Portsmouth, A Picturesque New England Town

Originally settled in 1623, Portsmouth is a Picturesque New England Town located along the western bank of the Piscataqua River that divides New Hampshire and Maine. When you walk down the brick sidewalks of Portsmouth, passing historic Colonial, Federal and Georgian houses that edge its narrow streets, you will understand why Forbes Traveler magazine listed Portsmouth as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns”.

The North Church Steeple Can Be Seem From Many Parts of Downtown Portsmouth

The North Church Steeple Can Be Seem From Most Of Historic Downtown Portsmouth

If you are thinking about visiting Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the future, I thought you might be interested in what my husband and I like to call our “A Tour” when we have out of town guests staying with us that want to see Portsmouth for the first time.

I suggest starting the day at Market Square. Typical of many of New England’s town squares, the beautiful historic North Church is the focal point of the square with its tall white steeple which can be seen from most of the historic part of the city.

The Historic North Church, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The Historic North Church On Market Square In Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Breaking New Grounds' Sign At Market Square

Breaking New Grounds’ Sign At Market Square

Breaking New Grounds, across the street from the North Church, beckons you to start your day with a hot cup of coffee. Step inside the corner store and you are immediately welcomed with the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. While you are waiting in line, try to decide on which one of the wonderful coffees you want to sample. You will also be tempted by the display cases that are filled with delicious pastries. Oh go ahead, a piece of pastry will give you energy before you start your exploration of the town. If it is a nice day, I suggest you take your purchases and head for one of the tables outside. You can admire the architecture of the buildings from the 1800’s and watch the world as it passes by your table.

Tempting Pastries In The Counters Of Breaking New Grounds

Tempting Pastries In The Counters Of Breaking New Grounds

Rows Of Bicycles Parked Along Market Square

Rows Of Bicycles Parked Along Market Square

While sitting outside on a pretty day, you can’t help but notice the large groups of bicycles, scooters and motorcycles that are always parked along the street and sidewalk. The square is where all the action is…you will see a mixed group of locals, tourists and usually a number of students from the nearby University of New Hampshire that all like to hang out here. You almost feel like you could be in one of the old neighborhoods of nearby Boston but without all the crowds.

Nice Looking Indian Motorcycle Parked On The Street At Market Square

Nice Looking Indian Motorcycle Parked On The Street At Market Square

You are at the energetic heart of the quaint downtown. Head out from the square towards Bow, Ceres, Market, Pleasant, Daniel, Congress, or Penhallow streets and you will find stately brick Federalist stores and townhouses that have been converted into a mixture of upscale boutiques, quirky gift shops, art and craft galleries that feature works by local artists. You will also find brew pubs, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants with water views. After exploring this area, head towards the waterfront.

Historic Timberframe Warehouse

Historic Sheafe Warehouse

Portsmouth, in the prospering 18th and 19th centuries, was known as one of the nation’s busiest ports and shipbuilding centers in our country. Timber framed  warehouses once lined its shoreline to accommodate cargo ships anchored in the harbor. Today, only two of the historic warehouses remain. One is the Sheafe warehouse, which was built in 1705. It was designed so that the shallow draft gundalows could easily transfer cargo between the warehouses and the ships anchored in the harbor.

The Piscataqua

The Piscataqua

You can sail on the Piscataqua, a reproduction gundalow, like the ones that were very prevalent on the river years ago. You will find it up tied up against the dock on the river, located behind Prescott Park.

Look out across the river from here and you will see the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard which specializes in the retrofitting of the U.S. submarine fleet. Over the years, both the states of New Hampshire and Maine have claimed that the shipyard was in their state but it took the U.S. Supreme Court to decide that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard belonged to the state of Maine.

In the same area of the waterfront, you will now find the city’s pretty 10 acre waterfront Prescott Park where the warehouses and other derelict buildings once stood.

Prescott Park Filled With Flowerbeds, Sculpture and Benches Under The Shade Trees

Prescott Park Filled With Flowerbeds, Sculpture and Benches Under The Shade Trees

Depending on the time of year you visit the park, you might be able to attend one of the very popular food or beer festivals, plays or concerts that might be scheduled. The park is filled with interesting sculptures and colorful flowerbeds that change with the seasons. You will find benches throughout the park so that you can relax and enjoy the views of the river. I believe you will enjoy watching as tugboats, tankers, barges, yachts and other watercraft make their way in the swiftly moving waters of the Piscataqua River.

Walk across the street from the park and you will discover Strawbery Banke. The area is considered the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire, settled by European colonists in 1630. It is also the earliest remaining neighborhood in the city of Portsmouth. The area got its name from wild strawberries that were part of the surrounding landscape.

