Fodor's Expert Review Portsmouth Village

Cape Lookout National Seashore Body Of Water/Waterfall

Inhabited from 1753 until the early 1970s, the village listed 685 permanent residents at its peak in 1860, according to the census that year, making it one of the larger settlements on the Outer Banks. It was a "lightering" town, where ships heavy with cargo had to unload to smaller boats that could navigate the shallow Ocracoke Inlet. But the Civil War and the dredging of a deeper inlet at Hatteras were the beginning of the end for Portsmouth. By 1956 there were 17 inhabitants; the last two left in 1971. Today the public can tour the visitor center, the one-room schoolhouse, the post office and general store, and the turn-of-the-20th-century Life Saving Station (a multiroom Coast Guard station). Guided tours are available June 1 to September 1. The walking trails can be difficult because of standing water, sandy soil, and mosquitoes. Public restrooms are not abundant; bring your own food and water. Rudy Austin's Portsmouth Islands Boat Tours runs a passenger boat from Ocracoke; Morris... READ MORE

Inhabited from 1753 until the early 1970s, the village listed 685 permanent residents at its peak in 1860, according to the census that year, making it one of the larger settlements on the Outer Banks. It was a "lightering" town, where ships heavy with cargo had to unload to smaller boats that could navigate the shallow Ocracoke Inlet. But the Civil War and the dredging of a deeper inlet at Hatteras were the beginning of the end for Portsmouth. By 1956 there were 17 inhabitants; the last two left in 1971. Today the public can tour the visitor center, the one-room schoolhouse, the post office and general store, and the turn-of-the-20th-century Life Saving Station (a multiroom Coast Guard station). Guided tours are available June 1 to September 1. The walking trails can be difficult because of standing water, sandy soil, and mosquitoes. Public restrooms are not abundant; bring your own food and water. Rudy Austin's Portsmouth Islands Boat Tours runs a passenger boat from Ocracoke; Morris Marina Ferry Service operates a vehicle and pedestrian ferry from Atlantic, North Carolina, to Long Point Cabin Area with access to Portsmouth Island.

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Body Of Water/Waterfall Town/Village Ghost Town Park (National/State/Provincial) Green Historical Family

Quick Facts

Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina  28531, USA

252-728–2250-park information line

www.nps.gov/calo/planyourvisit/visit-portsmouth.htm

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free; passenger ferry $14 round-trip; car ferry $75–$90 round-trip, Ranger programs and guided tours don\'t operate Oct.–May; ferry services don\'t operate Nov.–Mar.

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