With a downtown that looks like a scene straight out of the Gilmore Girls series, Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a quaint coastal city only a 20-minute ride from the University of New Hampshire campus. Filled with a variety of storefronts, unique restaurants and classic New England charm, it is the perfect place to spend your day off.
Brunch or lunch?
There are a number of cafes in downtown Portsmouth where you can grab a cup of coffee and a sweet treat before you begin exploring. A few popular spots are Kaffee Vonsolln, a German coffee shop with homemade baked goods, and Cup of Joe Cafe & Bar, which is locally sourced and has an assortment of drinks and pastries to choose from.
If you’d rather sit down and grab brunch, or even lunch, The Friendly Toast is perfect for just that. Whether it be the eclectic interior design that grabs your attention or the wide range of unique dishes, The Friendly Toast is worth a visit.
A little Shopping Never hURT ANYONE
As the holiday season approaches, that means it is officially time to start holiday shopping. After you grab your coffee and a bite to eat, start your tour of all the inviting local shops.
Some shops that you must stop into are The Drift Collective, Ganesh Imports Inc., Gus & Ruby Letterpress, Em & Elle Boutique and Opal & Oak Boutique. For anyone in search of funny stocking stuffers or gift swaps, Marco Polo is also a great place to check out!
Time To Explore
Beyond the food and shopping, Downtown Portsmouth also has lots of art and history to explore. If you are looking to catch a live performance such as theater or music The Seacoast Rep and The Music Hall are two spots you should keep on your radar. Many of the cafes such as Portsmouth Book & Bar often host live music events as well.
For all the art lovers out there, 3S Artspace, Drift Art House and MONA Portsmouth are a few of the local galleries and museums for you to go and enjoy.
There is history everywhere in downtown Portsmouth but if you are looking to take a deep dive into this little New England city, Strawberry Bank, the living history museum, is for you. Go back in time and tour all of the old houses and stores that reside there and learn more about Portsmouth and New England history. To get into the holiday spirit, Strawberry Bank will also be putting up their outdoor skating rink for visitors to skate around. After your skating fun, then you can head inside to their cafe for some hot chocolate to warm yourself up.
What’s For Dinner?
Downtown Portsmouth has a restaurant for any and all taste buds. Whether you are looking for seafood, sushi or pizza they have a place for you. A few recommendations are Barrio, which is a Mexican restaurant located right on the outskirts of downtown and is acclaimed for its make-your-own tacos.
The Surf is a great place for the friend group that has trouble agreeing on where to go. They have a diverse menu ranging from sushi all the way to burgers, so there is a little something for everyone.
Flatbread Company has pizza, pizza and more pizza. Each pizza is uniquely delicious and no matter which one you land on I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
For those interested in visiting downtown Portsmouth, the University of New Hampshire has a bus that will take you there and you can find more information about the route here.