Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, NH Image 1
    Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, NH Image 2

    Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, NH Museums

    The Seacoast area has a lot of history, going back the 1610s, and a number of historic houses, some of which are today museums. There are also other museums and historic sites.

    Maine has relatively few military installations today, but had a lot of forts in the past, some of which are nearby and in some state of preservation. The Fort Foster Historic Site on Gerrish Island, Fort McClary, Fort Stark, and Fort Constitution (also called Fort William and Mary), all coastal defense fortifications defending the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the strategic port, are today open to the public and can be self-toured.

    The Kittery Naval and Historical Museum is a maritime museum with display models, ship's furnishings and tools, antique guns, uniforms, diving gear, and various memorabilia from centuries of New England's military and commercial maritime history.

    The Museums of Old York are living and open air history museums with period-dressed reenactors, in historic houses, from several different points in Maine's history.

    The USS Albacore Museum and Park, in Portsmouth, showcases the revolutionary USS Albacore research submarine vessel, the forerunner of all modern teardrop design subs. The Albacore was constructed at PNS in 1952-1953 and launched from PNS August 1953. The museum gives the history of this unique vessel, and the sub itself is available to tour.

    The American Independence Museum is in Exeter, NH, about 30 minutes south of the shipyard. New Hampshire was the first English colony to establish an independent government, and this museum is all about the American War of Independence, in a main museum, and several historic local houses dating to the Revolution. This is a Blue Star museum, with free admission to active duty service personnel.

    The Portsmouth Athenaeum is a private library and museum with a focus on local and maritime history. Although a membership museum and library, the Athenaeum does have exhibits open to the public. Visitors can examine local art, models, portraits, and other display items.

    Strawbery Banke Museum is a 10 acre outdoor museum with costumed reenactors and activities, and preserved buildings, plants, traditional crafts and tools, period clothing and other items people used for everyday life in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s and up through the middle of the 1900s.

    The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is a recently established museum in Rochester, NH, with a growing collection of art mainly from New England.

    The Children's Museum of New Hampshire, in Dover, is a family oriented, hands-on, project oriented learning museum, with extensive education programming.

    The Woodman Institute Museum is a history museum focusing on Dover and New Hampshire history, but also includes a cabinet of curiosities with an original 13-star flag, Japanese armor, a polar bear, militaria from every US war, and a Napoleonic brass cannon.

    The Seacoast Science Center is an ocean and ocean life museum, with several education programs for varying age groups, and a camp program, and museum events through the year.