I am going to start today’s post with a small travel trivia fact for everyone. New Hampshire has only 18 miles of coastline. This small stretch of shore is where I spent my 4th of July vacation this year. Along this rocky seacoast region lays sandy beaches, state parks, marinas, and historic landmarks. Starting at the southern tip bordering Massachusetts you’ll find public beaches, boardwalk inns, and seashore shop lined streets. If you move toward the northern tip of coast that borders Maine you’ll notice the celebrated colonial style houses. Portsmouth, which is the northernmost coastal town in the state, was one of the first regions settled in New Hampshire and it is filled with historically significant landmarks, houses, and tourist attractions. It’s also known to have a culinary epicenter in its downtown.
I was given the opportunity to explore the area and while it was brief, my adoration for the quiet beaches (This is coming from a Jersey girl…believe me, even their busy beaches would be quiet to me!), picturesque views of the harbors, oceans, and even marsh land, as well as the laid back attitude of the area only grew during the visit. If you are looking for a family fun beach getaway, Hampton Beach is a great option. A weekend at the restored Wentworth by the Sea would be a grand romantic gesture. Or, make a week of it while discovering beaches in Rye at Odiorne State Park, taking a ferry out to the Isles of Shoals, and learning some American history at Portsmouth’s Strawbery Banke. There’s so much I did not get to experience and I cannot wait to visit again to appreciate what the New Hampshire Coastline has to offer.
Should you decide to plan a trip to this beach-side area there are a few food stops you must hit!
- Petey’s Seafood & Bar- When it comes to seafood it doesn’t get any better than this. I know, I know, you may have heard me say that a few times this summer after the Belmar Seafood Festival and my recent trip to Boston. But, in all honesty my visits keep getting exponentially better with each new place. After a short driving tour of the area, our host for the weekend decided to stop in at Petey’s. He stated that we would only stay if the wait was less than an hour. We got lucky and walked right in (It was the day of Hurricane Arthur) however; during the rest of our stay each time we passed the restaurant (which was quite a few times) it looked as though getting a table might be impossible. There was an additional night of take-out (easier than fighting the crowds) from Petey’s that occurred later in the weekend. That’s how good this place was. To keep the playing field even from all of my recent seafood restaurant visits I went for the same 2 items I have tried at each; chowder and fried clams. The clam chowder may just be the best I’ve ever had; and this is not an honor I take lightly. The silky, peppery broth was laden with large clam pieces. I didn’t want my paper cup to end! The fried clams were plump and succulent. The coating was so light and crisp that it really allowed you to savor the fresh, sweet flavor of the clam (No dipping sauces needed on these!). I did sample some of the other meals on the table, like the fried oysters, and I was no less impressed. I also noted that the restaurant catches their own lobsters. Ok, I cannot write anymore about Petey’s for fear that I may actually get back in my car and drive all the way up there if I continue to reminisce. http://www.peteys.com/
- 603 Burger– This small outdoor establishment is the quintessential beach shack restaurant. The diner is required to grab a clipboard with the paper menu and check off what specialty, build your own, or classic burger they want to order. The long list of burgers is accompanied by typical sides like fries and rings as well as the perfect hot day treat, milkshakes. Once you’ve made your selection you’ll stand in the somewhat crowded line to hand in your order and pay. The picnic table seating keeps you comfortable as you wait for your meal. The burger was worth the wait but the onion rings are what I would keep going back for! The extra crispy, beer battered, and very sweet onions were scarfed down happily by our crew. *Sorry for no food pictures I chowed down without thinking in my fit of hunger! http://www.603burgers.com/
…all for the love of the dish