The entire middle stretch of Route 4 between Concord and Portsmouth is known as Antique Alley because it is shop after shop… (LOTS of them!) crammed full of antiques and collectibles beyond the antique hunter’s dreams. You’ll find some places with the more commercial approach, but many where you can score amazing finds priced very reasonably. An example here is photo of a room from one of them, R.S. Butler Trading Company, which gives you an idea, but each shop is different.
Having gone through a phase of collecting vintage cast iron once I learned how impossibly wonderful it is, should you have a similar hunt proclivity, you can still find stuff like that at really good prices if you don’t ignore what sometimes looks like boxes of abandoned junk that can get pushed toward the back in any antique/collectible store. It was in just such a box that I scored a phenomenal, very old iron skillet, stylized handle, with a gate mark on the back (unusual find) for a whopping $8.00. Yeah, grime enough so it had been bypassed. Somehow. But I soaked it in a mickey-moused, jury-rigged homemade electrolysis setup using a 12-volt battery charger for a week and it came out bare naked, ready for seasoning.
Antique Alley is to fun. You can find stuff like that there. Also high end furniture pieces though, and pretty much anything in between. Pricing sometimes depends on the seller’s mood, other times it’s marked but often negotiable, and of course sometimes it is what it is.
This can be a whole day or just a few stops on your way to something in your neighboring region via Route 4. It’s also a very pretty drive, beating highways if you have the time. Route 4 also takes you by Durham, where a stroller-friendly walk around UNH’s lovely treed campus and then a stop across the street for ice cream or a latte can be a really nice time out.