21 Fun Things To Do In Portsmouth (New Hampshire)

Portsmouth, located north of Boston, is a popular tourist destination. There are plenty of exciting shops, historical sites, and great places to eat and drink.

It is almost impossible to have a dull moment in Portsmouth, NH. There are always exciting, fun things in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Portsmouth is the oldest settlement in New Hampshire, and it was a vital colonial seaport that was involved in various activities, such as shipbuilding and fur trading.

One of its most notable buildings is the Richard Jackson House, constructed in 1664.

Portsmouth has a vibrant culture and arts scene, with many restaurants and bars owned by award-winning chefs.

This area is also known for its live theater and music. Many of these establishments represent both New England and international cuisines. The article covers fantastic things to do in Portsmouth (New Hampshire).

Where Is Portsmouth, New Hampshire?

Portsmouth is a city in New Hampshire’s Rockingham County. According to the census of 2020, it has a population of 21,956. 

The city has a total area of approximately 16 square miles. Of its total area, about 15.7 square miles are made of land, while the remaining 1.2 square miles are water.

The Pease Air Force Base was formerly located in Portsmouth before its conversion into the Portsmouth International Airport.

Things To Do In Portsmouth (New Hampshire)

Portsmouth is known for its charming harbor and multiple museums. It also has a variety of unique attractions, such as historic mansions and restaurants.

The best things to do in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, include the USS Albacore, the Isles of Shoals, and Discover Portsmouth.

These are the 21 best things to do in Portsmouth, New Hampshire;

1. Strawbery Banke Museum

Photo by Lee Wright via Flickr

One of Portsmouth’s most famous museums is the Strawbery Banke Museum. It is still European at the South End, the oldest part of Portsmouth.

The museum features 40 historic buildings constructed during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Many of these are currently open to the public.

The buildings were restored and then equipped with authentic period pieces. The museum staff usually wear period clothing, which allows the visitors to understand the lifestyle of Portsmouth’s people during that period. 

Address: The Museum is at 14 Hancock St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

2. Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Another famous museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the Moffatt-Ladd House, located in the heart of the city’s downtown.

This mansion was originally built in 1763 and has since become a National Historic Landmark. It was made accessible to the public in 2011.

The mansion features period-inspired architecture and elegant gardens. It also has original artifacts, such as letters and photographs, from the home’s previous occupants.

The individuals who lived here during this period included some of those who signed the Declaration of Independence. 

Address: The Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden is at 154 Market St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

3. Portsmouth Athenaeum

The Portsmouth Athenaeum is a museum, gallery, and library located in the city’s downtown. Built-in the 1800s as a community-based educational institution.

This organization helped other community members improve their educational skills.

The Athenaeum is one of the country’s earliest national libraries because it represents the distribution of resources, which was once the norm.

Today, the public can visit the facility and view its various exhibits. Visiting this museum is one of the most productive things in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Address: This Beautiful Attraction is at 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

4. Prescott Park 

One of the city’s most popular parks is the 10-acre Prescott Park on the Piscataqua River.

This area features various features, such as an expansive lawn, a couple of boat docks, and paved walkways. It also has picnic tables, shelters, and grills.

The park is open year-round. During the summer season, it’s home to the annual arts festival known as the Prescott Park Arts Festival.

This facility also hosts various other events, such as theatre shows, music performances, and big-screen movies.

So if you’re looking for something to do with the whole family in Portsmouth, this is a great place to visit. 

Address: The Prescott Park is at 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

5. The Music Hall

One of the city’s oldest and most prominent facilities is the Music Hall, which has a seating capacity of about 1,000.

The facility has been the site of various notable performances for almost five decades.

Some prominent musicians performing at the Music Hall include Pulitzer Prize winners and Tony award-winning actors.

The Music Hall is known for hosting various performances, such as musical and dramatic events.

It also features dance recitals, cinema exhibits, and interpretive or author-reading events. Currently, the facility has around 90,000 visitors annually.

If you’re planning on attending a performance, the Music Hall has a calendar that provides information about upcoming events. 

Address: The The Music Hall is at 28 Chestnut St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

6. Seacoast Repertory Theatre

One of the most prominent organizations in Portsmouth that’s known for providing professional theatre services is the Portsmouth-based company, the Seacoast Repertory Theatre.

This organization puts on various performances throughout the year. Aside from regular events, the company also offers classes and camps for children and adults. 

Address: This Attractive Theatre is at 125 Bow St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

7. Discover Portsmouth

The Discover Portsmouth facility is a community center open to the public during the day.

It features a variety of resources and services, such as a library, a gallery, and various videos and artifacts.

On-site staff members are also knowledgeable about the city and can help visitors navigate the multiple attractions in Portsmouth. It is one of the most sensible things to do in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Address: Discover Portsmouth is located at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

8. Book and Bar

The Book and Bar is a pub and restaurant located in a late 1860s building. This establishment has a unique dining and entertainment combination.

It features a variety of books on its walls and a large selection of wine, beer, and coffee products. The restaurant also offers a variety of sandwiches and other food items.

The atmosphere inside the Book and Bar is different from that of a standard library.

It’s a vibrant and welcoming establishment that allows people to socialize and hang out. The restaurant contains tall bookshelves and comfy chairs.

The staff members are also knowledgeable about the city and can help visitors navigate the various attractions in Portsmouth. 

