A Getaway to Portsmouth, New Hampshire


It’s hard to beat New England this time of year. With non-stop flights from Orlando Sanford International Airport to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a four-day getaway is easier than you think. Thanks to the crisp sea air, colorful autumn leaves, and rolling landscapes, you’ll return home feeling refreshed and ready for the holiday season!

Where to Eat in Portsmouth

You can’t spend time in Portsmouth without a stop at Vida Cantina. Here, chef and owner Dave Vargas, a James Beard Award finalist, serves a modern take on Mexican cuisine. He works with a local grain collective to supply the corn for both the restaurant and Vida Tortilla, which sells tortillas, tortilla chips, and mole at local farmers markets and retail stores. Even better, he’s always featuring nearby farms and fisheries in his specials.

At Raleigh, you’ll find a contemporary wine bar and kitchen with killer views of Memorial Bridge. The menu is tweaked daily and completely overhauled every two weeks, ensuring something special at every visit. Something that sticks around, though, is the poached hen egg. The lightly-poached yolk is topped with whipped sherry cream, maple syrup, sea salt, and sea trout roe, making for the perfect bite.

For a casual happy hour, visit Earth Eagle Brewings. There, you can sip on a sampling of their stouts, sours, and IPAs. Don’t miss the menu filled with hot dogs and burgers! We recommend the Brian. Pick your choice of dog (all-natural, turkey, or veggie) and enjoy it with pickled beets, goat cheese, Dijon, and one martini olive. 

New England Treasures: What to Do

Head to Hampton Falls, an easy 20-minute drive from Portsmouth, to visit Applecrest, the oldest and largest apple orchard in New Hampshire. This fourth-generation farm, which is open year-round, features pick-your-own strawberries and blueberries (mid-summer); peaches, nectarines, and pears (late summer); apples and raspberries (late summer/early fall); and pumpkins and gourds (late summer/late fall). The massive indoor farmers market also sells apple cider, freshly-baked goods, and charcuterie from local vendors. Be sure to grab a melt-in-your-mouth cider donut during your stop!

If you visit between mid-June and mid-October, plan a trip to the Strawbery Banke Museum (pictured above). Wander through historic homes built from 1695 to 1954 and get a taste of life in Portsmouth from the families who lived there. The historical gardens were recreated with painstaking accuracy. They include a Colonial kitchen garden with raised beds, heirloom apple orchards, and a 1943 Victory Garden.

A Night at Jimmy’s

At Jimmy’s, a jazz and blues club located in the heart of Portsmouth, patrons appreciate the “fine cuisine, libations, and a lively scene.” This beautifully restored landmark first opened in 1905 and was originally home to a YMCA. The renovation, which finished earlier this year, highlights stunning architectural details as well as state-of-the-art acoustics. It’s no surprise, then, that it attracts top-tier musical guests like Christian McBride and John Pizzarelli.

A version of this article, written by Kendra Lott, originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Edible Orlando.