Car Hire at Portsmouth Airport
This information is correct as of July 2015
An elegant river town, Portsmouth makes a charming destination, with its historical centre set with tree-lined streets and colonial buildings. Its many restaurants and cafes have a youthful energy, with numerous museums and historic houses allowing you to get a glimpse of the past. This working port town has an important maritime reputation, which allows for great boating and cruising opportunities.
Where to hire a car at Portsmouth Airport
Upon arriving in Portsmouth International Airport at Pease, tourists will find plenty of transport options to get to the city. Car rental is something to consider, but there is no company currently offering their services at the airport. You will have to look for car rental operators in the city, which you can research before you depart for Portsmouth. This way, you can arrange for a car to be brought over to the airport on the day of your arrival.
When negotiating with car operators, you should not just think of the rates, but also about the type of car you should rent. Other than the different models, you should also consider the way the car operates. If you are used to a manual transmission, you can enquire about one. You will probably have to pay for higher rates, though. Check with the rental company to find out about documents and other requirements, which vary from state to state. An International Driver's Permit (IDP) might also be necessary.
What to expect when hiring a car from Portsmouth Airport
There are a number of side routes separating Portsmouth Airport from the main road, which allows you to manoeuvre carefully to your destination. Exeter Street, New Hamphire Avenue, Grafton Road, and Newington Street connect to US-4, NH-16, and NH-33. It is relatively less crowded on the side roads than on the last three routes, which are main roads. You can venture to different communities from here, though, such as Newington, North Hampton, Stratham, Newfields, Newmarket, and Durham, among a few. The airport is also near the border with Maine, which puts it close to Kittery, Eliot, York, York Cliffs, Balt Head, Dover, and many others. It also lies near the border with Massachusetts. Before going to this part of the country, be sure to enquire with your provider if you are allowed to drive across state lines.
There are a number of toll roads in New Hampshire, such as Hooksett Toll Plaza, Bedford Toll Plaza, Merrimack Toll Plaza, and more. You should prepare enough money for these toll roads, so you can use them when venturing to different parts of the state. Congestion charges are not generally applicable here, though, but you should still allot some amount, just in case there are additional fees to pay here.
One-way roads are sometimes common in old towns and communities. There are also some parts of the cities in the area, which has one-way systems, so stick to the main routes if you can. If you need to use them, better have a detailed map or a GPS device, so you can navigate along the way. Cyclists are also active in the area, especially around the rural parts of the state. Be sure to watch out for them and other motorists to keep safe on the road. If you need to refuel, you will find a Mobil station near the shopping complexes, The Crossings and The Mall at Fox Run. Several other gas stations can be found in the city, which makes it relatively easy to increase the amount of gas your car has.
Driving around Portsmouth Airport
To get to Portsmouth proper, take New Hampshire Ave and Grafton Rd to NH-33 E/Greenland Rd. Continue on NH-33 E to Summer St and then turn left onto Summer St to drive to your destination. From here, you can look for parking in Daniel St (starting at Chapel St through to Market Square), Bow St (Chapel St to Market St), Congress St (Market Square to Chestnut St), Pleasant St (Court St to Market Square), and Market St (Moffatt-Ladd House to Market Square). Other establishments also offer parking spaces, so be sure to enquire around for additional spots.
Be sure to remember the general driving rules, though, such as driving on the right-hand side of the road. Take additional care when pulling out of junctions, one-way streets, and roundabouts. Remember to look first to the left when crossing. If you want to turn left at a junction, you must pass in front of a car turning left coming from the opposite direction.
Getting to your destination
There are various places to visit from Portsmouth. Some of them are:
At the mouth of Merrimack River is Newburyport, a town in Massachusetts that prospered in shipping and silversmithing during the late 18th century. You will find here brick buildings and churches, as well as the barrier Plum Island, a national wildlife refuge with some of the best bird-watching opportunities in New England. Other attractions include Custom House Maritime Museum and Cushing House Museum and Garden.
Get on I-95 S from New Hampshire Ave and Grafton Rd. Follow I-95 S to MA-110 E/Macy St in Amesbury. Take exit 58 from I-95 S and then take Merrill St and Merrimac St to Atkinson St in Newburyport. Parking can be found in several establishments, with the trip lasting nearly 30 minutes. Tolls will also have to be paid along the way. This city lies across the state from Portsmouth, though, so be sure to ask if venturing to this part of Massachusetts is allowed.
The capital of New Hampshire, this city has a wide Main St dominated by the striking State House. Its granite-hewed structure is one of the most iconic landmarks in the state. You will also see here the Canterbury Shaker Village and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Centre.
To get here, get on I-95 S from New Hampshire Ave and Grafton Rd and then take Rte 101 W and I-93 N to Loudon Rd in Concord. Take exit 14 from I-93 N and then continue on Loudon Rd to reach Centre St. The trip can last around an hour, with tolls on the way. Parking can be found in different parts of the city, as well.
Once home to the world's largest textile mill, Manchester is an intriguing town lying by the sides of the river. You will find here the Millyard Museum, the Currier Museum of Art, and the SEE Science Centre.
Start from I-95 S from New Hampshire Ave and Grafton Rd and then take Rte 101 W to Wellington Rd in Manchester. Take exit 8 from I-93 N and then drive to Bridge St. Toll roads will be passed through, with parking available in different establishments and streets. You can reach this town in 50 minutes, if traffic conditions are good.