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Best of Portsmouth, NH | 2013 Editors' Choice Awards

Best of Portsmouth, NH | 2013 Editors’ Choice Awards
2 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (92% score)
by in May 2013
Prescott Park

Prescott park includes ten acres of flower gardens, walking paths, and grassy areas that run alongside the Piscataqua River in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

BEST ATTRACTIONS IN PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

BEST PUBLIC PARK
PRESCOTT PARK, Portsmouth
Ten acres of flower gardens, walking paths, and grassy areas alongside the Piscataqua River make the perfect backdrop for arts festivals, outdoor concerts, and performances during summer months. Events are free, but donations are accepted. Marcy St. 603-431-8748; cityofportsmouth.com/prescottpark

BEST MARINE SCIENCE MUSEUM
SEACOAST SCIENCE CENTER, Rye
Check out “Tofu,” the 32-foot humpback-whale skeleton, and then explore touch tanks, interpretive exhibits, and more. Step outside to enjoy the New Hampshire seacoast, including 135 acres of rocky shoreline and the walking trails of Odiorne State Park. 570 Ocean Blvd. 603-436-8043; seacoastsciencecenter.org

BEST BOUTIQUE
PUTTIN’ ON THE GLITZ, Portsmouth
Possibly the city’s most popular window-shopping destination, this one-of-a-kind venue offers a rich display of hats, jewelry, and handbags. And not just new stuff: Check out the store’s unique selection of vintage beaded purses, going all the way back to the 1920s. 40 Market St. 603-436-5600; puttinontheglitznh.com

BEST FOOD & DINING IN PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

BEST HOUSE CHARCUTERIE
MOMBO, Portsmouth
Cooks at Mombo lovingly craft the sausages and terrines for the restaurant’s charcuterie plates, not to mention sweet-and-savory accompaniments such as red-onion compote, fig jam, cranberry-olive tapenade, and stoneground mustard. Vermont cheeses are also included. Entrées: from $22. Strawbery Banke, 66 Marcy St. 603-433-2340; momborestaurant.com

BEST RAW BAR
JUMPIN’ JAY’S FISH CAFE, Portsmouth
Jay’s cooks up some great fish dishes, including a rich San Francisco-style cioppino. But the uncooked seafood is, if possible, even better. In season, you can taste several different New Hampshire oysters, alongside bivalves from Cape Cod, Damariscotta, Long Island Sound, and Chesapeake Bay. Entrées: from $17. 150 Congress St. 603-766-3474; jumpinjays.com

BEST SPANISH FOOD
CAVA TAPAS & WINE BAR, Portsmouth
Cava makes Spanish food from great New England fish, meat, and produce, and serves tapas as well as hearty small plates. Some dishes (such as grilled octopus and chicken-sausage paella) are Spanish classics, while others are inspired by a wider Mediterranean influence. Wine selections are among New England’s best. Even the back-alley setting seems fittingly Old World Spanish. Tapas: from $6. Plates: from $12. 10 Commercial Alley. 603-319-1575; cavatapasandwinebar.com

BEST BURGER
ROCKY’S FAMOUS BURGERS, Newmarket
Select Angus beef, bison, turkey, chicken breast, or a homemade veggie patty for your char-grilled burger; then pile on bacon, guacamole, cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and other toppings. For an American classic, opt for a beef “Rocky,” with lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. Burgers: from $7.29. 171 Main St. 603-292-3393; rockysfamousburgers.com

BEST LODGING IN PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

BEST MODERN TOUCH

ALE HOUSE INN, Portsmouth

Portsmouth’s newest hotel addition is also its sleekest. Set on the Piscataqua River, the Ale House Inn offers 10 cozy-yet-modern rooms, each one equipped with an iPad and a Keurig coffeemaker. And because it’s just a minute’s walk from downtown, you can leave your car behind for the weekend. Rates: from $115. 121 Bow St. 603-431-7760; alehouseinn.com

BEST DOWNTOWN B&B

SISE INN, Portsmouth

Located in Haymarket Square, the Sise Inn gives guests a front-row seat on downtown Portsmouth. Stretch your legs with a short walk to Prescott Park and Strawbery Banke or the shops and restaurants along Congress Street. Or cozy up with a book in the Queen Anne-style mansion’s fireplaced parlor, or settle into one of the 34 elegant rooms. Rates: from $199, including continental breakfast buffet. 40 Court St. 603-433-1200; siseinn.com

BEST ELEGANT OVERNIGHT

THE EXETER INN, Exeter

Built by Phillips Exeter Academy for guests in 1932, this Georgian-style gem completed a $5 million renovation in 2008. There’s no connection between school and inn today, yet charm and elegance still resonate throughout, thanks to intricate millwork, French doors, and tall archways in the lobby and lounge–not to mention plush terrycloth robes in all 46 guestrooms and five suites. Rates: from $145. 90 Front St. 603-772-5901; theexterinn.com

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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