Portsmouth area over Labor Day

May 10th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Portsmouth area over Labor Day

We have scheduled a trip to Portsmouth, NH for 9/2-9/5 and we're trying to determine what we should see and do during the two full days that we'll be there. Should we travel into Boston or Maine? Are there any recommendations for an itinerary? Thanks!
twin65a is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 02:10 AM
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This really depends on what you like to do. You are within 2 hours of NH's White Mountains for great hiking opportunities. If you want city things, Boston is best for museums although Portsmouth has the historic Strawbery Banke, theaters, great narrated boat trips. If you like driving vacations, inland or up the coast of Maine is best. Portsmouth has great restaurants. The Flag Hill Winery and Distillery (vodka) is not too far away in Lee, NH. You could enjoy some beach time in Hampton or Maine.
dfrostnh is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 04:50 AM
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Two full days isn't much at all so don't try to do lots. Also, a holiday weekend like that jams Rt.#95. I was there last year and need to be there this year too and will stay put in my little York Harbor area. Do the local things, take a boat trip to the Isle of Shoals, something like that but do not get onto Rt.#95 if at all possible!
thurstonbb is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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We're thinking costal drives. What are the narrated boat trips? Also, are there any good seafood restaurants? I've heard you can get a Lobster dinner real reasonable along the coast. And, do you know if this will this be a good time for whale watching? Thanks for your help!
twin65a is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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You could spend one full day exploring Portsmouth. You could do a beach day at someplace close like Wallis Sands or York Beach Maine (get there early to get parking), or you could risk heavy traffic and explore a little bit of the Maine coast. Be aware there is always a traffic tie up on rte 1 approaching Ogunquit. Once above Ogunquit, the traffic is a little better. The drive on rte 1 is not particularly scenic, but driving the side roads out to the beaches of Wells or York can be nice, just be aware that the beach parking lots will fill up quickly on Labor Day weekend. The short New Hampshire coast is quite scenic, but I'd avoid the honkey tonk and crowds of Hampton Beach.
zootsi is online now  
May 15th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Here's the day cruise website
there is also another company that does Isle of Shoals. Not sure about whales, I haven't been on a whale watch. Portsmouth has a great reputation for restaurants. Our favorite lobster roll/onion rings family restaurant is the Ice House on Rt 1B which is a beautiful drive from Portsmouth's Strawbery Banke area thru Newcastle past the Wentworth hotel. Probably the most reasonable lobster will be Newick's on Dover Pt, a nice drive. From Portsmouth traffic circle head to Durham. Newick's has a large menu, it's on the water but very casual. For a nicer on the water open deck experience people recommend Chauncy Creek on Kittery Point (ME) which is just over the bridge from Portsmouth. It's a lovely drive. From there you can take a back road to York ME without going on Rt 1. Chauncy Creek will be a lot more expensive than Newick's however. A friend likes the two seafood places in Seabrook. I think one is Brown's and they're right across the road from each other. From Portsmouth drive to Hampton and watch for Rt 286. They're almost right on Rt 1/Rt 286 intersection. We always try to go at an off peak time. The cheapest lobster would be to go to the grocery store and have them steam it while you wait. Just get some chips and maybe a piece of pie. When people eat lobster they don't usually care about anything else. The lobster shacks might give you a bag of chips or a roll. Don't waste your time getting fries, they just get cold while you're working on the lobster. Although the drive to Newicks is highway, you go over the bridges that cross Great Bay and there's a nice park on the water. It can be very pretty. Prescott Park on Portsmouth Harbor across from Strawbery Banke is very pretty. Sometimes we pull some bag chairs out of the car and just enjoy looking at the water. It's industrial, Navy base is across the way, or you can find lots of places to walk around. It will be real easy to use up 2 days. I agree with Zootsi that the drive in Rye is very nice (beautiful mansions) and that Hampton is honky tonk (crowded cottages/arcades, etc). There's a paved walking path at Odiorne Point. A quick trip to York Beach/Nubble Light might be fun if you went when there wasn't any traffic like real early in the morning.
dfrostnh is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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The two seafood restaurants in Seabrook are Brown's and Markeys. They are across the street from each other. If you are a Republican, go the Browns or if you're a Democrat, go to Markeys. If you Independent go to the one with the shorter line. They both are good. Brown's does not serve liquor - its BYOB, there's a packy up the street toward the beach.
bennnie is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 05:19 AM
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Great advice - Thanks! Now any advice on nice, clean motels that aren't real pricey? Is it cheaper to get out of Portsmouth or best to just stay there?
twin65a is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Check out the Hilton Garden Inn. It's right downtown and brand new.

If you want more of a resort experience, try the Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle. It's on the water and it's a very pretty, historic place. 5 min ride to downtown Portsmouth.
wyatt92 is offline  

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