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50 Fun Things To Do In Portsmouth, NH

What to Do in Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth, NH is a charming coastal city located in Rockingham County. Known for its rich history, vibrant cultural scene, and picturesque landscapes, Portsmouth offers a variety of activities for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or food lover, there’s something for everyone in this New England gem. In this blog post, we’ll explore six must-do activities in Portsmouth, NH.

1. Explore Strawbery Banke Museum

One of the top attractions in Portsmouth is the Strawbery Banke Museum. This living history museum showcases four centuries of American history through restored homes, exhibits, and costumed interpreters. Walk through the quaint streets of this historic neighborhood and immerse yourself in the daily lives of Portsmouth’s past residents. From colonial times to the 1950s, the Strawbery Banke Museum offers a unique journey through time.

2. Discover Historic Landmarks

Portsmouth is home to numerous historic landmarks that provide a glimpse into the city’s past. Visit the Moffatt-Ladd House, a Georgian mansion built in 1763, to admire its beautiful architecture and explore its well-preserved gardens. Don’t miss the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, which offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean from its observation deck. Take a stroll along the historic waterfront and enjoy the charm of the historic buildings that line the cobblestone streets.

3. Take a Harbor Cruise

Experience the beauty of Portsmouth from the water by taking a harbor cruise. Several companies offer guided boat tours that showcase the city’s working waterfront, historic sites, and local wildlife. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic views while learning about Portsmouth’s maritime heritage. For a unique experience, consider a sunset cruise or a tour that includes a stop at the nearby Isles of Shoals.

4. Sample Local Cuisine

Portsmouth is a haven for food lovers. The city boasts a thriving culinary scene with a wide range of dining options, from seafood shacks to fine dining establishments. Indulge in fresh seafood, including lobster rolls, clam chowder, and oysters, at one of the many waterfront restaurants. Don’t forget to try a local craft beer or visit a cozy cafĂ© for a cup of freshly brewed coffee. With its abundance of farm-to-table offerings and diverse international cuisines, Portsmouth is sure to satisfy any palate.

5. Enjoy Outdoor Recreation

Embrace the natural beauty surrounding Portsmouth by engaging in outdoor activities. Take a scenic walk along the picturesque Prescott Park, which features beautifully manicured gardens, waterfront views, and outdoor performances during the summer months. For nature enthusiasts, visit the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife observation. Explore the miles of scenic coastline, go kayaking in the Piscataqua River, or enjoy a bike ride along the dedicated trails in and around the city.

6. Shop in Downtown Portsmouth

Downtown Portsmouth offers a delightful blend of boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and specialty stores. Spend an afternoon exploring the charming streets and browse unique items ranging from handmade crafts to vintage finds. Don’t miss the bustling local farmers’ market, where you can taste and purchase fresh produce, homemade treats, and locally crafted goods. With its pedestrian-friendly layout and historic architecture, downtown Portsmouth provides a perfect backdrop for a leisurely shopping experience.


Q: What is the best time to visit Portsmouth, NH?

A: The best time to visit Portsmouth, NH is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is pleasant and many outdoor events and festivals take place. However, spring and fall also offer mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making them great times to explore the city.

Q: Are there any notable museums or art galleries in Portsmouth?

A: Yes, apart from the Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth is home to several other museums and art galleries. The Portsmouth Historical Society, the John Paul Jones House Museum, and the Discover Portsmouth Center are all worth a visit for those interested in history and art.

Q: Are there family-friendly activities in Portsmouth?

A: Absolutely! Families visiting Portsmouth can enjoy attractions such as the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Water Country (a large water park), and the USS Albacore Museum & Park, which features a retired U.S. Navy submarine.

Q: Can you recommend any popular annual events in Portsmouth?

A: Portsmouth hosts several popular annual events, including the Prescott Park Arts Festival, a summer-long series of outdoor concerts and theater performances; the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour, where visitors can explore a magical world of fairy houses; and the Market Square Day Festival, a vibrant street fair celebrating local businesses and artisans.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions worth visiting?

A: Portsmouth’s location provides easy access to other attractions in the area. Visitors can take a short drive to explore the scenic beaches of Rye and New Castle, visit the historic town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, or venture further to explore the stunning White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Q: Is there any public transportation available in Portsmouth?

A: Portsmouth is a walkable city with a compact downtown area, but there is also a public bus service, the Coast Bus, which connects the city to surrounding towns and attractions. Additionally, Portsmouth has a conveniently located Amtrak train station, making it accessible by train as well.

Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply enjoying the coastal charm, Portsmouth, NH offers a wide range of activities to suit every interest. Plan your trip today and discover the delights of this picturesque New England city.