MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Big city attractions and natural enclaves in an historic village setting.
With its museums, minor league sports, tax-free shopping, and Lake Massabesic, a watershed that offers fishing, boating, and biking trails, Manchester is a prime pick for a budget-minded getaway in the Granite State. A rejuvenated mill town and New Hampshire’s largest city, Manchester offers history, culture, a diverse dining scene, and an entrepreneurial spirit for a fraction of the cost of a stay in most cities. The Currier Museum of Art has over 12,000 works from iconic and contemporary artists and kids between 13 and 17 can enter for $5; the Millyard Museum's exhibits chronicle over 10,000 years of the region’s history. Sports? You bet. Catch a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game, the Toronto Blue Jays minor league team, if you’re there between April and end of August. The restaurants are collectively a study in the diversity of comfort food, from the old-school diners to Puritan Backroom, which opened a century ago and is said to have originated chicken tenders to newer spots, like locally-obsessed Republic Café, which offers an array of international staples (Spanish meatballs, Moroccan lentil stew) made with local ingredients at out-of-this-world prices. There’s also spots like The Foundry, the state’s largest locally-focused farm-to-table restaurant, that fetch prices on par with bigger metropolises, but it’s worth the splurge. And splurge you should. After all, you can book a room here for under $150. That’ll even leave you enough to visit one of the town’s microbreweries, like Milly’s Tavern, home to Stark Brewing Company, and Candia Road Brewing.