Scenic USA - New Hampshire

Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
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Things to do - Portsmouth, NH

 

 

Portsmouth on the Piscataqua

Portsmouth on the Piscataqua - New Hampshire

Photo by Ben Prepelka

     Setting the coastal border between Maine and New Hampshire, the Piscataqua River created an exceptional harbor town and important trade center during the 17th century. Even though the river is only 12 miles in length and extremely fast flowing, the Piscataqua's first few miles from the sea made up one of the finest harbors in the northeast. Settled in 1630 by European immigrants, the town quickly took its place as a leading industrial area and shipping port. Upstream, community lumber mills, ship yards, textile mills and fishing industries sprouted up. Soon they were moving goods in and out of the harbor. African slaves were imported as early as 1645, a large part of the Triangle Trade that brought prosperity to Portsmouth.
     Claiming to be America's third oldest city, Portsmouth is no longer the shipping or industrial power of the 17th century. But its historic significance and location still has the city placed at the hub of a large metropolitan area. Once, one of the richest ports in the New World, Portsmouth has managed to retain its prominent architecture. Although gutted by several fires, a number of Colonial, Georgian and Federal style houses create a distinctive historic district. The sidewalk cafes, shops and restaurants around Market Square earn a deserved reputation as a unique tourist destination. Its location on the Piscataqua, its historic ties to the sea and outstanding work in historic preservation have landed titles of America's most livable cities, one of America's prettiest towns, a most walkable city and one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country.

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