Weekend in New Hampshire: The Perfect Summer Itinerary

Weekend in New Hampshire: The Perfect Summer Itinerary

The northeast of the USA is an unexpectedly stunning area, among the many better-kept secrets and techniques of this a part of the world. That is the place the flatter coastal plain of the southern shore rises up into among the oldest mountains in North America.

Spend a weekend in New Hampshire and get impressed, not simply by the ocean, the solar, the mountains, and the lakes, however by the lives of the individuals who reside on this adventure-packed state.

On this information, I’ll share the highest locations to go to, issues to do, locations to eat, and the perfect locations to remain in your weekend in New Hampshire.

Introducing New Hampshire

This can be a place to reside free, discover the outside, feast on the freshest seafood and luxuriate in all issues that life has to supply.

The mountainscape right here is inconspicuous while you evaluate it to the dramatic panoramas of the West. Mountain ranges just like the Adirondacks and the White Mountains have been worn down over hundreds of years of abrasion.

They’re rolling and welcoming, however breathtaking in their very own proper, particularly because the emerald greens hues emerge so vibrantly in the summertime months.

The mountains mark the horizon and to some extent the lives of the individuals who reside in and round these hills. The identical glaciers that shaved off mountain tops have additionally carved out sequence of little lakes all all through the northeast.

There’s water in every single place.

It’s a mecca of types for out of doors recreation of every kind. The metropolitan sprawl that spans a lot of the east coast, from Washington DC, to New York and Boston peters out right here.

The air is more energizing and wild locations abound. 

Amidst the northeastern states, New Hampshire is a singular type of place. “Reside Free or Die” are sturdy phrases to reside by and that motto at all times caught with me throughout my journey despite the fact that I knew comparatively little in regards to the state that neighbors my residence of Vermont.

It appears that evidently generally it’s closest to residence that you simply take advantage of stunning discoveries. Listed here are a number of observations and proposals from a phenomenal journey I took to New Hampshire this previous weekend.

Visiting Portsmouth

On the coast within the south of New Hampshire state, Portsmouth is a bustling place within the summertime.

Half hippie, half young-professional, and half vacationers escaping from the summer time warmth within the metropolis, there’s a singular power right here.

There’s a particular buzz of exercise in regards to the place, however the whole lot seems to unfold in a relaxed manner.

The city is on the ocean and a river, so it’s surrounded by water on all sides. The seafood is recent, native and scrumptious. It’s solely a 45-minute drive from Boston, making Portsmouth a comparatively simple place to achieve.

portsmouth new hampshire in a weekend

Issues To Do in and Round Portsmouth

The town boasts many actions for the adventurous traveller, the historical past buff, the foodie and the partier. Portsmouth is a simple getaway from Boston, making it a prime spot for a weekend in New Hampshire. 

1. Go Browsing

Simply 20 minutes south of Portsmouth there’s a spot referred to as Rye and the city has a giant seaside that fills up with folks on a sizzling day.

Within the summertime, the waves are small and rolling, good for a newbie to learn to surf. Within the wintertime, waves get larger, as much as round ten toes and that’s not even mentioning the freezing winter temperatures.

Browsing is a phenomenal solution to be on the water and get related with the weather, no matter being ‘good’ at it and even understanding what you’re doing just a little bit.

I’ve been browsing earlier than farther south, however I used to be simply in a position to get again within the groove of it right here and get in sync with the ocean.

surfing in portsmouth new hampshire

Summer season Classes presents board and wetsuit leases and you too can join a lesson with one in every of their instructors.

Count on extra supervision than the rest, however it could possibly enhance your confidence in case you’re new to browsing.

It’s $60 for an hour lesson, together with a wetsuit (which you will have in these chilly waters) and board rental. Should you get hungry afterward there’s a café in the identical constructing because the board rental with espresso to heat up, plus baked items and smoothies. Meals and drinks vary from $2-$10 for typical café choices.

Surf Sessions

2. Summer season Live performance Collection in Prescott Park

Prescott Park is nestled proper subsequent to the river and minutes from the middle of Portsmouth. There’s a big inexperienced space they usually arrange a stage in the course of the park for a summer time live performance sequence (by donation: $8-$10).

They appeal to some surprisingly big-name artists, so it’s effectively price seeing who’s on the lineup whilst you’re on the town.
I had no thought what to anticipate and I ended up touchdown at a Bela Fleck live performance, one of many prime bluegrass gamers on the planet.