The Goodwin Mansion, Strawbery Banke

The Goodwin Mansion, Strawbery Banke

This part of Portsmouth is now known as the Strawbery Banke Museum, a 10 acre outdoor history museum that has a collection of 40 restored buildings built between the 17th and 19th centuries in either Colonial, Georgian, or Federal style architecture. Ten of the houses that you can visit are furnished with historic interiors. You will get a chance to see how homes evolved and were used for everyday life from the 1600’s to 1954. This area of Portsmouth was saved from imminent destruction when it was considered for urban renewal.

The Gardens Of The Goodwin Mansion At Strawbery Banke

The Gardens Of The Goodwin Mansion At Strawbery Banke

Historic Homes At The Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampire

Historic Homes At The Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

You can spend several hours in Strawbery Banke on your own self guided tour of the buildings and period gardens. Seasonal events, tours and demonstrations are also held around major holidays.

I believe the Christmas season is a particularly pretty time to visit. The grounds are lit with candle lanterns and the houses are filled with live greens and handmade decorations.  You are greeted by costumed docents who explain the traditions from simpler times.  If you get cold, you can warm up by an outdoor bonfire and listen to carolers singing holiday songs. You can also warm up with a cup of hot apple cider from the Cider Shed.

Once you have learned about the tools and skills needed to build these historic homes, leave the museum and walk through neighborhood streets that date back to the 17th century. You will see evidence of the town’s previous wealth as you admire the fine architecture details of its beautiful homes.

Explore The Narrow Streets  Of Portsmouth To See Fine Examples Of The Beautiful Architecture

Explore The Narrow Streets Of Portsmouth To See Fine Examples Of The Beautiful Architecture

Annabelle's Ice Cream

Annabelle’s All Natural Ice Cream

By now, your feet are probably tired and you are thinking about food. If you want a snack, try Annabelle’s Ice Cream on Ceres Street next to the waterfront. They have lots of flavors to choose from, including their famous New Hampshire pure maple walnut. My favorite is ginger or as New Englanders say, “ginga”. You can walk a short distance down the street and enjoy your ice cream at the newly built picnic area and admire the tugboats that help ships and barges navigate the swift waters of the Portsmouth harbor.

Tugboats That Help The Ships Navigate The Swift Water As They Come In And Out Of Portsmouth Harbor

Tugboats That Help The Ships Navigate The Swift Water As They Come In And Out Of Portsmouth Harbor

Seafood Pad Sha

Seafood Pad Sha Served At Five Thai Bistro

If it is lunchtime, you might want to try Five Thai Bistro. It is located around the corner from the North Church on Pleasant Street. The restaurant is open every day for both lunch and dinner. It is a simply decorated restaurant with friendly service and very good food. They always have a few specials listed on the blackboard over the bar along with their regular menu. You might want to do what my husband and I do and order a special along with items from the regular menu such as  Steamed Chicken Dumplings, Deluxe Pad Thai and Seafood Pad Sha and share all the deliciousness.

If you want to know my recommendation for dinner, it is the Black Trumpet.

Black Trumpet Bistro Will Certainly Please A Foodie

Black Trumpet Bistro Will Certainly Please A Foodie

I am sometimes hesitant to mention one of my favorite places to eat knowing that once everyone finds out about it, it will be hard to get a reservation. The Black Trumpet is already one of the most talked about restaurants in Portsmouth so all of us need to make reservations well in advance. If you are a foodie, you will enjoy the inventive food of Chef Evan Mallett. He was a James Beard semifinalist for the Best Chef of the Northeast.

Chef Evan Works In Tight Quarters But Produces Delicious Food

Chef Evan Mallett Works In Tight Quarters But Produces Delicious Food

The chef owned bistro and wine bar is located in a 200 year old building that was once a ship’s chandlery on Ceres Street. The main dining room, with a front window that looks out at the river, is small with low ceilings, hand hewn beams, with brick and stone walls. If dining before dark, you might want to ask for a table upstairs in the small wine bar that has a nice view of the harbor. Chef Mallett changes his menu frequently. The simple but delicious   Mediterranean inspired dishes feature fresh seasonal ingredients sourced from the local waters and farms in the area. Everything we have ever ordered has been delicious.

Even though the restaurant is known as a casual bistro, the restaurant is where we go when we want to entertain guests or to celebrate a special occasion as we know the meals will be memorable. Dining at the Black Trumpet would be a nice way to end your day of exploring historic Portsmouth.

