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Living a Beach Lifestyle in Portsmouth, New_Hampshire

Portsmouth is a small and very old town of just over 20,000 in eastern New Hampshire, right on the Maine border.  Portsmouth has a tremendous amount going for it. There is a charming old downtown with lots of great shops and restaurants, cobblestone streets, historic seaport, plenty of water to live near, and a relatively mild climate thanks to its presence on the coast.  Although New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any U.S. state on the ocean, its beaches attracts thousands of families for their nice waves and surf.  Portsmouth was named as one of the "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The beautiful homes and buildings constructed during its shipbuilding era represent the colonial, georgian, and federal styles - many of the surviving mansions are now open to the public.  

Where to Retire in Portsmouth and Home Prices

Real estate is expensive in Portsmouth, reflecting how desirable the area is. In mid-2022, the median home value was $667,017, according to

What Is Special about Portsmouth

Historic seaport and beautiful town with rich heritage. Stock of colonial and early American homes in federal, Georgian, and colonial styles.  Great shops, museums, and old mansions to tour - Portsmouth is a big tourist town.  Strawberry Banke, Market Square, Portsmouth Lighthouse, the Music Hall, USS Albacore Museum (test submarine). Portsmouth has a very active literary scene with many famous authors nearby, plus the RiverRun Indie Bookstore.

What Is Not Special about Portsmouth

The downtown can get pretty crowded in the height of the tourist season.

Climate and Physical Environment

Portsmouth is located near the mouth of the Piscataqua River as it enters the Atlantic Ocean on the Maine border. To the west is an enormous bay, the Great Bay.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Historical Society is very active, as is the Athenaeum, the Music Hall, has a popular author series that attracts big names, and many old house museums like the John Paul Jones House. The RiverRun Bookstore. Here is what writer Dan Brown said about Portsmouth: "Thanks to places like the Music Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, and our great indie bookstores, the Seacoast literary scene thrives in ways usually seen only in the largest cities. As a writer, I'm grateful every day for the luxury of accessing world-class cultural events without sacrificing a tranquil writing environment."


The crime rate in Portsmouth is about half the national average.

Medical Facilities

Portsmouth Regional Hospital


I 95 runs through Portsmouth. Airports in Portland (ME) and Boston are about an hour away. There is an AMTRAK bus stop in Durham.

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