Visitors to the Southern Maine Coast should take time to explore the seaside city of Portsmouth – just over the border in New Hampshire. Portsmouth is a renaissance town, where old meets new. Centuries' old brick buildings are home to top gourmet restaurants. Fine boutiques and shops line Market Square on Congress and State Street to the riverfront of Bow Street. You can enjoy the waterfront with a picnic at Prescott Park, a drink on a waterfront restaurant, or take a Portsmouth Harbor Cruise on the Piscataqua River to the outlying Isles of Shoals passing by the Portsmouth Naval Base - which is actually in Kittery, Maine territory – it's a long story.
History buffs will also enjoy a tour of the living history museum Strawberry Banke, Native Americans grew strawberries along the banks of the Piscataqua River – hence the name. As English settlers arrived Portsmouth was a key trading port for fisherman, import and exporters and shipbuilders.
Portsmouth is a fun, festive seaport village to visit for the day, an evening of waterfront dining and boutique shopping, or stay the night at one of several inns and Bed and Breakfasts like the Ale House or modern hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn or Renaissance Inn. On your visit to Maine, you might want to take a closer look at Portsmouth, and don't just pass by this gem on the New Hampshire seacoast. Portsmouth is just minutes from Kittery and York in Maine.