Portsmouth is a compact and very walkable town that buzzes with energy. Whether you enjoy live music venues, the theater, good brew pubs or great restaurants, Portsmouth  has a lot to offer residents of New Hampshire as well as visitors from around the world. What more could anyone want from a picturesque New England town. I hope you get a chance to visit someday and that my suggestions will be helpful.

 

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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181 Responses to Portsmouth, A Picturesque New England Town

  1. Misky says:

    I love the colour of those houses. Such pale warm colours.

  2. I’m not sure I’ll ever get there but if I do this is full of wonderful suggestions. It certainly makes me want to go!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Portsmouth looks beautiful – it’s a lot more picturesque than it’s namesake here in England 😉

  4. Norma Chang says:

    Thanks for the delightful tour of Portsmouth, quite a treasure you have in your backyard. What a great way to spend a relaxing day strolling and eating. Glad the area was saved from imminent destruction when it was considered for urban renewal.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Norma, I’m glad you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth. It is a wonderful little town to visit. I too am glad that Strawbery Banke was saved. I don’t know if you noticed that one of the homes in the photo is very similar to ours. 🙂

  5. Bonnie says:

    I’ve had a lovely morning! With coffee in hand, I’ve had a fall drive in the mountains of Colorado and the Great Smokey Mountains. Now, I’ve enjoyed being out and about in Portsmouth, NH What’s missing is a sweet from the coffee shop!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bonnie, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the stroll through Portsmouth. Isn’t it fun to get to see so many lovely areas through our blogging friends.

  6. arlene says:

    Thanks for sharing your pics, Portsmouth is an interesting place.

  7. You did a great job of describing one of my favorite towns, but I have one question. How did you get the tourists to move in order to get such great shots? 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy, I appreciate your lovely compliment…especially coming from another New Englander, thank you! As to the photos, patience is needed sometimes but people are usually really nice when they see you are trying to take a photograph. Now that summer is behind us, I find Portsmouth not near as busy, especially during the middle of the week.

  8. Larry says:

    Thanks for the tour – it looks like a fine place to visit.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, I’m glad you enjoyed the tour of Portsmouth. I do think you and Bev would enjoy visiting the town. I know you would like the restaurants, there are so many good ones.

  9. we visited Portsmouth about two years ago—loved it—and ate at a delightful seafood restaurant —
    Happy adventures–Julie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie, I’m happy to know that you have had a chance to visit Portsmouth. New Hampshire has such a wonderful variety of fresh seafood, I’m glad you got to enjoy some of it.

  10. Gina says:

    Hi Karyn –
    Love your blog. Where would you suggest staying with children when visiting? Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gina, I’m happy to know that you enjoy my blog, thank you! I think if I was traveling with children, I would stay in one of the hotels right in the heart of downtown Portsmouth. Since we live close by, I haven’t stayed in Portsmouth in years but I would check out the reviews on the new Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown and the Sheraton Harborside. You could park your car at either one of them and walk to everything in 10 minutes or so. Wish I could be of more help. 🙂

  11. I went to college the next town over and spent a lot of time in Portsmouth- I miss it so much! Nowadays there’s even more to do (and eat!) and I love going back to visit 🙂

    Sues

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, Did you go to UNH in Durham? Portsmouth is a great town and you are right, there is so much to do and great places to eat. I’m glad the post reminded you of your time spent in New Hampshire. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

  12. Bright, crisp images always adorn your prose, Karen. Very informative post and fun. Thanks. Diane

  13. That’s a very peaceful and beautiful town and everywhere is so CLEAN!

  14. Dawn says:

    Karen, what a wonderful tour of beautiful Portsmouth! It’s so nice to see all of the highlights that you love to share with visitors. Those are always the best tours! I visited Portsmouth many years ago with my NH friends. I remember spending time at the Strawbery Banke Museum. So interesting! I’d love to plan another visit one day! Thank you so much for sharing Portsmouth with us! ♡

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dawn, I’m so happy that you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth and that it brought back nice memories of your visit. I appreciate your lovely compliment, thank you! I do hope you get a chance to visit again. 🙂

  15. Penny says:

    I would love to visit Portsmouth Karen. Your travelog was fascinating. I love the historic homes and buildings and the Black Trumpet Bistro would be at the top of my list.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Penny, I’m sure you would enjoy a visit to Portsmouth, it is lovely. I believe you would enjoy the Black Trumpet Bistro, you know the food is delicious if we celebrate our anniversary there. 😀

  16. The sculpture piece is amazing and your photo walk through this small community was such great fun. Thank you for taking me along.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I’m glad you liked the sculpture. It reminds me of the tin man without his tin because it has a red heart. 😀 I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos and post about Portsmouth. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  17. thesnowwoman says:

    Looks like a beautiful town.

