New York City is one of the cultural capitals of the world and is chock full of adventures. In the summertime, however, you may be looking for an escape for someplace quieter for a little while.
A Seacoast vacation is one of our favorite ways to do just that. The area we call home features plenty of opportunities to relax by the coast, to explore unique arts and music scenes, and to sample local fare. The rich history and many attractions afforded by the area make the trip well worth it, whether you’re staying in Portsmouth, New Hampshire or just a short trip further up the coast in Ogunquit, Maine.
The good news is that you can get to the area without a car, as our convenient C&J bus leaves three times per day from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue and offers direct service to Portsmouth and Ogunquit. Here is what you should explore during your Seacoast vacations, whether you’re going for a long weekend or planning an extended stay.
Arts & Entertainment
The Seacoast is absolutely loaded with cultural attractions if you know where to look.
If you want to get your musical or theater fix outside, for an optional $10 donation, you can head to Prescott Park, located on the banks of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, NH. This summer’s acts include Robert Earl Keen, The War and Treaty, Dr. Dog, M. Ward, Lord Huron, and Gillian Welch. The Prescott Parks Art Festival, which C&J sponsors, also puts on a kid-friendly annual play that runs throughout the summer. This year, it’s “Seussical,” and it delivers exactly the type of witty, rhyming, nod-and-wink family entertainment you’d hope for in a Dr. Seuss-inspired production, all set against the backdrop of a gorgeous park and the Seacoast waterfront.
If you’re feeling like exploring the eclectic and the majestic in Portsmouth, great venues abound. The Music Hall is a Seacoast gem located right downtown that features musical performances, famous authors, and numerous movie screenings. No matter when you visit, you’ll be able to duck into the air-conditioned theater for an exquisite show, including national acts who rarely play in such an intimate venue.
Further north, Ogunquit is also home to world-class performances at the Ogunquit Playhouse, which puts on classic plays in a fun, rustic setting. If you hurry, you can still catch Oklahoma! Before its run ends on July 7.
Enjoy the Food
Who doesn’t like to eat? The legend goes that Portsmouth, NH has more restaurant seats than residents, and if you’re traveling this far north you’re probably interested in sampling classic New England fare. Suffice to say you can find any cuisine you like in the city.
What if you just want a great lobster roll, though? Locals give a major thumbs up to Surf in Portsmouth, which offers a classic take on the New England institution alongside a raw bar and oyster shooters. If you’re looking for something a little less upscale but still boasting great lobster rolls, head a couple minutes north over the border into Maine and enjoy the homey comforts of Warren’s Lobster House or the roadside charms of Bob’s Clam Hut.
Go to the Beach
There are many great beaches in the area, but there’s two, in particular, we’d recommend checking out. Wallis Sands in Rye is just one town over from Portsmouth, and it mixes white sands with a family-friendly vibe and lifeguards. Be sure to explore the rockier sections of the beach during low tide and hunt for tiny crabs and starfish, as well.
If you’re looking to mix local shopping (and maybe a bite to eat) with your beach-going, try Ogunquit Beach. The sands are gorgeous and worth visiting on their own, and The Marginal Way runs just behind it for over a mile through flowers and into the quaint stores and docks of Perkins Cove.
Where to Stay
Affordable hotel options abound in Portsmouth! C&J helps cut costs off your trip by partnering with select Marriott brand hotels to offer a special 15% discount for C&J riders. If you are looking to stay in Portsmouth take advantage of the cost savings at the Fairfield Inn Seacoast. It can make your Seacoast vacation even more affordable.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime stay, Wentworth by the Sea, a luxurious hotel situated right on the ocean in New Castle, NH. Just a few minutes outside of Portsmouth, New Castle is home to quaint historic houses and beautiful ocean vistas. The hotel was built in 1874 and is today part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and it offers breathtaking views of the ocean and opportunities for seaside golfing.
Up the coast in Ogunquit, you’ll have easy access to ocean views at Anchorage by the Sea, a beach-front hotel and resort. Enjoy a quick walk to the beach, poolside dining, and a wide range of rooms and cottages for any budget.
Looking to get your Seacoast vacation started? Buy tickets to ride with C&J today!