5 Things to Do in Portsmouth, NH
Nestled on the Atlantic between Portland, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts, Portsmouth NH is the perfect place for a New England getaway. You’ll love the quaint city’s laid-back coastal vibes and its rich history mixed with trendy boutiques, classic galleries, and delicious eateries. Since there’s a ton to see and do, we put together a quick guide that’ll take you through a day-trip or weekend.
Have Dinner and Drinks on the Decks.
Portsmouth’s waterfront dining scene is where it’s at. Whether you’re looking to indulge in nachos, coconut chicken, or an agave margarita at Poco’s Cantina or planning to order a more a standard plate like Lobster at Old Ferry Landing, you’ll see swoon-worthy sunset views that show off both tugboats and bridges. Can’t score a waterfront reservation on a warm night? Don’t sweat it — Fat Belly’s (as featured on Phantom Gourmet), The Portsmouth Gaslight, The Rusty Hammer, and Rí Rá Irish Pub are all solid picks that locals love too. Finish your night with a sweet treat from Izzy’s; the adorable shop has both ice cream and nondairy sorbet.
Picnic in Prescott Park.
Picturesque Prescott Park is just a few steps away from Maine. While beautiful year round, summer shows off the garden’s breathtaking blooms. It’s no surprise that this haven is a popular place for family photos and engagement photo shoots. Make the most of your time along the water by taking a trek over the nearby bridge to Pierce Island. It’s a dreamy spot for a picnic!
Explore Strawbery Banke
New Hampshire’s Living History Museum counts 32 historic properties (plus ten gardens) that date back hundreds of years. Spend as little or much time as you like exploring each candy-colored house as you travel back in time. Pro tip: Bring a camera or make sure you have space on your smartphone before you go. You’ll be glad you did.
See a Show.
The Seacoast Repertory Theater is loved by natives and visitors alike and puts on productions year-round. A non-profit, the adored company is known for its captivating renditions of Broadway hits like Jane Eyre, along with fun new works such as Monty Python’s Spamalot show. The Players Ring and Portsmouth Music Hall offer additional shows (including outdoor performances in Prescott Park), so scope the schedules and take your pick. So much fun!
Spend an afternoon shopping small at the boutiques that line each adorable street and alley. Pop into Serendipity for contemporary clothes and housewares, Bull Moose Music for records and tough to score CDs, Attrezzi for fine kitchen accessories, along with quintessential stops like the Portsmouth Candle Company. Still have time to spare? Stroll through art galleries to see works by Emmy Award Winner Jay Schadler and talented fine oil painters at Todd Bonita. Their interpretations of local landscapes completely capture the essence of the city.
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