Gossport Harbor, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers a beautiful and secluded harbor just off the coastline.

Gossport Harbor, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire


Gossport is one on a very short list of harbors on the New England coast where one can watch the sun set over the water or very close to the water. It’s also remarkably peaceful because it’s off on its own, about 10 miles due east of the short New Hampshire coastline.

Gossport is shielded on three sides by the Isles of Shoals, so named for the schools of fish that made it a popular place for early Nova Scotian fishermen. We’ve found the harbor to be unique in that it gives the feelings of solitude and serenity of the open sea combined with the security of hanging on a mooring for the night. It’s also the scene of the locally famous 19th-century Smuttynose Island axe murders, which have become better known in the last few years via Anita Shreve’s novel, The Weight of Water. The islands are mostly private and not much more developed than they were at the time of the famous incident. Gossport Harbor doesn’t offer dining or drinking or entertainment, so bring your own fare and good company. But if you’re looking for a quiet, beautiful, and unusual spot to spend the night, this is the place.

Glenn Dill is from Plymouth, Massachusetts.