Dog Friendly New England town Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I love quaint New England towns, especially around the holidays.  They always decorate so beautifully, it makes me think of a Charles Dickens story.  Portsmouth, New Hampshire is no exception!  It is a quaint and wonderful New England town, and it's dog friendly!

Dog Friendly Portsmouth New Hampshire is a great New England getaway.  Bring the dogs along for a fun holiday!
With Icy and Phoebe on the water-front in Portsmouth, NH along the Piscataqua River

People are often confused as to what "New England" actually is.  New England doesn't refer to any one state in the U.S., it is actually an area of the Northeastern United States that's comprised of 6 different states; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.  New England is well known for it's historic past, it's quaint old world look and feel, and it's many shipping ports.

Dog friendly New England town, Portsmouth New Hampshire.  Great getaway with the dogs!  Pet travel, Pet friendly, Travel with dogs
The town square, known as Market Square in downtown Portsmouth.  I love all the unique shops and restaurants in this area!

The New England region was one of the first English settlements in America after the Pilgrims arrived in 1620.  These early settlers came first in search of religious freedom, and evolved to have ambitions of independence from the British Crown of England.  

America's Declaration of Independence was eventually signed in 1776 in Pennsylvania, which is not part of New England.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence came from New England states, as well as Pennsylvania and other states.  They all gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the signing.

One of the things I love about New Hampshire is their state motto, celebrating the spirit of freedom:  LIVE FREE OR DIE  You'll see this motto all around New Hampshire on their license plates, on t-shirts, and on merchandise of all kinds.  The full original saying was "Live Free Or Die: Death Is Not The Worst Of Evils" coined by American Revolutionary War General, John Stark.   You can read more about the origin of this motto in a Wikipedia post on Live Free Or Die.

Of course, our favorite part of the trip was finding dog friendly parks and shops to visit!  At first I was getting worried. As we walked through town looking for a park to take the dogs to, we passed a seriously UN-friendly park with No Dogs Allowed signs like every 3 feet!  I thought, Oh great, another town that hates dogs.  I should have had more faith....

Just a little further was a fabulous dog friendly park called Haven Park!  You can even let your dog off leash as long as they remain under "voice control" at all times.  It's a good size park, perfect for a romp with the dog.  It overlooks a lovely lake, too.  There is also a secured dog park on the other side of the road behind a kids playground if you prefer a secure off leash park.

The lake that runs in front of dog friendly Haven Park

Haven Park, a Dog friendly park in Portsmouth New Hampshire.  Dog friendly New England town, Dog friendly parks, dogs allowed
Icy standing near a Statue in dog friendly Haven park

How fitting that this park is located on a street called Pleasant Street.  'Cause it's always so pleasant when you come upon a dog friendly park when visiting a new place, isn't it?!

Even Better than Haven Park though, was our walk across the WWI Memorial Bridge into Kittery, Maine!  In downtown Portsmouth the memorial bridge crosses over right into the state of Maine - how cool is that?  Just a walk across a bridge and you're in the next state.  The best part was that we could bring the dogs with us as we walked across the bridge, so we had to take a side trip to Maine!  

The bridge crossing was a great walk with the dogs.  It was great exercise for all of us and the view was terrific.  To our delight, on the other side was John Paul Jones memorial park, which allows dogs.  It's a small park, but we loved walking around in it and taking photos with the dogs.  The park honors American Revolutionary War Naval Hero, John Paul Jones.   The sculpture depicts John Paul Jones and commemorates the site near where the U.S.S. Ranger was build and launched in 1777.

John Paul Jones memorial in Kittery Maine is in a dog friendly park.  Dogs welcome
A beautiful monument in John Paul Jones park, located just past the bridge on the Maine side of the bridge in Kittery. 

We stopped at the foot of the bridge, on the Maine side, to have some coffee & hot chocolate at a wonderful little cafe called Kate's Bakery & Cafe.  They had some tables in the back overlooking the Piscataqua river, which was perfect for us and the dogs.  We really enjoyed our little journey into Maine!

Phoebe posing on the flip side of the memorial in John Paul Jones Memorial Park, Kittery, Maine.  This crest depicts Maine's Coat of Arms. The arms shows a Shield, Pine Tree, and a Moose-Deer at the foot of it.

OK, ready for New England quaintness overload?   The streets of Portsmouth have lots of brick and cobblestone walkways that run past unique and wonderful shops and restaurants.  I loved popping in and out of all the wonderful shops - I love to shop for unique items!

Portsmouth New Hampshire is a quaint New England town that is very dog friendly.  Several Dog friendly shops allow dogs inside.  Haven Park is a dog friendly park on Pleasant St.
I loved exploring all the unique little shops around Portsmouth

Every shop has beautiful holiday decorations both inside and out.  Window boxes, flower pots, and urns are filled with holiday greenery and/or lights.  It's so festive!!

Lovely Holiday decorations at quaint shops in Portsmouth New Hampshire

I had to photograph a couple of these store decorations, they were just so pretty.  There are lots of white birch trees in that area and many people incorporated birch tree branches in their decorating.  It looks gorgeous.

Shops in Portsmouth, NH decorate beautifully for the holidays

There are a lot of great places to eat around downtown Portsmouth.  We loved breakfast at the hip, funky eatery, The Friendly Toast.   It's such a cool place & the food was great.

