Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a lovely port city. It offers a unique blend of authentic New England history combined with up-to-date flair. Portsmouth is currently undergoing a modern overhaul with trendy bars and restaurants owned by up-and-coming chefs popping up downtown. Best of all – it’s just an hour’s drive from Boston!
More than 4 million visitors flock to Portsmouth each year, more than half of them arriving in the summer months. Here are 8 wonderful reasons to visit this seaside city this summer.
Tour the small, but mighty production at 3 PM on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, then spend some time at the bar voted 2016’s best seacoast area after-work bar by the NH Business Review.
Sure, we have plenty of fabulous ice cream shops in Boston, but this quaint little shop with waterfront views is not to be missed. Going on 30 years in business, Annabelle’s uses only the finest natural ingredients to create innovative flavors like “My Yellow Brick Road” – a blend of golden vanilla ice cream with roasted pecans, praline pecans, and caramel swirls; “Cashew Caramel Cluster” – caramel ice cream with roasted cashews and chocolate chunks; “Swiss Chocolate Avalanche” – Swiss chocolate ice cream with pecans, walnuts, chocolate covered almonds, chocolate chunks, and white chocolate swirls; and “New Hampshire Pure Maple Walnut” with real NH maple syrup and California walnuts.
As a self-confessed bibliophile, this place is my idea of a perfect Saturday night! New and used books from 50 to 70% off plus a bar packed with wine, beer and coffee – what more could a book nerd need? You’ll also find live music and poetry readings three nights a week.
Surely you’ve had pancakes before, but chances are you’ve never had ones bigger than your head! Massive pancakes packed with berries or chocolate chips are Colby’s specialty. They also serve homemade cinnamon swirl French toast and the New England favorite, Eggs Irish – Eggs Benedict with house-made corned beef hash instead of Canadian bacon.
This summer marks the 41st year for the Prescott Park Arts Festival which offers free movies, music, and theater on the banks of the Piscataqua River all season long. This year will bring movies every Monday night and live performances from Lake Street Dive, Aimee Mann, Aaron Neville, and more.
The 27-acre Peirce Island is actually a penninsula if you want to get technical, but this almost-island is still pretty darn cool! There’s an outdoor pool, walking paths, a playground, and a public boat ramp, plus plenty of beach space for swimming or picnicking. Four Tree Island – a smaller space attached to Peirce – has grilling facilities and great views of Memorial Bridge, the Piscataqua River, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Diversions, Puzzles & Games in downtown Portsmouth is kind of like Dave & Busters for boardgame lovers. They host weekly card games and boardgame nights, plus a monthly Game of Thrones tournament, and a free weekly Star Wars board or card game. It’s a wonderful way to spend a rainy day with the family, or a unique place for an evening with your fellow gamers.
The oldest existing wall murals in the country are located in Portsmouth at the historical Warner House. The home was built in 1716 for Captain Archibald MacPheadris and is considered one of the oldest urban brick residences in New England. The furniture, portraits, mementos, books, and other items used by six generations of the same family are on display for tours.
H/T to Boston.com
Edited Image via Flickr | Todd Van Hoosear