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The World War I Memorial Bridge is one of three that span the Piscataqua River into Badger’s Island and Kittery, Maine. At night, it puts on a spectacular light show that can be seen from multiple spots in the city.

Snapshot Travel Guide: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

For all its longitudinal eastern border, New Hampshire doesn't boast a long coastline. Portsmouth provides a granite-solid argument for why NOT to overlook one of New England's most charming harbor towns.

Northeastern seaport cities are often thought to be among the oldest in the United States, even though most don’t crack the top ten. But what they lack in vintage, they more than make up for in charisma, thanks to an idiosyncratic mix of salt-spiked air, jagged coastline, stately architecture, and rough-and-tumble attitude.

Case in point: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, one of the East’s busiest ports right up through the 1800s, when railroads supplanted the sea as the main mode of travel. Located about halfway between the North Shore of Boston and Portland, Maine, it shares a resemblance with both areas—but has managed to stay just beneath the radar of most Northeastern beach seekers. In the winter, when you’re more likely to see residents than travelers out and about, it’s even more refreshingly laid-back.

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