Portsmouth may have the feel of a small city, but it’s big in terms of attractions.
It is blessed with a beautiful natural setting and a strategic location that has driven its growth ever since it was established as a port and ship building town in the 17th century. Nestled on the western shore of the Elizabeth River, this historic city has plenty to offer.
Its bay side location makes it a noted hub of commerce and recreation. Portsmouth’s attractions are all within easy walking distance from each other. Stroll through three centuries of historic neighborhoods, find amazing antique pieces, and go to the famous Seawall. And no day in Portsmouth is complete without having a taste of a selection of their best restaurants.
There’s plenty to see and do even as you head away from the city center to areas such as Churchland and Northwest Portsmouth.
Shop and Dine
There are several small shopping centers in the Churchland area as well as a sprinkling of restaurants.
- West Norfolk Shopping Center
Located along West Norfolk Road, this is where you’ll find Jones’ Restaurant, a community mainstay since 1986. Jones’ specializes in down-home country cooking and they’re known for their North Carolina BBQ, fried chicken, and family-friendly atmosphere.The shopping center is also home to Planet Fitness, Sadiel in Antiques & Collectibles, and several other businesses.
- Churchland Shopping Center
Right next to West Nortfolk on Churchland Boulevard, the shopping center is home to a small but varied selection of shops and restaurants. Head to Bangkok Garden for authentic Thai cuisine or to Lin’s Garden if you’re hankering for Chinese food.Got a barbecue craving? Check out Smoken Que’s Barbeque & Grill.
Also in the area is JoJack’s Espresso Bar and Café.Aside from the best and smoothest blends of coffee and espresso, JoJacks is well known for their sandwich and burgers, specialty soups and salads, and great homemade desserts and pastries.
Located right across Churchland is the Plaza Shopping Center, which is is where you’ll find a branch of Harris Teeter as well as several shops, banks, and other services.
- Western Branch
There are plenty of other shopping and dining options in the Western Branch Boulevard area, including O’Sullivan’s Wharf Western Branch, Ono Hawaii Barbecue, Asian Cuisine, Yama Sushi, and more.
See and Do
- Enjoy the outdoors at the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve
Virginia’s only urban wildlife preserve sprawls over142 acres of land and is devoted to conserving the last piece of wilderness in the Hoffler Creek Watershed. A perfect place for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve is right where the James River empties out into Chesapeake Bay and has numerous hiking trails as well as docks and overlooks.Spend enough time here and you may catch sight of one of the country’s most enduring symbols, the bald eagle.
- Take part in Winter Wonderland
This famous annual event is a destination in its own right. Its gorgeous holiday scenes– animated Victorian skaters and carolers, enchanted forests with bears, deer, and of course, Santa’s workshop –is a holiday classic for visitors and locals alike.
- Practice your serve at Churchland Park
Churchland Park is a popular local hangout in the neighborhood as it provides wide and open spaces for various athletic and outdoor activities. Located just behind Churchland High School, the park is best known for its tennis facilities that are available for public use. With six available courts, anyone can have a go and have a fun day out.