Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (2024)

Lifestyle, Travel ·

Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (1)

Let me start off this Portsmouth, New Hampshire Travel Guide by saying that when Tracy and I booked our New England Road Trip I did not expect to love Portsmouth so much, but from the second we pulled off 95 and into this port city my mind was changed.

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that we didn’t have the smoothest trip to Portland, ME when it came to finding places to eat so we arrived in Portsmouth with no too many expectations, but our 2 days in New Hampshire ended up being amazing!

Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (2)

I’m not going to lie, we really only added Portsmouth to our mini New England Road Trip because we wanted to hit another coastal city in the Northeast, didn’t want to travel more than 5 hours from Westchester and because I wanted to stay at another Lark Hotel, but after visiting I can confirm that it is absolutely worth stopping in and beyond exceeded my expectations.

Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (3)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (4)

Portsmouth is a New Hampshire port city on the Piscataqua River. It’s a vibrant, coastal New England city that honors its colorful history and is one of the oldest working ports in the United States. It’s filled with unique locally owned shops and restaurants. And lots of outdoor activities among other things. It’s also extremely walkable, no need to move your car once you park it at your hotel!

We spent 2 days in Portsmouth and it was plenty of time to see a majority of it which makes it the perfect place for a weekend getaway or a great stop on a New England Road Trip like we did.

Portsmouth, NH Travel Guide

What to Do in Portsmouth

Strawbery Banke Museum
  • 14 Hancock St. Portsmouth, NH
  • An authentic nearly 10-acre outdoor history museum dedicated to bringing 300+ years of American history in the same waterfront neighborhood to life.
  • Tourhistoric houseson their original foundations, meet engagingcostumed role players, watchtraditional crafts demonstrations, and explorehistorical gardens and landscapes.
  • Check their website for the different events happening there throughout the year.
Market Square
  • The heart of downtown, where several walking tours begin, Market Square is a center of activity with art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, ethnic restaurants and many original 17th-century buildings.
  • Most of the things you’ll find in my Portsmouth, New Hampshire Travel Guide can be found in Market Square or steps away from it. Like I mentioned above Portsmouth isn’t that big of a city and very easy to walk around.
wigglesworth mercantile
  • 24 Market St. Portsmouth, NH – Located in Market Square!
  • The most adorable curated gift and home store that is 100% sourced in New England with products from over 45 local artists, markers, farmers and fisherman.
  • I absolutely love browsing local stores when I’m traveling and this one did not dissappoint.
  • If you’re looking for a non-cheesy memento from your trip to Portsmouth this is where to get it! I wanted just about everything there, but left with this adorable rope and anchor bracelet
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (7)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (8)
portsmouth harbor tours
  • 64 Ceres St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Narrated cruises along the Piscatuqua River and into the Atlantic Ocean
  • The captains discuss everything from birdlife of the inland waterways, the folklore of the Isles of Shoals, the ship building history of Portsmouth Harbor or just the musing on the ever changing tides of the Piscataqua.
  • I suggest the Harbor cruise that departs multiple times per day! If you’re visiting during the Fall they also have a Fall Foliage Cruise that brings you inland that looks amazing too.
  • We did the Sunset cruise, but I honestly I wouldn’t suggest it because we the sun set too early for us to see anything. I wish they adjusted the time of the cruise every day to accommodate the time of sunset, they keep it at the same time from June 12-September 12 and we ended up being in the dark for majority of the ride.
  • Make sure to bring a jacket no matter what time of year you go, it gets cold pretty fast on the water.
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (9)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (10)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (11)
Prescott Park
  • 105 Marcy St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Prescott Park is a 10+ acre waterfront park in Portsmouth. The land was donated to the city by 2 sisters, Josie and Sarah Prescott in 1940.
  • The extensive gardens serve the purpose of being both beautiful and educational. City gardeners identify the plants and flowers so visitors who might want to choose something similar for their own gardens know what they are.
  • They offer free garden tours every Friday.

