Make a Day of It! Portsmouth, NH

(Caravel, by Leah Giberson on view at Nahcotta)

Summer is here.

Days are longer, skirts are shorter, and staring out your office window at people lounging on the Greenway becomes that much more unbearable.

Let’s run away.  Well, at least for the day.

Background: History of Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Wikipedia

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is about an hours drive North outside Boston or an eighteen hour walk.

This historic seacoast town evokes images of colorful sailboats, calm harbors, and a handful of serious micro brews which, upon consuming, will make belting out Alanis Morisette to a crowd of strangers at a karaoke bar seem like a great idea.

Nnnn Im hereee toremindjuuu ov the messseweee left when you winnawayyyyy…..


  • Art


The Art Galleries of Portsmouth First Fridays

(Mary Was a Little lamb, by Angela Rossi available at Three Graces Gallery)

Next event: Friday July 1st, 2011

“The first Friday of every month, downtown Portsmouth celebrates its inspired, intimate urban community with big city style by presenting its Art Round Town gallery walk.”

How: Official Website

List of participating galleries here.


Portsmouth Athenaeum

Address: 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Hours: Contact Information

Cost: Free

What People are Saying: Portsmouth Athenaeum on yelp

How: Official Website

What/Why: “The Portsmouth Athenaeum is a non-profit membership library and museum, incorporated in 1817 and located in the heart of historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Membership libraries were first created in the 18th century for the mutual edification of their members and to elevate the educational resources available in the community. The name “Athenæum” was used by a number of societies established during the nineteenth century to describe institutions with broader aims than just a library. The term is derived from Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, and the classical temple of the arts and sciences named to honor her.

While there were once hundreds of membership libraries across America, there are now fewer than twenty left. The Athenæum today continues this long tradition of mutual improvement by maintaining a library of over 40,000 volumes and an archive of manuscripts, photographs, objects, and ephemera relating to local history. It also sponsors exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and other educational and cultural programs.”



(Return to Frolic, Leah Giberson)

Address: 110 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Sun 11-5, Mon – Thurs 10-6, Fri + Sat 10-7

How: Official Website

What people are Saying: Nahcotta on yelp

What/Why: “Highly regarded for their modernist eye and exceptional client relations, Nahcotta features the artwork of an exciting stable of emerging to established artists. In this spacious, two-level gallery, Nahcotta’s passion for great design and original form is embodied in both their contemporary art exhibitions and home decor offerings.”


Three Graces Gallery

(The work of Amanda Atkins)

Address: 105 Market St., Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Mon+ Tues 10-6 /Thurs, Fri + Sat 10-6 /Sun 12-5/ *open by appt. Wed

What People are Saying: Three Graces on yelp

How: Official Website

What/Why: “Established in 2004 by artist and curator Kim Ferreira, Three Graces Gallery is celebrated for its eclectic variety of handmade and one-of-a-kind offerings. The gallery features paintings, sculpture and functional art in the form of pottery, jewelry, handbags and furniture. We are passionate about working with local artists in addition to exposing our community to works by artists from far off places.

Our friendly environment welcomes not only experienced art collectors, but students and general art appreciators. We take great pride in maintaining a close relationship with our clients as their collections develop and expand.

We simply love art, and believe it inspires beauty, mirth and good cheer!”


Kennedy Gallery and Framing

Address: 41 Market St., Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Mon + Tues 9:30-6 /Wed + Thurs 9:30-6:30 /Fri + Sat 9:30-7 /Sun 12-4

How: Official Website

What/Why: “Kennedy Gallery and Custom Framing in downtown Portsmouth presents a wide selection of original works of art, archival prints and photography, while also specializing in Custom Design and Framing.

Our collection of fine art includes original oils & acrylics on paper by nationally known, accomplished artists as well as works of the best, well-established local artists.

We exhibit art by Alan Chandler, Doug Hunt, and Downe Burnes along with Monoprints and Monotypes by Mami Joe Rayburn and Trish Hurley. The gallery also features Giclee prints by noted local area artists Doris Rice, Mary Vermeersch, Wendy Turner, and Jan Kilburn, as well as photographic art from Don Osborne, Jay Goldsmith, Nancy Horton, Brian Smestad and Ross Warner.”


Woodman Institute Museum

(note: in Dover which is near Portsmouth)

Address: 182 Central Avenue, Dover, New Hampshire, United States

Hours: Wed-Sun 12:30-4:30 Closed Dec 1st – Mar 31st

Cost: Adults $6, Kids 6-15 $3, Students and Seniors $5

How: Official Website

What/Why: “The Woodman is a true turn of the century natural history, local history and art museum that has been around since 1916. Four historic buildings that includes an original 1675 colonial garrison house furnished with period artifacts, the Senator John P. Hale home built in 1813, displays furniture, paintings, fire & police memorabilia, nautical instruments and model ships, a Cocheco Mill exhibit, antique powder horns, tools, toys, dolls, musical instruments, pewter and china. The Woodman House built in 1818, features a fine Civil War exhibit that includes a saddle used by President Lincoln, over 1800 minerals, birds, butterflies, turtles, Indian artifacts, a blue shark and a cougar killed in 1853. The Keefe House built in 1825 preserves historical documents and features special exhibits on loan.”


