Portsmouth, N.H. – settled in 1623 and incorporated as a city in 1849 – is known for its rich history. While many visit to discover the city’s legacy firsthand, once they arrive they’re pleasantly surprised to find lively waterfront neighborhoods packed with boutique shops, cafes and restaurants galore.
Back in 1878, a Vaudeville theater opened on Chestnut Street. Over a hundred years later, it became The Music Hall, where you can now take in live music, theater and comedy performances and on-screen entertainment in the lovingly restored building. Even just taking a moment to visit the beautiful, bright pink building is a necessity.
If it’s salty air you’re after, enjoy a scenic cruise along the water with Portsmouth Harbor Cruises. During the one-hour boat ride you’ll learn about the area’s history while spying forts, submarines, coastal lighthouses and mansions aplenty – all perfect photo ops!
After all that exploration, you’ll want to stop for a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or cafes around the area. Holding the title of New Hampshire’s “original” brewpub, the Portsmouth Brewery features delicious craft beers along with classic bar choices like nachos and beer-battered chicken tenders with several sauces for dipping. You can also dig into healthy fare like a grilled tofu-topped salad and a “flight” of three hummus varieties served with naan and fresh veggies. For succulent lobster rolls and fried clams, check out the Old Ferry Landing right on the water. After your meal, grab some French pastries, like lavender macarons, at La Maison Navarre and a hot cup of coffee from Cup of Joe to further fuel your shopping endeavors.
Meander through the market square overlooking the North Church of Portsmouth, where you’ll find strolling street performers providing joyful browsing music. Search through scarves and jewelry, salt lamps, home decor, toys and more before grabbing some cheese and wine at Corks & Curds to bring home to snack on later. You can do all of this while catching the occasional glimpse of the stunning Piscataqua River.
Check out more great locations! AAA.com/NortheastInsider