Everybody units up garden chairs all through the park and it’s a magical scene because the solar units and the moon slowly lights up behind the stage.

Folks have been pleasant and right down to earth right here. I ended up chatting with some musicians who had come up from Boston only for this live performance. You by no means know who you possibly can meet in Portsmouth, I suppose.


There’s a concession stand in case you get hungry or you’ll be able to pack a picnic in case you’re into planning forward. Garden chairs are additionally out there to hire, in case you didn’t convey any alongside.

3. Go to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

Simply exterior of the downtown core, on the grounds of the Coast Guard station, you’ll discover the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

You possibly can see it from afar, however a greater thought is to go inside and climb to the highest for spectacular views. You’ll need to go up 44 stairs to the watch room and a 7-rung ladder to the lantern room. Make certain to put on sturdy footwear.

The doorway price is donation-based (it’s beneficial to present $Four for adults and $2 for kids), and entrance relies on a first-come, first-served foundation. Click on right here for particulars. 

weekend in new hampshire portsmouth lighthouse

The place to Eat in Portsmouth

There is no such thing as a scarcity of native, recent meals right here in New Hampshire. And, with Portsmouth being on the coast, seafood is certainly the specialty right here.

Row 34

Row 34 (5 Portsmouth Place – $10-$25is correct within the middle of city. The menus and the design of the place are modern and polished.

They’ve a pleasant $1 oyster particular earlier than 5pm, however they’re additionally one of many few locations open late night time (by New Hampshire requirements that’s).

“Bar open until each time” as their web site places it and this held true because it was the one place nonetheless serving meals after the live performance, at round 9:30pm.

The drink menu stands by itself they usually have all kinds of native, craft beers, cocktails and wine. The servers listed here are pleasant and useful; they obtain a briefing each day about new objects on the menu, in order that they’re educated about all the restaurant’s choices.


The Decks

There are a number of locations to eat in The Decks space (10 Ceres St. – $15-$30 for an entrée) which have seating proper on their decks that overlook the Piscataqua River.

These eating places are on Bow and Ceres Avenue. All of those eating places provide stunning out of doors seating for when the climate is correct.

I ended up consuming on the Outdated Ferry Touchdown, the oldest restaurant in Portsmouth. The restaurant is filled with native seafood choices. There’s fried meals plus some wholesome choices. The service was quick and pleasant.

travel to portsmouth where to eat

The place to Keep in Portsmouth

Martin Hill Inn (Rooms from $207, relying on the season) is a historic place to remain a few ten-minute stroll from the downtown space. There’s a quiet calmness right here that’s so completely different than the expertise you’ll have at a traditional, trendy lodge.

There are gardens surrounding the primary residence and the rooms are organized with quite a lot of consideration to element. The furnishings is vintage and the place has a quaint feeling about it.

The innkeepers serve a full, home-cooked breakfast within the morning between 8:30 and 9:30.

where to stay in portsmouth martin hill inn

The innkeeper informed me he thought the constructing dated again about 200 years, judging by its lack of a entrance door.

He defined that at one level in historical past this was a tactic folks would use to pay fewer taxes, for the reason that constructing can be taxed in a different way provided that it solely had an jap going through entrance, and never one onto the primary road within the entrance of the constructing.

This additionally explains why a few of these buildings have little or no closets since any room that had a door was thought of an additional bed room and taxes would rise accordingly!

martin hill inn where to stay in portsmouth new hamshire

The present innkeepers have been at Martin Hill for two and a half years to date. Apparently, most innkeepers solely final about ten years on this demanding job, however at Martin Hill they’re planning to buck the development and hopefully keep in Portsmouth for a few years to come back.

martin hill

All of the rooms have their very own fashion, which you’ll see on the Martin Hill web site. I stayed within the Storm room and the mattress was as snug as they declare on their web site.

Visiting Meredith on Lake Winnipesauke

From Portsmouth, I drove a bit farther north to discover one of many best-known lakes in New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesauke. I used to be staying within the little city of Meredith, proper on the shore of one of many sheltered bays of the lake.

Issues To Do in Meredith

Lake Winnipesauke is saturated with out of doors recreation and is the right place to discover your subsequent journey, each in Meredith and the encompassing areas. 

Particularly throughout the summertime there isn’t any scarcity of issues to do exterior. Listed here are a number of actions that I loved throughout my time there.

Lake Winnipesauke new hampshire

1. Go Climbing 

There’s a massive community of trails on this space and you are able to do every kind of mountaineering right here. I went to Mount Main, which is among the hottest native hikes.