  18. Monique says:

    I would LOVE to visit..
    My kind of sightseeing..
    This time of year must be gorgeous.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monique, This is my favorite time of the year to visit Portsmouth. The trees are changing color and it is not as crowded as in the summer. It was such a pretty fall day when we visited last week…hardly a cloud in the sky and just cool enough to enjoy our walk through town.

  19. vintagefrenchchic says:

    I visited Portsmouth in summer 2008…it was great to revisit. Merci! (Portsmouth is where I discovered Lovell Designs–love his jewelry). I thought of you this summer as we traipsed through Germany and some other countries. I now understand why you like Germany so much. Amazing.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather, I’m glad the post reminded you of your visit to Portsmouth. I knew you would have a fabulous trip to Europe and I’m glad you liked Germany as much as my husband and I do.

  20. Your photos make Portsmouth look so inviting, Karen. Such beautiful architecture and a variety of places to eat, although I don’t think I could manage pastries, ice cream, Thai food,and dinner at the Black Trumpet, all on the same day. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Your comment about the food gave me a real laugh, Sylvia. I didn’t eat at all those restaurants at one time but I’ve been known to eat little portions so that I could eat at several good restaurants in one day while traveling. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of Portsmouth, thank you!

  21. Hi Karen!
    Oh my, I haven’t been to Portsmouth in such a long time. And Strawberry Banke, oh I love it there too. I actually have a Strawberry Banke cookbook:)

    Did you go to the Antiquarian Bookstore while you were in Portsmouth? My very good friend Walter is the proprietor. I am suupose to be visiting Portsmouth next month. I sure do hope I can manage it:)

    Thank you so much for giving us the tour, Karen. I see a few changes that I can’t wait to explore!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Louise, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and do hope you have good weather for your visit to Portsmouth next month…it is a lovely time to visit. I haven’t been to the bookstore but am familiar with where it is.

  22. Karen I have long wanted to visit this area and now I have many sights to see when I do visit.

  23. Francesca says:

    Such a lovely town! Definitely a place where I would enjoy to spend some time. 🙂

  24. I have been to many New England towns but not this one, so I appreciate reading your excellent travelogue. The town has a very characteristic New England look and your photos depict it perfectly.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jovina, for your lovely compliment. I think that Portsmouth is a popular town in New Hampshire as it has so much to offer visitors and it makes a great base for seeing the seacoast region of this area of New England. I’m happy that you enjoyed my post and photos…hopefully you will get a chance to visit someday.

  25. A_Boleyn says:

    What a lovely place to visit. One of the many places in the US I’d love to see for myself. Maybe in my next life. 🙂

  26. It certainly looks beautiful. The ‘old’ Portsmouth in ‘old’ Hampshire is only 20 minutes away from where we live, so I feel I should go and visit the new version. Thank you very much for the tour. You have whetted my appetite again.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fatima, I think it is interesting that you live by the original Portsmouth in Hampshire and I live by Portsmouth in New Hampshire. I think if you ever get a chance to visit New England you will enjoy it.

  27. Jane says:

    You have such an equal enthusiasm for travel and writing…how could anyone not want to visit Portsmouth?! And I was so lucky to have done so about 30 years ago. A friend and I drove up from Boston to his parent’s home. They lived in a beautiful old house nestled away in the woods. It was fall and I was enchanted, I had never been to the East coast. After our visit we had only time for a quick peek at the town before we headed up the coast into Maine. I would love to go back! Thanks for making my memories come alive again!

    Jane xx

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your kind words, Jane…thank you for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and it brought back nice memories of your visit to Portsmouth.

  28. glamorous glutton says:

    I loved New England when I visited but unfortunately missed Portsmouth. GG

    • Karen says:

      Hi GG, I’m glad that you loved visiting New England…we think it is great. Perhaps you will get a chance to come this way again and visit Portsmouth.

  29. What a perfectly scenic New England town, Karen. I’d love to add it to my list of places to visit this fall.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ksenia, Portsmouth is a lovely small city to visit and is only about four hours away from New York. I definitely think you would enjoy visiting as there are so many good restaurants. I’ll be doing another post with more restaurant suggestions for those interested in visiting someday.

  30. Madonna says:

    What a wonderful tour. In California with the exclusion of a few things, when something gets old they tear it down and build something else. In the East they try to preserve old things. You get a sense of history.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

    • Karen says:

      Hi Madonna, It is not only in California where old buildings are torn down. I’m sure that if someone else had bought our property, our 1730’s house would have been torn down. Instead we spent five years having someone restore it to its former glory. There is definitely a love of history in this area…it is what makes many parts of New England very special.

