- Places to Explore
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Great Bay Estuarine Research Reserve. Just inland from Portsmouth is one of southeastern New Hampshire's most precious assets. Amid its 4,471 acres of tidal waters, mudflats, and about 48 mi of inland shoreline, you can spot blue herons, ospreys, and snowy egrets, particularly during spring and fall migrations. Winter eagles also live here. Portsmouth, NH.
Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The best public access is via the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The facility has year-round interpretive programs, indoor and outdoor exhibits, a library and bookshop, and a 1,700-foot boardwalk as well as other trails through mudflats and upland forest. 89 Depot Rd., off Rte. 33, Greenland, 03840. 603/778-0015. www.greatbay.org. Visitor Center open May-Sept., Wed.-Sun. 10-4; Oct., weekends 10-4; grounds open dawn to dusk year-round.
Prescott Park Art Festival. Picnicking is popular at this waterfront park. A large formal garden with fountains is perfect for whiling away an afternoon. The park contains Point of Graves, Portsmouth's oldest burial ground, and two 17th-century warehouses. Between Strawbery Banke Museum and the Piscataqua River, Portsmouth, NH, 03802. 603/436-2848. www.prescottpark.org.
Prescott Park Arts Festival. It's home to the seasonal Prescott Park Arts Festival, a summer-long packed schedule that kicks off with the Chowder Festival in early June and includes a multitude of concerts, outdoor movies, musical theater, and food festivals. All events are free; bring your beach blanket and chairs to find space on the grass. 603/436-2848. www.prescottpark.org.
Urban Forestry Center. This 180-acre park has gardens and marked trails appropriate for short hikes. 45 Elwyn Rd., Portsmouth, NH, 03801. 603/431-6774. www.nhdfl.org.
Water Country. New Hampshire's largest water park has a river tube ride, large wave pool, white-water rapids, and 12 waterslides. 2300 Lafayette Rd., Portsmouth, NH, 03801. 603/427-1111. www.watercountry.com. $38. Mid-June-Labor Day, hours vary.
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