Visiting Portsmouth Island is great adventure for the whole family. Explore the deserted island and the buildings maintained as part of the Portsmouth Village Historic District and imagine what life was like when this was a thriving village before the Civil War.
In 1753 the town of Portsmouth was established on Portsmouth Island west of Ocracoke Island. It was a thriving maritime port until just before the Civil War when hurricanes made it more difficult to access and less necessary for commerce. Slowly the residents moved elsewhere and, by 1971, the town was completely abandoned. Portsmouth Island is now part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.
The only way to get to Portsmouth Island is by boat. There are authorized ferry services or you can go with a private tour or on your own boat. Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, food and bug spray since there is nowhere on the island to buy supplies.
Island tours provide great ways to see the island. From walking historical tours to fishing, camping, bird watching, and ATV tours, there is a way for the whole family to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the island. The beaches are pristine and the fishing can be second to none. If the spirit moves you, bring your camping supplies, get a permit, and enjoy a night under the stars! It is said once you visit Portsmouth Island it draws you back again and again…