You’ve registered for your stay on Star Island this summer and now it’s time to figure out how to get to the dock in Portsmouth. Your GPS is great, and here are our suggestions for travelling to the Portsmouth, NH area and hopping aboard the M/V Thomas Laighton out to Star.
Before we get started though, please note the final destination is 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 – the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company.
If You’re Walking
The best option for those staying in downtown Portsmouth. Simply meander over to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. dock at 315 Market Street. Look both ways when crossing the street.
If You’re Driving
From the North (Maine): Head on down I-95 and use exit 7 once you cross over the bridge into NH. At the end of the ramp (the stop lights), take a left onto Market Street. Go through three sets of lights. Try to be in the left lane by the third light. After this last light, you’ll approach an intersection with a blinking light, take a left into the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. lot at 315 Market Street.
From the South and Points West: Make your way to I-95 and head towards New Hampshire. Taking I-495 through Massachusetts is usually a good option. Once in New Hampshire, take exit 7 (the last exit in NH). At the end of the ramp (the stop lights), take a right onto Market Street. Go through two sets of lights. Try to be in the left lane by the second light. After this last light, you’ll approach an intersection with a blinking light, take a left into the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. lot at 315 Market Street.
Parking: Parking for program guests is provided at the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. lot. Star Island charges guests $16 for each night a car is parked. This charge is added to room and board bills.
If Someone Else is Driving
C&J will take passengers from South Station and Logan Airport in Boston to their terminal in Portsmouth. The C&J Terminal is not walking distance to the dock in Portsmouth. C&J also has a bus that runs directly from New York City to Portsmouth daily. From the bus terminal, you have two options:
Trolley: COAST operates a trolley that can bring people from the C&J bus terminal in Portsmouth closer to the dock. The bus picks people up right at the bus terminal, and after about a 25 minute ride, will stop in Market Square — the center of downtown Portsmouth. The dock is about a five minute walk from Market Square. (Walking directions: take a right when you head off the bus. Take your first left. Walk down this street, crossing over to the right side at any time. Continue past the giant salt piles. The dock will be on your right.)
note the weekday and weekend schedules
Taxi: If you’re staying at a hotel away from the downtown area of Portsmouth, or need a lift from the C&J bus terminal, there are local taxi services available to help you as well as Uber or Lyft. Inform your driver that you are headed to the Thomas Laighton dock, which is 315 Market Street.
If You’re Flying
Portsmouth is between three airports of varying sizes. Boston’s Logan Airport is about 50 miles to the south. Manchester’s Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is about 45 miles to the west. Portland’s International Jetport is about 50 miles to the north.
Where to Stay in Portsmouth
Looking for a hotel to stay in before or after your stay on the island? Click here to find a list by distance from the dock.