McLaughlin-Hills Gallery

(The work of Matthew Grubb)

Address: 110 State Street Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hours: Monday: Closed /Tuesday – Thursday:12:00 PM – 7:00 PM/Friday & Saturday:12:00 PM – 8:00 PM/Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

How: Official Website

What/Why: “Enter the McLaughlin-Hills Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and you will find artwork and treasures from Oaxaca, a culturally rich region in south central Mexico. The gallery represents many artists, including Eloy Aquino Perez, Santiago Martinez, Estéban Urbieta, Fernando M. Diaz, and Rolando Siguenza, and features paintings, prints, recycled art, textiles, jewelry, and small crafts. McLaughlin-Hills plans to expand the regions represented—including the US—with a particular focus on recycled art, and “art that tells a story.”


Portsmouth Museum of Fine Arts

(The work of Shark Toof)

Address: One Harbour Place, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hours: Wednesday–Sunday • 11:00 am–5:00 pm/Open late Fridays until 8:00 pm/Closed Monday & Tuesday

Cost: Free. Suggested donation $3

How: Official Website

What/Why: “The Portsmouth Museum of Art presents the work of 21st-century emerging artists, alongside the work of established contemporary artists. We offer exhibitions and programs that educate the public about art, as well as use art as a tool to generate conversation about current events, other cultures, social issues and a wide range of other topics with a diversity of viewpoints. Our goal is to enrich the local cultural landscape by developing partnerships, creating collaborative opportunities among artists and art organizations and by presenting a complete art experience that serves to educate as well as initiate an on-going public dialogue around art.”

Note: Current exhibition- Street aka Museum looks amazing


The Banks Gallery -Contemporary and Design

(Portsmouth Salt Pile, Carl Austin Hyatt)
(Banks Historical Gallery is located at 420 Court Street | Portsmouth, NH 03801 and open by appointment only)

Address: 32 Daniel Street | Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm / Saturday: 12 noon – 6:00pm

What People are Saying: Banks Gallery on yelp

How: Official Website

What/Why: “The Banks Gallery has quickly become recognized as one of the leading galleries in New England. The gallery has been dedicated to dealing in the finest American paintings and sculpture of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. In 2008 the gallery moved from it’s original location at 123 State Street to a restored eighteenth century warehouse building on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum at 420 Court St. The Banks Gallery staff is supportive and understanding. You can expect patience and transparency with an equal emphasis placed on the positives, as well as the negatives, of each potential acquisition. In the end, what matters most and what helps us grow our business is earning your trust—something worth far more than any individual sale. This concept has been and will always be our highest priority.”


  • Grub


Flatbread Company

Categories: Pizza

Address: 138 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03804

What People are Saying:  Flatbread Company on yelp

How: Official Website


The Golden Egg

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch

Address: 960 Sagamore Ave, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What People are Saying: The Golden Egg on yelp

How: Official Website


Popovers on the Square

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch, Sandwiches

Address: 8 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What People are Saying: Popovers on yelp

How: Official Website


Friendly Toast

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch

Address: 121 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH

What People are Saying: Friendly Toast on yelp

How: Official Website


  • Brew


Portsmouth Brewery

Categories: American (New)

Address: 56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What People are Saying: Portsmouth Brewery on yelp

How: Official Website


Redhook Ale Brewery

Categories: Breweries, American (New)

Address: 35 Corporate Dr, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What People are Saying: Red Hook Brewery on yelp

How: Official Website


Smuttynose Brewery Company

Categories: Breweries

Address: 225 Heritage Ave, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What People are Saying:   Smuttynose Brewery on yelp

How: Official Website


  • And the Rest


Fuller Gardens

(note: a short drive outside Portsmouth)

Address: 10 Willow Avenue, North Hampton, NH 03862

Hours: Daily 10:00am-5:30pm

Cost: Adults $9.00 /Seniors $8.00 /Students (w/ID) $6.00 /Children (under12) $4.00

What People are Saying: Fuller Gardens on yelp

How: Official Website


Odd Showroom

Address: 117 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What People are Saying: Odd Showroom on yelp

How: Official Website


Macro Polo

Address:89 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What people are saying: Macro Polo on yelp

How: Official Website


Address: 161 Court St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

What people are saying: Re-Enhabit on yelp

How: Official Website


Have we covered all the bases?

Portsmouth is definitely worth the visit, so be sure to drive, walk, crawl or whatever is happening here…

(four-legged chicken at Woodman Institute)

…before the leaves start to change and we go back into hiding. ♥

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