Logo   What to See & Do in Portsmouth NH
Strawbery Banke Outdoor Museum, the house of John Paul Jones, and plenty of good dining!




Strawbery Banke
Portsmouth's jump from wilderness to settlement started in 1630, when a group of settlers sailed into the Piscataqua River's mouth in search of fresh water and good land. As they climbed up the rise from the shore, they found not only the water and land they'd been looking for but also wild strawberries, which delighted them so much they named the place Strawbery Banke.

Today Strawbery Banke (tel 603-433-1100), Marcy Street, serves to identify the center of the city's historic restoration effort, a 10-acre section of buildings dating from 1695-1835 brought back to life and filled with craftspeople who actually make their livings right where you see them.

For the price of admission you can wander about, looking at the 42 furnished houses and buildings, exhibits, period gardens, workshops, and artisans' galleries on display.

A walk through Strawbery Banke is educational as well as entertaining, for you'll see how chairs, tables, and cabinets were made besides seeing examples of the work itself; boatbuilding, woodcarving, and stoneware potting are explained, and early tools and architectural designs are spread out for your examination.

Strawbery Banke is the major part of Portsmouth's Old Harbour district, the cornerstone of which is Prescott Park, a waterfront park, dock, and amusement area donated to the city by the Prescott sisters in the 1930s and 1940s.

Follow the directional signs, with arrows, posted throughout the town and on approach roads toward the waterfront, just south of the US Route 1 bridge.

John Paul Jones House
No place in this pretty city is more notable than the National Historic Landmark house (1758) of John Paul Jones (tel 603-436-8420), Middle and State streets. The stately house was actually a rooming house when Commander Jones stayed in it while his frigate, the famous Ranger, was being built in a nearby shipyard.

The house is now the headquarters of the Portsmouth Historical Society, and you can visit the house and museum on a 1-hour guided tour.

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John Paul Jones House, Portsmouth NH

Above, John Paul Jones House.
Below, outdoor dining in Commercial Alley.

Commercial Alley, Portsmouth NH

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