Tour New Hampshire this fall, from Manchester to Portsmouth

From its scenic mountains and lakes to its thriving culinary scene, fall is a great time to visit New Hampshire. …

From its scenic mountains and lakes to its thriving culinary scene, fall is a great time to visit New Hampshire. For a visit to the New England state — about a 4 1⁄2-hour drive from midtown Manhattan — here’s a guide to a few of its main cities and towns.


Good eats in Manchester

Take in an indulgent meal at Cotton (75 Arms St., 603-622-5488, cottonfood.com), where you’ll find some of the best martinis in the state, as well as a varied menu with dishes like Creole jambalaya, butternut squash ravioli and pistachio crusted salmon. Then there’s Republic (1069 Elm St., 603-666-3723, republiccafe.com), the first farm-to-table certified restaurant in New Hampshire. Check out the falafel fried fish with hand cut frites with romesco and remoulade sauce. Walk it all off at Livingston Park (156 Hooksett Road), the Currier Museum of Art (closed Tuesdays, admission $15/adults, $13/seniors, $10/students, $5/ages 13-17; 150 Ash St., 603-669-6144, currier.org), or go to Lake Massabesic for boating, fishing, hiking or biking.

Historic stay in Bedford

When you’re sated and tired, call it a day and retire to the Bedford Village Inn & Grand (2 Olde Bedford Way, 800-852-1166, bedfordvillageinn.com) in Bedford, a 15-minute drive from Manchester. The 10-acre estate built in 1810 was formerly a farm. Be ready for a great brunch, with dishes like crispy crabcakes.


Lake views in Meredith

In your trek through the state, make a pit stop in Meredith. Lake Winnipesaukee glistens in the sun, and is a playground for boaters and water scooters. The award-winning Hermit Woods Winery (72 Main St., 603-253-7968, hermitwoods.com) handcrafts wines from locally sourced fruit, honey and flowers. If you want to wake up to a fantastic view of the lake, check in to Mills Falls at the Lake (312 Daniel Webster Highway, 844-745-2931, millsfalls.com). You can get a patio with a view of the water and end your days with a relaxing soak in the supersized tub in your room.


Port city of Portsmouth

Your trip will not be complete without a visit to Portsmouth. The waterfront is lively, more than 100 locally owned shops are downtown, as well as street musicians. Browse boutiques and galleries. People watch. And of course, savour the delicious dining options. Franklin Oyster House (148 Fleet St., 603-373-8500, franklinoysterhouse.com) takes oysters to a new level with their creativity. Stop in the rustic-chic bistro Cava Tapas and Wine Bar (10 Commercial Alley, 603-319-1575, cavatapasandwinebar.com) for Mediterranean-inspired tapas. Black Trumpet (29 Ceres St., 603-431-0887, blacktrumpetbistro. com) on the waterfront is cozy and romantic, with food so good you’ll be want to make a return trip.

Prime leaf peeping

There are few things as spectacular as fall in New Hampshire when the leaves change colors. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Mt. Washington Valley, in Eaton
  • Sugar Hill, in Grafton County
  • Rollins State Park, in Warner
  • Milan Hill State Park, in Milan
  • Strawbery Banke, in Portsmouth

Sheryl Nance-Nash