Dramatic mountain peaks overlook regions covered with hundreds of lakes in this state of fascinating colonial history and astonishing beauty.
Known for the White Mountains and several great beaches, New Hampshire combines history and outdoor activities to provide a pleasant vacation getaway. Here you’ll find over a dozen of New England’s best ski hills for winter excitement; they’re great for summer hiking too. The coastline is relatively short, but the beaches are enjoyable long into the fall.
In the western part of the state, explore the White Mountains in autumn to enjoy spectacular color. Climb one of the 48 4,000-foot (1,219-kilometer) peaks. Drive to the top of Mount Washington or climb the 6,288-foot (1,917-meter) peak before winter. In spring, join a few brave skiers hauling their gear up Tuckerman’s Ravine for the exhilarating ride down. Check for avalanche warnings and be prepared for heavy winds year-round. Find traditional skiing, with chairlifts, at Attitash, Cannon Mountain, Wildcat and more than a dozen other ski hills.
In summer hike along the 161 miles (259 kilometers) of New Hampshire’s fairly difficult section of the Appalachian Trail. For a slightly less strenuous hike, try the popular climb up 3,165-foot (965-meter) Mount Monadnock, frequently visited by writer-philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Enjoy fantastic views from the top.
New Hampshire’s coast is only 13 miles (21 kilometers) but you’ll find six very pleasant sandy sections. Hampton Beach has an RV park and a pavilion with free summer concerts. Try surfing, body surfing and boogie boarding at North Beach and Jenness State Beach. Hundreds of inland lakes, including the massive Lake Winnipesaukee, offer beaches, boating, fishing and camping opportunities.
Visit Portsmouth to see 18th-century buildings and gardens of multiple styles. Guides dressed in period costumes will share the town’s history at Strawbery Banke Museum. Enjoy wine and beer festivals in September, Ghosts on the Banke in October and the candlelight holiday stroll in December. Nearby, board the USS Albacore, a retired naval submarine.
Elsewhere in New Hampshire find amusement parks, farmers markets and craft breweries. See the Clydesdale horses at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Merrimack.