The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth New Hampshire is a funky, hip restaurant w/ great food!
The Friendly Toast, a hip funky restaurant in downtown Portsmouth, NH

For a more traditional looking restaurant we loved the British Beer Company.  It has a wonderful traditional look and feel and great food!  I had a delicious Beef Wellington, one of my faves.

The British Beer Company is a traditional restaurant & pub with great food!  Try the Beef Wellington, delish!
The British Beer Company restaurant in Portsmouth, NH

In the center of any quaint New England town there must be a church with a beautiful tall steeple!  North Church is a historic church located in Market Square in downtown Portsmouth.

Beautiful, historic North Church in Portsmouth New Hampshire.  Quaint New England town
The holiday tree in Market Square, Portsmouth NH.  You can see North Church in the background.

Below is North Church lit up.  It's really beautiful, especially at night.  We were disappointed we couldn't see the inside, the doors were locked at the time.

North Church, lit up at night in downtown Portsmouth New Hampshire, New England USA

With or without pets, and in any season, Portsmouth New Hampshire is a great getaway!  We really had fun and will definitely go back again and again.

If you enjoyed this post, you'll probably enjoy this one too: Looking For Pet Friendly Vacation Spots?

Have you ever been to Portsmouth NH?  Tell us about it in the comments, you know how much we LOVE hearing from you!


Anita Aurit said...

Our female human said she'd love to visit this town, shop and then have a cozy dinner at the British Beer Company. That's fine with us as long as she isn't gone too long or expects us to come with her! We are not traveling cats! She also said maybe she should think about adopting a dog so she'd have a canine traveling companion. The Tribe of Five is not amused!
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Tucker, Alpha of the Tribe of Five

Tenacious Little Terrier said...

It's always nice to find parks where the dogs can romp! Especially after passing through so many unfriendly ones. Haven't been to New England with the pup yet but want to.

DawgBlogger said...

Does look like a great get away. Stylish, quiet, lots of places to walk ...

Jessica @ said...

Thanks for the explanation. I've never been back east (Well, New York City but I don't think that counts?) but want to. I admit I didn't understand what "New England" was but it makes sense. Different reason for the name but it's kind of like the "Pacific Northwest" - it comprises several states.

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

I love New England! I've never been to Portsmouth, but your post makes me want to visit. We're lucky that New England is easy for us to get to.

M. K. Clinton said...

New England is one part of the US that we haven’t visited. We definitely plan on it. Thanks for taking us on your adventure. It’s just lovely!

Anonymous said...

I visited here years ago, before I had a dog. I loved Strawbery Banke. If I saw a no dogs sign in a park ... I think I wouldn't see the 'no dogs' sign in the park. That's crazy. Glad you had a good time.

Sonja of MontecristoTravels said...

Gosh I miss walking around a new town and discovering it's history and admiring its architecture and such. It's so cold out now that roaming is going to have to wait... hoping for a few days where it is warmer and I can at least go snow shoeing. Great review. We haven't explored the US much so far. Wasn't sure... were the restaurants pet friendly?

Life with Dogs and Cats said...

A dog park with a lake! Sounds pawsome! Wish we lived closer...
—Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

Anonymous said...

I've always loved New England, but haven't visited in years. I'd love to go back with my husband and my dog, so I'm glad to hear about the many pet-friendly options.

Impurrfectlife said...

I've never been to New Hampshire however have been to Connecticut when I got married. I love the charm of quaint northeastern towns. Such a relaxed vibe .

M Dawson said...

OOOH New Englan AND SHOPPING. I am so ready for a visit!!!!

What a lovely pot and I am so jealous!! OK maybe not about the cold as it's C26 here at the moment and I do not want to relinquish my warmth. Phoebe is such a little star isn't so and how well she poses!

Marjorie and the Dash Kitten Crew

Irene McHugh @ said...

I feel like I've traveled to Portsmith NH now! Your photo collection is fantastic and thorough! I love how much you learn as you walk with Icy and Phoebe. That part of the country is truly rich with history. Thank you for sharing all of the information and pictures. I haven't been to New England since I was a kid and we visited Maine and Vermont. I remember all of the historic markers everywhere. In every little town. I thought that was so cool. Like the town had been around forever!

DogLoversOnVespas said...

Love, love, love. Sounds very much like Mt. Desert Island in Maine, home to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, one of the few that welcome dogs. Must try Portsmouth!

DogLoversOnVespas said...

New England is the most wonderful place to travel with dogs. Love it there.

Sweet Purrfections said...

We saw some of these photos on one of the other social media places and commented on how much we didn't like the cold. It looks like a wonderful place to visit, but we think we'll stay here where it's a little warmer.

Sadie said...

I would love to visit New England one day. Especially, now that I know it is dog-friendly! I enjoyed reading about the history of the area.

Animal Lover Amelia said...

I used to live in Massachusetts but was working too much to make it to New Hampshire. Your pictures really capture the culture of Portsmouth. Since the town is dog-friendly, I will be putting it on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

You always find the best places to visit. I hope to see this for myself. I love New England.

Unknown said...

How beautiful! It is so gorgeous there. I would love to visit and take our crew there!

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