Portsmouth

The city of Portsmouth, which has a population of approximately 96,000 according to the 2010 census, makes up part of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. It is also located within the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

The city is situated on the banks of the Elizabeth River and makes up part of Hampton Roads harbor. It has 34 square miles of land and 13 square miles of water.


What to See and Do in Portsmouth, VA


The Old Towne

Guided tours as well as a variety of special events allow you to gain a glimpse of Portsmouth’s Old Towne as it was over the previous three centuries. Self­guided tours are also a fine way to enjoy the old antique shops and haberdashery stores that line the ancient streets.


Courthouse Galleries

Hosted in the city’s old courthouse which was constructed in 1846, this museum with its location at 400 High Street, Portsmouth, provides art collections, musical and theatrical performances, lectures, and educational classes. Opening hours are 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.


Naval Shipyard Museum

This museum focuses on the previous 250 years of the Gosport Naval Shipyard which was established in 1767. It makes for an excellent place to find out about Portsmouth’s naval heritage. The museum is located at 2 High Street, Portsmouth and is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.


Getting Around

The city’s closest commercial airport is Norfolk International Airport, which is located alongside the boundary between Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk, near Chesapeake Bay. From this airport, seven airlines fly continuously to 25 destinations within the U.S. The closest airport to provide international flights is Richmond International Airport at Richmond, VA, which is 92 miles from Portsmouth.

The rail services on offer are provided by Norfolk Southern, CSX Transportation, in addition to a further three local line railroads.

The major roadways to serve the city are Interstates 264 and 664, which make up a section of the Hampton Roads Beltway. Furthermore, U.S. Routes 17 and 58 pass through the city. To cross over the Elizabeth River by car, the Berkley Bridge, the Downtown Tunnel, and the Midtown Tunnel all provide alternatives.

Bus services within the city and to surrounding destinations are provided by Hampton Roads Transit.


Employment and Income

The unemployment rate in Portsmouth is currently slightly less than that of the national average, though the population’s poverty levels are somewhat higher at 16.7%.

From the census taken in the year 2000 it was found that the average household income was $46,340 while median family income was $53,769. Overall, the per capita income for Portsmouth was $23,108.


Cost of Living and Crime

The cost of living on average is approximately 4% higher than the country’s average while the cost of housing is 3% higher. Violent crime rates in the city are 173% higher than the national average and property crime is 143% higher.


Climate

The city’s humid subtropical climate allows outdoor activities to be enjoyed year-­round. Portsmouth’s weather is temperate and seasonal where the summers are hot and humid with an average high in August of 80 degrees and average lows in February of 43 degrees.