New Hampshire is a state that offers year-round entertainment that goes far beyond politics. Nestled between Vermont and Maine is this small state whose motto “Live Free or Die,” reiterates the state’s prominence throughout American history as a freedom-loving independent state. New Hampshire is also known for its abundant wildlife, stunning fall scenery, and excellent ski resorts.
Some of New Hampshire’s most popular attractions are its scenic byways that race to the tops of mountains and past vividly colored fall foliage like the Kancamagus Highway, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway. When you’ve had your fill of luscious scenery, head to the small towns to view some of the country’s most important historical landmarks.
New Jersey’s Hampton Beach is the state’s most popular beach community and it doesn’t require that you leave the mainland to pay a visit. Located in the town of Hampton, Hampton Beach is bordered by Ocean Boulevard, a popular boardwalk with shops, hotels, and the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. Visitors to the beach can partake in usual beach activities or explore the boardwalk.
New Hampshire Route 112, better known as Kancamagus Highway become’s one of New Hampshire’s most popular thoroughfares each fall as the leaves change color and sightseers come in droves to view the stunning autumn foliage. The 26.5 mile long road runs through the White Mountains, along the Swift River valley, up to Kancamagus Pass at 2,855 feet to the city of Lincoln. The Kancamagus Highway is also a National Scenic Byway.
Castle in the Clouds
It’s not really in the clouds, but by all appearances, this 16 room mansion atop Lee Mountain in Moultonborough is high above the world. The mansion dates to 1913 when it was built by millionaire Thomas Gustave Plant. The mansion features craftsman style architecture and in addition the 16 rooms the mansion has a stable/garage, gatehouses, a greenhouse, several farm buildings, and even a golf course. Visitors can come to the Castle in the Clouds to take a tour, enjoy a meal, or browse the art gallery.
Mount Washington Cog Railway
The world’s first mountain-climbing cog, or rack-and-pinion, railway summits Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The remarkable railway is the second steepest in the world with an average grade of 25% over its 3 miles of track. Tourists can ascend the mountain in one of the trains, either the two steam locomotives or the four biodiesel locomotives.
Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch State Park is located in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and straddles 8 miles of Interstate 93 as it passes through Franconia Notch, a mountain pass between the Kinsman Range and Franconia Range. Attractions in the state park include the Flume Gorge and visitor center, the Old Man of the Mountain historical site and miles of hiking, biking and ski trails. The northern part of the park, including Cannon Mountain and Echo and Profile lakes, is in the town of Franconia, and the southern part, including Lonesome Lake and the Flume, is in Lincoln.
Top Things to Do in New Hampshire
Canobie Lake Park
Canobie Lake Park is an amusement park in Salem, New Hampshire. Canobie Lake Park features a variety of rides and attractions. The Yankee Cannonball, a 1930s-era wooden roller coaster, is one of the park’s best known rides. The park also has a looping, steel roller coaster named the Canobie Corkscrew. Canobie Lake Park has over 85 rides including thrill rides like their wild roller coaster, family and kid-friendly rides, attractions and all scheduled live shows.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
In Cornish, New Hampshire you’ll find this site dedicated to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s most talented sculptors. The National Historic Site preserves the sculptor’s home, gardens, and artist studio. Visitors to the historic site can also view several original sculptures on display.
Mount Washington Auto Road
Aside from taking the popular train, visitors wishing to summit the 4,618 meters to the top of Mount Washington can use this scenic toll road with an average gradient of 11.6%. The route is a toll road which passes from Pinkham Notch to the summit of Mount Washington. Because of its scenic location and alluring gradient the road is a popular site for races by car, foot, or bike, including the oldest auto race in the country the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race.
Currier Museum of Art
The Currier Museum of Art is an art museum in Manchester, New Hampshire. It features European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture. The permanent collection includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, O’Keeffe, Calder, Scheier and Goldsmith, John Singer Sargent, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Andrew Wyeth. Enjoy the extensive collections of paintings, sculpture, furniture, glass and ceramics.
Prescott Park is a ten-plus acre waterfront park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Prescott Park comprises over 10 acres of waterfront property along the Piscataqua River. The Park grounds are offer over ten acres of riverside lawns, gardens and walkways, three boardwalk piers, two public docking and an island with picnic tables, shelters and grills. Prescott Park is open year round, restrooms and other facilities are closed in the winter.
Things to Do in New Hampshire
Throughout history New Hampshire has held a special place in the hearts of America’s poets, writers, and artists. With stunning landscapes around every corner and a history rich with aspirations of independence and freedom, it’s clear why New Hampshire has captivated and inspired so many.