Portsmouth Travel Guide, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a picturesque little seaside city whose symbol was chosen to be the tugboat, probably because the city was a major center for the region's maritime trade exporting of wood and dried fish to Europe. In the 19th century, the city’s income generator was regional trade and the building of U.S. Navy submarines become a profitable business.
Today, Portsmouth continues its maritime tradition and a thriving activity is still going on at its waterfront which even if it is not as astonishing as other waterfronts, it just needs to be discovered.
One good way to discover it is by taking a boat tour that includes the scenic view of the Piscataqua River and the historic Isle of Shoals while seeing the city from water will give you a different prospective.
The city still does not reach up to its thriving economy as there are many things that could be done to improve its image, but it is a city with a long history, proud of its heritage with plenty of historic sights to explore showcasing elegant architecture and lots of museums await history buffs to visit them. They are mostly to be found in the historic district of the town where you will also find great shopping opportunities at the upscale shops and art galleries while dining is just as rewarding. The diversity of menus available is second only to the diversity of the city itself. As for location you can't throw a conch shell without hitting you're next favorite restaurant.
At the hearth of the historic district is the Strawbery Banke (this was the first name of the city before it was named Portsmouth), an area that is full of interesting sights. It can take you quite a few hours to visit it all but you can also go for a guided tour called the Magical History Tour that will present the most significant sights including the Georgian-style homes. Then you can do some shopping at the downtown boutiques.
Besides the downtown area there are other neighborhoods well worth visiting as they give you the real feel of the city’s early 19th century. One such area is around Wentworth-Gardner House with narrow lanes and nice old wooden houses.
Walking through the city is a pleasant experience and an even more pleasant one is resting on one of the benches in Prescott Park, a lovely spot with great water views.
For a closer view of the water you could choose one of the tour companies that offer a variety of tours. A nice one is on the replica of a late-19th-century steamship called Thomas Laighton and other ships especially designed for whale-watching and sunset lighthouse cruise.
Excursions to the Isle of Shoals and tours of the historic Piscataqua River are a must for those who enjoy exploring further the scenic area.
With so many other interesting attractions all clustered in a small place and the beautiful water tours you will have a hard time deciding which to visit first.
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