Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Portsmouth is located in Southern, OH where the Ohio and Scioto rivers intersect. We drove from Cincinnati, and this has to be one of my favorite scenic drives in the state! Portsmouth truly makes the perfect fall getaway. I loved strolling the charming small-town streets that were lined with colorful trees, mums, and pumpkins. The mornings were so beautiful with blankets of fog covering the Appalachian foothills. Start planning your Ohio fall getaway today with my list of amazing things to do!
Things to Do
The Flood Wall Murals
626 Front Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662
I've heard about the famous Portsmouth flood wall murals before, but seeing them for the first time in person is truly an experience. They span as far as the eye can see. The vibrant colors and beautiful artwork comes to life in front of you.
The floodwalls were constructed after the devastating flood of 1937 that left more than 35,000 residents homeless. They are approximately 2,090 feet long and 20 feet high. The murals depict the history of Portsmouth that goes all the way back to the early civilizations of the area, to the rise and fall of the nuclear and steel industries. All of the murals were painted by the same artist- Robert Dafford who began painting them in 1993!
You can download a free app on your phone that's available for both android and iPhone users called "Portsmouth Murals" for a guided audio tour. The audio tour app also has a written description for each mural if you prefer reading. Don't forget to stand and get a picture in front of the Chillicothe Street mural to look like you've gone back in time!
728 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
On the other side of the floodwall, you'll find Riverfront Park. This park has beautiful views of the Ohio River and the U.S. Grant Bridge. We enjoyed watching an unbelievably large barge make its way down the river. The park is also a great place to go on a scenic walk or have a picnic.
Shopping at the Historic Boneyfiddle District
The Historic Boneyfiddle district is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Portsmouth. The renovated buildings, architecture, and multiple antique shops will give you a glimpse into Portsmouth's past. Antique shopping has recently become a hobby of mine and these stores are an antiquer's heaven! Here are some of my favorite Boneyfiddle shops- all within walking distance from each other!
Unique Antiques Warehouse
116 Jefferson St., Portsmouth, OH 45662
This store is huge, so prepare to spend a lot of time here! There are over 45 vendor booths to shop at. You'll find antiques, furniture, collectibles, and crafts on sale. I also loved the prices here.
Ghosts in the Attic Antique Mall
518 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
They have 3 floors of anything you could ever imagine. Such a great and large inventory, you're bound to find something you love!
540 2nd St, Portsmouth OH 45662
This shop isn't as big as the other ones, but it has a great collection of antiques, jewelry, candles, and crafts for sale!
Gigi's Kiss of Style Boutique
515 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
You'll find the cutest handbags, jewelry, and clothing here for all sizes. I loved that they had some of my favorite boutique brands such as KanCans and Judy Blue jeans. They also have the cutest Unique Vintage brand dresses!
535 on 2nd- the community courtyard garden
While I was shopping in Boneyfiddle, this beautiful courtyard caught my eye! What used to be a vacant and overgrown lot is now a charming and cozy place for people in the community to come together. Some of the things you'll find here are small performances, poetry readings, art galleries, or locals using this space as a lunch spot. It's owned and operated by Main St. Portsmouth!
Take a Hike!
52, Old River Rd, West Portsmouth, OH 45663
The Raven Rock State Nature Preserve has a trail with a 500ft elevation gain! The moderate hiking trail takes you up to Raven Rock and provides you with the most stunning panoramic views of the area. It also contains a natural arch over 10 ft. Long!
It is believed that Native Americans used this overlook to spot European Settlers. The area is very fragile and you must obtain a permit to hike it. You can apply online or get it the same day at the Shawnee State Park Office during business hours.
Main Street Farmers Market
Roy Rogers Esplanade Corner of Gallia and Chillicothe Streets
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
The Main Street Farmers Market runs from 9:00 a.m. to noon, every Saturday, May-October. From fresh produce to local handmade crafts, this is such a great Farmer's Market to shop at! I left with homemade soap, some new fall decor for my house, and fresh vegetables. We also had such a great time talking to all the vendors, and they were more than willing to give us amazing recommendations and hidden gems of the area!
