A dud ride was a Sunday ride that my parents would take me on when I was little. I hated them. So boring while I sat in the back of the Volvo listening to my parents talk about the views, and places we drove by. Well, things certainly change as I love dud rides now! And definitely do not find them boring! We fondly call scenic drives that still, and I honestly wish my Mom were here to go with me on one… I love to see beautiful places, and I am lucky to live in an area with lots of wonderful places quite close for a dud ride!
After a few stressful weeks, my hubby and I decided we needed a quick overnight stay somewhere. I have always liked New Hampshire and I craved being near the ocean so a seacoast town would be a wonderful destination. So we took a dud ride to this scenic coastal town.
We easily drove up Route 495 from Connecticut in under 2 hours, with no traffic. I then set about finding things to do and saw that there were of course lighthouses to see! Being an artist I was thrilled as I am always looking for inspiration. The area did not disappoint.
The first place we went to was the Nubble lighthouse, which is worth a drive from wherever you are! You meander along Route 1, then follow the signs to this spectacular view. Along the way, you pass many new homes that have popped up and we enjoyed reading the signs for them that the property owners had installed on their homes. One of them struck my husband, it was named “Someday happened.” How clever and lovely is that? And inspiring as well… I could just imagine these lucky people getting up each morning with their lovely view of the ocean in front of them. But back to the lighthouse… it is at the end of the meandering road, and it was quite busy with people, but we could still easily find a parking place. Luckily it was a warm day and we walked towards the lighthouse and enjoyed the view.
This is a unique lighthouse for so many reasons! No longer manned by a lightkeeper, it is automated now. This in itself is sad as I enjoy thinking of someone out there making sure that sailors are safe and keeping that light going! Of course, that is a romantic thought as most boats have navigation nowadays I presume… but being an artist my imagination still thinks there is someone in that house enjoying it. The house has lovely details, like a mini victorian with scalloped eaves, and of course the bright white lighthouse taking center stage. There is an American flag catching the breeze adding movement along with waves crashing along the rocks. If you look closely and to the left, there is also a little “trolley” that the lightkeeper used to get supplies across. One lightkeeper also used to send his son across to school this way but was stopped when spectators came out to see the daily ritual worrying the coast guard about the child safety in the trolley. Can you imagine traveling across that way? While I was there my mind was whirling, and I have a wonderful painting in my head that will hopefully be started soon…and maybe even a children’s book as well!
Once you leave this area, there are a lot of outlets and unique shops in the area! We stopped at two lovely shops, and they do a great job of curating, as there were so many wonderful things! I highly recommend stopping at either! I even left my card at one, hoping they might stock my “Cousins” book. Since I have become a small business owner myself, I love to shop at others knowing the time and money they put into their business. The Daisy Trading Co, was a lovely shop with seascape items, cute things for kids, sea glass art in frames, so many unique things you really have to stop in to see! And reasonably priced as well. The Bell Farm shops were filled with birdhouses and other items for bird lovers. From feeders to birdbaths and then also items for your home, it was worth a stop as well, for different reasons. Both are unique stores and worth your visit! (And I get nothing from saying this) Since my mother, and now my mother in law have passed, we take lots of comfort in cardinals if you feel the same you will enjoy your visit!
After shopping, it was time to get a quick bite, and a local place called “Robert’s” was recommended to us. We drove there but even in November it was very busy and we ended up just getting a quick bite at the drive-thru at burger king. Even in the off-season this area is pretty busy! I would maybe suggest making reservations…
We then headed to our hotel, which was out of town on an island called New Castle Island. I had splurged for our night’s stay since we had such a horrific past three weeks. After a short drive the large white hotel, Wentworth by the sea, loomed before us, overlooking the water. My hubby said it looked like a ship, I am starting to think that my artist’s eye is rubbing off on him!
We checked in with the intent of relaxing a bit before dinner. Which I did for a bit, then my hubby unpacked our suitcase and saw that I had packed two different pairs of boots… so out we went again to get shoes for dinner. This hotel is about 15 minutes from everything. Something I am used to living in the country, but for others, it may be a bit out of the way.
The hotel is beautifully kept up and had one of the nicest beds I have ever slept in. The cushiony top and soft sheets were wonderful. The bathroom was huge with a heated floor… the first time I have had that luxury and I must say it was pretty incredible. Nothing like getting back into bed with warm feet! Overall it was a lovely hotel, but a bit pricey for me. Especially off-season. The restaurant was also incredibly beautiful with delicious food!
After checking out we decided to visit the Nubble lighthouse one more time. On our way there, we came across this pretty lighthouse. The Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse below is near the Coast Guard Station on New Castle Island. In the summer it is even open for viewing!
After leaving the Nubble we drove to Portsmouth and parked easily in a parking garage close to town. If you are like me, I always stress where to park. We walked the short distance to the shopping area and spent some time browsing. There is a lot of variety of shopping in the area, antiques, art, crystals, a florist, jewelers, and a lovely kitchen accessory shop. I think they have something for everyone! We ate a yummy lunch at the Brewery then headed down Route 1 along the coast, enjoying the ocean views. There are more lighthouses along the coast, and also Fort McClary which has been active in five wars! It is off of Route 1, and worth a stop for the views, as there are two lighthouses in the distance.
Route 1 south is a scenic dud ride with lots of lovely views…
Hope you enjoyed my take on Portsmouth, NH, and Kittery, Maine!
See you on the next dud ride!