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.
Portsmouth, Virginia – A small, seaport town on the Elizabeth River. Virginia’s Historic Seaport. The cradle of military history in Virginia.
Home to America’s oldest naval shipyard, its oldest naval hospital, the 5th District of the U. S. Coast Guard, and the headquarters for the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Command.
For over 250 years and through nine wars, the people of Portsmouth supported our nation’s military. We built the first Navy Frigate; the first battleship, the first ironclad, the first aircraft carrier, and America’s first hospital ship. We brought the navy into the nuclear age when the USS Skate converted to nuclear power at our shipyard. And today, we provide healthcare to more than 400,000 military personnel and their families.
In 2009, the United States Coast Guard named Portsmouth an Official Coast Guard City, acknowledging a vital partnership that’s lasted more than 200 years. The first Lightship anchored off our shores in 1820 and since that time, the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard have called Portsmouth home.
Portsmouth may be a small town, but it has a big heart for the men and women who serve our country. We honor our veterans and active duty soldiers everyday by taking pride in our military heritage and celebrating our many contributions to keeping our nation safe.
Visit Portsmouth Virginia and learn more about our military heritage. Start at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Visit Gosport Park and Fort Nelson Park. Learn about early Coast Guard history at the Lightship Museum. Or just take a walk on the Portsmouth Seawall and view the warships in the surrounding shipyards. For an impressive view overlooking America’s oldest Naval Shipyard, take a walk to the top of the Jordan Bridge. Learning more about Portsmouth’s history with the military helps us learn more about what it means to be an American.