Artisan clayworkers toil over Great Bay Pottery's ever-ready kilns crafting one-of-a-kind stoneware pottery, including sturdy floor vases, convenient serving dishes, and all manner of saucers for UFO hoaxing. Patient clients can watch as potters spin their new piece of practical decoration into existence and finish the piece to their specifications with painted and glazed designs in nautical, arboreal, or impressionistic themes, among many other options. For a small fee, the potters will inscribe any piece with a message for personalized gift giving.
Seasoned clay handler Elaine Fuller uses her 30 years of experience to guide students of all skill and age levels through private pottery lessons, as well as to craft elegant pieces of stoneware for purchase. Fuller cultivates an encouraging and customized experience for guests and their crafty companions, providing all the necessary supplies to sculpt bowls, pitchers, and ancient terra cotta dinner guests. Beginners will become versed in the malleable language of clay, learn rudimentary wheel techniques, and train on specialized equipment—including slab rollers, extruders, and nuclear particle accelerators—before decorating and glazing their finished products. More advanced pupils can tackle a project of their choice, developing a keener artistic eye under Elaine’s tutelage.
Prelude's multihued sanctum dazzles the senses with the wafting bouquet of fine soaps and lotions and the vibrant visuals of jewelry culled from the world over. Doctor Hauschka's lavender bath ($32.95) and Crabtree & Evelyn's lily body lotion ($22.25) imbue people with the inspirational power of flowers usually hoarded by sonnet-writing hummingbirds. The redolent array of beauty products and soaps includes a variety of imported goods and is flanked by a massive selection of gifts and accessories, such as gorgeous scarves made from rayon, silk, or wool ($3.50–$100). A tawny profusion of amber jewelry from Poland and Russia ($35–$500) accents outfits and encases moments of beauty, allowing them to be reanimated in ill-fated amusement parks of the distant future.
A perennial fixture on Golf Range Magazine's list of America's Top 50 Driving Ranges, Sagamore Golf Center combines practice resources for serious golfers with fun attractions designed to hook novice players on the game. At the driving range, guests can send balls flying across 320 yards of open fairway. Even after nightfall, the range stays well-lit thanks to tower lights and ground-up bunker lights that help players trace their balls’ flight paths.
Sagamore is also home to two chipping and putting areas and a par-3 practice hole frequented by LPGA teaching professional and Legends Tour Player Laura Shanahan Rowe. Laura in fact uses the practice center to conduct lessons for players of all ages and abilities. For a more relaxed experience, test your short game on Sagamore Golf Center's 18-hole mini-golf course. Waterfalls, rock formations, and treacherous quicksand pits surround the evergreen circuit, which stays open late in the summer.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
Located on Maine’s southern coast along the Piscataqua River, Kittery also encompasses several islands, including Seavey's Island, the site of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Visitors can still visit the shipyard or explore a naval museum at Fort McClary, a stronghold during the War of 1812. Even if you're not a history buff, the rocky beaches along the Atlantic Coast and Piscataqua River still make for a scenic hike, bike ride, or 1910s experimental flying-machine ride. Farther inland, you'll find colonial buildings and cobblestone streets. Local small businesses range from quaint bakeries and antique shops to restaurants serving famous Maine lobster. The best-known shop in town may be the Kittery Trading Post, which started as a one-room store in 1938 and has grown to include three stories of sporting equipment, hunting gear, gourmet foods, and home décor. Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.