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Tour Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Travel Tips

The Best of Both Worlds
New Hampshire's Hip and Historic Seacoast City

Popovers on the Square is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire tradition
Popovers on the Square


Whether or not you're an overnight guest, don't leave Portsmouth without enjoying breakfast or Sunday brunch in the Wentworth by the Sea's dining room with its ornate, domed ceiling: a vestige of the original 1874 grand hotel. Sunday's spread features Champagne; pastries; fresh fruit; raw bar selections; bounteous pasta, meat and seafood entrées; and chef-attended cooking stations — all with a gentle acoustical backdrop of jazz and gurgling fountains. The regular breakfast menu isn't too shabby, either. Signature dishes such as Maine Lobster Hash topped with twin poached eggs and lemony Hollandaise or Cinnamon Banana Nut Pancakes with vanilla butter and Vermont maple syrup are available daily.

America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire is the site of mysterious Native American ruins
America's Stonehenge

After an elegant morning meal, it's time to play outdoors, no matter what the season. Summertime visitors to Portsmouth will want to head 15 miles south to Hampton Beach, the largest and liveliest of the half-dozen public beaches along New Hampshire's 18-mile shoreline. Bask on the sand, buy a boogie board and ride the waves, stroll the boardwalk, play Skee-ball, and recall the carefree coastal escapes of your youth. In the fall, Portsmouth makes a great home base for golfers, who can play a variety of picturesque public courses in the region including North Hampton's Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club, sited on what was once a working farm, and the 27-hole Pease Golf Course in Portsmouth, originally the Portsmouth Country Club, designed in 1901 in the earliest days of America's golf craze. Hotel guests can also tee off at the Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, an 18-hole, Scottish links-style course with challenging ocean breezes.

A quiet alleyway in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Street Scene

Chase away winter's chill by driving 45-minutes inland to America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, where you can rent snowshoes and enjoy an exhilarating walk in the woods as you discover this mysterious 105-acre hilltop's cavelike dwellings and astronomically aligned megaliths, left behind by an unknown ancient people. In the springtime, enjoy the colorful splendor of dense clusters of tulips in Portsmouth's Prescott Park, a ten-acre waterfront expanse featuring formal and "trial" gardens, fountains and a causeway that affords pedestrian access to Four Tree Island, prized by picnickers and photographers for its harbor views. In summer, the park is host to music fests, concerts and an annual musical performed under the stars.

If you're still in Portsmouth when the dinner hour arrives, take a culinary journey. Ristorante Massimo offers Northern Italian fare served with elegant European style. An even more exotic dining experience awaits at Brazo Restaurant, a buzz-worthy Portsmouth newcomer where fresh local ingredients are right at home in Latin dishes like paella with lobster or as accompaniments to spicy, fire-grilled pork, beef and fish preparations.

How will you bid adieu to this city that blends old and new? Stroll through now-familiar Market Square and indulge your thus far restrained urge to shop, or continue to the South End and duck into Mombo for a charcuterie plate and your choice of fine international wines.

For more information, contact New Hampshire Tourism at


Portsmouth tugboats

(Updated: 09/14/11 NW)

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