  31. janebalshaw says:

    Next time you are in Portsmouth Karen, please stop by my studio there in Strawbery Banke; Euchlora.com. I am there by appointment Wed – Sat. YES YES, Portsmouth is a wonderful place and I am so grateful to be there most of my week! Jane

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane, I will definitely stop by your studio the next time we are in Portsmouth when you are there. Portsmouth and Strawbery Banke really should be visited by people touring New England.

  32. Wow! So interesting to see a bit of history – so many places just rip it all out. The sky was wonderfully blue, too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen, You are right about the sky…when we first got to Portsmouth, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. A few moved in later in the day but it was still a beautiful day to stroll the streets. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post, thank you.

  33. wok with ray says:

    Thank you for the virtual tour and I hope it becomes a reality one of these days. The place is really beautiful. Have a lovely week, Karen. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Ray, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. Hopefully, you will get a chance to visit New England and the quint town of Portsmouth in the future.

  34. Portsmouth looks like a particularly pretty place to visit. Those blue skies are amazing, the weather must have been glorious when you were there. 😉

    • Karen says:

      Hi B, Portsmouth is a lovely, quaint town to visit also anytime of the year but you are right about the day we visited. It couldn’t have been more perfect…a beautiful fall day with a clear blue sky.

  35. Well thank you for all this great info Karen. I haven’t been to Portsmouth in ages and keep meaning to get up there to check things out. Now I’ve got an itinerary all set and with my husband retired we can just wait for the perfect day.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, So close yet we don’t often visit all that New England has to offer. I’m the same way about the Boston area where you live. Yes, I think that you and your husband should watch the weather forecasts and when you know a nice day is coming, you should plan a day trip to Portsmouth.

  36. lizzygoodthings says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for sharing this beautiful part of the world! I love these kinds of destinations.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Lizzy, I’m glad to know that you enjoyed the post. I know New England is halfway around the world from where you live but perhaps you will get a chance to visit.

  37. hotlyspiced says:

    Thanks for the tour. What a beautiful town. The grounds of the mansion are gorgeous. I would love to see the town at Christmas with all the decorations and pretty lights xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, You might get cold at Christmas but it really is a wonderful time to visit Strawbery Banke and experience how Christmas was celebrated long ago. I’m happy you enjoyed the tour, thank you!

  38. Portsmouth is beautiful and it’s always nice to see the sights with a local. I could spend all day in the historic homes. My MIL collected early American antiques and we too have a real fondness for them. I would be quite happy to end my day at that charming bistro.
    Sam

  39. We are in the Hilton Garden Inn in Portsmouth and visited Breaking New Grounds while they were roasting beans this morning, after a tremendous breakfast at The Friendly Toast. This is a lovely New England Town and your posting is perfect for our stay!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tin Man, I knew you commented on going to Vermont but I didn’t realize you would be visiting the seacoast of New Hampshire as well. Our weather has been dry and sunny for so long but it seems as though your visit here is during gray, damp days. Last week when we were in Portsmouth it was a lovely day. I do hope you are enjoying your visit even if the weather isn’t perfect. I’m happy my post came at a good time…let me know if I can suggest other places to eat or visit on your trip.

  40. So beautiful, I love the architecture. What a perfect place to explore!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, The architecture that can be found throughout New England is wonderful. Portsmouth is lucky to have so much…it makes it a pleasant place to visit.

  41. Your “A Tour” is the perfect guide for a beginner wanting to visit Portsmouth. (And I do love the reader’s suggestion for the Antiquarian bookstore, as I am a bit of a bibliophile! Just imagine the age of some of the books available in that area. I would probably faint from the price tags, too!) 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathryn, I’m glad that you like our “A Tour”, I do think it is a nice introduction to Portsmouth. I wish you were a neighbor, I have so many books that I am selling at my barn sale this weekend about New England history and decor. You would have a good time browsing through them. 🙂

  42. ramblingtart says:

    It is my dream to visit this part of America one day. Until then I shall sigh happily as I look at your pictures. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Krista, Dreams do come true and I know you would love New England…especially the rural areas. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth, thank you!

  43. Gerlinde says:

    I remember visiting Portsmouth when I lived on the east coast many years ago. Your tour brings back old memories , thank you. I hope to go back some day .

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gerlinde, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and I brought back nice memories of when you got to visit Portsmouth. I do hope you will get the opportunity to visit this area again in the future.

