Renovated New England Bed and Breakfast Filled with Antique Furnishings
Just 8 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, red-brick buildings and tree-lined streets evoke 18th-century New England in quaint Exeter, New Hampshire. Inn by the Bandstand mirrors the town’s charm with a Federal-style façade and an ornately decorated interior, creating what Fodor’s calls “one of the best B&Bs in the state.”
Built in 1809 and still right across the street from its bandstand namesake, the yellow bed and breakfast preserves its roots with antique furnishings, hand-hewn oak ceiling beams, and brick fireplaces. Upon arrival, you’ll be shown the common areas of the house, which retains many of its original, early 19th-century elements.
The inn’s nine guest rooms are individually decorated. Choose one of the four suites to see the premiere rooms—the Lakeheath Lodge Room features ornate rugs, a private fireplace, a vintage dresser, and a maize color scheme. Start your day with a full breakfast that may includes dishes such as stuffed french toast drizzled with raspberry sauce; the menu here is inspired by the Culinary Institute of America. Afterward, use the rental bikes—included in Options 3 and 4 to explore Exeter and take in the changing colors of the leaves. All options also come with 10% off at Blue Moon Evolution, a popular restaurant in town serving organic and locally produced cuisine.
Exeter and Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Quaint Towns with Revolutionary War History
One hour north of Boston, in New Hampshire’s coastal region, Exeter’s streets are lined with boutiques and restaurants. The capital of New Hampshire during the Revolutionary War, Exeter may be best known for a prep school established during the Revolution, Phillips Exeter Academy. The prestigious school has produced several notable alumni, including President Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, author Gore Vidal, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. With its Georgian-style classroom buildings and converted Victorian homes, the campus is worth a visit.
About a 20-minute drive northeast of Exeter, the seaport town of Portsmouth mixes 19th-century municipal buildings with waterfront restaurants. Named one of America’s prettiest towns by Forbes, Portsmouth features a red-brick market square with an Italianate-style church, coffee shops, and contemporary-art galleries. At the city’s Strawbery Banke Museum, staff re-create daily life from four centuries as costumed artisans roam the grounds crafting beautiful art and loudly bemoaning the lack of flying cars.