Places To Visit

7 Places To Visit In Portsmouth That Will Blow Your Mind

Places to Visit in Portsmouth

The city of Portsmouth is bursting with historical architecture and beautiful waterfront views. It’s easy to overlook the dynamic natural beauty of this small city when you’re busy exploring other New Hampshire destinations like the Old Man of the Mountain or Great Boars Head. If you live in or around Portsmouth, it’s time to discover your own backyard! There are plenty of charming cafes, shops, and restaurants that give visitors a glimpse into Portsmouth’s history as a trading post for sailors and whalers. However, there are even more hidden gems waiting to be explored by locals and visitors alike. From old cemeteries to modern art installations, here are 10 places in Portsmouth that will blow your mind.

1. Fort Adams

Fort Adams was built in 1834 during the current Second Barbary War. It was originally built to protect the southern New England coast from pirates. However, Fort Adams was abandoned less than 50 years later. The construction of this historic fort has been painstakingly preserved in its original state, meaning you can still see the bullet holes from when it was used as a Civil War gunnery training ground. Fort Adams is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except for December 25. Adult tickets start at $12.50 and go up to $15 for seniors and military members. Children under 12 are free. There is a gift shop on site where you can purchase souvenirs, snacks, and drinks. Parking is available for a small fee at the Fort Adams Parking Garage, which is located just off Endicott Street.

2. NH Marine Heritage Center

The Marine Heritage Center is a maritime museum and educational facility that explores the history of New Hampshire’s role in the whaling industry. You can learn all about the history of whaling, from the gear and ships they used to the whales they hunted. You can also explore the lives of the people who worked on these whaling ships. There is even an in-depth look into the lives of the people who processed whales on shore. The Marine Heritage Center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for children under 12. Adult tickets start at $12 and go up to $15 for seniors and military members. Parking is free in the museum’s parking lot.

3. Pereski Scenic Point

If the breathtaking views of the Piscataqua River aren’t enough to catch your attention, perhaps the fact that this scenic lookout point is named after the “Pereski” will. The Pereski Scenic Point is the spot where the Piscataqua meets the ocean, creating a stunning convergence of two stunning natural phenomena. Although the view is spectacular all year round, it’s particularly stunning during the fall and spring. You can access the scenic overlook by walking down the path next to the Fish and Wildlife Boat Launch, which is located at the foot of State Street near the Piscataqua River Bridge.

4. Berry and Berry Rocks

Berry and Berry Rocks might be one of the most underrated tourist attractions in Portsmouth. This man-made pile of rocks was built by the Berry family in the 1930s as a way to showcase the natural beauty of New Hampshire. The Berrys invited guests from all over the world to contribute to the pile, adding their own rocks to the mix. The result is a beautiful, artistic collection of different colored rocks, each with its own unique symbol or message. Berry and Berry Rocks can be found on the banks of the Piscataqua River, just a few minutes’ walk from the Pereski Scenic Point. You can’t miss it—just look for the giant pile of rocks!

5. Old Cemetery of the Congregational Church

This historic cemetery is located in the heart of Portsmouth’s historic district. It’s filled with intricate gravestones that are rich with symbolism. You can walk through the picturesque cemetery and see the lives of generations of Portsmouth residents come to life through their final resting places.All of the gravestones in the cemetery belong to the members of the First Church of Christ in Portsmouth. This congregation was founded in 1630 and is the oldest continuous congregation in New England. The old cemetery is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

6. Portsmouth Harbor Tours

This is the perfect place to explore Portsmouth’s rich maritime history. You can discover the waterfront and the nearby Piscataqua River aboard either a narrated sightseeing tour or a narrated tour for families with young children. You can also embark on a behind-the-scenes tour of the ships at the Fish and Boat Commission. All tours depart from the Portsmouth Harbor visitor center. Tours last between 60 minutes and 2 hours and cost $14 for adults and $12 for children under 12. You can purchase tickets online in advance or pay cash when you get on the tour.

7. Whale Watching at Pereski Scenic Point

This is the perfect way to explore Portsmouth’s relationship with the ocean. You can explore the nearby waters aboard a boat that looks for whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife. You can also enjoy the beautiful Piscataqua River from the water while you gain an appreciation for the rich history of the area. The boats depart from the Fish and Boat Commission, just a short walk from Pereski Scenic Point. Tickets cost $28 and include the use of binoculars to help you spot marine wildlife. They are available for purchase online and can be purchased up to a month in advance.

Conclusion

Portsmouth is bursting with natural beauty and rich history. You can easily explore all of the city’s most interesting attractions in a single day. There are plenty of charming cafes, shops, and restaurants that give visitors a glimpse into Portsmouth’s history as a trading post for sailors and whalers. However, there are even more hidden gems waiting to be explored by locals and visitors alike. From old cemeteries to modern art installations, here are 10 places in Portsmouth that will blow your mind.

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