This year U.S. News & World Report ranked New Hampshire the second best state in the country, just behind neighboring Massachusetts and one slot above Minnesota. New York, tragically, came in at number 17, and considering the state of the subway, we're lucky if we even crack the top 20 next year. (Save us, Captain!)
New Hampshire, though: the Granite State boasts great schools, low unemployment, and no income or sales tax (though they do have high property taxes), and for outdoorspeople, the White Mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, and an assortment of lakes and rivers are all relatively close driving distance from one another.
Portsmouth, on New Hampshire's northeast coast, is one of the state's loveliest cities. It has a magnificent waterfront dotted with marinas, good restaurants, romantic pre-Civil War New England architecture, and a fun outdoor living history museum. If you're in the market for a vacation house, or a dramatic change of pace, and any of that seems appealing to you, consider this elegant 1912 house.
The house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a separate au pair suite, and a porch. It's located about a 15-minute walk from the waterfront, and it's listed for $575,000.
There's a gorgeous kitchen, complete with dark wood cabinets and an eat-in dining area.
There's a separate dining room as well, painted a vibrant red (though you could change that, obviously, if it's not to your taste).
The living room has a fireplace and gets lots of natural light.
There's a cute sitting area.
And an office.
The bedrooms are spacious.
Here's one of the bathrooms, complete with a granite-topped sink:
The bedrooms get nice light.
Only this one looks a tad darker but equally elegant, complete with a ceiling fan.
The current owners haven't done much with the third floor, but you could turn it into another living area or bedroom.
The porch looks very relaxing.
And there's a handsome deck out back.
Portsmouth is about a four-and-a-half hour drive from New York City. There Amtrak stations in nearby Dover, Durham, and Exeter, with service to Maine and Boston. From Boston, it's about four hours to Penn Station by train.
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