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Which City is Better: Suffolk or Portsmouth?

Comparing these two cities – what you need to know

If you’re thinking of moving to a city in Virginia but you can’t decide between Suffolk and Portsmouth, this guide will help.

There are a lot of things to consider before moving your entire life to a new location. And everyone has different needs and priorities. While many places in Virginia and around the country are attractive, how will you decide where to call home?

Let’s look at some of the similarities and differences between two of the most popular places in Virginia.

Is Suffolk cheaper than Portsmouth?

For most people cost of living is a huge consideration when they decide where to live. Virginia is a great state overall compared to the national average. But how do Suffolk and Portsmouth compare?

  • The overall cost of living is 10.5% lower in Portsmouth
  • Transportation costs are 5.5% lower in Portsmouth
  • Housing costs are 46% lower in Portsmouth

Winner: Portsmouth

Is Portsmouth bigger than Suffolk?

If you prefer small town vibes to the big city, size matters! Or, if you want to live somewhere with lots of nightlife and culture, you may gravitate to bigger metropolitan areas.

  • The Suffolk population is 96,194 
  • The Portsmouth population is 97,840

Suffolks and Portsmouth have very similar populations and offer a diverse group of people.

Winner: Tie

Distance from Virginia military bases

There are many military bases all around Virginia. Let’s take a look at the distance of each city from the various bases in the state.

US Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill HQ

Portsmouth: 137 miles

Suffolk: 141 miles

Fort Pickett

Portsmouth: 113 miles

Suffolk: 96 miles

U.S. Army Port

Portsmouth: 5 miles

Suffolk: 19 miles

Fort Lee

Portsmouth: 79 miles

Suffolk: 63 miles

Quantico USMC Base

Portsmouth: 167 miles

Suffolk: 171 miles

Fort Lee MEPS

Portsmouth: 74 miles

Suffolk: 58 miles

Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek–Fort Story

Portsmouth: 14 miles

Suffolk: 31 miles

Fort Belvoir

Portsmouth: 188 miles

Suffolk: 193 miles

Winner: Tie

Does Portsmouth or Suffolk have better weather?

Portsmouth is just under 30 minutes from Suffolk. They both have similar hot Virginia summers and gorgeous fall colors. As for weather, the two cities are not too different.

  • Portsmouth, Virginia gets 47 inches of rain, on average, per year.
  • Portsmouth averages 5 inches of snow per year.
  • On average, there are 217 sunny days per year in Portsmouth.
  • Portsmouth, Virginia gets 47 inches of rain, on average, per year.
  • Portsmouth averages 5 inches of snow per year. 
  • On average, there are 217 sunny days per year in Portsmouth.

Winner: Tie

What is Portsmouth famous for?

Portsmouth, Virginia, is a treasured Coastal Virginia gem with a rich history as a coastal seaport. The city’s unique charm is reflected in its diverse range of antique homes spanning three centuries, vibrant mix of quirky shops, and locally owned restaurants, and picturesque waterfront situated along the bustling Hampton Roads harbor. Despite being the smallest coastal city, Portsmouth exudes a distinctly trendy atmosphere, while maintaining its reputation for legendary hospitality dating back to 1752. This historic seaport with its charming blend of antique homes, unique shops and restaurants, and stunning waterfront overlooking the Hampton Roads harbor make Portsmouth a Coastal Virginia gem.

What is Suffolk famous for?

Suffolk functions as a crucial peanut processing and transportation center for railways and highways, accommodating diverse industries such as manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality, and agriculture. Despite its Jamestown settlement history, Suffolk’s charm goes beyond its past. The city offers a lively arts and culture scene, numerous outdoor activities, noteworthy culinary achievements, festive events, family-friendly attractions, and small-town charisma.

Kelvin Reed can help you find the right home in Virginia

Trying to decide between Suffolk or Portsmouth can be a tough choice. They’re both amazing and friendly southern cities. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what you want or don’t want in the place you call home.

If you’re looking for more people and larger city vibes, choose Portsmouth. But if you want a smaller population and lower cost of living, go with Suffolk.

And if you’re ready to buy a house Kelvin Reed can help. To find the perfect home in Virginia call Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty – Reeds Real Estate.

Kelvin is a top realtor in Portsmouth and surrounding areas. Give his office a call at (757) 799-4824 and start house hunting today.


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