Portsmouth, N.H., a city of roughly 21,000 people, sits near the mouth of the Piscataqua River, a short, wide river that divides New Hampshire and Maine. The city also is at the hub of a metropolitan region that includes the cities of Rochester and Dover, N.H., and many towns – Exeter, Hampton, Greenland, Stratham, Newington, and Rye, N.H.; Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick and York, Maine; and others.
Settled in 1623, Portsmouth claims to be the nation’s third-oldest city. It served as a focal point on the Eastern seaboard until the late 1800s when rail travel did in the shipping industry. John Paul Jones’ ship The Ranger was built in Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (which lies across the river in Maine) was established in 1800 as the country’s first Naval shipyard.
The geographic location, historic past and cultural strength of Portsmouth regularly lands it on various “best places to live” lists.
The region as whole is noted for its many restaurants, attractions and shopping opportunities, which include downtown Portsmouth, outlet malls in Kittery, Maine, as well as major malls in Newington, New Hampshire.
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By the Numbers
Distance from Portsmouth
Manchester NH – 50 miles
Boston – 50 miles
Portland ME – 50 miles
New York – 258 miles
Montreal – 294 miles
Elevation: 20 feet
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Precipitation: 46 inches annually
- Strawbery Banke Museum – An historic waterfront museum featuring homes and exhibits from three centuries
- Prescott Park & Prescott Park Arts Festival – Portsmouth’s waterfront park and summer arts festival
- Children’s Museum of New Hampshire – Exhibits and activities for children
- Beaches – The nation’s shortest coastline offers more than a dozen noteworthy beaches
- The Music Hall of Portsmouth – the region’s leading concert venue.