Things to Do in Portsmouth


Discover history, the arts, and new things to do with your kids in Portsmouth, Virginia. Listed below are our Top 8 of the best ways to get outside and enjoy nature, play golf, or get the adrenaline pumping traveling at high speeds on an indoor track. Or simply take a walk along the harbor or people watch from a sidewalk cafe. There’s plenty to keep you entertained in Portsmouth.

Path of History

Use informative placards around town to guide you through more than 250 years of American history.

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Mary Veale and the Colonials

Characters from Portsmouth’s history brought to life & available for tours and appearances.

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2 Let your imagination run wild at

Children’s Museum
of Virginia

The largest children’s museum in Virginia! Includes two floors
of hands-on exhibits and a planetarium.

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3 Discover your inner seafarer

On The Water

With 13 miles of shoreline, no visit to Portsmouth, Virginia is complete without getting out on the water.

Portsmouth is a great place to stop and rest along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at Mile Marker Zero. With the world’s deepest natural harbor, boaters have easy access to the ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, and both the Dismal Swamp and Chesapeake-Albemarle Canals. Local marinas offer transient docking, fuel, ship store, and a variety of other amenities specifically for boaters. Dock your vessel and walk to restaurants, bars, and shops along High Street.

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4 Create memories with these

Attractions & Entertainment

Speed around with indoor, performance-tuned gas karts or enjoy dinner and a movie at an Art Deco theatre.

Check out the concerts at the Atlantic Union Bank Harbor Pavilion and enjoy live music on the waterfront or plan your event around one of our many festivals. Don’t miss laser tag or kart racing if you’re looking for high-energy activities. Day or night, if you enjoy creativity and individual expression, you’re going to love what Portsmouth has to offer.

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& ENTERTAINMENT

Atlantic Union
Bank Harbor Pavilion

A partially-covered 6,500-capacity outdoor amphitheatre hosting live entertainment from all musical genres.

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The Commodore Theatre

One-of-a-kind Art Deco movie house with a 41 foot screen and THX & Dolby Digital sound, showing feature films in a beautiful dinner setting.

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Le Mans Indoor Karting &
Laser Tag

The largest indoor karting track in Virginia and a newly built laser tag arena – all under one roof!

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5 Get inspired with unique

Creative Arts

Get lost in the galleries and growing number of public art installations.

Art can be found throughout all of the areas of Portsmouth, but most notably in Olde Towne. The Portsmouth Cultural Arts District is home to over twenty public art installations including sculptures, murals, and even painted electrical boxes. Stop by the Portsmouth Arts and Cultural Center or the Visual Arts Center at Tidewater Community College and enjoy the changing exhibits featuring local and regional artists.

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TCC Visual Arts Center

See the vision of emerging artists on display in this impressive student art gallery, located in Olde Towne.

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Public Art

Soak up all of the colorful murals & beautiful sculptures that are scattered throughout Portsmouth.

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Portsmouth Arts &
Cultural Center

This 1846 Courthouse is home to the rotating visual art and cultural exhibits. Relax and enjoy art in the courtyard on a nice day.

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6 Unplug and experience

Outdoor Adventure

Go kayaking, play a round of golf, or walk along the trails in our public and private parks.

Taking a walk through Paradise Creek Nature Park looking for birds and enjoying the art or paddling through Hoffler Creek aboard a kayak rented from Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, you will be pleasantly surprised by the way Portsmouth conserves its open spaces. Get outside, breathe some fresh air, and enjoy your time in Portsmouth.

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Rent a Kayak at Hoffler Creek

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Play Foot Golf at
City Park

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Golf at Bide-a-Wee
or City Park

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Hike the Arts at
Paradise Creek

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7 Shopping

Don’t forget to include shopping on your trip to Portsmouth. From home and garden to bike sales & repairs, vintage thrift to marine, antique, and even skate shops, Portsmouth has a little something for everyone. Each area of Portsmouth offers unique shopping options, where you are sure to find that one thing you’ve been looking for and plenty more.

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8 Dining

When it comes to dining, Portsmouth is full of pleasant surprises. Classic, and we do mean “the real thing,” southern cooking? Got it. Exotic spins on international cuisine? Got it. Steaks, burgers, fries & big TV’s? Got them, too. So, you’re here and you’re hungry, well good. There’s no question good eating is part of the adventure of Portsmouth.

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Explore our List of Curated Itineraries and Plan Your Trip Today!

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