Portsmouth is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth are historic and active U.S. Navy facilities located in Portsmouth. Portsmouth has a long history as a port town and city. The Olde Towne Business and Historical District is located in the downtown area, where a combination of preservation and redevelopment has been underway. An example is Hawthorn Hotel & Suites at The Governor Dinwiddie Hotel, which was renovated and reopened in 2005 after being closed for more than 10 years. It has been recognized by Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historical Preservation that identifies hotels that have maintained their historical integrity, architecture and ambiance and provides resources for their preservation. The historic hotel was named for Governor Robert Dinwiddie, who was the administrative head of the Colony of Virginia during the time Portsmouth was founded in 1752. It was largely through his efforts that Virginia survived the French and Indian War relatively well. (Dinwiddie County near Petersburg was also named for him).
Other points of interest include the Portsmouth City Park, featuring the 2 ft narrow gauge Portsmouth City Railroad with an operating Chance Rides C.P. Huntington locomotive named Pokey Smokey II. The original Pokey Smokey locomotive was built by Crown Metal Products and ran at the park for many years before being sold at auction. It now runs on the Mideast Railroad in Ederville in Carthage, North Carolina.
In addition, the Railroad Museum of Virginia located at Harbor Center Way features vintage railroad artifacts, rolling stock, and an operating model train layout.