Portsmouth NH and the NH Seacoast
Portsmouth NH has been an active port for the Seacoast since the 1600s when settlers used sailing barges called gundalows to ferry goods from the inland waters of the Great Bay and trade ships came from around the world to one of the first coastal ports on the East Coast. Settled in 1623, Portsmouth claims to be the nation’s third-oldest city. It served as a focal point on the Eastern seaboard until the late 1800s when rail travel saw the decline of the shipping industry.
Today Portsmouth is a city of roughly 21,000 people, and the region as whole is noted for its many restaurants, attractions and shopping. Downtown Portsmouth, major malls in Newington and the close proximity of the outlet malls in Kittery, Maine make it a convenient place to live.
Portsmouth sits near the mouth of the Piscataqua River that divides New Hampshire and Maine. The city also is at the hub of a metropolitan region that includes the cities of Rochester and Dover, N.H., and many towns – Exeter, Hampton, Greenland, Stratham, Newington, and Rye, N.H.; Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick and York, Maine.
Today the city is a vital economic center for the region with Pease Trade Port, bus and train terminals, as well as a major hospital. The densely-built modern center still retains many of the classic brick buildings from the early 1800s and maintains a living museum, Strawberry Banks. The downtown offers exceptional opportunities for shopping, dining, and entertainment.