Thiri San ’23
Portsmouth, NH

UNH students explore in the heart of downtown Portsmouth.


UNH has a great location. Not only is downtown Durham a quaint and well-liked area, but it is surrounded by many popular destinations. Nearby is an exciting and bustling city you may have heard of: Portsmouth. Twenty minutes away from campus, it has a variety of attractions to visit. If you enjoy fun activities, dining at restaurants and shopping, Portsmouth is the place to be. The port town sits near the Piscataqua River, which is considered the border of New Hampshire and Maine. As one of the oldest cities around, it is rich with history and opportunities for adventure. These are a few suggestions for places to go during your visit!

With so many restaurants all around the city, it can be hard to choose just one. A popular favorite is The Goat, an American bar and grill with a rustic vibe. The eatery offers a variety of American dishes, from nachos to burgers to sandwiches. They have multiple days of the week where they host specials and have live music. Visitors love the Wing Wednesdays, where each chicken wing is only 10 cents! Be sure to get there early since The Goat is a dining hotspot. Some more honorable mentions for restaurants are: The Friendly Toast, Gas Light Co., Surf, and Thirsty Moose Tap House.

Downtown Portsmouth has a large, beautiful shopping area. Many enjoy walking around the brick sidewalks of Market Square and are often stopped by unique stores such as antique shops, boutiques, jewelry stores, brand-name clothing stores, and much more. The Portsmouth Farmer’s Market is a must visit, as it is a low-stress, fun and popular experience for shoppers. There are also coffee shops and cafes to stop at if you need some quick fuel during your visit in Portsmouth. Portsmouth Green and Lafayette Plaza Shopping Center are also nearby shopping areas.

Historic Attractions/Activities
As mentioned, Portsmouth holds an abundance of rich history, hence why it’s filled with so many historic sites and attractions. If you have ever driven through the city, you might have noticed a large submarine near the outskirts of downtown. This is the USS Albacore Museum, which was originally a research submarine designed by the United State Navy, where people can now take self-guided tours and learn more about the Albacore’s history. There are lots of noteworthy historic sites in Portsmouth, such as the Strawbery Banke Museum, which is a 10-acre neighborhood that brings New Hampshire history to life, as well as the Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden. The African Burying Ground is a moving memorial park near the center of the city dedicated to the lost lives of the hundreds of African slaves that lie underneath it.

If you are interested in spending time on the water, I’d recommend taking the ferry to the Isles of Shoals, the famous islands that lie just off the coast – on a clear day you can see them from the Portsmouth Harbor. If you would rather walk, the Portsmouth Harbour Trail is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery and historic landmarks.

Just imagine – all this could be your neighborhood at UNH.

Keep exploring
Two UNH social media interns take you on a video tour of their favorite Portsmouth locations.