One of the few remaining cities in Virginia to retain a name derived from Native American language, Poquoson, and its various spellings, means “great marsh” and was used to describe the surrounding area’s woody yet marsh-like environment. In a brief attempt to remove these Native American language roots, there was a petition to rename the area, but the name prevailed. In the early 17th century, Poquoson was settled by English colonists, became an incorporated town in 1952, and by 1975 was an independent city. Despite this status, Poquoson still shares some services, such as the sheriff, courts, and jail, with York County. Situated on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads amid the Poquoson River, Back River, Wythe Creek, and Chesapeake Bay, Poquoson encompasses 15 miles of land and 63 miles of water.
Due to its mild seasonal climate, outdoor activities are offered year round. The Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge occupies 3,501 acres and has a military-based history and 200 acres of public space to experience. The Poquoson Museum provides additional outdoor activities, with a 1900s farmhouse, the country store “Miss Becky’s Store,” agricultural buildings, and a marsh walk running along 750-foot raised platforms with signs detailing the various wildlife and plant life local to the area.
For boating adventures, Poquoson offers various marinas, including the Whitehouse Cove Marina, where the Surf Rider restaurant serves crab soup, and the York Haven Marina, with the locally famous Owen’s Marina Restaurant. Additional recreational activities can be found at Poquoson Parks & Recreation and the Poquoson Pool. Routes 171 and 172 run through Poquoson, granting access to attractions or shopping in nearby Newport News and Hampton.
A major local tradition in Poquoson is the annual Poquoson Seafood Festival, in honor of Poquoson's heritage and one of the biggest events in the area, with a variety of vendors, food, craft activities, boat races, carnival rides, singers and bands, children’s entertainment, and occasionally fireworks.
Poquoson is a bedroom community with available real estate properties ranging from single-family homes to lakefront and Cape Cod-style properties. The school district Poquoson City Public Schools, provides the community with a high school, middle school, elementary school and primary school.