DURING THE DAY
This is where you can have fun and save money. New Castle’s pivotal position overlooking both a river and the Atlantic Ocean made it a natural defense point, and the Fort Constitution Historic Site
(Route 1B at the US Coast Guard Station, 603-436-1552)
affords a self-guided walking tour through the ruins of this 1808 outpost, first used during the War of 1812. Also at the site, Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
(adults $4, children age 12 and under $2), just repainted, has Sunday open houses from 1 to 5 p.m. through mid-October, during which you can climb its 48-foot tower for a view enjoyed since the lighthouse was built in 1878. The beacon can be seen 12 miles out to sea, and the place supposedly is haunted (the Syfy channel featured it). If vertical walks are what you prefer, then Great Island Common
(adults 17-65 $3, children 6-16 $1, 5 and under free) offers plenty. Thirty-two acres of seafront green space and beach, it’s open 365 days a year, except to pets, banned from May 15 to Sept. 15. There are grill stanchions, picnic benches, and a playground.
Homebodies staying at the Wentworth can take a dip in the indoor pool, which is open until 11 p.m., or sip and sup in Roosevelt’s Lounge
, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1905 brokered the Treaty of Portsmouth (delegates stayed at the Wentworth), an agreement that ended the Russo-Japanese War and earned him the Nobel Prize for Peace. Also open until 11, the lounge serves salads and sandwiches (each starting at $9), light dinner (starting at $18) and drinks. But why be a landlubber? Portsmouth Harbor Cruises
(64 Ceres St., Portsmouth, www.portsmouthharbor.com/cruises
, 800-776-0915) offers one-hour evening cruises and 1 1/2-hour city-lights-cum-sunset trips, “lightly narrated’’ while you sip your cocktail. Should weather or your own tastes suggest the indoors, there’s the Music Hall
(28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, www.themusichall.org
, 603-436-2400), offering concerts, films, plays, dance, and book events. Late summer and fall offerings include appearances by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, historian Joseph Ellis, Art Garfunkel, and Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti. The hall’s Founders Lobby Lounge
serves coffee, cocktails, and cake Thursdays through Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. till midnight.
Rich Barlow can be reached at email@example.com.
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