The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center
825 Gallia St. Portsmouth, OH 45662
This museum is located in an old bank building that was built in 1918. It houses art from local artists in the Southern and Southeastern Ohio region. Admission is free, but they do accept a $2 voluntary donation. I especially loved the Art of the Ancients, which contains over 10,000 Native American artifacts found in the Southern Ohio area.
The museum also has the largest single collection of Clarence Holbrook Carter artwork. He was born in Portsmouth, OH, and is well known for his paintings of rural America during the Great Depression. He eventually took a surrealist approach with his artwork using a symbol of an egg to represent life, fertility, death, and rebirth. It was interesting to see how his artwork evolved over time!
Alexandria Point Park
110 Scioto St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
Here you'll find beautiful river views, a colorful flower garden, and plenty of picnic space at this well-kept park! It's the perfect spot to sit back and relax!
510 Hansgen Morgan Rd. Wheelersburg, OH 45694
Fuhrmann Orchards has been around for over 60 years and is family-owned and operated. It took us about 20 minutes to get here from Portsmouth on the most scenic Ohio drive I've ever been on. They have 28 different varieties of apples growing in their orchards! Apples aren't the only thing they grow and sell here. You'll find peaches, nectarines, melons, and an amazing variety of vegetables available to purchase during the season. I was also surprised to see the most beautiful flower gardens with U-pick flowers available on select days!
This year they have a pick your own pumpkins event. The next dates for this are Oct. 16th and 23rd. We took a wagon ride up a large hill to the pumpkin patch, which is also by some of their apple orchards and flowers. The view from the top is breathtaking! We also got a glimpse of the stunning sunflower field they had available at the end of September. We learned that higher elevation is better and safer for growing apples and they have another 60+ acres of apple orchards in Lucasville, OH. In a couple of years, when some of the newer apple trees mature, they have plans for a U-pick apple field! Follow them on Facebook for upcoming events!
Where to eat
The Lofts Coffee Company
842 Gallia St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
Lofts coffee company uses only fair trade, globally sourced coffee. All of the coffee is roasted locally in the shop! It's been around since 2014 serving the people of Portsmouth, OH the highest quality coffee. If you're looking for something a little stronger, they serve wine and specialty cocktails! We stopped here for breakfast and had the most delicious veggie flatbread to start our day. This is also a great stop to make before going to view the floodwall murals or shopping around Boneyfiddle!
Patties and Pints
546 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
Patties and pints is a modern-day speakeasy! This is where you'll find some of the best burgers in Portsmouth. It also has 50 beers on tap and another 37+ beers in bottles, so you're bound to find something you love. You'll find vintage decorations and a lot of history on prohibition here. Such a fun place to eat!
The Scioto Ribber
546 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
The Ribber is best known for its smoked meats. People will drive 70+ miles to come to try the ribs, chicken, or steak! It's a local favorite, and all the people we talked to made sure we knew about it! It's such a great stop for dinner and family-friendly. It does get busy on the weekends, so add extra wait time into your itinerary!
The Market Street Cafe
212 Market St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
This cozy cafe serves up amazing sandwiches, salads, paninis, wraps, coffee, and smoothies. It's the perfect stop for a light meal and iced latte! I also loved the beautiful outside seating area that's perfectly shaded by trees!
The Portsmouth Ohio Brewing Company
224 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
This is one of the oldest microbreweries in Ohio! It was established in 1842 and sold beer to many cities along the Ohio River. It was shut down for many years due to prohibition but has been reopened since 1997. It also has a full food menu.
Kathy Sue's Bakery
219 Market St, Portsmouth, OH 45662
With recipes over 100 years old, Kathy Sue's will definitely make your sweet tooth happy! Here you'll find old-fashioned sticky buns, creme horns, sugar rolls, turnovers, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and apple fritters! I tried one of my favorite sweets- the apple fritter! It was the perfect fall treat and pairs well with a latte!
Where to Stay
Shawnee State Park Lodge
4404B State Route 125 West Portsmouth, OH 45663
The Shawnee Lodge is located about 20 minutes from Portsmouth. Its located in one of the largest state parks in Ohio. We loved sitting outside and enjoying the views from our balcony. They also have cozy cabins available. With hiking trails, lakes for boating and fishing, indoor and outdoor pool areas, and special events, you'll definitely find something you love here!