Portsmouth, New Hampshire
A Seaside Gem Goes Green
Unlike Nantucket and Cape Cod further south, Portsmouth has predominantly full-time residents (about 20,000), which gives the downtown a year-round bustling energy. Citywide projects including Green Card—which offers discounts at 83 local businesses in the Green Alliance—have helped make Portsmouth one of the most sustainable towns in the country.
Your best beach is: Fort Stark, a quiet beach about five miles from downtown, or the more popular Jenness Beach, which can be reached via trolley from downtown.
On the weekend you might: take the steamship dinner tour from downtown Portsmouth to the Isles of Shoals, a group of rocky islands six miles off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire.
Your neighbors are: mostly in their late 30s. Pastimes include watching concerts and films at the historic Music Hall, hanging out at the downtown dog park, or catching an outdoor food event at Prescott Park.
Stay a month: Little beach cottage across from Wallis Sands State Beach with two bedrooms and one bath. Weekly rates start at $650; 603/431-2179 or homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p250591.