The New England landscape rearranges when a layer of snow dusts the windowsills of the old colonials and blankets the cobblestone streets. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an idyllic place to watch the winter season unfold. For those willing to brave the dipping temperatures, the islands along the coast provide groups with outdoor fun like ice skating while the cultural charms of museums and music halls afford a break from the cold.


Picturesque downtown Portsmouth has something to offer every group. Try local cuisine at the bustling Portsmouth Gas Light Co. or The Oar House located in the historic Merchant’s Row. Cap the day off with a visit to The Music Hall, built in 1878 and originally used as a Vaudeville theater. Today, the cultural institution is a great place for a group to catch a play or concert.


Portsmouth is home to a number of important sites, including the Seacoast African American Cultural Center, the first Black cultural center in New Hampshire. Groups looking for an outdoor activity with a heavy dose of history can visit the Strawbery Banke Museum and its accompanying Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond. The outdoor history museum is situated in a beautiful waterfront neighborhood and showcases historical artifacts and stories beginning with those from Indigenous peoples.


Portsmouth is surrounded by dazzling state parks. Odiorne Point State Park with its world-class science museum and Great Island Common with breathtaking lighthouse views are both worthy options. For groups looking to stay within the city boundaries, visit Peirce Island’s 27 acres of rocky cliff, salt marshes, and tidal pools to take in Mother Nature.


Go Portsmouth


Main Image: Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Credit: Labrie Media