Things to do in Portsmouth

Historic Home at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth

One of dozens of historic homes at the Strawbery Banke Musuem, an easy walk from Market Square

Things to do in Portsmouth in the Summer

The Prescott Park Arts Festival concert series is an annual event held at the edge of downtown Portsmouth, presenting a diverse lineup of music artists.  

Showcasing a range of genres and talents, from budding to established performers, the festival brings together local and international acts. This immersive cultural experience, set in picturesque Prescott Park, offers music, food, and community spirit under the summer sky, ensuring a unique experience for audiences of all ages.  (Read our Review)

Strawbery Banke Museum (pictured at top of the page, and at left), perhaps New Hampshire’s premier tourism attraction, and a must-do destination for Portsmouth visitors of all ages, is a ten-acre outdoor history museum at the edge of downtown Portsmouth(MAP

The museum features costumed roll-players who demonstrate traditional crafts including barrel-making, hands-on weaving on antique looms, and basket-making in 30 restored heritage buildings.  (Read our review)

Water Country is New England’s premier water park with 26 acres of water slides including, Thunder Falls, at right, and themed pools, including a giant wave pool, for families with children of all ages.  

Water Country is located in the heart of Portsmouth, (directions) about a ten-minute ride from downtown.  (Seasonal of course) (MAP)

Water Country Lifeguard at Thunder Falls

USS Albacore Museum, tour a real US Navy research submarine, designed and built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  The Albacore was once the fastest submarine in the world, and the prototype for all the US nuclear submarines that followed. 

The Albacore Museum is not quite walkable, but an easy drive from anywhere on the Seacoast, 30 seconds off I-95 in downtown Portsmouth with ample free parking at the visitor’s center.  (Read our review) (MAP)

One of Portsmouth’s premier seasonal attractions (a wonderful family activity) is the Gundalow Company’s Portsmouth harbor and Piscataqua River cruise program, unique in North America as far as our editors know.    

Seasonal Gundalow cruises (pictured at left on a foggy morning on the Piscataqua River) depart from Strawbery Banke, at the edge of downtown Portsmouth. 

(Read our review (MAP)

Take a trip to the historic Isles of Shoals, discovered and named by Captain John Smith in 1614.   You can take twice daily narrated ferries on the M/V Uncle Oscar from nearby Rye Harbor (a ten-minute drive but only a six-mile boat ride), a daily ferry from downtown on the M/V Thomas Laighton, which departs from across Market street from the Sheraton Portsmouth Hotel, (MAP) but a longer ride out the Piscataqua River and then to Star Island.  This is just not to be missed for visitors with a half or full day to spend. Click on the image at left of the Thomas Laighton cruising past the Wood Island Lifesaving Station, at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, on a supermoon cruise.