We get it. You work too much, you’re sick of the schedule and the routine, and you want to get away. Planning anything more than a night or two is just a big, “no thanks”. You want to go somewhere that’s easy to get to, has some stuff going on, and is Insta-worthy (yes I said it and yes I rolled my eyes at myself).

Before I get into the details of how I am going to help you escape the city for a night, let me just say, in the words of Maui, “you’re welcome”.

Queue the Album Leaf music and let me take you there. It may be cold, but the picturesque streets of Portsmouth are full of life, beauty, and history. Everywhere you look, a potential photo-op. You are surrounded by art, exquisite brick buildings rich with stories, shops, and more restaurant seats than actual residents (fun fact). Portsmouth, New Hampshire is hands down my favorite place in New England. It’s my soul city. Now, if the fact that you are surrounded by beauty and history isn’t enough to sell you on a trip this way, fine, allow me to keep you just a bit longer…

How will you get to Portsmouth? Lucky for you, there just so happens to be a bus, not just any bus, a glorious, comfy, WiFi-rich, and punctual bus. Did we mention the leg room and reclining seats? We just did… Whether you’re coming from NYC or Boston, C&J Bus Lines will bring you from the mundane of your routine to, well, somewhere that will literally soothe your soul. Coming from Boston? C&J runs every hour from South Station, the trip takes about 60-75 minutes and will only cost you $36 for the round trip. Coming from NYC? Hop on one of three buses, morning, midday, or after work and relax for four to five hours, watch a movie, drink some complimentary water (who doesn’t love free). This round trip will run you $158. Pocket change when we’re talking about an escape from the real world.

So, you hop on the bus, then you arrive at the C&J terminal on the outskirts of Portsmouth. No problem, pull out that iPhone… Oh, my bad, it’s probably in your hand and you’re “gramming” that you’ve arrived. Open up that Uber app and get your tuckus downtown, it’s about 5 to 10 minutes away. “Where will I stay?” You’d be surprised, Airbnb is kind of frowned upon here, but no worries, there are plenty of hotels and inns right downtown.

Here are some of my favorites…

Hotel Portsmouth

Sailmaker’s House

Water Street Inn

Sheraton Harborside Hotel

Port Inn Portsmouth

Not seeing something that tickles your fancy? High maintenance much? Kidding… here you go.

Ok, so you’re here, you’re settled in your room and you’re ready to explore, maybe take an exercise class. The world is your oyster. Speaking of, Franklin Oyster House is a favorite spot for, yes, oysters (and killer cocktails). Because I know we are lazy and probably don’t want to read about all of the Portsmouth hot spots, here is a list.

Breakfast:

Fresh Press – acai bowls, smoothies, painfully delicious ginger shots

Colby’s – I mean it’s an adorable breakfast spot in the cutest of Seacoast towns.

White Heron – insanely delicious coffee drinks, and guilt-free breakfast (amazing vegan/GF options)

Lunch:

River House – a Portsmouth staple and all-time favorite, famous for their chowdah. Oh, did we mention the water views?

Portsmouth Brewery – yum

The Soupery – Quick lunch to warm your temple… body.

Happy Hour:

Raleigh Wine Bar – pretty self-explanatory, great location!

Moxy – tapas and cocktails

Dinner:

Fuki – Asian fusion deliciousness

Black Trumpet – be sure to make a reservation

Late Night:

Press Room – dancing, music, music, dancing

The Nice – upstairs, cozy cocktails

What to do:

Take a yoga class at 3 Bridges Yoga

Go for a skate a Puddle Dock Pond

Brave the cold and walk through Prescott Park, head out to Four Tree Island and take in the fresh air.

Perhaps, head over to Book & Bar and relax with a coffee or cocktail while listening to music or reading a book.

I’ve barely scratched the surface on all that Portsmouth is and offers. Portsmouth speaks to my soul, it will speak to yours too. In summary, Portsmouth is incredible, and yes, Insta-worthy.(last time, promise). Now, get out of the city and come see what ours has to offer.

So, that’s about it and again, you’re welcome.

Who are we and what do we know? Hi, I’m Briggs, I do business development for Stout Heart. Stout Heart is a woman-owned, full service marketing agency with heart. Some of us call Portsmouth home, some of us choose to work here so we can get our Seacoast fix. Either way, we are all in the midst of a love-affair with this remarkable place.

(you’ve reached the end, congrats, high-five, go you)