Solo Travel Destination: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Tracey’s recent trip to Portsmouth. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: English

photo, image, workshop, portsmouth

The Dinsmore Shop at Strawberry Banke Museum.

Reasons to go to Portsmouth

Portsmouth is  a beautiful little city in New Hampshire, located on the Piscataqua River, which separates it from Maine. One of the oldest cities in the United States, it maintains a 10-acre museum at its heart, preserving an entire community with all of its buildings intact. Even if you’re not a history buff (and I’m really not) Strawberry Banke Museum is a fascinating place to spend an afternoon stepping back in time.

Portsmouth is said to have one of the highest ratios of restaurants per capita in the country, so you will have no trouble finding great places to eat; your challenge will be in choosing one. I ate clam chowder and lobster rolls everywhere I went in New Hampshire, and you will have plenty of options here. For delicious seafood with a view, BG’s Boathouse is a great choice for solo travelers. The Portsmouth Brewing Company will wow you with their huge selection of locally-made beer. Go ahead, order the flight of ten and try them all! Right in the center of town sits a great – and constantly busy – coffee shop with free Wi-Fi and a large patio. Breaking New Grounds is perfect for refuelling or pausing to plan your day. For a special dinner experience, Brazo is a lively and delicious destination, featuring Latin American cuisine. Sit at the bar, enjoy tapas and hope that the chorizo corn dog is on the menu when you’re there. And trust me: save room for the Tres Leches cake.

I stayed at the Hampton Inn, a little outside of the center. It was perfect for my needs, with free Wi-Fi in the rooms, free breakfast and, most importantly, a free shuttle service. I made excellent – read, virtually constant – use of this service to help me cover as much ground as possible during my visit. The drivers were fun to chat with, and a great resource for directions and suggestions.

There is so much to see and do in Portsmouth. I love being on the water, so a harbour cruise was a must. The Parlor at Plainspoke has interesting art exhibits. I stumbled upon a standing-room-only book launch at the Discover Portsmouth Center and enjoyed a little wine and cheese while listening to the first female governor of Vermont. And, of course, I squeezed in a little shopping.

Everywhere I went, the people were friendly, welcoming and helpful. They all seemed to love their city, know a lot about its history, and were eager to share it all. Portsmouth is a great city for walking, and I wandered around for hours. For solo travelers, it struck me as a very safe, easy and interesting place to visit. I could easily have spent a week there.

photo, image, Portsmouth

Downtown Portsmouth viewed from the water.

photo, image, beer flight, portsmouth

Go ahead: try them all at the Portsmouth Brewery!

photo, image, bench, portsmouth

Portsmouth is a very walkable city, but you may want to pause from time to time to take it in.

photo, image, lobster roll, portsmouth

You must try the lobster rolls. It was the first thing I ate when I arrived in town.

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language – 1 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)

  • Tom Sweeney

    I live in Portsmouth and I have to say you nailed my city. Great job! ( I don’t understand the rating system on this website. I had a choice of 0 stars or 1 star, so I gave you 1. THe article deserves more. Sorry.)