Portsmouth is located on the western side of the Elizabeth River directly across from the City of Norfolk. In 1620, the future site of Portsmouth was recognized as suitable shipbuilding location by John Wood, a shipbuilder, who petitioned King James I of England for a land grant. The surrounding area was soon settled. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S. Navy facility that is actually located in Portsmouth rather than Norfolk. The shipyard upgrades, remodels, and repairs ships of the US Navy and is one of the few facilities in the world with the capability to dry dock an aircraft carrier. Today, Portsmouth is more than just a ship building town, it has tons to offer. It features gorgeous turn of the century neighborhoods that lead to a bustling High Street with tons of restaurants, cool breweries, and shops. Portsmouth also has museums and parks, quick access to all of Hampton Roads, and of course, only a thirty minute ride to the beach!