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Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine are two small coastal cities right on the border of the two northeastern states. Small enough to see in a day but cool enough to stay a whole weekend (or even a week), the area is rich with colonial history, fun bars and restaurants, and maritime charm.
But while Portsmouth and Kittery are great places to visit, they aren't quite tourist towns in the same way some other coastal New England locales are (this isn't Cape Cod). That means the shopping in both towns provides a lot of variety — and almost none of is of the bumper sticker and sweatshirt gift shop type.
Instead, in Portsmouth, you'll find independent boutiques along quaint brick streets. Kittery has all the chain outlets the bargain shopper in you could desire, plus a tiny (but growing!) downtown area with a couple of must-visit indie shops.
Plus, the area is the perfect jumping-off point for a trip antiquing up Route 1 toward Portland, where you can basically throw a rock and hit a huge antique store filled with reasonably-priced, one-of-a-kind treasures. (There are too many places to even list, and you really can't go wrong exploring them.)Read More