About Portsmouth New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire was founded in 1623 by some of the earliest settlers in North America, and lays claim to the title of third-oldest city in the nation. It was young America’s colonial capital in 1679.With a population of about 21,000 it sits at the mouth of short, wide body of water called the Piscataqua River, which divides New Hampshire and Maine. Portsmouth also is the hub of a bustling, metropolitan area that encompasses the cities and towns of Dover, Rochester, Exeter, Hampton, Greenland, Stratham, Newington, and Rye, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick and York in Maine.
Built up as a shipping town into the mid-1800s, New Hampshire’s thriving economy withered under the power of the railroad industry, through the area prides itself as the home of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – America’s first and established in 1800. Thanks to its geographic location, rich historical past, and cultural strengths it often lands on many “Best Places to Live” lists.
Residential Housing Market
Part of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, Portsmouth’s media per-capita income in 2009 was $35,140. The residential housing market seems unaffected by the mortgage crisis of the last several years, with the median house or condo value rising from $164,500 in 2000 to $309,723 in 2009.
Most residents reside in the 03801 zip code, where the sale price of homes recently has varied between $115,000 to $575,000, all within a one month span between early February and March, 2012.
Things to do while you’re there
Barely an hour’s drive from Manchester, Boston, and Portland, Portsmouth is a culturally rich destination featuring an eclectic mix of historic buildings, captivating restaurants and sidewalk cafes, art galleries, jazz clubs and working artisans’ boutiques where colonial-era craftsmanship meets new world panache.
For tourists, Portsmouth’s top five attractions include:
- The Strawbery Banke Museum, which began as a simple “save our history” campaign in the late 1950s to a well-known and supported organization cataloging four centuries of history from Portsmouth’s earliest days.
- The Prescott Park & Prescott Park Arts Festival, site of Portsmouth’s waterfront park and summer arts festival. It features extensive flower gardens of multiple varieties, and it’s outdoor venues have hosted numerous theatre and music groups, and productions like “Annie” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
- For families with children, there may be no better destination in the area than the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. It offers dozens of hands-on activities for youngsters, like the Art Gallery, Dino Detective, Yellow Submarine, and many others.
- The Portsmouth area claims the nation’s shortest coastline, but each sand-filled mile is home to more than a dozen beaches including Fort Foster in Maine, and North Hampton and Rye beaches in New Hampshire.
- Comprised of two theaters in downtown Portsmouth, The Music Hall is a nationally recognized performing arts venue that has hosted folk and reggae bands, and comedic performances by the likes of comedian Bob Newhart and readings from authors such as Deborah Harkness.
With the redevelopment of nearby Pease Air Force Base, the local economy seems to be thriving once again, creating new job opportunities and once again drawing young families and visitors from across the country.