Things to Do in Portsmouth, NH – Explore Tourist Attractions in Portsmouth and the Rest of the Seacoast

If you’re looking for things to do in Portsmouth, NH, you’ll find no shortage of activities and attractions to enjoy! From historical sites and museums to parks and beaches, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city of the Seacoast.

things to do in portsmouth nh

Things to Do in Portsmouth, NH – Downtown Attractions

One of the best things to do in Portsmouth, NH is to discover the downtown area of this historic seaport city. It has a rich colonial history dating back to the 1600s, and it’s compact and easy to navigate on foot, making it the perfect place to explore on a day trip or weekend getaway.

Strawbery Banke Museum

Start your Portsmouth adventure at Strawbery Banke Museum, a living history museum that tells the story of the city’s colonial past. Wander through the restored buildings and gardens, and learn about the lives of the people who lived and worked here centuries ago.

Governor John Langdon House

For a taste of 18th-century luxury, tour the Governor John Langdon House, one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States. This grand mansion was once home to one of New Hampshire’s signers of the Declaration of Independence, and today it houses an art gallery and museum.

Rundlet-May House

For a look at how Portsmouth’s wealthy merchants lived in the 1800s, be sure to visit the Rundlet-May House. This grand house is furnished with original family belongings and provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Portsmouth’s upper class during the Victorian era.

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Warner House

The Warner House is another historic Portsmouth home that’s open to the public. This 1716 house is one of the oldest surviving brick dwellings in New Hampshire, and it’s full of fascinating antiques and original architectural details.

Walking Tour of Portsmouth Historic Wooden Houses

Portsmouth is home to many historic houses, some of which date back to the 1600s. One of the things to do in Portsmouth, NH is to take a walking tour and admire the architecture of these beautiful old homes. Many of these houses are now private residences, but you can still enjoy the view from the street.

The Music Hall

The Music Hall is a historic theater in Portsmouth that first opened its doors in 1878. This beautiful venue hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, ranging from concerts and comedy shows to dance and theater productions.

Market Square

Market Square is the heart of downtown Portsmouth and the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing. This charming square is lined with shops, boutiques, cafés, and restaurants, and it’s a great spot for people watching. In the summer, Market Square comes alive with weekly farmers markets, art fairs, and live music.

For a taste of good beer, head to Portsmouth Brewery – the city’s oldest brewery, which is located right in Market Square.

USS Albacore Museum

For a look at Portsmouth’s maritime history, visit the USS Albacore Museum. This museum is housed in a unique submarine that was used for research during the Cold War. Climb aboard and learn about life on a submarine, and see how this vessel pushed the boundaries of underwater technology.

Places to Visit in Portsmouth, NH – New Castle Island

Just a short drive from downtown Portsmouth is New Castle Island, a beautiful spot for picnicking, swimming, and hiking. What are some things to do in Portsmouth, NH away from mainland?

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Great Island Common

Great Island Common is a large park with plenty of space for picnicking, Frisbee, and other outdoor activities. There’s also a playground and a few basketball courts if you’re looking for things to do with kids.

Fort Stark State Historic Site

Fort Stark is a former military installation that’s now open to the public. Explore the old fortifications, and enjoy views of the harbor and the nearby Isles of Shoals.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

For a bird’s eye view of Portsmouth, climb to the top of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. This iconic lighthouse has been guiding ships into the harbor for over 200 years and offers stunning views of the city and harbor below.

Outdoor Activities in Portsmouth, NH

In addition to exploring the city’s historic sites, there are plenty of outdoor things to do in Portsmouth, NH. There are several hiking and biking trails in the area, including the Coastal Trail, which offers stunning views of the coastline. For an easy hike, head to Odiorne Point State Park, where you’ll find a short trail that leads to a rocky beach.

Prescott Park

For a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown, head to Prescott Park, a lovely green space located on the banks of the Piscataqua River. This park is a great place to relax, have a picnic, or take a stroll along the riverfront.

Water Country Water Park

Water Country is New Hampshire’s largest water park, and it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. With over 30 rides and attractions, there’s something for everyone at Water Country. Kids will love the lazy river, splash pads, and slides, while adults can enjoy the wave pool and relaxing in the sun.

Portsmouth Harbor Cruises

No visit to Portsmouth would be complete without a cruise around Portsmouth Harbor. Sit back and relax as you take in the sights of the city from the water, and keep an eye out for dolphins, seals, and other marine life.

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Other Places to Visit on the New Hampshire Seacoast

Other cities in the Seacoast Region are Rochester and Dover, both of which are worth a visit. Rochester is home to:

  • Rochester Museum of Fine Arts,
  • Salmon Falls River Camping Resort,
  • Rochester Fair Association.

Dover, on the other hand, is famous for its Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. There’s also Dover Bowl, a family-friendly bowling alley, and the Woodman Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Dover.

Plan Your Trip and Discover Portsmouth Next Season

These are just a few of the many things to do in Portsmouth, NH. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to come back again and again to this historic seaport city by the sea!

Have you been to Portsmouth? What are your favorite things to do in this charming New England city? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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