From Meredith, it’s a few 30-minute drive south. The trailhead is off of Route 11 earlier than you attain Alton and also you’ll see a brown signal that signifies the turn-off.

The hike leads you thru previous logging roads, as much as the highest of the mountain the place there’s a rocky outcrop and a shocking 360-degree view of Lake Winnipesauke. There are three trails, however the most well-liked is the primary path, marked in blue.

hiking in portsmouth

The hike shouldn’t be simple, however not strenuous both. Don’t take note of the indicators on the backside informing you that “Mt. Main shouldn’t be a simple hike”. It’s technically true however you don’t must be intimidated both. Deliver water and a hotter layer since there’s quite a lot of wind on the prime.

2. Go Kayaking

You possibly can simply discover the lake by kayak ($30/half-day), which can be found to hire proper on the lake subsequent to the city docks. Kayaking is a phenomenal solution to be on the water.

It’s calm and quiet and the shoreline subsequent to Meredith is ideal for exploring. There’s a ‘no wake zone’ so that you don’t have to fret about larger boats making waves or something.

kayaking in new hampshire

Two little islands are simply out of the harbor and make a superb kayaking tour to go see them. The water within the lake is clear and clear. Plus, it’s not too chilly for swimming, particularly on a heat day.

3. Paddle Boarding

I’ve solely lately began paddleboarding and I can already acknowledge the enchantment. Paddle Boards ($40/half-day – lessons Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 8:00 – 9:30, $35/particular person) are additionally out there for hire on the Ekal middle, plus they provide SUP Yoga lessons a number of days of the week if you’d like some instruction.

4. Go Biking

It’s also possible to simply discover the encompassing areas by bike ($25/half-day and $35/full-day).

They hire them by the day or the half-day and it’s a great way to discover all of the small roads proper round Meredith. The locals hang around and reside at Lake Waukewam, which is surrounded by some quiet grime roads the place I went to journey round.

If you wish to do some path driving, Hamlin Recreation and Conservation Space provide 6 miles of trails that you would be able to discover.


5. Go to the Historic Sights

Citadel within the Clouds ($16 entrance) is a historic property a few 30-minute drive away from Meredith that has opened its doorways to guests.

The workers has unimaginable data in regards to the historical past of the property in addition to its unique occupants.

It was inbuilt 1913-1914 over an 18 month interval by a person named Thomas Plant. Plant had made his fortune operating a shoe firm and determined to retire early together with his second spouse Olive within the mountains of New Hampshire the place he’d acquired a big property.


Right now, the constructing is cared for by the Citadel Preservation Society that takes care of preservation and restoration efforts on the property. The highest two flooring have been superbly restored and current a wealthy historical past of the world, in addition to a imaginative and prescient of what it will’ve been wish to reside in that space.

There are some surprisingly trendy facilities, comparable to a central vacuum, showers within the upstairs loos that don’t look so completely different from immediately, and a refrigeration system.

The grounds of the property embody miles of carriage trails the place you’ll be able to stroll and hike. There’s additionally a steady that gives horseback driving, in case you desire to discover on horseback.

The place To Keep in Meredith

The Inn at Mills Falls (rooms from $230/night time relying on season and availability) is a singular and delightful place to remain. The rooms and facilities are all trendy, however the setting is historic and the attraction is it’s personal.

The constructing itself is definitely a restored 19th-century linen mill and it’s constructed over a waterfall that may’ve been traditionally used to energy the mill. It contains 54 rooms which are snug and spacious.

mills falls new hampshire

The Market presents some buying and eating choices. Plus, the whole lot in Meredith is a brief stroll away.

Take pleasure in Your Weekend in New Hampshire!

New Hampshire is filled with surprises and even after a brief journey, I felt I had found a lot in regards to the state. Folks have been pleasant and low-key and I cherished the time in nature right here, plus the quirky companies, eating places, and buying that made it really feel like a extremely distinctive vacation spot.

It’s the right place to go to within the summertime since there’s a lot you are able to do open air.

To be taught extra about this adventure-filled state, try Reside Free in NH and expertise their “Reside Free” angle for your self 🙂 This submit delivered to you by New Hampshire Division of Journey and Tourism Growth. The content material and opinions expressed on this article are that of Goats on the Street.

Word: some pictures on this article have been sourced on Shutterstock – an internet site for locating high-quality royalty-free pictures and movies. 

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