One of my favorite New England towns is Portsmouth, NH. It’s about 45 minutes from Boston, situated along the Piscataqua River just over from Kittery, ME. Unfortunately, the town has been subsumed by Yuppie Culture (Life is Good, Starbucks, Gap, etc). There used to be a great Irish pub, Jack Quigley’s, that’s now a bistro called, Ak’s. Still, there are reasons to visit if you can look beyond the khaki:
* If you get trippy over old buildings, then visit Strawbery Banke, a Portsmouth neighborhood spanning four centuries of history. The Christmas Stroll is a great holiday tradition.
* Funkiest eatery east of the Merrimac? The Friendly Toast. I always order a Mission Burrito and mimosa, no matter the time of day. If you can deal with the nose-ringed, tattooed wait servers who haven’t been trained in customer service, then you’ll have a super time.
* Looking for the right tartan to go with your shillelagh? Go to Celtic Crossing. Hubby loves this store; it’s where he bought his kilt (the one he wore to our wedding…SIGH). And it’s all TAX FREE!!!
* Finally, I can not stop in Portsmouth and NOT go here…Portsmouth Brewery, home of Smuttynose Beer. My favorite brew is the Old Brown Dog. The downside to the place…I’ll admit the brewpub is on the Yup-Yup side and they have printed peace signs on their beer coasters. But they do make excellent beer.