Portsmouth is located near the mouth of the Piscataqua River, which divides New Hampshire and Maine. Although a small city, it has a decidedly cosmopolitan feel to it because of its many diverse restaurants, the working harbor, museums and performing arts scene.
Downtown Portsmouth boasts no fewer than 20 dog-friendly restaurants! One of the most unique is Street, which is, as they say on their menu,” …All Over the Map,” featuring street food from places such as Korea, Mexico, Cuba, and Thailand. All dishes can be served with interesting add-ons like Seared White Fish, Fried Egg or Avocado. Your canine companion is welcome in their outside seating area.
If you’re looking for a park where your pup can roam free, check out Haven Park, Langdon Park, or the Great Bog. They each have their special charm, and are sure to please your adventurous pup!
If you are just passing through Portsmouth, try out one of its dog-friendly hotels for you and your furry friend. The Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel features stunning views of the Piscataqua River from many of the rooms, and they would love to have your dog stay with you for a small additional fee. They will even provide a Sheraton/ Sweet Sleeper Dog Bed for Fido’s comfort. Another pet-friendly hotel in the area is the Residence Inn Downtown Waterfront. Featuring elegant suites and junior suites, the accommodations provide plenty of space for your fur-baby to relax with you. Two dogs can sleep over for a larger fee.
The Richards Avenue neighborhood provides access to the South Mill Pond Dog Park in a section of the South Mill Pond, with access via Parrott Avenue. This fenced, double-gate-enclosured park features hurdles and other agility training equipment for your dog to try. There are benches for the humans, and a water station for the dogs. The dog park features an off-leash area near the pond that is not fenced, but provides a refreshing break for hard-playing pets. The South Playground and Leary Athletic Field are part of South Mill Pond, so there are plenty of activities for the rest of the family as well. Dogs are limited to the dog park.
Downtown Portsmouth is a vibrant, busy neighborhood of businesses, restaurants, theaters and museums. What sets this section of the city apart from the other neighborhoods are the many dog-friendly restaurants found here. The District is an extraordinary dining experience featuring gourmet items made with locally farmed and fished ingredients. Their mouth-watering appetizers, entrees and desserts, served in the dog-friendly outdoor patio, will please everyone, including your Furry Bestie. Also try the BRGR Bar, which is definitely not your ordinary burger joint. The staff seem to especially enjoy seeing dogs at this corner bistro that serves gourmet burgers and “adult” milkshakes like The B52. Lots of pats and bowls of water make this a great place to stop for refreshment. State Street Saloon is a casual pub with an outdoor fenced patio for folks with fur-buddies in tow. This spot is perfect for a cold one for you, and a bowl of water and a treat for him!
The Southend Pipeline neighborhood is home to Four Trees Island, which is accessible by a causeway from Peirce Island. This is a totally off-leash island that features 12 picnic areas complete with BBQs, picnic tables and shelters. From late spring to early fall, restrooms are also available. With lots of grass-covered play space, and views of the Piscataqua River and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, this could soon be a favorite for pups and their owners. If you like to dine in a mainstream setting, try Geno’s Chowder and Sandwich Shop nearby. Dogs are welcome to join their humans at the outdoor picnic table. Geno’s specializes in seafood, but you can also get chicken salad, hot dogs, beer and wine.
The Islington Creek neighborhood shares Goodwin Park with the Goodwin Park neighborhood. Goodwin Park is one of the off-leash parks in Portsmouth, and is a popular site for history buffs as well. The circular park is divided into 6 segments by walkways that lead inward to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, which commemorates the men from Portsmouth who fought and died during the Civil War. Humans may be interested in the monument, but doggoes are interested in the walking part, and the grassy areas between the sidewalks. When thoughts turn to food, Islington Creek is home to La Maison Navarre, a French-style pastry shop with outdoor tables for sharing with your furry friend. This “Patisserie Francaise” features macarons, crepes, tarts, and ice cream, along with coffee, tea or a cold drink. Bone appetit!
This neighborhood features access to the Sagamore Creek Headlands, 10 acres of park land that juts into the Sagamore Creek estuary. Only 1.5 miles from Downtown Portsmouth, the Headlands provide a respite from the heavily populated seacoast of New Hampshire. Its diverse waterfowl, birds and other wildlife make it popular with kayakers and birdwatchers. A walking trail that meanders among woodlands, tidal marsh and rocky ledges offers great views of the creek, and is an ideal place to walk with your favorite canine companion. The Headlands are located near city-owned open space for more boisterous play, and the state’s Urban Forestry Center is a worthy destination for the conservation-minded among us. Because of the population density of the surrounding areas, the presence of this serene setting is remarkable. Dogs must be leashed within the park.