Where to Eat in Portsmouth

Moxy Modern American Tapas
  • 106 Penhallow St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Open for Dinner Tuesday-Saturday (Closed Sunday & Monday)
  • Reservations accepted
  • A modern American tapas restaurant focusing on smaller plates meant for sharing and taking inspiration from local farmers, culture and history in New England.
  • We went for dinner and asked our waitress for recommendations since everything on the menu was so unique and we were having trouble deciding what to order. I highly suggest doing the same since some of these items might not be available given their seasonal menu!
  • We ordered the Tuckaway Corn Muffins, Fried Pickle Chips, Pork Belly Bites, Fried Clams, Potato Gnocchi, Misty Knoll Farms Pan-Seared Chicken Tights and Beef Short Rib Marmalade.
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Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (13)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (14)
portsmouth Brewery
  • 56 Market St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Open for Lunch & Dinner Wednesday-Monday (Closed on Tuesdays!)
  • New Hampshire’s original brewpub!
  • We ordered the Torn & Frayed IPA and Surrender to the Flow IPA to drink. And the Carnitas Loaded Fries and Brew Love Burger to eat.
  • If you’re into craft breweries and want to hit more than one during your time in Portsmouth I suggest checking out Earth Eagle Brewings, Great Rhythm Brewing Company, Liars Bench Beer Company or Loaded Question.
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Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (16)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (17)
the franklin Restaurant
  • 148 Fleet St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Open for Happy Hour (starting at 4pm) and Dinner Wednesday-Sunday (Closed Monday & Tuesday)
  • Reservations accepted!
  • Since opening their doors in 2015, The Franklin has been crafting a steadily changing, progressive menu using local sustainable ingredients from across the seacoast.
  • Highly recommend going for Happy Hour! Wednesday through Sunday 4pm-6pm $1.25 select oysters & other specials.
  • Try to grab a seat at the horseshoe shaped oyster bar!
  • The Grilled Broccoli small plate with cheddar aioli, roasted garlic & ginger is AMAZING!
  • Sister restaurant to Moxy, which I mentioned above!
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Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (19)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (20)
Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream
  • 49 Ceres St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Closed on Mondays
  • I’m lactose intolerant and can’t have ice cream, but I’m taking Tracy’s word that this was the best ice cream ever! I had the frozen yogurt and it was good, but not the best I’ve ever had.
ROOFTOP at the envio
  • Connected to the AC Hotel Portsmouth, but you don’t need to be a hotel guest to come here.
  • Open 7 days a week. Open for Dinner Monday-Thursday and Lunch & Dinner Friday-Sunday.
  • Indoor & outdoor seating!
  • Reservations accepted!
  • Portsmouth’s newest restaurant and bar with panoramic views of the Piscataqua River and the iconic bridges that cross it.
  • Connected to the AC Hotel Portsmouth, but you don’t need to be a hotel guest to come here.
cure
  • 189 State St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Open 7 days a week for dinner.
  • Reservations accepted.
  • Indoor and outdoor seating.
  • They specialize in American comfort food at affordable prices. The name “Cure” emphasizes the preparation of their proteins.Theybrineandslow cook many of their meats to ensure maximum tendernessandflavor.
cava tapas & wine bar
  • 10 Commercial Alley Portsmouth, NH
  • Open Wednesday-Sunday for Dinner.
  • Reservations only accepted if you’re doing their 4 course menu.
  • Rustic-chic bistro & wine bar offering Mediterranean-inspired tapas, a tasting menu & chef’s table.
  • Restaurant features two wine bars, one on street level and one in their Wine Cave. Also home to New England’s first native outdoor living wall.
old ferry landing
  • 10 Ceres St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner.
  • Founded in 1975, Old Ferry Restaurant delivers the quintessential waterfront dining experience, blending traditional New England dishes and turn-of-the-century charm with modern flair. Watch the sun set as Portsmouth’s iconic tugboats cruise by while you enjoy the area’s finest seafood and specialty cocktails on our outdoor deck.
the wilder
  • 174 Fleet St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Indoor dining only.
  • Reservations accepted.
  • Open 7 days a week for Dinner from 3:30-10pm. Friday-Sunday they have a Late Night Menu from 10pm-12am & on Saturdays and Sundays they have Brunch from 10:30am-2:30pm. Happy Hour from 3:30-6pm everyday!
  • Modern New England gastropub featuring a range of New American plates, inventive cocktails & draft brews.
Portsmouth Gaslight
  • 64 Market St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Hopping, historic, multilevel haunt with four venues – a tavern, pizzeria, nightclub & a deck with live music.
  • Open 7 days a week. Hours vary per venue so check their website for more information.
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Places to Stay in Portsmouth

