Portsmouth Museums & History

Portsmouth Museums & HistoryBy virtue of its location on the East Coast, Portsmouth is a city with plenty of history. The people, places and events of decades gone by still resonate into the present and future. Luckily, revisiting those stories is as easy as paying a visit to any of the area's excellent museums or notable historical sites. Discover military and nautical adventures, see some inspiring art, and even celebrate the wonder and innocence of being a child when you experience any of these notable museums in Portsmouth.

Children's Museum of Virginia
When the kids get a little restless, take them to a place where they can use their energy in a positive way. The Children's Museum of Virginia is most definitely such a place. Offering over 64,000-square-feet of exhibits and interactive activities, this impressive facility has the distinction of being the largest children's museum in the state of Virginia. In addition to the aforementioned exhibits, the kids will love checking out the planetarium as well as the one-of-a-kind antique toy and model train collection.

Address: 221 High Street, Portsmouth, VA - MAP
Phone: (757) 393-8393
Web: www.childrensmuseumva.com

Museum of Military History
History buffs of all ages will find something interesting and memorable when visiting Portsmouth's Museum of Military History. This venue is the home of an amazing collection of military artifacts, pictures, weapons and various memorabilia that all tell an often harrowing but always captivating story of some of history's most significant military events. These include the role of our nation's brave men and women in such conflicts as the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, among others.

Address: 701 Court Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 - MAP
Phone: (757) 393-2773
Web: portsmouth.virginia.com

Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
Everyone from casual followers of a particular sport to hard-core sports aficionados will absolutely love visiting the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. The facility features two floors that are packed with many hands-on sports and health exhibits that are designed to both entertain and educate visitors about the vital link between good health and award-winning athletic performance. Over 300 outstanding athletes, both past and present, are honored in the Hall of Fame. Plus, guests will not want to miss the chance to experience the NASCAR simulator or gauging how fast they can throw a baseball at the pitch speed-tester exhibit.

Address: 206 High Street, Portsmouth, VA - MAP
Phone: (757) 393-5228
Web: www.vshfm.com

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum
Given the fact that Portsmouth is situated right on Virginia's coastline, it is little wonder that the city has been a key site in the history and development of the shipping industry. Learn about it all when you visit the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. You will get the chance to see various exhibits that highlight the many aspects of naval and nautical history, plus see memorabilia that dates back to this centuries-old Southern port. The museum is a piece of history itself, as it was established in 1949 within the confines of the nation's oldest shipyard.

Address: Two High Street, Portsmouth, VA - MAP
Phone: (757) 393-8591
Web: www.portsmouthnavalshipyardmuseum.com

Jewish Museum & Cultural Center
Whether you are Jewish or not, you will find something truly compelling and thought-provoking when you pay a visit to Portsmouth's Jewish Museum and Cultural Center. The Chevra T'helim Synagogue now serves as the museum and center and offers visitors a chance to see a stunning example of European Jewish Orthodoxy. Various exhibits and presentations offer the opportunity for visitors to learn about the tradition of the faith as well as key historical events that have both shaped it and challenged it.

Address: 607 Effingham Street, Portsmouth, VA - MAP
Phone: (757) 391-9266
Web: www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org

Lightship Portsmouth Museum
There is so much nautical and naval history to discover in Portsmouth. One of the brightest aspects of the area's seafaring persona is the use of lightships. These vessels were known as “floating lighthouses” that were anchored to port entrances, bays and dangerous areas like shoals and reefs. Their mission to ensure entrance to a safe harbor is very much alive when you visit the Lightship Portsmouth Museum. Tour this incredible ship and learn how the work done by the crew not only guided incoming ships, but also aided in various aspects of navigation.

Address: London Slip, Water and London Streets, Portsmouth, VA 23704 - MAP
Phone: (757) 393-8741
Web: portsmouthnavalshipyardmuseum.com