Known for its prime riverfront location and delightful historic charm, Portsmouth offers a full suite of meetings-friendly amenities and group-friendly attractions. This Virginia coastal city is home to a pedestrian-friendly Olde Towne Historic District (which features many Portsmouth event venues), a waterfront conference center, numerous museums and fantastic restaurants.
Portsmouth's central location places this meetings-ready destination a quick ferry ride from downtown Norfolk, 20 minutes outside of Virginia Beach and an hour from Colonial Williamsburg. What's more, Portsmouth is located less than an hour away from two international airports: Norfolk International Airport, 20 minutes away, serves 200 daily flights, including nonstop service to Dallas, Boston, Washington, DC and Miami and one-stop capability to many major international cities; Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport serves the entire Hampton Roads metropolitan area, with nonstop service to Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte, and Philadelphia, among other major cities.
The beautiful Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel is the largest of Portsmouth convention venues; sitting waterside in historic Olde Towne, the Renaissance Portsmouth features 24,000 square feet of meeting space, including 23 meeting rooms, a 70-seat amphitheater and a nearly 12,000-square-foot ballroom. The property also features 244 guest rooms, five guest suites, a full-service business center, indoor pool, fitness center, on-site dining and a nearby water taxi–not to mention spectacular views of the Elizabeth River.
Many Portsmouth special event venues and attractions celebrate the city's maritime history. The city is home to the nation's oldest shipyard and first U.S. naval hospital. In fact, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum is home to the country's first drydock and the location of the building of the nation's first battleship and world's first aircraft carrier. The waterfront nTelos Wireless Pavilion presents concerts of all musical genres, offering 6,500 reserved theater and lawn seats, as well as group event capabilities.
Popular Portsmouth museums include the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, which celebrates 300 past and present athletes through hands-on sports and health exhibits. Visitors and meeting participants can drive a NASCAR simulator, test their broadcasting skills and test the speed of their baseball pitch, as well as hold private events in spaces ranging from a 2,800-square-foot gallery to a 125-seat theater. The largest children's museum in the state, Portsmouth's Children's Museum of Virginia, boasts 12,000 square feet of newly remodeled exhibit space, as well as meeting rooms and event space for groups of up to 750 people.
Portsmouth meetings and events may also be held in Portsmouth's Hill House, a four-story family home built in 1825. Named the best municipal golf course in Virginia, the city's Bide-a-Wee Golf Course is home to a number of private event spaces, as well as challenging fairways. The Commodore Theatre, a restored 1945 Art Deco motion picture theater and restaurant, welcomes large groups and private events. Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, home to two spacious galleries of changing exhibits, as well as an art museum and education center, rents function spaces after hours.
Meeting participants can gather and dine at Portsmouth's many fine restaurants, including the elegant Cafe Europa, serving Northern Italian fare, as well as the award-winning Stove, which serves neo-Southern selections. Located at the Tidewater Yacht Marina, 757 Crave on the Harbor specializes in seafood, while Brutti's is a popular European bistro featuring an eclectic menu. Located at the Renaissance Portsmouth, Foggy Point Bar & Grill specializes in contemporary cuisine, particularly fresh seafood selections.