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New Hampshire: Road trips, apple picking, Leaf-Peeping and Pumpkin Ale!


Some of the vivid colors seen in the White Mountains.

New Hampshire: Leaves, Apples, Scenic drives and Pumpkin Ale!

New Hampshire to me still remains one of those "hidden gems" of the United States. My family has lived there for a total of 12 years to date; moved from and back again. Fall is one of the most gorgeous seasons there in my opinion, and I am sure a lot of readers will agree. New Hampshire has a beautiful seacoast - a drive with a warm cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee along Route 1 all bundled up on a sunny day is a treat in itself. But most buses and tourists head along the Kancamangas Highway, lovingly known as the "Kanc" to New Englanders, to see the leaves; they are called "Leaf Peepers." Peepers come from all over to take these drives also to North Conway where the colors are not to be missed...and neither is the outlet shopping! New Hampshire's motto is "Live Free or Die" - so they remain tax free. Also not to be missed on your drive back is Hart's Turkey Farm for dinner. You can get just about anything here as long as its turkey...but nonetheless, a great way to conclude your day.

If you're also into apple picking as well as a pumpkin patch, Applecrest Farm Orchards is the place to go. They have an amazing pumpkin patch where you can pick your own, hayrides, pick your own apples, and a main area for cider, cider donuts, corn on the name it! This main area usually has live music as well as "make your own scarecrow." Great place to take the family for the day. A short ride from Applecrest is one of my personal favorite haunts - Portsmouth. Portsmouth has so much to offer! Lots of cute shops to meander into,  fabulous clam chowder at the Stock Pot, ice cream, a beautiful North Church. Its grown so much that there's a Gap, Banana Republic and Starbucks. Even with these main chains, Portsmouth I feel has kept its appeal of a New England town.

The Portsmouth Brewing Company is a great place to sample the Pumpkin Ale, Smuttynose, you name it. On a chilly day its a great place to sit with friends over a pint or 2 for lunch or dinner. Every time I come home to visit I usually make a pit stop into the Brewing Company. Two additional places that I enjoy in Portsmouth is the Green Monkey and the Library. The Green Monkey has a delicious martini list and non-traditional dinners. We met the owners five years ago when we had dinner there right after we were engaged to be married. The Library is more traditional New England fare and is more known for their steaks and wine list. I would recommend reservations for both restaurants.

Looking for a little romance in your weekend? The Wren's Nest Inn along Route 1 in Portsmouth is a clear favorite of ours. Themed suites with 2 person Jacuzzis, fireplaces, indoor pool & jacuzzi and add ons complete this cute bed & breakfast. What's nice is that if you don't want to drive into downtown Portsmouth its a quick cab ride into town.

Overall, a quick plane ride or road trip to New Hampshire is well worth it and beautiful year round....but Fall is my favorite!