We travel all over the state, but rarely get the chance to stay for an entire weekend. This past summer, we had some free time and spent a weekend in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Our first stop was at the Flood Wall Mural. I was so impressed with it that I wrote an entire article (you can find it here). In short, you’ll definitely want to make it a stop. It’s 3/4 mile long, 20 feet high and depicts much of the city’s history and tells a story about it’s people.
But Portsmouth’s story doesn’t stop there. There’s a lot to see in this river town and we immensely enjoyed our visit.
The Southern Ohio Museum
In addition to the Flood Wall, Portsmouth offers other fun and free things to do. Our next stop was at the Southern Ohio Museum.
I heard admission was free, so I didn’t expect much. But the visit rivaled others I’ve enjoyed in much larger cities and for a handier investment.
The collections were varied and I started with a traveling collection in the main hall. All of the installments, which ranged from paper art pieces to actual growing plants, focused on the inequities in the food chain.
Following the flow upstairs, I wondered into a number of art displays. While subject matter was vast, many were focused around the history and people of southern Ohio.
The Art of the Ancients collection, featured a number of pieces from native American cultures that resided in the Portsmouth area. There were a number of glass cases of artifacts from arrowheads and hatchets to bowls and cooking utensils. There were educational pieces telling the story of the tribes that lived in the area and of the discovery of the pieces in the collection.
Though admission was free, there was a donation box near the exit. They also had a small gift shop, with proceeds supporting the museum.
The city of Portsmouth sits on the Ohio River and looks across into Kentucky. Following the Flood Wall down along the river you will eventually get to Alexandria Park.
The park sits on the point where the Scioto River joins the Ohio River. Parking is difficult as there are only a few spots, but the wait is worth the effort.
The Park was full of beautiful blooms and featured an area to enjoy a picnic. It provided a nice lookout over the rivers.
The Boney Fiddle area in downtown Portsmouth features a number of shops. Parking is free, which is nice, and the shops are varied. Several of the shops dealt in antiques and were quite large.
We stopped in at the Wright Farm Center. In addition to farm supplies and beautiful flowers ready to plant, the store offered a selection of local goods, including honey. We purchased both the spring and summer Ohio honey and vowed to have a taste test when we got home. (Spoiler alert: the summer honey was the clear winner.)
For lunch, we happened upon Patties and Pints. The entire theme was based around prohibition. the food was traditional pub food. It was delicious, hot and there was plenty of it. The wait staff was friendly and service was prompt. Though we were there for lunch, we noted that they often featured live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Dinner at the Famous Ribber
For the last several years, I’ve heard amazing things about the Scioto Ribber. Through parents at my daughters’ sporting events and also from my co-workers, I knew of several people who drove an hour or more just to get dinner at the Ribber.
We lucked into a quick seating, had to wait just a few minutes for our table of four. We must have hit it just at the right time of day, as the wait had approached an hour and a half before we left (it was a Saturday evening). The environment is decidedly unpretentious. It doesn’t really feature a theme and it’s certainly not one of the nicer restaurants I’ve been in. The floors are concrete and the tables are simple.
But the steak is excellent and the servings are huge. I ordered the small ribeye which weighed in at 16 ounces. A large version was available at double that size and both sizes were available in both ribeye or New York strip.
If you don’t love steak, their menu also features ribs, chicken, seafood and salads. I’ve heard good things and wouldn’t mind giving their ribs a try next time. My only complaint was that the baked potato was a little firm and under done. But quite honestly, I was too full from the steak to care.
Our Weekend in Portsmouth
We visited Portsmouth because we had an obligation in town and had to be there for the weekend. I didn’t know what to expect, or if I’d be able to fill our downtime with things to do. I must say we were pleasantly surprised.
There’s actually a number of things to do that are both fun for all ages and many of them are completely free or at least budget friendly. If you’ve got a weekend to spare, I would highly recommend a trip to this lovely Ohio River town.
There’s so much to do in Ohio and little surprises like this all over the Buckeye State. If you’re looking for ideas ranging from day trips to weekends and more, explore our site for some great ideas. Thank you for FindingOhio with us and as always we appreciate it when you share our content to your social media.