Day Trip to Portsmouth, NH

One of my favorite things about living in Boston is all the amazing places that are so close to visit. I love getting in the car and exploring all of New England. When I lived in Chicago you could drive to Michigan, Indiana, or Wisconsin, but those places can’t quite compare to the beauty and history of New England (they are also farther drives!).

This past week my Aunt Sue Anne was in town and we decided to take a quick drive to Portsmouth, NH. This is my second time in Portsmouth and it doesn’t disappoint! It’s only about an hour away from Boston, which makes driving a piece of cake. When planning a day trip I try to not to go anywhere that’s more than an hour and a half drive, which still leaves plenty of options near Boston.

We hit the road around 9:30am. It was a weekday so we wanted to be sure that rush hour was over and it wasn’t too close to Dylan’s lunch time. The drive was super easy and Dylan was able to nap for about half the way.


Our first stop was Prescott Park. It’s the main park of the city and is located on the Piscataqua River. Besides the water views, the park has beautiful gardens, a theater, and several boardwalks. It was a beautiful place for Dylan to eat a snack and have fun crawling in the grass. Whenever I go on a day trip I try to find someplace right away where Dylan can get some energy out. Since I knew we’d be walking around with Dylan in the stroller, it was important to stop at the park first in order for him to exercise. The only downside of Prescott Park is there isn’t a playground, but Dylan still had a blast exploring the beautiful gardens.

After the park I was in desperate need of some coffee so we followed a local’s advice and headed to Fezziwig’s Food and Fountain. This adorable café looks like an old-time soda fountain shop. We sat outside and while sipping on a delicious iced latte, Dylan and I shared a blueberry scone. Sue Anne indulged in a warm piece of apple pie (why not enjoy dessert before lunch, we’re on vacation!).


Once we were refueled it was time to walk. We walked a couple of blocks downtown to Market Square. Downtown Portsmouth has a ton of adorable shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, Dylan isn’t too fond of shopping so we just walked around getting a feel for the town. It was a beautiful day so walking was just fine with me! Portsmouth has so much history and charm that it is really fun to just take in the sights on the cobble stone roads.

Portsmouth has become quite the foodie destination and there are so many different restaurants, cafés, and breweries. Even with all the food choices it is hard to resist a good seafood spot while in New England.

My first time is Portsmouth (a few months ago) we ate at Row 34. This is a trendy, more upscale seafood focused restaurant (they also have a location in Boston). They have a fantastic raw bar and super fun cocktails.

Enjoying the raw bar at Row 34

For this trip we decided to keep it a little more casual while still getting our seafood fix. We decided on The River House because it’s known for great lobster rolls, there’s a wonderful view of the river, and we could get a table outside right away! Sue Anne and I both went for the small ships plate (a 4 inch lobster roll, fries, and a cup of seafood chowder). It was the perfect combo and definitely met our seafood cravings.

Seafood chowder, tiny lobster roll, and fries = perfect New England lunch

The kids menu was a bit limited for Dylan so I decided to give him a Plum Organics Mighty 4 pouch and ordered him a side of mashed potatoes. I always bring a few pouches when traveling (my favorites are Plum Organics and Happy Family Organics). They are perfect for snacks on the go and to make sure the babe is still getting his nutrients while traveling.

I think Dylan was ready to hit the road

Eating out with a toddler is always a little chaotic, so while we might have wanted to sit and dine a little longer, Dylan was ready to make a move! After lunch we headed back to a different area of Prescott Park. Dylan was able to crawl around and of course I brought a ball for him to play with. Relaxing in the park and playing with Dylan was the perfect end to our fun day in Portsmouth.

Getting out some energy before the drive home


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