Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located on an active military facility, U.S. Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor. The official street address for Station Portsmouth Harbor is 25 Wentworth Road, New Castle, New Hampshire. When visiting the station please adhere to any posted regulations.
The pedestrian gate to U.S. Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor is open most days from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. on Sundays when the lighthouse is open). It may be locked at times due to heightened security or for other reasons. You can call the Coast Guard station to check on the status at 603-436-4415. The lighthouse cannot be seen from the gate to the station. If the station is closed, the best view of the lighthouse is from Great Island Common in New Castle. Click here for a map.
Currently, Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is open for tours and climbing from late May to mid-October, on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. and for other special events. Click here for details.
The best views of Whaleback Lighthouse are from Fort Foster in Kittery, from Great Island Common and Fort Stark in New Castle, NH, and from Odiorne Point in Rye, NH. There is a good distant view of both lighthouses from Fort McClary in Kittery.
Directions to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse from Route 95 North or South: Take Exit 5 (Portsmouth Circle). Follow the signs for the Route 1 Bypass South (Hampton Beaches). Continue on Route 1 Bypass South. At the sixth traffic light (two miles from the traffic circle), turn left (the sign says “To Route 1A”). This is Elwyn Road. Follow for approximately 1.4 miles.
At the end of Elwyn Road, you’ll come to a small traffic circle (rotary). Enter the circle and take the exit for Route 1A North. Follow 1A North (Sagamore Road) for about .4 mile to the intersection with Route 1B (Wentworth Road). Turn right onto Route 1B. There is a sign before the turn saying Route 1B, New Castle. There is also a large building (Bean Group real estate) at the corner of Route 1A (Sagamore Rd.) and Route 1B (Wentworth Rd.).
Follow Route 1B. You will cross a bridge and then pass the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel. Continue on Route 1B. Please note that the speed limit of 20-25 mph is strictly enforced throughout New Castle.
After about 2.2 miles from the turn onto Route 1B, you’ll see signs for U.S. Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor and Fort Constitution. Follow these signs to the right. (Actually, from this direction, you’re going straight as Route 1B turns to the left).
Bear to the right and follow to the parking area (free) for Fort Constitution, on your right just before the gate to the Coast Guard station. Do not drive through the gate onto the Coast Guard station. If the small parking area just before the gate is full, there are two additional public lots available, farther back from the gate.
Walk through the pedestrian gate to the station and follow the blue line to Fort Constitution. As you walk through the station, you can see Whaleback Lighthouse out at the mouth of the Piscataqua River at a distance of about a mile. You’ll also pass Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse’s old fog bell, on display in front of the Coast Guard’s main building.
You can see Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse from the fort at a distance of approximately 200-300 feet. During open houses and pre-arranged tours, you are allowed to walk to the lighthouse.
From the west: Take Route 101 East to 95 North. Follow directions from Route 95 above.
From downtown Portsmouth: Follow Marcy Street along the waterfront past Prescott Park and follow the signs for Route 1B, New Castle. The Coast Guard station and lighthouse are about 2.5 miles from Prescott Park.