Water and boats in Portsmouth NH

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Portsmouth, NH is the #79 Best City to Live in the USA

Water and town view in Portsmouth NH
iStock/Sean Pavone
Portsmouth, NH
Quality of Life
Liv Score

604
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 77
Demographics 29
Economy 79
Education 66
Health 54
Housing 39
Infrastructure 42
Amenities 62

Why Portsmouth is one of the best cities to live in

First settled in 1623 and incorporated in 1849, Portsmouth, NH, the seaport city along the Piscataqua River, oozes New England charm. As a highly walkable city with great restaurants, fresh seafood, beautiful architecture, historic attractions, boutique shopping and a thriving arts scene, Portsmouth is a popular stop for visitors. For residents, the outstanding quality of life makes it one of the best places to live in the U.S. 

With a technologically savvy and highly educated workforce (more than 55% of the adult population has at least a bachelor’s degree), it’s no wonder Portsmouth enjoys a strong economy. In addition to being a regional high-tech hub, Portsmouth is a major transportation center with the only deep-water port in New Hampshire. The city also enjoys a low crime rate, a strong K-12 school system and easy access to Boston. Plus, those gorgeous harbor views make Portsmouth a great place to drop anchor.

What are Portsmouth’s major industries and employers?

Transportation, hospitality, technology and services are the area’s most prominent industry drivers. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Portsmouth Regional Hospital are among the largest employers.

What are the major colleges and universities in Portsmouth?

Great Bay Community College

What is the weather like in Portsmouth? 

From April through October, the weather is typically mild. However, winters can be particularly cold with the wind whipping off the water and annual snowfall totals in the range of 50 to 60 inches.

What is there to do outside in Portsmouth?

Don’t let all that water go to waste. Enjoy a harbor cruise through a professional service, or take your own boat out for a spin. Public docking space is available at Prescott Park. If you prefer to stay on land, soak in both the waterfront views and gorgeous flowers in the park.

Portsmouth, NH is Remote-Ready

What makes Portsmouth a great place for remote workers?

Although the average living costs are above the national average in Portsmouth, the average income is also much higher. Though it does not offer relocation or remote work incentives, residents of Portsmouth have good access to the internet across the board, and there are lots of coworking spaces around town. It’s also a beautiful place to live with many outdoor and indoor work and play options.

What Locals Love in Portsmouth, NH

What is the best local bookstore in Portsmouth?

Eat, drink, read, repeat is the theme of Portsmouth Book & Bar, where all your favorite things are under one roof. Located downtown in Portsmouth’s historic Customs House, Book & Bar features a curated selection of titles, a cafe, a coffee shop, a bar and live entertainment. 

How do you spend a weekend in Portsmouth?

Step back in time at Strawbery Banke Museum, an outdoor historical compound on the waterfront with 32 homes and businesses, the earliest dating to 1695. Role players, traditional craftspeople and interpreters help bring 300 years of the Puddle Dock neighborhood to life.

What can you do for free in Portsmouth?

Take a self-guided tour of the Black Heritage Trail NH by following the downloadable map featuring 24 sites. Enhance the experience with an audio tour on your smartphone by downloading the free Geotourist app.

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in Portsmouth?

In an old plumbing warehouse in Portsmouth’s West End, you’ll find a lively group of folks sipping delicious brews and swapping stories. After all, what else would you expect at Liars Bench Beer Co.? This nanobrewery, taproom and Biergarten features a fun menu and communal tables that keep the taps and tales flowing into the evening.

What’s something only locals know about Portsmouth? 

Shop ‘til you drop. There’s no sales tax in New Hampshire. 

Is Portsmouth, NH a good place to live?

A strong economy paired with a fantastic arts scene and an outstanding quality of life makes Portsmouth a best place to live in New Hampshire.

Thinking of Moving to Portsmouth?

What is the Portsmouth, NH Real Estate Market Like?

Right on the coast of New Hampshire, about 45 minutes south of Portland, ME, and an hour north of Boston, MA, Portsmouth is known for its historic charm, inviting atmosphere, and healthy real estate market. The tight inventory of Portsmouth, NH real estate is driving prices up, so a home for sale in Portsmouth, NH, has increased to a median sale price of $659K. The supply is almost evenly split between single-detached homes and condos, with most properties listed in the downtown area, particularly around Middle Street. The homes are typically three to four-bedroom, wood-siding antiques, while condos range between conversions and new builds, many of them riverfront. For additional details, contact a local eXp real estate agent

Quick Facts About Portsmouth, NH

Average Commute
20.3
Median Home Value
$659,876
Med. Household Income
$78,712
Total Population
21,418
Walk Score
45
Median Property Tax
$6,765

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