Living in Portsmouth

Along the eastern side of the Elizabeth River, many Portsmouth locals enjoy beautiful views of downtown Norfolk across the water. Connected by the Berkley Bridge, a pair of tunnels (Midtown and Downtown), and a passenger ferry service, the two communities are closely linked. Portsmouth has a long and rich history as a port town with the city’s Olde Towne Business and Historical District, located downtown, drawing the community together while supporting visitation with a concerted combination of preservation and redevelopment.

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This small city, populated by 95,252 people, offers up an impressive array of community events, festivals, and concerts throughout the year. The riverfront summer concert venue and outdoor amphitheater, Union Bank & Trust Pavilion, hosts national and international music acts as well as popular festivals like the Virginia Craft Beer and Wine Festival and the long-running UMOJA - The Annual African-American Culture and Heritage Festival. Sunset Thursdays are free summer concerts performed at High Street Landing.


The History

With so much history to share, the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center rotates in amazing shows on a regular basis in addition to their standing exhibits. Meanwhile, The Children’s Museum of Virginia is also located in Portsmouth, drawing kids from around the state for ongoing activities and camps. Portsmouth is also known for its Olde Towne Farmers Market running Saturdays from May through December and kids love the narrow gauge Portsmouth City Railroad operating in Portsmouth City Park.

Recent Growth

As a part of the revitalization efforts in the city, new attractions, restaurants, and retailers have been opening at an impressive rate recently, including the new distillery and tasting room, Copper & Oak Craft Spirits as well as MoMac Brewery and Legend Brewery). The culinary scene has been traditionally strong and is growing stronger every year with local favorites, Dock Of The Bay, Still, and Gourmet Burger Bistro and recent additions like the great new soul food joint, The District. Portsmouth is also blessed with numerous waterfront dining options.

Portsmouth is decidedly a city on the rise. Median household income grew from $33,742 in 2000 to $48,516 in 2016. Meanwhile, the median Portsmouth house or condo value has jumped to $174,800 in 2016 from just $81,000 in 2000.

Whether you are drawn to the growing quality of life, its small town charm, or its convenient proximity to downtown Norfolk, we look forward to helping you make Portsmouth your new home!

  • Population: 95,252 (2016)
  • Mean housing unit price: $206,272
  • Median household income: $48,516
  • Average resident age: 35
  • Median gross rent: $968

Sourced from

City of Portsmouth
Old Towne Portsmouth
Trip Advisor