The attractive, bustling Seacoast community of Portsmouth doesn't have much in the way of nightlife specifically geared to LGBT clients, but this generally liberal city of 21,000 does have a sizable gay population and is a population getaway for New Englanders farther south, coming from Boston (an hour south) or Providence (two hours away).
A few bars and restaurants in the walkable, historic downtown of Portsmouth do have a bit of a gay following, or are at least quite gay welcoming. These include the hip Red Door Lounge (107 State St., 603-373-6827), a swanky martini bar serving sophisticated cocktails (it's beside Dos Amigos Burritos); and Portsmouth Brewery (56 Market St., 603-431-1115), which crafts a fine selection of artisan beers and serves great comfort fare, too. The coffeehouse Breaking New Grounds (16 Market Square, 603-436-9555) draws a diverse crowd for coffee and baked goods throughout the day and evening - in warm weather, grab a table on the sidewalk.
You'll also find a number of excellent eateries downtown, where you'll likely encounter a warm welcome, including the Wellington Room (67 Bow St., 603-431-2989), which has lovely views over the Piscataqua River; quirky and groovy Lexie's Joint (212 Islington St., 603-319-4055), which serves terrific burgers (both veggie and meat); and the intimate and fun tapas and Mediterranean wine bar, Cava (10 Commercial Alley, 603-319-1575).
Portsmouth is also just a 30-minute drive south of the gay-popular summer beach town, Ogunquit, and it's a little less than an hour's drive east of the state's largest city, Manchester, which has a few gay bars, including The Breezeway, Element Lounge, and Club 313.