Things To Do in Dover and Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Discover all the charming things to do in Dover, New Hampshire! Whether you have a few days or a few hours to spare, we can help you make the most of your time in seacoast New Hampshire. Allow yourself to become enveloped in a distinct Dover style during your stay at The Garrison Hotel, a new boutique hotel with an upscale sensibility and roots in local history. Center yourself amongst New Hampshire beaches, the historic town of Dover, and vibrant Portsmouth history. 

Within the lobby of our hotel is an exhibit of artifacts on loan from the Woodman Institute, an engaging museum within New Hampshire’s oldest intact garrison house. Engage with the power of the past during your stay in our cozy rooms and let us recommend our favorite things to do in Dover.

Fall Foliage

Seasonal Events

There’s nothing more beautiful than Dover during foliage season in the fall, with bright oranges and reds brightening up sidewalks. Another one of our favorite events is the Dover Art Walk, a display of local art on the first Friday of every month.

Join us on the Fourth of July, Apple Harvest Day, and University of New Hampshire homecoming weekends for celebrations that attract locals and tourists alike! 

Prescott Park NH

History and Culture

Dover is less than a 20-minute drive to downtown Portsmouth, a carefully-preserved port city with guided and self-guided walking tours through historic homes. Step back in time along cobblestone streets and discover a variety of tours! Other points of interest:

  • Woodman Museum: Discover the local history of Dover through art, natural science, and artifacts dating back centuries.
  • Children’s Museum: Indulge your child’s curiosity with hands-on science demonstrations, a STEAM innovation lab, dinosaur fossils, and glowing cave paintings to try.
  • Strawbery Banke Museum: Nestled in the heart of downtown is 300 years of history, a historic museum that was once Portsmouth’s busiest neighborhood.
Microphone

Arts and Entertainment

Experience the Portsmouth and Dover cultural scene, from the centuries old to the more contemporary side.

  • The Music Hall: Showcasing plays, dance, music, and films, this historic Victorian theater always has an exciting show at the box office.
  • Rochester Opera House: This historic opera house presents concerts and performances by international and local artists.
  • 3S Artspace: Discover contemporary exhibitions, an independent film program, and one of the best places to see a concert in Portsmouth.
  • Prescott Park: Don’t miss Prescott’s Park’s dynamic shows, including music, outdoor movies, and other summer events.
Prescott Park NH Gardens

Outdoor Activities

Experience Portsmouth's outdoors, some of the most fantastic settings for an evening sail or bike ride.

  • The Stone Church: An intimate live music and entertainment venue, beer garden, and restaurant set in an 1832 meeting house.
  • Gundalow Company: Charter a private or public boat and sail along the Piscataqua River for a unique way to see Portsmouth.
  • Portsmouth Harbor Cruises: The best way to learn Seacoast history is aboard a Harbor, Evening, or Sunset cruise along the Piscataqua River!
  • Port City Bike Tours: All-inclusive guided tours that will take you all over Portsmouth and the Seacoast.
A Night Out in Portsmouth and Dover

Group Tours & Activities

  • LaBelle Winery: Sample local wines, learn about wine blending, and bring home some artisanal goods to remember your tasting at LaBelle.
  • Portsmouth Board & Brush: Create DIY rustic wood signs with your friends and leave the mess behind at this New Hampshire studio.
  • Granite State Growler Tours: Take a one-of-a-kind craft brewery tour through some of the area’s top brew spots.
Children at the Beach

Kid-Friendly Activities

Choose an activity that’s fun for the whole family!

  • Hilltop Fun Center: An entertainment center featuring mini-golf, Go Karts, laser tag, batting cages, 28' rock wall, 22' extreme air bungee jumpers, and more!
  • Dover Bowl: Host a corporate event or a fun family night out with multiple bowling lanes, laser tag, arcade games, a full bar, and more!
  • Blitz Air Park: Kids can literally bounce off the walls at this indoor trampoline park! Stick around for arcade games, ping pong, and pick-up basketball.
  • Regal Cinemas Fox Run: Theater complex with multiple screens featuring new release films, plush seating, and concessions.
Family

Family Day Trips

  • Seacoast Science Center: Located in Odiorne Point State Park, this non-profit marine science education organization provides year-round marine education programs and exhibits for families.
  • Water Country: New England’s largest, cleanest, and friendliest waterpark has a full day of fun rides and slides, waves and pools for everyone!
  • York’s Wild Kingdom: This family-oriented zoo and amusement park has everything, including a feeding section, petting area, deer encounter area, an 18-hole mini golf course, batting cages, and a large arcade.
Golf Green

Golfing in New Hampshire

Breathe in the fresh air and indulge in some of our top recommended things to do in Dover and Portsmouth!

  • Pease Golf Course: 27 entertaining holes and a unique golfing experience with a close proximity to the Pease runway.
  • The Links at Outlook: ‘Golf in the Scottish tradition’ at this course in Berwick.
  • The Oaks: An award-winning golf course located in Somersworth, but renowned in the state.
Shopping

Shopping

Whether you’re shopping for antiques, luxury goods, or the latest trends, downtown Portsmouth hosts a variety of stores to shop to your heart’s content. Delight in excellent deals and historic Portsmouth’s secret shopping hub! Hunting for a souvenir is just another fun thing to do in Dover, New Hampshire!

Sports Fans Cheering

Local Sports

Come be a part of the roar of the crowd! Cheer on Wildcats football, one of many Division I varsity teams at the University of New Hampshire.

In town for a hockey tournament or summer clinic? The Garrison Hotel is just 6 minutes from Dover Ice Arena.