Ten Reasons to Move to Portsmouth

In the family of cities called Hampton Roads, Portsmouth is sometimes counted out like a little sister who's too small to tag along. The smallest of the 7 cities, Portsmouth is 47 sq miles and only 34 of those are on land. But what Portsmouth lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. The heart of this quaint port city is its historic Olde Towne district. We've compiled a list of 10 things that make Portsmouth a city worth considering, starting at the heart - Olde Towne.

  1. Olde Towne is worth the walk

    Olde Towne Portsmouth sits on the western bank of the Elizabeth River across from Norfolk. The tree lined brick sidewalks can transport you back in time as you stroll down the Olde Towne streets lined with historic houses and turn-of-the-century architecture. You can even take a walking tour that will lead you to buildings like the Red Lion Tavern on London St and the Cassell-McRae House built in 1829 where Mark Twain stayed in 1907. Many of these majestic old beauties have been restored to their original glory.

  2. It's right in the middle

    Portsmouth is the city right in the middle of the Hampton Roads cities. From Portsmouth you can jump on I264 to get through 2 tunnels over to Norfolk, or you can get to I664 to travel up to the Peninsula. There's also easy access to I64 to head into Chesapeake and on to Virginia Beach. From Olde Towne Portsmouth you can be either to the Virginia Beach board walk or the Hampton Coliseum in about 30 min. Now that is right in the middle!

  3. Shorten your commute

    Talk about right in the middle...if you are one of the thousands of employees at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, living in Portsmouth would shorten your commute. The Shipyard is one of Hampton Roads largest employers and Portsmouth is its home. Portsmouth Naval Hospital is also located in Portsmouth. Regardless of whether you work in Portsmouth, because of its location, your commute can be 30 min or less. Just another reason to consider this little city.

  4. Young people like it

    If you like following the trends, you might want to take another look at Portsmouth. A study done just a couple years ago found there's been a higher rate of young people moving to Portsmouth in recent years. This is notable because Portsmouth isn't a college town. The report suggests that young people are drawn to the affordability and central location of Portsmouth. Conventional wisdom would offer they are also drawn to the walkability and Olde Towne atmosphere. The historic buildings transformed into loft apartments overlooking the water are attractive to young adults beginning their journey. Empty nesters are another demographic migrating to Portsmouth. The next few reasons in the list may also be what draws them.

  5. The community is vibrant

    Those who call Portsmouth home love it and care for it. Just like the city of Norfolk, Portsmouth has been on a mission to restore and revitalize its city. Homeowners have been buying and restoring the beautiful old homes that make up the Olde Towne district. City developers have plans to continue beautifying and revitalizing the areas along the riverfront. Business owners have set up shop in the downtown areas to give residents restaurants and shops to patronize. It is a work in progress, but strides have been made.

  6. The Commodore is alive and well

    The Commodore is one of those establishments that a business owner decided to bring back to life. Built in 1945, this Art Deco movie theatre was a stunning architectural icon of downtown Portsmouth, but as the area declined, so did the theatre. It was closed for 12 years, until Fred Schoenfeld bought it in 1987 and painstakingly restored it to its original glory, down to the 300 lb Italian leaded crystal chandeliers. He had a vision of giving movie goers a dining experience as well. The Commodore has been restored as an icon of Portsmouth, regularly drawing lines of dedicated patrons.

  7. Waterside Events galore

    Being a riverfront community, Portsmouth likes to take full advantage of the beauty of the waterside. You can take in a concert at the Union Bank and Trust Pavilion which seats 6500 guests. There are also weekly concerts called Sunset Thursday concerts on the Water at High St Landing. There's an annual Seawall Art Show that celebrates this community's love of the arts. Events are happening all the time, so check out a schedule and choose one that fits you!

  8. Museums, museums, museums

    For a smaller community, Portsmouth is heavy on museums. There's the amazing Children's Museum of Virginia where young ones can explore life size bubbles, and gaze at the stars in the planetarium. Portsmouth is also home to museums like the Portsmouth Colored Community Library museum, and the Railroad Museum of Virginia, as well as the Lightship Portsmouth Museum and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. And this list doesn't cover them all! Check it out if museums are your thing.

  9. Fresh produce anyone?

    Portsmouth holds a Farmers Market every Saturday from May 5 through December 22 from 9 am-1pm on the corner of High & Court. At this community event you can rub shoulders with neighbors and find fresh seasonal produce. Vendors also offer fresh baked artisan breads, pies, scones, cookies...hand-crafted soaps, free-range poultry and eggs...the list goes on. If locally grown and handcrafted is what you seek, the Portsmouth Farmers Market is the place to be.

  10. Olde Towne old stuff

    What would a historic town be without antiques and old treasures to find? The 1st Saturday of each month, rain or shine, you can find more than 70 vendors selling their wares at 200 County St. This event is always free and also provides free parking! You'll find an eclectic collection of estate furniture, dishware and other odds and ends. There are vendors with one-of-a-kind items and hand-made crafts. The Portsmouth Antiques to Flea Market is a treasure trove of unique items waiting to be discovered.

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Categories: Home Buying

Cities: Norfolk Suffolk

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