Strawbery Banke, a living museum set in downtown Portsmouth, is a great way to learn about the city while strolling around the beautifully manicured 10 acre grounds. The costumed, in-character staff will provide you with the history of the area and facts about the 32 historic building and 3,000+ artifacts to be found museum property. They do a great job of making the connection between the houses and the people who lived in them – providing details on daily life. While the houses are closed during the winter and the guides aren’t around, you can still stroll around the grounds for free. There’s also an outdoor skating rink on the quaintly named Puddle Duck Pond during the winter months.
There’s also a tasty café on site serving up pastries and breakfast wraps – a nice option if you want to grab a snack and find a seat in the gardens. It usually takes a couple hours to take in the museum, but tickets are good for two days if you want to spread out your visit.