Kittery Outlets — Photo courtesy of Kittery OutletsWhen it’s time to leave Boston behind for the day and enjoy the scenery elsewhere, hop in the car and head an hour and a half north to Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
To make the most of your time, get an early start and arrive when the outlets open. Find your favorites and shop away. When you’ve done enough shopping, stop for lunch along Route 1. But, avoid tourist traps where overflowing plates of fried seafood will satisfy your hunger without offering much flavor.
Instead, opt for finer dining at Robert’s Maine Grill. Robert’s menu includes the classic steamed Maine lobster, but also offers lobster served in many other forms: poutine, bruschetta, and sliders, to name a few. After an enjoyable lunch, head to Portsmouth, NH.
Downtown Portsmouth sits across the water from Kittery’s famous outlets, and seems more like a quaint town center than a bustling city. Lined with independent retailers, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, it is easy to spend most of the day (and night) in Portsmouth. Spend your afternoon strolling down the streets and visiting boutiques, which are located on and off the main thoroughfare.
Hit one of the city’s four local breweries (the Redhook, Throwback, Smuttynose or Portsmouth) for a tour and a tasting. Then, find a spot to savor a light supper. If you choose to tour Portsmouth brewery, it also functions as a restaurant making it a convenient place to enjoy dinner.
After sightseeing, shopping and dinner, you should pop into one of Portsmouth’s lively bars to enjoy some entertainment. Live music, dancing and karaoke can be found at many of Portsmouth’s entertainment venues that often double as restaurants.
Try the Blue Mermaid, which offers live music on weekends and serves Caribbean fare with flair. As a favorite for live music almost any night of the week and known for its food, the classy Dolphin Striker is another popular choice. If you’d prefer to dance to beats spun by a DJ, try the Gaslight, a multi-level establishment with an outdoor area for dancing and drinking (when the weather allows).
Once you’re had your fill, enjoy the short ride back to Boston. You can then plop your head on your familiar pillow and reflect on the great day you had without having to travel too far from the city.