What’s New in Portsmouth & the Seacoast Summer 2015

Visitor Center + Market Square Kiosk open

Multiple options for dining, shopping, entertainment

Park + Shuttle Service returns

Shop Portsmouth Friday Nights Kickoff Fri May 22 5-8pm

African Burying Ground Memorial Park dedication

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial cherry trees now in bloom!


Portsmouth and the NH Seacoast come alive for the summer season!


“Portsmouth emerge(s) on the New England culinary map

as a major dining destination halfway between Boston and Portland.”

Boston Globe 2015



Shop Portsmouth Friday Nights Portsmouth’s thriving retail scene will be front and center as Shop Portsmouth Friday Nights kicks off Friday, May 22, 2015 from 5–8pm. Several downtown shops will be open late, until at least 8pm, every Friday from Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day Weekend (May 22-October 9, 2015).  www.shopportsmouth.org


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 over Memorial Day weekend, 2015. Events include vigil, reburial, and public celebration. And, The Music Hall presents a concert with legendary gospel singers, Blind Boys of Alabama.  www.africanburyinggroundnh.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 concerts and theater (for 2015: 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. Check out the newest 3S Artspace www.3sarts.org.


Music Festivals

Halcyon Music Festival, July 21-August 1, 2015, now in its second year, features world class artists and young professional musicians living, working and playing together halcyonmusicfestival.org And, Portsmouth is a literary town – watch for poetry readings in pubs, literary events and micro talks.

PARMA Music Festival, August 14-16, 2015, now in its third year, is an annual celebration of the best in contemporary music, from classical and  jazz to electronic and rock and much more. With everything from live music to panel discussions to visual art and educational events, the Festival brings together a diverse crowd to perform, collaborate, and listen. www.parmamusicfestival.org/


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, Game On! In the Pursuit of Play on Puddle Dock, 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.


Discover Portsmouth Center The cultural gateway to the City presents: Ed & Mary Scheier: Mid-century Modern New Hampshire Artists, through 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


Moffatt Ladd House & Garden: Museum Boot Camp, a week-long camp program for children 12-17 on July 13-17; and in conjunction with The Piscataqua Maritime Commission, Michael Tougias will present a lecture entitled Rescue of the Bounty on July20. For more information about monthly Special Focus Tours, visit www.moffattladd.org.


Gundalow Company offering Childrens Day Camps: a new “River Kids” Camp and a “Crew for a Day” camp for children ages 9-12 who will sail on the gundalow PISCATAQUA, help steer, navigate, tow for plankton, analyze water quality and explore human impact on our rivers. www.gundalow.org



Kate’s Bakery & Café – opening soon in Kittery, Maine.


Shogun Japanese Steak House, Newington, NH

Misto! Café Bar Bistro www.mistocafebistro.com/

Cara Irish Pub & Chameleon Club http://carairishpub.com/

Craft Beer Cellar http://www.craftbeercellar.com/



Port City Mopeds www.portcitypeds.com/



Studio 90 on Fleet http://studio90fleet.com/


Furniture/Home Décor

Vintage in the Port www.vintageintheportandbarn.com


City initiatives

  • New parking garage: City Council approves bonding for new 600-space parking garage at 165 Deer St as part of overall revitalization of the area to include new Deer Street Extension, wide sidewalks, civic space and mixed use development.
  • Two Character based Zoning Charrettes completed for North End and West End.  Preliminary zoning underway for North End. With West End Character Zoning to follow : http://planportsmouth.com/characterbasedzoning.html
  • Master Plan kicking off –  http://planportsmouth.com/masterplan/index.html
  • New comprehensive wayfinding system rolling out in phases. Public Parking lots completed. Next phase is  “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.
  • 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.
  • A new gateway off 95: in final permitting phase – will transform entry into a tree-lined street with river views and access to two waterfront parks. Potential construction start for first phase Spring 2016
  • 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 in final land use permitting phase


New Accolades

  • “The most underrated American City”MatadorNetwork.com April 2015
  • Chefs Cooking up a Food Revolution in Portsmouth “In the last two years, Portsmouth and Dover have produced three James Beard semifinalists, vying for national restaurant awards considered the Oscars of the dining industry…an opportunity for Portsmouth to emerge on the New England culinary map as a major dining destination halfway between Boston and Portland.”- Boston Globe March 2015
  • Food writer Kathy Beard wins James Beard award


Chamber Visitor Center 500 Market Street

Until Memorial Day: open 9-5 Monday-Friday and Saturday and Sunday 10-4

After Memorial Day, open 9-5:30 M-F, Saturday 10-5:30 and Sunday 10-5


Market Square Visitor Information Kiosk

Open Fridays, May 22 through October 9:  10 – 8

Memorial Day Weekend:  Saturday – Monday: 10-5

Midweek days through June 11:  11-3

Midweek days June 15 through mid-September:  10 – 5

Saturdays & Sundays, June through September: 10-5 always, except closed on Market Square Day (6/14)

(Note:  Kiosk open times are subject to change based on weather and events.  Please call 603.610.5510 for up to date information.)



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



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