  44. ladyfi says:

    What a charming and lovely place.

  45. My goodness what beautiful photography! You should publish a coffee table book of Portsmouth because you make the town look so inviting and sound so lovely and peaceful to visit. I really enjoyed the trip and one day I may get to the northeast – if I do, I will be sure to schedule a stop in your town.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Kelli. I appreciate you nice compliment about my photographs…thank you. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth. I do hope you get a chance to visit this part of New England someday.

  46. Thank you for taking on a colourful and insightful journey through Portsmouth. It is a beautiful place right almost in your own back yard… And look at those blue skies!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bobbie, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth. It was a wonderful fall day when we visited last week. Now its been drizzly for two days with temps in the 60’s…I’m glad we visited when we did so I could get nice photos.

  47. I had the pleasure of visiting Portsmouth while in Manchester and I loved it! You reminded me some of the places I saw, thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katerina, I’m happy that you have had a chance to visit Portsmouth and that this post brought back nice memories of your visit. Thank you for your nice comment!

  48. Hello Karen, how picturesque Portsmouth New England looks, somewhere I’d love to visit. Such lovely wood lap buildings. So much nicer than how I remember Portsmouth England. I really enjoyed joining you on your visit around the area . especially the stop for coffee & cakes, I’d certainly sit outside & people watch, something I love to do.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, I had to smile at your comment about Portsmouth, England…several people have mentioned the same thing. I’m glad that you enjoyed seeing the beautiful old wooden homes…they do have so much character. I love people watching too. 😀

  49. Really, really beautiful – I so need to visit your part of the world! And it made me think of my beloved late grandmother as she was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire on the south coast of England and I spent many happy holidays there as a child!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Tanya. It is nice that this post brought back memories of spending holidays with your grandmother in Portsmouth, England. So many of the towns in New Hampshire are named for the places that the colonists left behind when they came to start a new life. Just in my immediate area of New England, New Hampshire, Portsmouth, Exeter, Manchester…it goes on and on. 🙂

  50. lulu says:

    Great job showing off Portsmouth which is always a stop when we head back to Rockport from Boston. I love how the state lines for Maine and New Hampshire are half way across the bridge. Wonder how anyone figured that out.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment, Linda. There are so many restaurants in Portsmouth that serve great lunches that I can understand why it would be a stoping point between Boston and Rockport.

  51. David says:

    Where do I start? This brings back so many wonderful memories of our life there for 10 years! The Black Trumpet was then Lindbergh’s Crossing, and Evan was the executive chef. What a wonderful chef, too. I loved the test gardens in Prescott Park, too… we would go often in the summer evenings to check on the floral progress… BNG had just moved to Market Square before we moved to Tucson – a lovely place for coffee and a snack… Did you happen to find Byrne & Carlson Chocolatiers? If not, you owe yourself a trip back for some incredible house-made chocolates. Ellen and Chris (the brains and creative brawn) can most often be found in the kitchen in Kittery about 5 minutes form downtown Portsmouth. Thanks for the memories!

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, Knowing that you lived in Maine so close to Portsmouth, I can certainly understand how you would visit often as we do. Yes, Lindbergh’s Crossing with Evan as chef was a favorite of ours…we even had dinner twice at the Blue Strawbery which came before in the same location. When we first lived in New England, I would drive from Merrimac, Mass to Breaking New Grounds original original location in Portsmouth for bags of their freshly roasted coffee. Even though we live in different parts of the country, we do have ties that bind. 😀

  52. Amanda says:

    So beautiful. It’s so perfectly New England. Your photos are gorgeous. I especially love the one of the chef in his domain. What a beautiful time of year it is to be up there too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amanda, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos. The restaurant is so busy at night that they graciously let me take photos while they were prepping for dinner before they opened. I’m always amazed how such good food can come out of such tight quarters as those at the Black Trumpet.

  53. Sophie33 says:

    Portsmouth in the USA sounds like a beautiful place! Thanks for the grand tour! I loved it a lot! 🙂

  54. What a Beautiful Town To Explore – Great Captures – thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Happy Day!

  55. Portsmouth looks like an iconic town, something that comes to mind when you think New England 🙂
    Lovely photos!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Karen says:

      You are so right, Uru…Portsmouth is exactly what you would imagine a New England town to look like. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you!

  56. All stunning photo’s….as usual. I particularly enjoyed the pictures on the bicycles in Market Square. Reminds me of the bikes I saw in Amsterdam. Portsmouth is beyond lovely, of course anything Georgian just steals my heart. The steeples of the churches are lovely. Thanks for sharing such sweet photo’s. I think it’ll be a few years because my kiddos will be able to appreciate architecture =) Maybe a weekend getaway then.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, I appreciate your lovely compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. Yes, I do think your kids would enjoy a weekend visit in a couple of years. History can be fun to learn about and there is a lot in Portsmouth.

