Portsmouth Things to Do

  • Warner House
    Warner House
    by CEP1863
  • Market Street, one of the many streets to explore
    Market Street, one of the many streets...
    by CEP1863
  • North Church in Market Square
    North Church in Market Square
    by CEP1863

Most Recent Things to Do in Portsmouth

  • moiraistyx's Profile Photo

    WHITE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

    by moiraistyx Written Apr 9, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    white island lighthouse
    3 more images

    This is another of the light houses seen during our cruise in the Portsmouth Harbor. The White Island Lighthouse was built in 1859 and automated in 1986. The station itself was established in 1821. The lighthouse is constructed from a combination of brick and cast iron. It stand 58 feet tall. The lighthouse is not open to the public so the only way to view it is to take on of the lighthouse tour cruises offered throughout Portsmouth.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • moiraistyx's Profile Photo

    PORTSMOUTH HARBOR LIGHT HOUSE

    by moiraistyx Written Apr 9, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
    4 more images

    The Portsmouth Harbor is loaded with beautiful lighthouses to tour. We went on one of those cruises to tour the lighthouses. The first lighthouse we came across was the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse which is also known as Fort Point Light, New Castle Light, and Fort Constitution Light. The lighthouse was built in 1878 and automated in 1960. The station itself was established in 1771. The lighthouse is constructed of case iron and stands 48 feet high. The lighthouse can be seen from as many as 12 nautical miles.

    During the 2009 season tours of the lighthouse are available on the following days and times:

    May 30, June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, Aug. 8, Aug. 22, Sept. 5, Sept. 19, Oct. 3, Oct. 17 from 1:00-5:00 PM. There is no fee for the tours but it is suggested that you donated $2 per adult and $1 per child.

    The following tour restrictions are in effect:
    1. Children under 42 inches tall cannot climb to the top of the lighthouse
    2. People are not allowed to carry children to the top of the lighthouse
    3. In order to climb the ladder to the lantern room you must be wearing flat shoes, no sandles or flip flops permitted.

    Special tours are available including a haunted lighthouse tour and a sunset tour. Check the website for more information.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Cruise
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • moiraistyx's Profile Photo

    PLAY PIRATE

    by moiraistyx Updated Apr 9, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    photo by Balfo
    1 more image

    Maybe this isn't a true things to do tip, but we all had a lot of fun playing pirate on the cruise boat. Little Patrick, Balfor and I had an absolute blast with swords, knives and eye patches. It just goes to show that some people will always be children in their hearts. Patrick and I stopped into one of the toy stores to pick up some pirate props before we got on the boat. By the way folks, Balfor is a great pirate partner just ask Patrick.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Moffatt-Ladd House

    by cjg1 Updated Mar 13, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    The Moffatt-Ladd House was built in 1763 and is National Historic Landmark. The house is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian mansions in America. The house was built for John Moffatt a local merchant. During the American Revolution is was the home of General Wiliam Whipple, who was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

    The house is now a museum and showcases some period pieces and furnishings. The garden is also a highlight to the house tour.

    House and Garden tour prices:
    Adults: $6.00
    Children: $2.50

    Garden Only: $2.00

    Was this review helpful?

  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Overnight Art 2008

    by cjg1 Updated Mar 13, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    When we were visiting Portsmouth they had an outdoor art exhibit haoening called Overnight Art. There were various sculptures strew aboit the town. One in particular was a giant red metal ant sculpture that looked like something from the movie; "honey I Shrunk the Kids." It was quite large yet interesting.

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    FAll Festivals-Color Splendor and Apples

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Vendor with apples
    3 more images

    A primary theme in the fall is to go into the mountains and see the change of color of the leaves. There is also a lot a various festivals during this time, more notable probably, the apple fesitvals.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Fort Constitution

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance to the fort
    2 more images

    The fort was first used as defense in 1632, and then called William and Mary-British. Located on the peninsula of Castle Island, it was one of 6 forts to protect Portsmouth harbor. It was used in War of 1812, Civil War and more strongly set up for defenses in WWI. The water side had thicker walls, but they even were not of good defense eventually. It was retired in 1961 as a fort in use. Entrance is free and lighthouse is also at the end

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Navy Yard at Kittery and Bay

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    BAy view of the Nvay cranes in background
    3 more images

    The Government first established the yard in 1800. It had 5,000 personal building ships in WWI and 25,000 in WWII. It is now a base for sub overhaul of the nuclear class. The last sub built here was 1969, and they built 70 during the span.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Prescott Park at Strawbery BAnk

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of the flowers
    3 more images