the hotel portsmouth
  • 40 Court St. Portsmouth, NH – in historic Haymarket Square and just steps away from bustling Market Square
  • An intimate 32 room boutique hotel with unique common areas, meeting rooms for guests to take advantage of, complimentary curated small-plates breakfast and more!
  • We loved the 24 hour iced coffee available for all guests & the adorable backyard with corn hole and tables to hang out.
  • Built in 1881 as the home of John E. Sise and his family, 40 Court Street is a classic example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture.
  • The Hotel Portsmouth is a Lark Hotels property (my favorite). All their properties embrace the locations they are in – but in playful, unexpected ways and The Hotel Portsmouth is no exception. (I’ve also stayed in Lark Hotel properties in Newport, RI; Stowe, VT & Portland, ME.)
  • This is where we stayed!
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Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (23)
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Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (25)
Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (26)
AC HOTEL PORTSMOUTH DOWNTOWN/WATERFRONT
  • 299 Vaughan St. Portsmouth, NH
  • Newly opened hotel with modern, urban vibe with seaside heritage.
  • Has an awesome rooftop bar/restaurant – The Rooftop at The Envio!
Wentworth by the Sea
  • 588 Wentworth Rd. New Castle, NH – This is TECHNICALLY in New Castle, NH, but it was too beautiful not to include in my list of hotels to stay at in New Hampshire and it’s just minutes away from Portsmouth.
  • One of the TOP luxury hotels in all of New Hampshire.
  • On the waterfront with 4 restaurants, 3 bars, a full service spa, indoor & outdoor pool & 3 spa tubs!
  • The Wentworth reminds me a LOT of The Sagamore in Lake George.
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Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire | Photos:Tracy Davis& myself

Based on your excerpt, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, appears as a vibrant coastal city rich in history, offering various attractions and culinary delights. I'll break down the concepts covered in the article for you:

Concepts Covered:

Portsmouth, New Hampshire:

  • Location: Situated on the Piscataqua River, Portsmouth is one of the oldest working ports in the U.S.
  • Characteristics: Vibrant, coastal, rich in history, filled with locally-owned shops, and offering numerous outdoor activities.
  • Walkability: It's described as extremely walkable, making it convenient for exploration without needing to move your car frequently.

Attractions:

  • Strawbery Banke Museum: An outdoor history museum with historical houses, costumed role players, craft demonstrations, and events throughout the year.
  • Market Square: The heart of downtown with various shops, galleries, restaurants, and the starting point for walking tours.
  • Wigglesworth Mercantile: A curated gift and home store sourcing products from local artists and artisans.
  • Portsmouth Harbor Tours: Narrated cruises along the Piscataqua River and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Prescott Park: A waterfront park with gardens and free garden tours available.

Places to Eat:

  • Moxy Modern American Tapas: A restaurant focusing on smaller plates inspired by local farmers, culture, and history.
  • Portsmouth Brewery: New Hampshire's original brewpub offering a variety of craft beers and food.
  • The Franklin: Crafting a changing, progressive menu using local sustainable ingredients.
  • Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream: Known for its ice cream offerings sourced from local ingredients.
  • ROOFTOP at the envio: A restaurant and bar with panoramic views of the Piscataqua River.
  • Cure: Specializing in American comfort food with a focus on protein preparation.
  • Cava Tapas & Wine Bar: A rustic-chic bistro offering Mediterranean-inspired tapas and a tasting menu.
  • Old Ferry Landing: A waterfront dining experience offering traditional New England dishes.
  • The Wilder: A modern New England gastropub featuring New American plates and inventive cocktails.
  • Portsmouth Gaslight: A multilevel venue with different spaces including a tavern, pizzeria, nightclub, and deck with live music.

Places to Stay:

  • The Hotel Portsmouth: An intimate boutique hotel with unique common areas, meeting rooms, and complimentary breakfast.
  • AC Hotel Portsmouth Downtown/Waterfront: A newly opened modern hotel with a rooftop bar/restaurant.
  • Wentworth by the Sea: A luxurious waterfront hotel with multiple restaurants, bars, spa services, and pools.

These elements showcase the diverse attractions, dining options, and accommodations available in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, making it an attractive destination for a weekend getaway or part of a New England road trip.

Portsmouth NH Travel Guide - living after midnite | Lifestyle Blog (2024)
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