A 48-Hour Girlfriend’s
Getaway in Portsmouth, VA

As the pandemic eases a bit and we begin to travel again, Portsmouth is taking care and caution to safely welcome visitors back for much-needed getaway time. Only a short drive away for the majority of Virginians, Portsmouth is the perfect small town to explore, without the worry of big crowds. We’ve rounded up a whole weekend’s worth of activities for you and your besties to enjoy during a visit to stretch your legs, refresh your mind and rediscover what it means to take a vacation.

Friday

Women, hotel bathroom, ferry on the river cover

4:00 PM

Check into Your Accommodations

Spend the weekend overlooking the Elizabeth River at the Renaissance PortsmouthNorfolk Waterfront Hotel or, if you’re traveling on a budget, at the Quality Inn and Suites Olde Towne.  Both of these properties are within walking distance of bars, restaurants, shops, and historic sites. Rest easy knowing these properties are being maintained with the best safety standards as set forth by Marriott and Choice Hotels.

5:30 PM

Waterfront Happy Hour

The High Street entertainment district offers 22 hot spots for drinks and social gatherings when visiting historic Olde Towne. For your first night, you may want to focus on the waterfront, take in the view of the city across the river and enjoy the passing ships.  Choose drinks and appetizers from Fish & Slips at the Tidewater Yacht Marina, Foggy Point at the Renaissance Hotel, or Legend Brewing Depot at the foot of High Street.

7:00 PM

Vino, Nosh, and Music

Take a four block walk up High Street and you’ll find Stellar Wine along with a wonderfully curated wine selection.  Chef Robert prepares delicious food with a Cajun flair, and there’s always live music on Friday nights.  There are many great choices like Gosport Tavern and Cafe Europa if you’re looking for something a little quieter.

9:00 PM

Find a Nightspot

Finish the night with a local musician or band at any one of Portsmouth’s popular locations serving your drink of choice and offering entertainment, like Barons Pub, Longboards, Roger Browns, Olde Towne Public House, or the The High on High. Getting a little tired, you can head back to your hotel on foot or by shuttle and get some rest before another big day in Portsmouth.

Saturday

Home and garden shop, ayurveda oil, painting workshop

9:00 AM

Stretch it Out at Sattvic Space

Grab a coffee and lite breakfast at the hotel and start your day with a good workout.  Sattvic space is dedicated to the wellness of the mind, body and spirit.  Be sure to register in advance for your morning yoga class.  You might also find some walk up yoga classes in the Courtyard near the Farmers’ Market or out at Hoffler Creek surrounded by nature.

10:30 AM

Discover Ayurveda

Indulge yourself in massage or even better one of the Ayurveda treatments available at Sattvic.  Remember to schedule your session well in advance.  You might very well enjoy an Abhyanga herbal oil treatment, an exfoliating treatment called Uvartana, or one of the other special treatments available.  Or you can really indulge with both a treatment and a massage!  Enjoy.

12:30 PM

Reveal Your Inner Vegan

Check out Portsmouth’s only Vegan Soul Food restaurant, Beyond Vegan Cell Food.  Healthy juice and smoothie offerings, Blue Vervain or Elderberry teas, along with alkaline bowls, raw food wraps, and even a vegan BLT made with oyster mushrooms.  You will be amazed at all the healthy options.  And don’t pass up dessert – chocolate cake with a creamy avocado icing.

2:00 PM

Shopping Therapy

After your healthy morning, it’s time to nourish the soul with a little shopping therapy.  Start in the 700 block of High Street at Linda’s and work your way down through the Kitchen Koop, Anderson Wright Rooms and Gardens, Way Back Yonder Antiques, Little Shoppes on High, and all the rest of the stores lining the first seven blocks of High Street.

4:00 PM

Art Therapy

Stop in at Twisted Art and More while you’re out shopping but spend about an hour making something with your own two hands that you can take home with you.  Call ahead for a special class for you and your friends.  You can also check the calendar of events to see if any of the breweries or bars are having a paint party that afternoon.  If time permits, stop in the the Courthouse Gallery and the TCC Gallery to see their changing exhibits.

6:00 PM

Private Tour of Olde Towne

Explore one of America’s most historic neighborhoods and the authentic architecture that goes along with it.  Call in advance to schedule a walking tour with one of the guides from Mary Veale and the Colonials.  It’s an opportunity to be both educated and entertained as they sing and talk their way through the streets.  If you’re not feeling the walk, call Olde Towne Shuttle and schedule a tour by golf cart of the neighborhood.

7:30 PM

Share Some Plates

Spend an evening in Portsmouth’s speakeasy tapas restaurant.  Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas Restaurant has a variety of small (to not so small) plates meant to be shared.  Their wine and whiskey selections are very good too and the atmosphere is one where you will want to linger for a while and enjoy the evening. Not feeling the tapas, see what movie is playing at the Commodore Theatre and have dinner there – it’s a one of a kind place to see a movie and have some dinner…an of course, share the popcorn.

High Street Portsmouth VA at night

9:30 PM

Take an After-Dinner Walk

After your dessert, view the city lights across the water with a stroll along the Seawall before turning in for the night.  Or, walk along High Street and see if the nightlife appeals to you.  You’ve had a big day, so whatever your choose, keep it relaxed.

Sunday

kayaker, brunch eggs, public nature ar

10:00 AM

Brunch

After checking out of your accommodations, start the day off with delicious brunch offerings from hot spots like Yoolks on Us, Olde Towne Public House, or Twisted Pig – known for their Bloody Mary Bar on Sundays.

Noon

Find Peace in Nature

Before you head back home, spend some time in nature.  Visit Hoffler Creek and rent a couple of kayaks to explore the estuary.  You might even see a bald eagle or two.  If you’d rather stay on land, take a walk around Lake Ballard and check out the wildlife along the way.  There are a couple of bird blinds for you to enjoy as go by,