  57. canalcook says:

    Beautiful post. I’ve never been outside of big US cities, I love seeing the historical side of America

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jess, The big cities are always exciting to visit but I do enjoy small town New England. With just over 20,000 people, I find Portsmouth a charming town with great restaurants. Perhaps some day you will get a chance to visit. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  58. Karen I am packing my bag right now in my mind to come to Portsmouth! How beautiful a place! Thank you so much for giving me a little mind vacation, which by the way, I really need. Lovely photos.

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate you kind words, Teresa…I’m happy you enjoyed the post and that it felt like a mini vacation. Hopefully, you can get a real break soon. 🙂

  59. kitchenriffs says:

    I’ve never been to Portsmouth, but you’ve made it sound soooo enticing! Lovely tour — thanks for the enticement. 😉

  60. Ruth says:

    Ah, historic towns along the East coast have always been my favorite. There’s always so much diversity packed into an area that really isn’t that big by today’s megalopolis standards. And you can walk almost everywhere! Love being able to stroll place to place instead of having to drive 🙂

  61. i love seeing all of these pictures. The view and the scenery is amazing. Thanks for sharing it with us. I travel through your travels:)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jessica, I’m happy to know that you enjoy following along on my travels. Portsmouth is a lovely town and the weather was perfect for getting nice photos. BTW, I’ve not been able to comment on your blog lately…your chicken soup would be perfect on this cool, misty day today.

  62. Daniela says:

    Thank you for taking us along to tour this lovely pace.
    Havn’t heard of it before but now it’s on my list for our next visit to the US.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daniela, I’m glad you enjoyed the little tour of Portsmouth. I do hope if you get a chance to travel to New England that you are able to spend a little time in this quaint town.

  63. What lovely photos, Karen! It would be wonderful to visit New England one day and see many of the historic sites.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos from Portsmouth and appreciate your nice compliment. I do hope you will get a chance to visit someday…I think you would enjoy your time spent there.

  64. Debbie C. says:

    You are a wonderful host! Thanks for the tour. I’ve only been there once but would like to return some day.

  65. Juliana says:

    I have been to this part of US…thank you so much for the pictures…I enjoy them all!
    Have a wonderful weekend Karen 😀

    • Karen says:

      Hi Juliana, I’m happy that you have visited New England before and enjoyed the photos of Portsmouth. I hope you have a nice week as well.

  66. Beautiful images that definitely make me want to visit.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Darryl, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. Yes…I do think you should plan a trip to New England, I’m sure you would enjoy the visit.

  67. Eva Taylor says:

    Your reviews are excellent Karen and they do certainly make me want to visit first hand. I suspect there are a lot of cute shops too which makes me think of we do visit, we’d better drive so I have lots of room to store my purchases!

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your kind words, Eva…I’m happy to know that you enjoy my travel posts. I do agree with you about driving down to Portsmouth. You are right, there are lots of boutiques in Portsmouth and of course Kittery, Maine,s discount malls are right across the river. 🙂

  68. What lovely pictures Karen! Especially I love the church ! just beautiful:)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Gloria, I appreciate your nice compliment about my photos. I agree with you about the church…its steeple is so tall and makes the building very beautiful.

  69. Hi Karen, thank you for showing us your little neck of the woods! I always marvelled at the beauty & delights of your surrounds. You already had me at $5 lobster rolls in Maine, now the rich history & thriving culture/food scene make me wish a trip to Portsmouth was just around the corner!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alli, There certainly are lots of reasons to visit New England…fresh seafood, beautiful scenery and lots of history. I know you live halfway around the world but perhaps someday you will get a chance to visit this area where our country’s heritage first started.

  70. aFrankAngle says:

    I haven’t visited Portsmouth, but based on your description and images, I would enjoy strolling here. … PS: I selected the Reblog button by accident.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Frank, If you are ever in New England, I believe you would enjoy a visit to Portsmouth. There is a lot good live music venues over the weekends that I think might like.

