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First visit to New Hampshire - suggestions

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Santa Maria...
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First visit to New Hampshire - suggestions

My daughter and I will be taking a road trip this summer that will include a 2-day stay in Manchester. We both love shopping, history, and easy walks. We'd also enjoy a nice dinner out one night - nothing too fancy. I'd appreciate any suggestions on things to do and see, places to shop, and perhaps a restaurant suggestion. Thank you so much.

Boston
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1. Re: First visit to New Hampshire - suggestions

A few weeks ago I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester, we were seeing a show at the Verizon Wireless Center on Elm Street. Had dinner at Piccola's Ristorante a few doors up from the Arena, it's my favorite italian restaurant in the whole state. The owners are from East Boston, MA & Italy, I absolutely love this restaurant. The Hilton Garden Inn overlooks a beautiful (recently built about 3 years ago or so) baseball park. The NH Fisher Cats play there. The hotel has a fantastic patio where you can see the games right from there, that's how close it is to the ball park. If you go to this site you'll see info on the team & ball park:

www.nhfishercats.com

You'd really like this hotel, hopefully you can get a room there, it's pretty popular when there's games going on! The beauty of it is they have a free shuttle van that will drop you off on Elm Street where the restaurants are located & he'll pick you up afterwards. He even will take you shopping, so remember to get this gentleman's card in the lobby from the hotel desk. It was ideal staying there, you'd really like it a lot, plus it was SO reasonable & extremely clean, there was no complaints in that department!

Will you have a car? There's several day trips from Manchester that you could take. One idea for you is you could & should take a ride over to Portsmouth, which is a neat seaport city, only 45 minutes to an hour away from Manchester. Just follow rte 101 east and you'll be there. Get your map out or your GPS, it's not a bad ride at all.

Where you're planning on this trip this summer it would be good if you got to take the Isle of Shoals cruise out of Portsmouth:

www.islesofshoals.com

This way, you'll see just how pretty Portsmouth Harbor is, it'll be great for picture taking too.

Manchester of course has a lot of neat restaurants and places to go these days, there's no doubt about it. Remember, Piccola's Ristorante is located at 815 Elm Street right up the street from the Verizon Wireless Arena. It's just wonderful there:

www.piccolaitalianh.com

There's some good parts of Manchester and there's some shady areas like any city, but if you stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, it's quite safe. Basically a lot of us shop, dine thru there AND we get entertained at the Verizon Wireless Arena a few times a year, so google the arena to see if there's anyone good there this summer to see! I know there's Demi Lovato on August 24th. Manchester also has Bedford right beside it and believe it or not, they have the best & I mean the best Home Goods in the state, I'm not kidding you either. Their Marshall's is quite good there too compared to the ones located around the state & Mass! It's one of the "bigger" ones compared to all the others!

If you want unique charming shops & boutiques, you could head over to the seacoast area of Portsmouth. Something about it there that you can't beat, it's a little like your Carmel out on your left coast! It's definitely quaint, no doubt about it. It's extremely charming and it's really kind of neat walking through Portsmouth, browsing through their many many shops & boutiques. Tons of unique & different restaurants and bistros too.

One of them that's good for lunch is "Popovers on the Square" at Market Square, look for it:

www.popoversonthesquare.com

Another place that we really like is the "Rosa", look for that, it's reasonable and very consistant here, they have really good pizza so remember that. Actually a lot of choices on their menu, everything is quite good, it's been in Portsmouth for years. Great place to go for dinner too...

www.therosa.com

It also would be good if you got the chance to check out the Strawbery Banke Museum. Talk about history? It's awesome seeing this Museum, it's something like Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. You'll see it and know what I mean:

www.strawberybanke.org

Walk across the street to Prescott Park too! It's really pretty, starting right now. Since around late April actually. The flowers are JUST amazing here. Wait till you see them all!

Here is a review describing it to a "T" (from Yahoo) titled, "A little culture in an old town by the sea" "Salt air from the ocean and the harbor keeps the summer heat at bay. Award winning gardens are a relaxing diversion for visitors strolling along the river entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. The summer long attractions of Prescott Park are joined by the work of local artists in an exhibition open to the public. This attraction is a short walk from the restaurants, shops, and other attractions of historic Portsmouth, NH. It is an unbeatable way to spend a summer day whether you are a local resident or a visitor to the area."

Have a great day & lastly these two places should be on your list somehow, some way, hopefully you can squeeze one of them in! In Manchester GO to the Currier Museum of Art there, if you can, you'll see some beautiful hand made furniture from NH, among other interesting things through out this complex:

www.currier.org

Try to get over to Derry to see the Robert Frost Farm, it's well worth it there as well:

robertfrostfarm.org

Have a wonderful time no matter what you do and where you end up going, your road trip sounds fantastic!

Bristol, New...
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2. Re: First visit to New Hampshire - suggestions

Great info from NoMo01. I especially recommend the trip to Portsmouth, since it sounds right up your alley.

Since this is your first trip to NH, have you considered going up to the mountains at all? Manchester is our one true "big city" and doesn't really give you an idea of what the state is really like.

If you head north from Manchester on I-93, you can be to Franconia Notch State Park in about 1.5 hours. This is a gorgeous area with some beautiful easy walks (see the Flume Gorge). If you like shopping, head over to North Conway via Route 302 (through Crawford Notch State Park). If you're feeling adventurous, go up to Mt. Washington to drive the auto road to the summit. Otherwise, take the Kancamagus Highway back to I-93 South.

This might be a lot to fit into a single day trip, but if you got up early you could manage it. ;)

Another option is the Lakes Region, which is a little bit closer to Manchester (but without the same mountain scenery). Take I-93 North to Exit 23 and then follow Route 104 East to Meredith, a cute little town on Lake Winnipesaukee with some nice lakeside parks and shopping options.

Then follow Route 3 North to Holderness and Route 113 towards Sandwich, passing by lovely Squam Lake (featured in the film "On Golden Pond"). Sandwich is a beautiful, well-preserved historic New England village. Afterwards, follow Route 109 South to 171 South and visit the Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough.

You could then make your way back to Meredith and Manchester or return to 109 South and continue towards Wolfeboro, Alton, making a full tour around Lake Winnipesaukee. Another option is to head to Gilmanton from Alton, and then follow Route 107 "The Old Province Road" south, for some historic architecture and nice countryside.

N Dartmouth MA
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3. Re: First visit to New Hampshire - suggestions

I just got back from the Hilton Garden Inn this morning. It was great! I have to post a review so check for it shortly. As far as restaurants we went to the Red Arrow Diner on Friday. It was a good place to eat and reasonably priced. We then went to Fratello's for my birthday on Saturday. It was excellent!!! I think that would be a nice place to go with your daughter. The shuttle from the hotel took us there and picked us up afterwards. Have a great time.

4. Re: First visit to New Hampshire - suggestions

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