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Overview

Portsmouth is the hub of New Hampshire's short seacoast, a historic port known for fine dining, shopping, beautifully restored colonial homes, a Black Heritage Trail and Strawbery Banke, where historic homes of various periods have been restored as museums. At nearby New Castle, the first armed conflict of the Revolution occurred when the Sons of Liberty seized Fort William and Mary and made off with weapons and munitions to be used at Bunker Hill. Dover, a few miles inland, has its own share of early history, with a rare original garrison house from the early settlement era. The coast alternates sandy beaches with rocky promontories, while ...

Portsmouth is the hub of New Hampshire's short seacoast, a historic port known for fine dining, shopping, beautifully restored colonial homes, a Black Heritage Trail and Strawbery Banke, where historic homes of various periods have been restored as museums. At nearby New Castle, the first armed conflict of the Revolution occurred when the Sons of Liberty seized Fort William and Mary and made off with weapons and munitions to be used at Bunker Hill. Dover, a few miles inland, has its own share of early history, with a rare original garrison house from the early settlement era. The coast alternates sandy beaches with rocky promontories, while deep bays at Seabrook and Great Bay provide bird and wildlife habitat and year-round viewing. Boats leave various points along the coast for whale watches, deep sea fishing and scenic tours to the Isles of Shoals, a cluster of islands off the coast. The state university at Durham has a small, but excellent art gallery.

Lura Seavey
About the Expert

Lura Seavey is the author of Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire and she has contributed to several Thomas Cook guidebooks, including Drive Around Catalonia, Travellers Mallorca, and Travellers Barcelona.

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Lura Seavey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer is the season for sunning on the beach, although spring and fall are perfect seasons for beach combing and walking. Winter brings penetrating winds, but rarely severe temperatures.