Tag Archives: seacoast


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November is when things start to wind down here … shorter days, colder nights, fewer leaves. The summer people have gone and everything is stripped-down bare. The stark trees – our beautiful leaves gone now until May – offer wider views but little color; the focus shifts to the wonderful architecture of New England and whatever is left on the ground from autumn.



These photos were taken in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. If you’ve never been to this small city, add it to your bucket list. This is a treasure trove of history with museums, historic architecture, and maritime lore. Portsmouth is completely walkable; put on your walking shoes and visit Prescott Park and the waterfront – the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is just across the way, where you can sometimes see submarines at the dock (I have a thing for submarines). Strawbery Banke is here too, where 40+ buildings have been assembled to depict life here from 1695 to 1950, complete with interpreters (this is wonderful!). You can climb aboard the USS Albacore, a retired Navy submarine now on dry land that offers tours. Take a harbor tour and learn about nearly 400 years of local history.


A little further down the road you can find Fort Constitution, one of seven forts built to protect Portsmouth Harbor; Wentworth-by-the-Sea, one of the grand hotels of New Hampshire built in 1874 and saved from the wrecking ball a few years ago; and many pull-offs on the side of the road that lead to beaches with views of the Isles of Shoals. I bring visitors here for the shopping and the restaurants but the truth is there is so much more and you cannot see everything in one day.



So … enjoy the photos and celebrate the simplicity of November. Before the snow flies, the blunt beauty of the season is what sustains us.




The seacoast

The New Hampshire coast is only 18 miles long, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in charm, history and heart.  It’s as if it knows that it cannot possibly compete with neighboring Maine’s approximately 3500 miles of tidal coastline, nor Massachusetts’ claim to that whole Mayflower thing.  New Hampshire has to make the most of its 18 miles, and I, for one, keep going back for more.

Portsmouth was having a festival this weekend … Market Square Day.  Streets were closed to cars, hundreds of vendors set up shop, musicians moved in, and the weather cooperated beautifully.

New Castle, the next town south, is the only New Hampshire town composed entirely of islands.  It dates back to the 1600s and has many beautiful old homes in a picture-perfect setting on the ocean. I LOVE this town.

Fort Constitution, in New Castle, is one of seven forts built to protect Portsmouth Harbor. This is the view from the fort.

The jewel in the crown of the New Hampshire seacoast is Wentworth-by-the-Sea.  Built in 1874, it one of a handful of the state’s surviving Gilded Age grand hotels, and the last located on the seacoast.  This photo was taken years ago, when Terry and I would drive by and marvel at the fading beauty of the place; today it has been totally renovated by the Marriotts and it is once again a destination.  It will last another hundred years.

The 18 miles of seacoast are full of surprises … Odiorne State Park has abandoned military bunkers and cannon emplacements which date from WW II, plus the views of the Isles of Shoals are beautiful.  In June the beach roses are in bloom, sailing is in full swing, and wildlife is abundant.  Houses along the coastal route range from cottages to full-blown mansions.

You can treat yourself to ice cream at the Ice House, sun yourself at Wallis Sands beach, and take pictures of the swans in the salt marsh (although who is really the object of interest here?).  On a sunny almost-summer day, the New Hampshire seacoast is irresistible.

It was, for me, a perfect June day.