Portsmouth NH’s Seacoast Region
This trip explores the beautiful coastal city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It had been quite a while since I had been to this area. A family wedding being held at Odiorne State Park offered a perfect opportunity to explore it again with fresh eyes.
A little bit of research ahead of our trip reinforced that Portsmouth has plenty to explore, including some of the State’s richest history.
A walk around Prescott Park provided a great first outing and feel for the city. Portsmouth does a great job of marking Historical sites and maintaining their parks. The Black Heritage Trail seeks to educate and bring awareness to African American History and its importance to Portsmouth & NH’s Seacoast Region.
Portsmouth Navy Shipyard
Established in 1800 under President John Adam’s administration, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has been a signature cornerstone of this region. While the Supreme Court settled a border dispute that determined the shipyard to be located within Maine, its economic influence and impact on Portsmouth and New Hampshire are still significant.
Portsmouth Navy Shipyard is a vital part of the Navy’s plans for maintaining and modernizing the nation’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet. Their website states that it includes the Los Angeles and Virginia class submarines.
I was up and out exploring for historical markers early one morning and drove up on the U.S.S. Albacore museum and giftshop. It was too early to explore it, but you can actually tour inside the submarine which would have been fun.
Downtown Portsmouth really is unique and beautiful to explore! It felt like stepping back in time with all the amazing history and centuries-old buildings that line the streets. A unique variety of shops and restaurants offer plenty to see and do. Like a lot of New Hampshire cities and towns, they have done a great job of blending in the new without losing the old. It felt good to see businesses thriving given the challenges of COVID.
Historic Homes / Strawbery Banke Museum
It didn’t take long to appreciate the historic homes and how they have been preserved and celebrated for their historical significance. Efforts to preserve the “Sherburne House” are credited with the larger effort of preserving what would become “Strawbery Banke Museum.”
Seacoast Science Center
Odiorne State Park provided a beautiful backdrop for a beautiful wedding. It was great to nudge back a little closer to “normal”. Like a lot of weddings, this one opted for a small gathering in 2020 with the hope for a larger one in 2021.
I had been to Odiorne on field trips with my daughters many years ago. The Seacoast Science Center offers an exciting way for students to explore tidal pools, marine life, and rescue programs. I remember them wandering through the tidal pools and mapping out the different creatures hiding among the rocks.
Lighthouses, fishing boats, ocean tide, the science center, and a beautiful wedding under a giant white tent made for a special event.
We wandered over to the island town of Newcastle to do a little exploring just before the wedding. We drove past Wentworth by the Sea and Fort Constitution. The Great Island Common was a perfect place to get out of the car, stretch our legs, and chill by the ocean.
We decided last minute that we would take Route 1A along the coast on our return trip home. Route 1A never disappoints as you hug the coastline with the many beautiful houses along the way. We passed through Rye and eventually Hampton. See my post on the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival” for another New Hampshire gem that is worth a visit. I’ve been to the annual Sand Castle Competition which is amazing as well.
I hope you enjoy the short video at the top of the post that summarizes our weekend adventure in Portsmouth and along the seacoast. Feel free to leave a comment below. What are some of your adventures exploring New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region? Do you have suggestions for future posts?
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Enjoy Fall in New Hampshire, “Live Free and Explore!”
Very interesting. Great job as usual really enjoy your posts.