In recent years, Portsmouth, New Hampshire has experienced a renaissance, and today it is a thriving seaport attracting visitors with its historic downtown, interesting coastline and wonderful shops, restaurants and breweries.
The waters around Portsmouth are known for their great fishing, making the area popular among anglers. The city is also a good place to depart from if you’re heading to the Isles of Shoals, just 6 miles off the coast.
When cruising to Portsmouth, boaters should use caution as the area sees lots of commercial and recreational boat traffic. But the area also has a tremendous amount of marine services, giving boaters plenty of docking options. Visiting boaters can tie up at Prescott Park Municipal Dock (www.cityofportsmouth.com/prescottpark/docks.htm; 603-431-8748), located downtown. The dock is available for hourly rates and overnight stays, but it is popular, so reservations are recommended. Great Bay Marine (www.greatbaymarine.com; 603-436-5299) is a full service marina with slips, moorings, fuel and repair services. Wentworth Marina and Resort (www.wentworthmarina.com; 603-433-5050) not only has slips, fuel and other marine services, it also has a golf course, tennis courts and a pool. And the Marina at Harbor Place (www.marinaharbourplace.com; 603-436-0915) offers convenient access to downtown Portsmouth. For questions about boating in Portsmouth, you can contact the harbormaster at 603-365-6716.
Just across the Piscataqua River in Kittery, Maine, are a few other marina options for boaters. Badgers Island Marina (www.badgersislandmarina.com; 207-439-3810) has transient slips and easy access to downtown Portsmouth, and Kittery Point Wharf (207-439-0912) offers transient moorings. Pepperell Cove on the south side of Kittery Point is a good place for anchoring. And other good anchorages can be found inside the Piscataqua and Great Bay.
Portsmouth has enough attractions to keep visitors busy for days. History buffs will love the restored houses, exhibits, historic landscapes and gardens and interpretive programs at the Strawbery Banke Museum (www.strawberybanke.org; 603-433-1100). Prescott Park (www.prescottpark.org) features extensive flower gardens and hosts a number of popular outdoor programs each summer. The USS Albacore Center (www.ussalbacore.org; 603-436-3680) offers year-round guided tours of the most advanced U.S. Navy submarine built before the atomic era. And the nearby Seacoast Science Center (www.seacoastsciencecenter.org; 603-436-8043) has interesting, educational exhibits and programs on Northeast marine life.
Besides its many attractions, Portsmouth is home to great restaurants – many of them dock and dine – and is known as a hotspot for craft breweries. BG’s Boathouse (www.bgsboathouse.com; 603-431-1074) is a popular dock and dine restaurant on Sagamore Creek. Another dock and dine is Warren’s Lobster House (www.lobsterhouse.com; 207-439-1630) on the Kittery side of the Piscataqua. For excellent food and great beer, check out the Portsmouth Brewery (www.portsmouthbrewery.com; 603-431-1115), which has been brewing craft beer since 1991.
For more information on visiting the Portsmouth area, visit www.PortsmouthNH.com.