I’m usually focused on what my next adventure away is going to be. But even though the world has opened up a lot more the past several months, the staycation still has its appeal. Which is why I’ve been playing tourist in my own hometown when I’m not traveling! While Portsmouth is the more “touristy” city in the area, Newmarket has become a bustling, New England mill town, filled with fun places to eat, drink, and explore! If you are lucky enough to spend some time in this small New Hampshire town near the coast, here are my recommendations of things to do in this town!
Grab a coffee or tea and a book at Crackskulls
Whenever I feel the need for a caffeinated pick-me-up and want to support local businesses, I make my way downtown to Crackskulls Coffee and Books! They have a variety of coffees and teas to try (my favorites are their iced London fogs and Thai iced teas) as well as a used bookstore in the back. Their walls are decked out with quirky items and retro memorabilia, including an 80’s video game machine turned into a table with a chessboard on top! I usually grab my beverage to go during the work week, but it’s a real treat when I can take the time to wander out back (and usually pick up a used book or two!).
Or a beer at Deciduous Brewery
Craft breweries have been booming the last decade or so, where you can find a brewery even in more rural areas. Deciduous Brewery recently opened within the last few years and is a major hit with us locals! I usually only dink sour ales (with the occasional stout in the colder months) and their “lollipop forest” fruity ales are always a treat!
Kayak or paddleboard the Lamprey River
My favorite place to go on a microadventure, especially after work is on the Lamprey River, usually in my kayak and occasionally on my inflatable paddleboard! The water is very still and is the perfect place to paddle for any level! I always feel like I’m going on safari when I’m on the river, and will often times run into beavers, white herons, and turtles sunbathing on logs!
Or ice skate or snowshoe on the river in the winter
The Lamprey River makes for a great winter playground. When it’s frozen over, it makes for a fun place to go ice skating! When we receive a ton of snow, it’s also a perfect place to explore with some snowshoeing!
Grab brunch at The Big Bean cafe
This brunch spot is a big hit among us locals! With eclectic art on the walls, it provides a hip atmosphere to grab brunch at. I highly recommend their eggs benedict dishes. It’s a place that has fueled many of my local adventures!
Or dinner at the Oak House
The Oak House is personally my favorite restaurant in Newmarket! I’m mostly a vegetarian and dabble in vegan eats. This place offers the best vegan “junk food” with its tasty vegan hot dogs and burgers.
Explore the “secret” garden
I found this little gem with friends one weekend after brunch on a walk home. I don’t know anything about the history of this garden but that’s part of the charm of this outdoor art display! If you’re looking for a short break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this garden provides some tranquility in the middle of town.
See some live music at The Stone Church
The Stone Church is probably Newmarket’s biggest (and only) attraction. This venue offers a variety of live events, including local musicians, stand-up comedians, and trivia nights for all. They also offer fun holiday events, with Sean and I having gone to their New Year’s Eve bash. It makes for a great place to unwind and enjoy some live entertainment with some food and drinks.