  71. What a perfect time to visit a beautiful New England town – I’ve never been to this one, but maybe on our next trip!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donalyn, Fall is a wonderful time to visit New England. Portsmouth is less crowded, except on the weekends, when leaf peepers (as New Englanders refer to tourist here to see the changing leaves) are out enjoying the weather and scenery. 😀

  72. viveka says:

    Karen, long time no see ….. saw that you had been visiting Frank – so I better pop over and do you a visit too. This is such a wonderful post … just like I image New England to be in the autumn. A place that I would enjoy very much – pretty and everything so photogenic. New England is still on my bucket list. I would enjoy visiting the Strawberry Bank museum and have a great latte … and lunch and dinner and the market. Thank you for bringing me along – I like you new way to display your images.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, Yes it has been a long time but I know you have been a traveling girl enjoying visiting the US. I definitely know that you would love seeing New England…it is one of the most beautiful and historical parts of our country.

      • viveka says:

        Karen, it’s on my bucket list now. The problem is that I don’t drive … and I think New England needed to be traveled around in.
        I suppose all seasons are great for a visit … except winter.

      • Karen says:

        You are right…seeing New England by car is the best way and any season except winter unless you are here for skiing.

      • viveka says:

        Karen, no skiing I can do here at home .. I have to look into New England. What airport is the best to land on???

      • Karen says:

        The airport in Boston, Massachusetts is where we fly in and out of.

      • viveka says:

        Karen, there is no direct flights from Copenhagen to Boston, strange … have to fly over NYC. Been at Boston Airport a couple of times. Boston is a great city – maybe time to make it a visit again. Years since I been there.

  73. Beautiful photos..Oh, I could smell the coffee you spoke about and the pastries. It is so beautiful there. I have never been and am thus happy to see it here..
    Ronelle

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Ronelle, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…Portsmouth is a lovely little town. The aroma of the freshly roasted coffee beans is wonderful when you walk into Breaking New Grounds.

  74. I absolutely love Portsmouth! Such a great Town to walk around and hang out in!

  75. Hi Karen! You sure know how to make me anxious to visit such picturesque destinations!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kiran, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth. Perhaps you will get a chance to visit someday. I believe you would love the shopping, restaurants and historical sights.

  76. Kristy says:

    I wish I had this tour when we were there years ago. I don’t believe we spent much time, rather just passed through. Next time we’ll know better! It looks like a fabulous New England town. I imagine it is indeed gorgeous at Christmas. 🙂

  77. lvaletutto says:

    I’ve been to Portsmouth a couple of times and have just loved it there! The selection of places you can find to eat there are great and quite eclectic. So many great shops too, from second hand to hand made you can pretty much find it all. It’s a lovely place to visit, especially in the fall. Oh, how I miss New England!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. You are so right about the restaurants and the shops. I love that most are independently owned and that there is something for everyone’s taste and pocketbook.

  78. I can see it would be easy to spend several days in Portsmouth and simply soak up history and color and pure enjoyment. I would love to visit! Maine is on my “list” of travel destinations not yet met and since time is always limited, I think this is a city that would definitely appeal to me. I am sure the Christmas season is gorgeous, but I’m not sure I’m prepared for Maine in winter! 🙂 That would be quite a shock to my system, Karen…although, I might enjoy the adventure of it. LOL!

    • Karen says:

      You are right Debra, a couple of days in Portsmouth is perfect. With Maine being right across the river, it makes a great home base for visiting this area of New England. I agree with you, winter in New Hampshire with the snow and cold would be a definite shock to someone who lives in sunny California. 🙂

  79. Sissi says:

    What a beautiful city, indeed. “Picturesque” is the perfect word to describe it. Thank you for sharing your experience. I will remember your photographs and recommendation if I ever visit the USA.

    • Karen says:

      Yes Sissi, I do believe that Portsmouth is a very picturesque little town. Hopefully you will get a chance to visit New England someday, I do think you would enjoy it.

  80. Larry says:

    Karen – Sorry you have trouble commenting, but I think they always get here, just sometimes in the spam folder. But since I check it every time and publish them no worries.

  81. Definitely worth to visit!!!
    lucky you Karen….

  82. Thank you for the delightful tour Karen! Portsmouth is filled with so many glorious places and treasures and truly hope that I can visit some day.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judit, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Between the boutiques, good restaurants and all the historic buildings, I’m sure you would enjoy visiting Portsmouth.

  83. chrisscheuer says:

    I feel like I’ve been there Karen. I just wish I could have tried the ice cream and yummy food in real life!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chris, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post about Portsmouth. You really can eat well there…from good ice cream to gourmet dining and everything in between. 🙂

  84. Mélanie says:

    merci pour ce post, Karen! we visited Portsmouth several years ago and we loved it… ❤

  85. cabinet stew says:

    I have been walking and boating around Portsmouth my whole life and yet it was still amazing to read about it through other’s eyes! I learned something and picked up some restaurant recommendations!

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