    The park was the concept of two sisters named-Prescott. Josie Prescott has a will to preserve the 10 acres. The volunteers plant 500 varieties each year, and many local events are held here. There are two old warehouses also on site. The park commenced in 1954

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Cruise on the Water

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Brochure of the cruise company
    1 more image

    There are various type of cruises around the river and into the Atlantic. A harbor cruise for about 2 hours looks to costs $16, and longer routes get to $20. Some have simple cruises. Others feature whale watching, or lobster catching ventures.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    USS Albacore Sub

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of the length of the sub
    2 more images

    This is the second sub called Albacore. It was dedicated in 1953 and retired in 1977. The first named sub was in WWI and it launched August 1942. A Jap mine destroyed it in late 1944 and the crew went down with the sub. This current day sub was to test out more modern techniques and it did not see any conflict action. The city of POrtsmouth worked hard to get the sub back to the town that build it. They suceeded in 1985 and the sub is now at the west end of town on Market St. location. Fee is $5 and they have a small museum inside; no movie though. The "greeter" if you call him that is not really a curmudgeon, but seemed like he was bored sitting there all day.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Moffatt Ladd Home

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Brochure of the home
    3 more images

    The home is right down by the water line, overlooking the old wharf, near the west end of town, it had a purpose of allowing Moffat to oversee his shipbuilding and merchant activity from the upper window of the home. It was built 1760-63 and the family continued ownership until 1912. John Moffatt first occupied, and then SIL Ladd and daughter lived here to 1900. Ironically John was a privateer in the War, then the son with drinking problems took over and ran the business in the ground. Dad came back but could not revive it. The SIL had money to buy back for the wife. They donated it to a non profit for tours. They made masts for ships, and he traded molasses and rum form the West Indies. It made him wealthly. Furnishings are form 1768 era and well preserved. There is also two buildings in the back and a well maintained garden, with a lot of work from an 86 year old woman who has been at it for 40 years.
    Open 11-5 Monday-Saturday and cost is $6.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    BAy and Bridges

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fishing trawlers By Prescott Park
    3 more images

    The river is very quanit and deceivingly, it is the third swiftest river in the country (I was told). The Bridges are the link to cross the Piscataqua River. There are three primary bridges; all in a very short distance between. The river is more like a bay because it is large and opens right up to the Atlantic.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Wentworth Coolidge Home/Museum

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Brochure on home and location
    4 more images

    This was much a disappointment after driving some miles to get here. It was closed form renovation, and appers not open very often to the public. I called ahead at the infomratin center and they said they were open, but NOT. No one showed up. REnovatin, or not, if they want to feature the home, they need to be responsive. It is supposed to be open Fri,Sat,Sun Sept & Oct from 12-3. and May Aug 10-3 daily. Fee is $7.Call first to make sure
    Benning Wentworth had the home built in 1720. It is 42 rooms, and called a mansion inside. There are still 65 acres of ground, and they had some flowers in rhe garden. He was Governor under King George II 1741-67. The estate was used as a gentleman farmAfter BEnning dies, his young wife remarried another Wentworth in 1770, and they lived there until 1813. IN 1886, Coolidge from Boston bought some of the estate, and the joint name prevailed.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Wentworth & Lear Homes

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 21, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Literature of the houses
    4 more images

    The Wentworth home is from 1760. The front is made of beveled wood blocks, and the staircase is the outstanding feature of the home, with elegant ballusters. The home had 12 chimneys. The kitchen is rudimentary and still shows the local uses from those days. Thomas Wentworth occupied and the family was influential in politice and had wealth. Thomas got the home from dad who had a sail mast business and owned wharves. Willima GArdner bought in 1763. The Nicols family bought it and then Gardners. For 100 years it was a tenant house because no one could upkeep it. NY Met bought the housee in early 1920's and modified much of the interior, trying to bring back to original circa. They did not do too good of a job, and it was taken over by an Association in around 1950's. It is now sparcely furnished with that era things.
    Tobias Lear house is not well preserved inside, even though it has an elegant facade. Built in 1740, it was one of the better mansions of Portsmouth then. Lear was a sea captain and a privateer in the War and settled the Barbary War in 1819. The family lived here until 1860. Then it became a tenant house, and got run down. The wallpaper is being renovated but does not look too good, and is costly to rework. Few furinishing are in the home. NY Met also bought this home in 1920, and did little to help the improvements.
    Tours for each are mid june thru mid Oct only and cost is $5. Times are 1-4 daily Tuesday -Saturday only.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Portsmouth

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments

Portsmouth Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Portsmouth things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Portsmouth sightseeing.

View all Portsmouth hotels