Settled in the early 1600s, this walkable working seaport has locally owned restaurants and shops, and a vibrant arts and culture scene, year-round.
Long before the Boston Tea Party, Portsmouth citizens provided the gunpowder and stores that fueled the American Revolution and stoked the fires of liberty. If it had not been for the first Portsmouth area settlers, there would have never been a first Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims. Also if it had not been for the prowess of Portsmouth shipbuilders, John Paul Jones may never have had a chance to utter the famous words, “I have not yet begun to fight.” We invite you to discover the untold stories of our American heritage through the many historic homes and museums in our area. Leave your history books at home and join us to learn the real story.
Portsmouth is a vibrant, coastal New England city that honors its colorful history, preserving its authenticity while remaining passionately engaged in shaping its future. Its working seaport, unique locally owned shops and restaurants, world-class culture, engaging outdoor activities, vibrant nightlife and interesting local character attracts visitors from around the world, year-round. The whole-life, healthy environment of this walkable regional capital provides the catalyst for residents and visitors to enjoy a unique urban experience within a sustainable and progressive business environment.
Insider’s Tip: the wise person will ditch the car upon arrival in Portsmouth to enjoy this walkable city!
Take a quick walk along with a group of our visitors to get a sense of Portsmouth’s Vibrant downtown!
Explore our neighborhoods: Downtown | Waterfront | North End | West End
NH’s Gateway to the World
Once one of the nation’s busiest ports and shipbuilding cities, Portsmouth has one of the oldest working ports in the United States. Today, the port sees five million tons of cargo on import/export ships from trading partners worldwide, plus pleasure boating and commercial fishing vessels. Visitors to Portsmouth can catch a glimpse of the Moran tugboats escorting the larger vessels up and down river. Across the Piscataqua River is the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, established in 1800 as the first federal navy yard, famous as the site of the 1905 signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth which ended the Russo-Japanese War. Upriver from the port is the Pease International Tradeport, formerly the home of the Strategic Air Command‘s Pease Air Force Base, now a prospering business and aviation industrial community.