What’s New in Portsmouth & the Seacoast Spring 2015



Restaurant Week Portsmouth + the Seacoast

Thursday April 9 – Saturday April 18, 2015

Sponsored by the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, this bi-annual culinary event spotlights the area as a culinary and cultural destination – 75,000 diners join in.



New home for arts nonprofit

As part of the dynamic arts scene, a new home for a contemporary art nonprofits will be opening, 3S Artspace (www.3sarts.org) Specifically, the 3S opening celebration March 20-22 features both free and paid events, including three community open houses and programming that highlights the nonprofit’s mission to support bold, emerging art and entertainment for the Seacoast community and beyond.


New festival Halcyon Music Festival, July 21-August 1, 2015 World class artists + young professional musicians live, work and play together http://halcyonmusicfestival.org


Performing arts on stage and on screen – from professional theater to innovative performances, from nationally known to home grown talent. Live music every night at the Press Room (www.pressroomnh.com); concerts, comics, cinema and celebrated authors at The Music Hall (www.themusichall.org);  looking ahead to live music and theater (Peter Pan – The Musical) each summer outdoors at Prescott Park Arts Festival (www.prescottpark.org) and theatrical productions at Seacoast Repertory Theatre www.seacoastrep.org, Players Ring, and West End Studio Theater featuring local companies like Pontine Theater, Darwin’s Waiting Room, and NH Theater Project. And, Portsmouth is a literary town – watch for poetry readings in pubs, literary events and micro talks.


Portsmouth’s history is spotlighted at historic homes, through tours and museums including the renowned/not to be missed Strawbery Banke Museum whose 2015 exhibit opening May 1 is Game On! In the Pursuit of Play on Puddle Dock which explores the lighter side of life in the Puddle Dock neighborhood at Strawbery Banke Museum – from 18th century whist card competitions, to the explosion of post-industrial parlor games, to today’s technological options. www.strawberybanke.org


Portsmouth Peace Treaty 2015 The 110th anniversary (9/5/15) of the Treaty which ended the Russo-Japanese War will feature bell-ringing, Governor’s Proclamation and an event at Wentworth By the Sea. Watch for our iconic Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial cherry trees — descended from the ones in DC given to the US by Japan in thanks for our assistance during the War and peace negotiations. Visit www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.org A new Portsmouth Peace Treaty exhibit will open at the John Paul Jones House Museum (www.portsmouthhistory.org) featuring the story of the Legacies of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty, including the cherry trees and a rare series of photographs from Russia. For more background, please scroll to end.


African Burying Ground Memorial Park (a rediscovered 18th century cemetery in downtown Portsmouth — the oldest DNA-authenticated burying ground in New England) will be dedicated in May 2015. The Music Hall will present a concert on Memorial Day weekend with the Blind Boys of Alabama, recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. http://www.africanburyinggroundnh.org/


Annual exhibit at Discover Portsmouth Center  Ed & Mary Scheier: Mid-century Modern New Hampshire Artists, April 30-October 2, 2015  Presented by The Portsmouth Historical Society, the exhibit will feature pottery, paintings and textiles by two internationally-known NH artists who were leaders in NH’s recognition of the economic development potential of arts and crafts in the post-Depression era. Also includes a second story exhibit celebrating two key nonprofits that supported the potters: the NH Art Association (celebrating its 75th) and the League of NH Craftsmen. www.portsmouthhistory.org


New lodging


New restaurants



New shops


New shop locations


City initiatives

  • Harborwalk Pier: The city has announced plans to begin construction of phase 2 of Harborwalk Park located at the end of Daniel St with the construction of a new pier this summer which will provide additional public access to the waterfront and viewing of Memorial Bridge.


  • New comprehensive wayfinding system begun rolling out in phases.
    • Complete Streets” Program: The city has committed to this walking/bicycle friendly program and has already marked bicycle and shared lanes on new Memorial Bridge and some streets downtown.
    • A new gateway off 95: in final engineering phase – will transform entry into a tree-lined street with river views and access to two waterfront parks.
    • AAA Bond rating: 2013/2014 the City obtained the highest obtainable bond rating from Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency. Never before earned by the City, this will save taxpayers money well into the future and help ensure Portsmouth remains a vibrant place to visit, work, and live.
    • New development and renovation projects added $280M in the past four years increasing total property value to $4.1billion
  • Exciting new project proposed: New Whole Foods/Hotel/Conference Center currently before land use boards



New Accolades

    • James Beard semi-finalist/nominee Best Chef/Northeast 2015 – Matt Louis, Moxy Modern American Tapas
  • Architectural award Smuttynose Brewing Co’s new restaurant, Hayseed, wins People’s Choice from American Institute of Architects, NH chapter
  • “Top city to live in NH” – Blue Water Mortgage


  •  “Historic New Hampshire town is a superior stop for exceptional architecture and fabulous dining”– Montreal Gazette, 2014
  • “With a rich history of shipping and brewing…its dining scene exudes culture and heritage”- The Culture Trip.com, 2014
  • One of “Ten of America’s Most Romantic Towns” – Travel + Leisure, 2014
  • “This low-key gem is great for relaxing, shopping, and pretending you never have to go back to your real life.”  – CNN, 2014
  • “Portsmouth, NH established itself as a cultural hub” – Boston Globe, 2014
  • One of “11 coolest small cities it’s time to road trip to” – Buzzfeed, 2014
  • Top Ten Unique Destinations of the World – Connienice.com, 2014




Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, Visitor Center, 500 Market Street, P.O. Box 239, Portsmouth, NH 03802

Visitor Information Kiosk, Market Square, Portsmouth

General Information:  603.610.5510, info@portsmouthchamber.og

Valerie Rochon, Tourism Director, 603-610-5517, tourism@portsmouthchamber.org

Media Inquiries: Kathleen Soldati, SoldatiPR, Kathleen@SoldatiPR.com

Funded in part by the State of New Hampshire.  

New Hampshire Informationwww.visitnh.gov


Web Site



Social Media         

Twitter:  @GoPortsmouthNH

Instagram:  GoPortsmouthNH

Facebook:  Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce



Photos Available.



Additional information about the Portsmouth Peace Treaty

2015 is the 110th anniversary of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty (www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.org) , signed here on September 5, 1905. As the Ken Burns “Roosevelts” documentary noted, President Theodore Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize for orchestrating the negotiations. But Roosevelt never came to Portsmouth while local citizens engaged the Russian and Japanese diplomats in social outings much like those that 2015 visitors might enjoy. Visitors can stay at the grand hotel, Wentworth By the Sea; enjoy musical performances at The Music Hall; shop (sales tax free!) in downtown boutiques; and walk along the beach. In 1905 that “citizen diplomacy” kept the diplomats at the table long enough to reach the peace that ended “World War Zero.” The famous Washington DC cherry trees were given to the US by Japan in thanks for American support during the war and negotiations. In 2012, the 100th anniversary of the cherry tree gift and recognition of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty as the reason for the gift, Japan gave the local Japan-America Society of NH in Portsmouth descendants of those cherry trees. They are planted around the state and the city, along with those planted in 1985 as a gift from its Japanese Sister City of Nichinan (the lead Japanese diplomat’s hometown), as a Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial.  Trees are planted at key 1905 Treaty sites (including Wentworth By the Sea), and in public parks including the new “gateway” park planned for Market Street.



Kathleen Soldati, SoldatiPR – Kathleen@soldatipr.com