Westival in Portsmouth, NH

Aka West End Festival… #Westival2016 #WEliveworkplay

I have a very special place in my heart for Portsmouth, NH and the whole NH Seacoast. It is one of my favorite towns to go out in, one of my favorite areas to visit, walk around the little streets, bike along the coast, surf the mellow beach breaks, get lost in the woods. However, it wasn’t until 6 months into living in New Hampshire and going out in Portsmouth that I learned about the West End. It is not your typical touristy neighborhood, it is the locals’ place. A row of old factories and commercial buildings transformed into a bustling melting pot with young families, college grads, cafes, shops, fitness and yoga studios, bars and restaurants. You get it, I fit right in.🏠

#Westival2016 was held in the parking lot and lawn of Liars Bench Brewing Company on Islington St. NH has some fantastic local breweries and you should definitely check out Liars Bench if you pass by, the atmosphere is quite authentic and the beer flights are not to be missed! There were food trucks representing most of the local restaurants (yum, food trucks…), live music on the patio of the barn, a funny but clever ring toss game by Old Stone Cold Brew (delish smooth cold brew coffee by the way), drumming circle for families and kids, and the omnipresent bouncy house. I always wish they’ll have a bouncy house for adults…to allow for this tall kid.🙆 The beer taps were flowing, the grills were sizzling, old friends were meeting new, music was playing, and the weather was fantastic for a night out in September.🌇

This is why you go to a festival early…so you can grab a beer before the brewery reaches capacity 🍻.

Since I didn’t want to tell you how many food truck apps I had, I thought I should give you a photo tour of the West End, so I walked around (read: needed for digestion) and snapped some pictures of my favorite places.

STREET is my No.1 in the West End to go out at. It is very eclectic, hippie, attracts a different crowd, the food is delicious and the cocktails are to die for! They even allow dogs on the outside patio.

Cafe Kilim is an authentic Turkish coffee shop with truly good hand made coffee drinks, served on the small tables by the owner himself from Istanbul. Have a chat with him, he is awesome and SO invested in the community and the success of young people.

Another coffee favorite is White Heron Tea & Coffee. I love their food and I used to work from the coffee shop every once in a while. They also have coffee makers and tea pots for sale and their own coffee and tea blends. Let’s just say I still drive to NH to stock up on those…

Papa Wheelies is the local bike shop where you can expect honesty, true recommendations and impeccable bicycle repair service. They didn’t even try to trick me into something I didn’t need and I look pretty dumb and blond in a bike shop.👱🚲 Their bike swap this Sat (Sept 10) is my favorite event to buy awesome biking gear at huge discounts.

Mission Portsmouth is the fitness/yoga studio in the area that gets thumbs up from me for location, decor, programming, teachers, convenience, and user experience.

Making Faces is a specialized beauty shop that used to be in Downtown Portmouth before it moved to its cool West End location. The shop smells fantastic, sells my favorite brands (and some new favorites 🤗💋💄), and speaks to my girly heart!

So if you allow me to plan your Saturday…grab a morning workout at Mission, get a coffee afterwards, stop by the Bike Swap at Papa Wheelies, have lunch at Street, do some shopping, and finish with an afternoon beer tasting at Liars Bench. I promise, I won’t tell 😉.

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