There are ample opportunities for enjoyment in the Seacoast area - some of the many activities and attractions are listed below, with live links, to help you plan your trip. In addition, the online guides PortsmouthNH.com, Go Portsmouth, and Seacoast Online, and the website of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, are valuable resources for local news and current exhibitions, performances, and other events. Check the weather forecast to help in planning your activities!
Bicycling. Take a tour of the area by bicycle (your own, or a rental) with PortCity Bike Tours; rent a bicycle at Papa Wheelies by the day, or bring your own bikes, and explore on your own. We'll secure your bikes and gear inside, where you'll have ready access to them. EasternTrail.org can provide you with bike routes throughout the southern coast of Maine, and there is a new greenway under development along seacoast New Hampshire. More information about trails, cycle shops, on-road routes, and more, is available at SABR.
Kayaking. Take a kayak tour with Portsmouth Kayak Adventures - rent one of their kayaks or paddle boards, or bring your own.
Golfing. Information about area golf courses and driving ranges can be found at NH Seacoast golf courses and Southern Maine golf courses; there are several courses from which to choose.
For something unusual,Take Flight is an aerial an aerial adventure course and adventure zip line on Route 1 on the border of Kittery and York, Maine.
Go dancing at The Dance Hall in Kittery, the Seacoast Ballroom in Portsmouth, and the Rockingham Ballroom in Newcastle, NH.
Attend a concert or comedy performance at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on the boardwalk, Hampton Beach.
Take a guided tour of the Seacoast. Seacoast New Hampshire Heritage Tours offers the only driving tours of the area ranging as far east as Kennebunkport, and custom driving and walking tours. Learn about the local restaurant and food scene, and eat Portsmouth, with Portsmouth Eats. For lovers of the uncommon, take a Portsmouth Underbelly tour, and learn about the slightly seamier side of the port town. Call in at the Discover Portsmouth museum and visitor center, and take a guided or self-guided walking tour of Portsmouth; the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail focuses on the lives and events of the Africans and the slave traders, slave-holders and Black abolitionists who lived and worked in the Seacoast area.
Harbor and River cruises. Enjoy the Harbor and the River from the perspective of the 19th century sailors, and learn about the marine history and ecology of the Seacoast aboard The Piscataqua, a reproduction gundalow operating out of Portsmouth. Motor vehicle cruises of the River, the Harbor, and out to the Isles of Shoals at various times of day and with different themes are available from the M/V Heritage and the M/V Thomas Laighton.
Seacoast nightlife. There are many clubs and venues featuring live music, pub grub, and a lively scene: the Press Room, the Spring Hill Tavern, downstairs from the Dolphin Striker restaurant, the Red Door Lounge and Martini Bar, Two Ceres Street Martini Bar, the Blue Mermaid,the Portsmouth Brewery, Ri Ra Irish pub, the Tributary Brewing Company, and the Gas Light. For a quieter drink, try the Black Birch or the Wallingford, both in Kittery.
History and Culture. The Seacoast area was colonized by English settlers in 1630, having been used by Abenaki and their predecessors for thousands of years before, and prospered as a port through trade. Over the course of the years, fine homes and other buildings were constructed, many of which have become museums open to the public. A number of these buildings, all original to Portsmouth, that have been relocated to the Puddle Dock area to Strawbery Banke across Marcy Street from Prescott Park. The Moffatt-Ladd House on Market Street is a fine Georgian/Federal mansion and garden owned by William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Governor John Langdon House is another exceptional mansion of that era, while the Jackson House is the oldest surviving wood-frame house in New Hampshire, c. 1664. In South Berwick, the Sarah Orne Jewett House is where the author was born and wrote for much of her life.
The area's maritime history can be explored throughout Kittery and Portsmouth, at the Kittery Naval and Historical Museum, the Albacore Museum, the John Paul Jones House, Fort Constitution in Portsmouth, Forts McClary and Foster in Kittery Point, the Gundalow Piscataqua, Maine Maritime Museum websites and New Hampshire Maritime Museums.
There are several live performance venues around Portsmouth, among them, The Seacoast Repertory Theater, the Music Hall and the Loft, 3S Art Space, and the West End Studio Theater, home to three resident production companies. Summer stock performances at the Hackmatack Playhouse and the Ogunquit Playhouse. In Kittery, the Star Theater and in Berwick, the Hackmatack Playhouse.
Museums, Gardens and Art Galleries. Ogunquit Museum of American Art; Fuller Gardens. Art Around Town is a good place to start for lists of galleries in Kittery, Portsmouth, Kennebunk, Ogunquit, etc.
Go out to Dinner in Kittery!
Go out to Dinner in Portsmouth!
Go Shopping! The numerous outlets at the Kittery Outlets are just a couple of miles form the Inn up Route 1 toward York, Maine; just a bit further is the Yarn Sellar, retailer of supplies, yarns, patterns and notions for knitting, dyeing, crochet, spinning and weaving. Just Us Chickens Artisans’ Coop, also in Kittery, has unusual hand-crafted items from scarves to sculpture. Boutique shopping in the Market Square area of Portsmouth. In Newington, there are many shops in and around the Fox Run Mall.
Go to the Beach, or for a hike, or a walk. Beaches and forts and hiking/walking destinations abound in the area. In Kittery, Seapoint Beach, Fort McClary & Fort Foster; Jenness State Beach, Rye. The Marginal Way Foot Path, in Ogunquit, and the Cliff Path, in York Harbor, are mildly challenging. Odiorne Point State Park in Portsmouth offers walking trails, picnicking, and the Seacoast Science Center. Hampton Beach. Mount Agamenticus.