Life on New Hampshire’s Sea Coast: 6 Reasons Why We Love Portsmouth

by Ben SanfordApril 2, 2018

Why Portsmouth Is One of the Best Places on the New England Coast

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a relatively small city. With just barely more than twenty thousand residents calling Portsmouth home, it’s barely a city at all. And yet somehow in spite of this, the city is still one of the New England coast’s best kept secrets.

With a rich history, an abundance of gorgeous water, beautiful homes, and a progressive community and government, there’s a lot to love about Portsmouth. If you’ve always contemplated a move to the New England area, here are six great reasons to call this small city on New Hampshire’s historic seacoast your next home.
live in portsmouth New Hampshire

 There’s So Much History in Portsmouth!

English colonists first settled the area surrounding what would become Portsmouth back in 1630. The town was incorporated and named little more than twenty years later. Many of the earliest homes of English settlers remain, some having been updated to more contemporary interior tastes in recent years.

Period Homes at Their Most Beautiful

The city of Portsmouth boasts no less than nine historic house museums, most dating from the colonial, revolutionary, and federal periods. There is the Richard Jackson House Museum, built in 1664, the house of John Paul Jones (hero of the Colonial Navy), the Governor John Langdon House dating back to 1784, and the Rundlet-May House from 1807 to name just a few.

But, you don’t have to limit yourself to touring history in Portsmouth. Period homes and historic houses come onto the market from time to time. In fact, you can purchase a home older than our nation and call it your own in Portsmouth.

Original Brick Row Houses

Truth be told, if you really want to inhabit the history of Portsmouth, you can purchase and move into an original colonial brick row house right in the middle of the port.
live in portsmouth New Hampshire

So Much Water

When all’s said and done, Portsmouth is, at its heart, a port town. Originally, it was the natural harbor at the mouth of the Piscataqua River that drew English settlers to put down roots and start building a city in the first place.

These days, some of the city’s most livable properties, whether sleek modern condos or five-bedroom, 7,000sqft mansions come with frontage on one of Portsmouth’s many deep waterways.

Portsmouth Is an Eco-Municipality

Portsmouth has long been a stronghold of the Democratic Party, and its city government consists of a council of nine elected officials. In 2007, this body of officials voted unanimously to make the city an eco-municipality, putting their commitment to the values of sustainability and social justice at the core of their governance of the area.

Residents and city officials claim that this step has had no chilling effect on economic growth in the region. In fact, they claim it has fostered a renewed sense of civic pride that has translated into additional jobs and industry relocating to the area.

 Tourism at Its Height in Portsmouth

Perhaps because, or perhaps despite the city’s commitment to social justice and sustainability, tourism to Portsmouth and New Hampshire’s seacoast has been experiencing a boom in recent years.

While this may not seem like a big plus for year-round residents, keep in mind that destination areas tend to have the best restaurants, more high-profile performing and visual arts events and exhibitions, and many of the amenities of larger metropolitan areas, when compared to cities of similar size without tourist draws.
live in portsmouth New Hampshire

Portsmouth Is One of America’s Best-Kept Secrets

If you love history, the Atlantic coast, history, beautiful homes, history, or progressive ideals, Portsmouth might be the place for you (it’s got so much history!). With its abundance of beautifully preserved colonial architecture, its commitment to social justice and sustainability, and its proximity to a beautiful stretch of the shore, Portsmouth is truly a great place to live.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.