Things To Do In Portsmouth

Select Local Merchants

Paintballers sprint, strafe, and army-crawl across Birch Hill Paintball's battlefields, seeking refuge behind overturned barrels or inflated edifices as they seek out opponents. The venue features four distinct battlegrounds, letting players outflank adversaries in an urban setting, skulk stealthily through a sandy junkyard, or obscure themselves behind the trees, fences, and elephantine ant hills of a wooded battlefield. Players without their own paintball guns and other munitions can rent all necessary gear directly from Birch Hill, which hosts simulated warfare on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

76 Birch Hill Rd
York,
ME
US

Paramotor Tours sends adventurers skyward on the wings of motor-powered paragliders. Nationally certified pilots adhere strictly to FAA safety regulations as they strap in for tandem flights, lifting thrill seekers to heights of up to 8,000 feet. To help ensure smooth takeoffs and landings, each glider boasts several safety features, including reserve parachutes, GPS navigation, and a pause button. Adventurers who wish to pilot their own glider can sign up for a solo-flying course, available on select days.

Rte. 1
North Hampton,
NH
US

When they hear the churning Atlantic surf lapping at the edge of the store, located directly across the beach in Rye, just outside the metro area, the trained staffers at Summer Sessions don't just hear the ocean—they hear the call to adventure. To that end, they equip customers with wave-taming equipment ranging from surf- and skimboards to standup paddleboards. They purchase new boards from Rusty, Riviera, and Costa Rican Customs and wetsuits from Rip Curl and O'Neill each season, ensuring that customers can learn using their own gear. In addition to housing a coffee shop and convenience store, Summer Sessions also maintains a stable of rental boards and, on special demo nights, lets visitors test out its stock of boards to find a fit from varied lengths and styles.

The team members' commitment doesn't end with gear. They also help new beach-goers ride their first waves, guiding students of all skill levels into the water to teach basic surfing or paddling mechanics. Coaches also lead camps for children and adults and always maintain a ratio of one teacher to every five students to allow proper individual instruction.

2281 Ocean Boulevard
Rye,
NH
US

Al Gauron Deep Sea Fishing & Whale Watching’s three boats ferry up to 60 passengers out into the Atlantic’s cobalt waters during fishing excursions, and up to 150 while whale-watching. The fleet also escorts passengers across the ocean on evening fireworks cruises.

Al Gauron’s sea-seasoned team takes fishermen miles offshore on 2-, 4-, and 8.5-hour deep-sea fishing trips that have yielded fish up to 20 pounds in the past. Anglers have even been known to catch up to 100 mackerel on four-hour trips. The fleet can also make 12-hour fishing-marathon trips in order to give anglers a chance to fish in waters that are farther out.

For close encounters with humpbacks, finbacks, minke whales, and giant sharks, the ships sail up to 40 miles offshore on five-hour whale-watching trips. All information the crew gathers from the whales, such as pod size and each whale’s sweater size, is given to the Blue Ocean Society in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

1 Ocean Boulevard
Hampton Beach,
NH
US

For the past several decades, Bowl-O-Rama has been carefully tended to by the Genimatas family. Over its history, the alley has retained much of its original 1950s charm but, as co-owner Dale Genimatas says, "We are always updating and doing new things." Dale operates the alley with her husband and sister-in-law, who she says have been involved with Bowl-O-Rama their entire lives. Dale began working at the facility in 1979 and has since seen it grow to include a total of 28 candlepin lanes, computerized scoring systems, and a food-and-beverage kitchen where chefs bake hand-tossed pizzas and appetizers that include chicken tenders and cheese sticks. Throughout the year, the family hosts open-bowling hours and special events, closing only on Christmas Day to let the pins celebrate with their families. With each weekend comes the return of cosmic glow bowling, and each year brings annual fundraisers such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl-A-Thon. "It's a very electric environment," says Dale, reflecting on the scores of players and benefactors that come together each year to support the organization.

599 Lafayette Rd
Portsmouth,
NH
US

Jody and Bjorn Turnquist opened 3 Bridges Yoga with the philosophy that yoga should warmly embrace practitioners of all skill levels. As a result, they offer Vinyasa-style classes for beginners and advanced yogis. The Turnquists and other certified instructors teach postures and breathing techniques in a room heated to 75-80 degrees with lessons that focus on basic postures and alignments in addition to more intensified bending. With sun streaming through expansive windows and spilling out onto cork floors, their studio lends itself to a practice more peaceful than swimming through a pool of warm chamomile tea.

185 High St
Portsmouth,
NH
US