Address: This Beautiful Attraction is at 40 Pleasant St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

9. USS Albacore

Photo by Mr.TinMD via Flickr

The USS Albacore is a unique submarine that pioneered the field of amphibious warfare.

Initially used for research, this vessel features a sleek and modern hull that allows it to move quickly and efficiently.

It was built during the Second World War and designed to operate during the war. The design of the vessel’s hull has significantly impacted how other ships are built. 

Address: The USS Albacore is at 600 Market St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

10. Earth Eagle Brewing

Earth Eagle Brewing is a local establishment known for its extensive selection of microbrews. This restaurant and brewery have various on-tap options regularly updated on its website.

The menu at Earth Eagle Brewing features a variety of different food items and classic pub favorites.

It also has a selection of unexpected options. The restaurant’s warm interior and vibrant colors create a relaxing atmosphere. The brewery also hosts various events and has live music regularly. 

Address: The Earth Eagle Brewing is at 175 High St, Portsmouth, NH.

11. Governor John Langdon House

Photo by C. Carr via Wikimedia

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is known for its historic homes. One of these is the magnificent Georgian mansion that was the home of John Langdon, a shipbuilder and a Revolutionary War hero.

It eventually became a museum after several generations of family living in the house.

The house has been carefully preserved and adorned with period-inspired decor. It also has an on-site museum that features various pieces of the home and the property of the Langdon family. 

Address: The Governor John Langdon House is at 143 Pleasant St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

12. Black Trumpet Bistro

The Black Trumpet Bistro is a local establishment located in Portsmouth’s downtown district.

It’s known for its globally-inspired dishes served with various ingredients and flavors.

The menu frequently changes due to the ingredients availability and the food’s seasonal nature.

The Black Trumpet Bistro has two levels designed to accommodate different groups of guests.

The main level features a warm and welcoming dining area, while the second level features a vibrant wine bar.

Both levels provide a casual and relaxed atmosphere for those who want to enjoy a fine dining experience. Indeed, it is one of the most fun things to do in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Address: This Beautiful Attraction is at 29 Ceres St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

13. Warner House

Photo by Joseph via Flickr

The Warner House, constructed in 1716, is considered the earliest urban brick house in northern New England. It was built for Archibald Macpheadris, an Irish-Scottish immigrant.

Like several homes in the area, the Warner House has been carefully preserved and is now a museum. This house has been the home of six generations of the Macpheadris family. 

Address: This Attraction is at Warner House, 150 Daniel Street, Portsmouth, NH.

14. The Franklin

The Franklin, a local establishment known for its sustainable seafood menu, has been serving up innovative and classic dishes in the exact location that was previously an oyster house.

It’s also Moxy’s sister restaurant, a popular area restaurant. The restaurant’s global menu features a variety of raw bar options. 

Address: This Beautiful Attraction is at 148 Fleet St, Portsmouth, NH.

15. The Kitchen

The Kitchen, a local establishment known for its unique sandwiches, has been featured on the Food Network’s popular programs, Drive-ins and Dives.

It was opened in 2011 by Michael Prete and Matthew Greco. 

Address: The Kitchen is at 171 Islington St, Portsmouth, NH.

16. Shalimar India

Indian food is mainly served at this restaurant known as Shalimar India, located in Portsmouth’s downtown district.

The menu features a variety of traditional and contemporary dishes. The drink menu also features a variety of different options. 

Address: This Attraction is at 80 Hanover St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

17. Peirce Island

Peirce Island is known for its beautiful outdoor recreational area. The park features a variety of facilities and activities for locals and visitors.

One of the park’s most popular features is the outdoor swimming pool, which opened in 1937.

18. Isles of Shoals

The Isles of Shoals are a group of islands located off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine.

Each of these islands has its own unique story, and one of them is said to be the site of the infamous pirate Blackbeard’s honeymoon.

Cruise ship passengers often visit these remote and beautiful islands. During a tour of the region, the passengers can enjoy a variety of activities and sightseeing. 

Address: The Isles of Shoals is at 315 Market St, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

19. Water Country

The largest water park in New England is Water Country, which features 26 acres of various attractions. It’s also known for its multiple rides and attractions for the whole family.

The park features a variety of activities and facilities for both adults and children. The park’s most popular areas include the Adventure River and the Activity Pool. 

Address: This Beautiful Attraction is at 2300 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH.

20. Raleigh Wine Bar

Portsmouth’s Raleigh Wine Bar was opened in 2018 by Nimi Idnani and Jeremy Glover. It overlooks the Memorial Bridge and features a beautiful outdoor dining area.

The restaurant’s interior design features a modern and vibrant dining room. Visitors can expect to enjoy the best meals Portsmouth offers in this fine establishment.

21. Salt Cellar

After traveling to Europe, a couple of residents decided to open Salt Cellar, a store with various high-quality salt products.

The store was designed to provide a resource for people interested in learning more about the multiple uses of salt.

Salt Cellar also offers a variety of bath and body products and salt-based food preparation. 

Address: The Salt Cellar is at 7 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Best Time To Visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The best time to visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is between April and June.

The weather is usually warm during this period, and the state’s outdoor beauty is ideal, making it a perfect time to get outside and explore the region’s various activities.

How Much does It Cost To Visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire?

The average cost of a seven-day trip to Portsmouth is about $2,382 for a solo traveler and $4,300 for a couple and $8,100 for a family of four.

Prices of hotels or vacation rentals range from $83 to $800 per night.

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