Portsmouth New Hampshire Town Info

aerial view strawbery banke in portsmouth nh

Real estate in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is as diverse as the city itself. From small colonial capes built when the city was young to contemporary condos overlooking the broad Piscataqua River, real estate in Portsmouth NH has it all.


Portsmouth is one of the earliest European settlements in America. In the early 1600s, fishing vessels from England and other countries found a rich bounty in the cold waters around Portsmouth. They dubbed the islands a few miles offshore the "Isles of Shoals", except in this case "shoals" really meant "schools"-- as in vast schools of fish.


A permanent fishing settlement began in 1623 and expanded in 1630 to include families. First named Strawbery Banke for the wild strawberries growing everywhere, the little hamlet at the mouth of the Piscataqua grew rapidly.


Incorporation as the town of Portsmouth came in 1653. The oldest house in the state of New Hampshire that is still standing, the Jackson House, was built in Portsmouth in 1664.


In a Portsmouth house now named after him, John Paul Jones, the naval hero of the American Revolution, waited for his ship, the Ranger, to be built in 1777 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The shipyard is one of the largest employers in the region today.


In its 400+ year history, Portsmouth has had many incarnations. A wealthy fishing and shipbuilding center, a seat of provincial government, and by the mid-1900s, a post-Industrial Revolution city that had seen better days.


Fortunately, the people of Portsmouth always knew that their community was a gem--it just needed a little polishing. Strategic investments with an keen eye to preserving the past have brought Portsmouth to what it is now: a flourishing, entrepreneurial city of almost 22,000 residents, where the sound of street music is in the air and there is almost an embarrassment of riches in dining options.


Public transportation provides eadowntown portsmouth nhsy access to the University of New Hampshire in nearby Durham, as well as to destinations around town. C&J Trailways Bus Lines offers direct routes to South Station in Boston MA, Logan Airport in Boston, and New York City.


If you prefer to drive, Boston is a little over 60 miles to the south. Portsmouth International Airport is centrally located in the city and offers daily flights to national and Canadian destinations. Medium- to large-scale businesses like Lonza are thriving at the Pease International Tradeport surrounding the airport. Small business owners have enthusiastically thrown their hats into the ring, opening their doors all throughout the city.


Portsmouth is served by 3 elementary schools--Little Harbour, Dondero and New Franklin--and Portsmouth Middle School and Portsmouth High School (home of the Clippers!). The Portsmouth Indoor Pool is located at the high school, with many types of memberships available to Portsmouth residents.


The children of Portsmouth have a day set aside just for them--the Children's Day celebration happens throughout the downtown area on the first Sunday in May. Just as the school year nears an end in mid-June, families head to Market Square Day, one of Portsmouth's best festivals. Market Square Day began as a celebration of the beautification of Portsmouth in the 1970s, and has grown since then to an exuberant June gala attended by tens of thousands of residents and visitors.


When school is out, you'll find moms and kids and lane swimmers alike enjoying the spectacular city-owned outdoor facilities overlooking the river on Pierce Island, which include a playground, walking trails and picnic grounds. And you've never seen or heard a Halloween parade quite like the Portsmouth Halloween Parade, a "grassroots, all-inclusive celebration of community, creativity and free expression that walks, stalks, dances, trumpets and drums its way through downtown Portsmouth each year"! 


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Portsmouth is the center of the arts scene in the region. The grand, historic Music Hall theater draws nationally known comedians, musicians and other artists. The Seacoast Repertory Theater on Bow Street, the Player's Ring and West End theaters all produce a wide variety of theatricals.


Cooled by ocean breezes, Prescott Park is the place to go for live outdoor music, theater, and dance all summer long. Art galleries beckon you in year-round during the "first Friday of the month" art walks, while the new 3S Art Space hosts painters, performers, community events and more on Vaughn Street.


The plethora of restauinterior of the green elephant restaurant in portsmouth nhrants in and around Portsmouth defies description. There are more restaurant seats in Portsmouth than there are residents -- let's just leave it at that. Seafood, burgers, Indian, Thai, upscale, vegetarian, you name it: if you can't find your favorite dining option here, it doesn't exist.


Williams Realty Partners has been a passionate fan of real estate in Portsmouth, NH for a long time -- many of our agents live in and around the city. Browse homes for sale in Portsmouth, NH, then give us a call at 1-207-351-8188. We'd love to show you around!


Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal and Lakes & Mountains is the #1 KW Team in Maine. We strive to provide an exceptional experience to all our clients, whether they are buying, selling, or investing in real estate.