From its antique and specialty stores to its tree-lined streets, Olde Towne Portsmouth is much more than one of the region’s most pleasant places to take a stroll. It’s a history lover’s dream come true. In a single square mile, the Olde Towne Historic District contains one of America’s largest collections of architecturally noteworthy 18th and 19th century homes and churches, along with a delightful selection of restaurants and specialty shops.
Portsmouth was founded on this site across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk in 1752 by Colonel William Crawford, a merchant and ship owner who named the new town after his home in England. In addition to its historic past, the Olde Towne today is home to major attractions that promise fun for the whole family.
The Children’s Museum of Virginia is the state’s largest and most awesome kid’s kingdom. Its 72,000 square feet of exhibits is pack with hands-on fun that invites kids to “go up, touch it, play with it, push it, and figure out what makes it work.” And every visit is different, with a changing exhibit gallery, programs and planetarium shows.
The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the state’s sports legends and provides a hands-on, interactive experience that the whole family will enjoy. The nine exhibit areas showcase 20 sports where you can test your skill at baseball, football, soccer, basketball, NASCAR racing, and many others.
Housed in the historic 1846 Courthouse, the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center is devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences. Its rotating visual art exhibits, lectures, classes and performances bring the work of world-renowned artists to Olde Towne.
The Portsmouth Harbor Center Pavilion is a riverfront performing arts center that hosts some of the biggest names in entertainment. With 6,500 seats, it is comparable in size and sound quality to Wolf Trap in Northern Virginia. The waterfront location provides a perfect scenic setting for an evening of unforgettable entertainment.
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum documents the rich history of America’s oldest and largest naval shipyard through exhibits, hands-on programs and special events. Here you’ll find beautiful ship models and military artifacts that bring Portsmouth’ history to life from the 18th to the 20th century.
The luxuriously restored 1945 Art Deco-style Commodore Theatre shows first run films on a huge 42 foot screen with a state-of-the-art THX Dolby Digital sound and projection system. Pick up the phone at your table to order lunch or dinner, and then sit back in your upholstered seat for an unforgettable experience.
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