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Portsmouth (New Hampshire)

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Seacoast : Portsmouth
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Portsmouth is the third oldest city in the USA and is prominent in New Hampshire's seacoast region.

Understand

Settled in 1623, Portsmouth is a historic seaport and home of the first Naval Shipyard. It sits at the mouth of the Piscataqua River on the eastern edge of the Rochester-Portsmouth metropolitan area. The region, often called "The Seacoast," is home to 125,000 and includes the cities of Rochester, Dover, Hampton, and Kittery, Maine.

Portsmouth ranks as the 16th safest region in the United States according to Morgan Quitno's 2003 report. Tourism drives much of New Hampshire's economy, but Portsmouth maintains some of its economic heritage through the redevelopment of Pease International Tradeport [1].

Get In

By Plane

  • Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH, [2], .
  • Pease International Tradeport (IATA: PSE) (ICAO: KPSE), 36 Airline Av., Portsmouth, NH, [3]. Served only by two airlines: Allegiant Air, Phone: 1-800-432-3810, [4]; or Pan Am Clipper Connection, Phone: 1-800-359-7262, [5].
  • Portland International Jetport, Portland, ME, [6].
  • Logan International Airport, Boston, MA, [7].

Some commercial flights are available into Pease, but Portsmouth is primarily accessible by flights into Manchester and Portland, both an hour by car, or Boston, roughly an hour and a half car ride in good traffic. Frequent buses on C&J Trailways travel between Boston's Logan airport and Portsmouth's Transportation center.

By Train

  • Amtrak's Downeaster, Phone: +1 800-USA-RAIL or Phone: +1 800-872-7245, [8]. Services nearby Dover with service from Boston, MA to Portland, ME. The COAST bus service operates between the Dover Transportation Center and downtown Portsmouth Monday through Saturday.

Buses to Portsmouth are also available from Boston's South Station train depot, which is serviced by Amtrak and the MBTA.

By Car

Portsmouth is primarily accessible via Interstate 95 from the north and south. Coming from anywhere outside of New England requires travel on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90, a toll interstate, east towards Worcester and Boston. Exit the pike onto I-290N through Worcester and onto I-495N, which connects to I-95. I-95 is a toll road through New Hampshire, charging $1.00 both ways at Hampton, NH and $0.50 at other on-ramps. Interstate 95 runs through Portsmouth and into Kittery, Maine.

During the summer months since 2003, and possibly permanently in the future, the Hampton tolls on I-95 are free southbound and $2.00 northbound.

By Bus

  • C&J Trailways, 1-800-258-7111, [9]. Provides commuter and tourist transportation to Portsmouth from Boston's South Station and Logan airport.
  • Vermont Transit, +1 800 451-3292, [10] Makes trips from Boston to Portsmouth.
  • Wildcat Transit, 295 Mast Rd, Durham, NH, 603-862-2328, [11]. Provides bus service from the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, NH to Portsmouth and Dover. Reduced services in summer.
  • COAST, 42 Summer Dr., Dover, NH, Phone: +1 603-743-5777, [12] Services the Portsmouth region with a number of economical bus routes between Portsmouth, Dover, and Rochester. COAST also operates a seasonal, free trolley service between Portsmouth's various attractions.

Getting Around

Cars work best for navigating the New Hampshire seacoast region. Highways are well maintained and convenient, though the summer months see a major influx of tourists and congestion on I-95 occurs frequently. The cities in the region experience moderate traffic, except for the beaches during prime times such as early afternoon, which get very crowded.

Portsmouth and surrounding areas are serviced by a free COAST trolley during the summer and fall. The trolleys are convenient and make many stops in the area.

The city of Portsmouth is small and the major historical points of interest are easily visited on foot. Try the Portsmouth Harbor Trail[13]. Bicycles are also a very effective means to see the area, see the Seacoast Area Bicycle Routes[14].

See

Museums

  • American Independence Museum, 1 Governors Lane, Exeter, Phone: +1 603-772-2622, [15].
  • The Strawbery Banke Museum, I-95, exit 7, Phone: +1 603-433-1100, [16].
  • Children's Museum of Portsmouth, 280 Marcy St., Phone: +1 603-463-3853, [17].
  • Kittery Historical and Naval Museum Route 1, North of Kittery Traffic Circle. Phone: +1 207-439-1323.
  • Port of Portsmouth Maritime Museum and Albacore Park 600 Market St. Phone: +1 603-436-3680.

Breweries

  • Red Hook Ale Brewery, 35 Corporate Drive, Phone: +1 603-430-8600, [18].
  • Portsmouth Brewery, 56 Market St, Phone: +1 603-431-1115, [19].
  • Smuttynose Brewery, 255 Heritage Ave, Phone: +1 603-436-4026, [20].


Do

  • Water Country Water Park, Route 1, Phone: +1 603-427-1111, [21].
  • Seacoast Science Center, 570 Ocean Blvd, Rye. Phone: +1 603-436-8043, [22].
  • Sandy Point Discovery Center, Depot Rd. Exit 3B off I-95, 5 mi. on rte. 33, Phone: +1 603-778-0015, [23].

Events

  • Prescott Park Arts Festival, Phone: +1 603-436-2848, [24]. The arts festival offers nightly performances throughout the summer in Prescott Park on the banks of the Piscataqua river.
  • June: Chowderfest New Hampshire's largest chowder festival.
  • June: Sand Sculpting Competition, [25]. Hampton Beach holds a professional sand sculpture competition in mid-June.
  • August: Portsmouth Blues Fest Blues music festival, [26].
  • September: Rochester Fair, Rochester, NH annual fair event, since 1874. [27].

Buy

Eat

See a list of Portsmouth restaurants at [28].

  • Café Mediterraneo, 152 Fleet St., Phone: +1 603 427-5563, [29].
  • The Blue Claw, 58 Ceres St., Phone: +1 603 427-2529, [30]. Riverside deck.
  • Dolphin Striker, 15 Bow St., Phone: +1 603 431-5222, [31]. $15-$23
  • The Friendly Toast, 121 Congress St., +1 603 430-2154. Eclectic.
  • Harbor's Edge, 250 Market St., Phone: +1 603 559-2626, [32]. $17-$32.
  • Muddy River Smokehouse, 21 Congress St., Phone: +1 603 430-9582, [33]. $9-$19.
  • Paddy's American Grille, 27 International Dr., Phone: +1 603 430-9450, [34]. $6-$24.
  • Poco's Bow Street Cantina, 37 Bow St., Phone: +1 603 431-5967. Riverside deck.
  • The Rosa, 80 State St., Phone: +1 603 436-9715, [35].
  • The Stockpot, 53 Bow St., Phone: +1 603 431-1851. Riverside deck.
  • Wellington Room, 67 Bow St., 2nd Floor, Phone: +1 603 431-2989, [36]. $16-$25.

Drink

Sleep

  • America's Best Inn, 383 Woodbury Ave., +1 603 431-4400 (fax: +1 603 431-4845), [37].
  • Courtyard Portsmouth, 1000 Market Street, +1 603 436-2121 (fax: +1 603 430-7666), [38].
  • Fairfield Inn Portsmouth Seacoast, 650 Borthwick Avenue Extension, +1 603 436-6363 (toll free: +1 800 228-2800, fax: +1 603 436-1621), [39].
  • Holiday Inn, 300 Woodbury Ave, +1 603 431-8000, [40].
  • Motel 6, 3 Gosling Road, +1 603 334-6606 (fax: +1 603 334-3305), [41].
  • Residence Inn Portsmouth, 1 International Drive, +1 603 436-8880 (fax: +1 603 422-0888), [42].

Get out

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