Great Fall Getaways: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Photo via Stacy Lynn/Flickr

Photo via Stacy Lynn/Flickr

For the Epicurean

Among Portsmouth’s culinary gems (see: Black Trumpet Bistro, Cava, the Green Monkey), 106 Kitchen and Bar is a notable newcomer. The New Orleans–influenced food is both down-home and decidedly urbane; think crisp fried oysters with house-pickled veggies, and chorizo-wrapped cod accompanied by a lobster-tarragon risotto. Near the center of town, the gourmet shop Attrezzi features a bevy of kitchenwares and free vino tastings. And at casual haunt Street — hiding in a nondescript strip mall about a mile from downtown — you’ll find surprisingly great street food from around the globe, like Korean fried chicken wings and yucca fries. Fill up there before trekking to Red Hook Ale Brewery, where for just a dollar per person you’ll get a guided tour of the facility and a lesson in beermaking.

For the Adventurer

The friendly guides at Portsmouth Kayaking Adventures can help you navigate the tranquil waters of Little Harbor with ease — opt for a daytime adventure, with a stop at Frost Point beach, or for a sunset paddle. History geeks should try the new Seacoast Segway Tours, which offers a three-hour, nine-mile ride around the city with an emphasis on the Portsmouth of yore. Or stop by Serenity Café in Rye for picnic provisions before driving to Odiorne Point State Park, where you’ll find ocean vistas and trails for hiking and biking.

For the Culture Vulture

Snap up everything from jewelry to ceramics crafted by more than 65 artists at the Portsmouth Open Market, held every Sunday through October 30. Another way to embrace Portsmouth’s creative side is by checking out its Art ’Round Town events: On the first Friday evening of every month, galleries welcome customers with wine and cheese and, often, fresh exhibits. For those who lean more toward the performing arts, the Seacoast Repertory Theatre is an unassuming venue that puts on big, bold shows (Cabaret is October’s production). Cap off the evening with live music — jazz, R&B, even polka — at perennially popular nightspot the Press Room.

Where to Stay

Situated in a former brewery warehouse downtown, the Ale House Inn (fall rates from $139) features airy, modern rooms outfitted with iPads. The Wentworth by the Sea resort (fall rates from $219) in New Castle, meanwhile, boasts indoor and outdoor pools and a spa.

Save this Date: October 15

The New Hampshire Brewfest ( is all about craft beer; more than 30 New England breweries, from the Gardner Ale House to Magic Hat, will pour suds at the Red Hook Ale Brewery.

The Essentials

Drive time: One hour