new playground, and skateboard park. Or just enjoy the water view of the Elizabeth River with your pet. City Park has plenty of open space for you and your pet to do anything you can think of, including a jump into the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River.
Now that you’ve eased your appetite, it’s time to continue this journey of Doggy Fun Day in Portsmouth by exploring the outdoors in a new light. If you’re looking for something a little more woodsy, then check out Paradise Creek Nature Park, and let your pup have some fun, see other wildlife in their natural habitat, and stimulate their brain with the variety of smells. There you’ll see a hidden 40-acre restored wetlands in a urban setting. This Park has just over 2miles of trails, art throughout, a kids’ playground, beautiful water views, and great places to take those gorgeous dog photos that everyone loves so much.
Think your dog takes the best picture? Or is it finally their time to shine in celebrity status? Photograph him or her with one of the dimensional art exhibits, murals, or wings from throughout the city and post it to the VisitPortsVA Facebook page. They may just be featured on the cover page during National dog month (August)!
Now that’s been a long, eventful, and enjoyable Doggy Fun Day in Portsmouth. But now, you’re ready to rest your feet and maybe grab a bite or even a nice relaxing beverage. Swing through to the Bier Garden or 619 Cantina where your fur-baby is welcomed on the patio and dog bowls are often found. After your pet has recovered, they will absolutely love that you have made “Doggy Fun Day” a “Paw-sitive” time! Since you’ve worn out your pet by now, and you’re still up for enjoying the evening and listening to fine music, check out this other blog on “Outdoor Dining in Portsmouth” which lists all the greatest hotspots to dine and enjoy a festive evening. You’ll be glad you did!
If you’re not a morning person, that’s okay too! This is not a time sensitive thing; most of this can be done at any time. Especially along the seawall, which does not close. However, the exceptions are the parks which do close at sunset, and some eateries’ hours may vary too.
So, if you want to show your pet the beautiful view of the water at night, with the moonlight shining down, we say go for it! You may even stumble across an event or concert down there (which are mostly dog friendly) like Sunset Thursday’s. If you would like to “accidentally” stumble across one, then visit the Portsmouth Events Page for a complete listing of events, or check out Olde Towne Portsmouth’s blog on some extra places to see with your pet. We hope to see you along your journey!