The White Mountains to the north, a beautiful stretch of coast to the east, charming little towns with whitewashed spiers to the south and two lake districts inland – there’s plenty to see in New Hampshire.
According to usaers, there is so much to explore: unique opportunities to kayak along the Connecticut River, a beautiful port city of Portsmouth, tax-free shopping…there’s something for everyone.
Just an hour north of Boston is Portsmouth along the short but very beautiful New Hampshire coast. The old town of the historic port city, founded around 1600, awaits you with inviting shops and cozy cafés at every turn. Most of the buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Just a stroll from the town center is the Strawbery Banke Museum . The site features 43 historic buildings where performers recreate the daily life of the community’s past residents. The museum is just a few steps from Prescott Park. Overlooking the Piscataqua River, this pretty coastal town is known for its summertime concerts and outdoor performances. Tip: Sail to the lobster fishing grounds at lunchtime on the Gundalow Piscataqua and help the crew haul in the filled pots, or take one of the popular harbor cruises on the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company steamboats .
Coastline New Hampshire’s coastline
is the shortest of any East Coast state. It stretches over just 30 kilometers – but they are really exquisite. You can spend all day hopping like a sand flea from one beach to another: from the more tranquil Rye Beach to the exceptionally wide sandy beaches of Jenness Beach and Wallis Sands State Parks to the bustling Hampton Beach State Park with its boardwalks, free concert performances and swimming facilities. At Rye and Hampton there is the opportunity to go out to sea for deep sea fishing or whale watching.
A fantastic spot for Indian Summer buffs, hikers of all fitness levels, and those who love the roar of thundering waterfalls. Active hikers can head to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) High Huts, which are modeled after the huts in the Swiss Alps. In Franconia Notch State Park , even easy hikes up Bald Mountain or Artists Bluff are rewarded with great views. Also recommended is Flume Gorge, a spectacular granite gorge at the base of Mount Liberty that channels the mountain’s torrent whitewater and is accessible via secured boardwalks for the keen outdoorsman. At Crawford Notch State Parkthe Arethusa Falls rush an impressive 42 meters down.
At 1,917 meters, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. No wonder New Hampshire highlights the White Mountains as a major attraction. There are breathtaking views from the summit. Either drive up or take the Mount Washington Cog Railroad – the world’s first cog-driven mountain railway (1869). Incidentally, the region is home to two of New Hampshire’s four historic grand hotels. There are also plenty of charming guesthouses and bed and breakfasts nearby for overnight accommodation.
In September, New Hampshire welcomes the “leaf peepers” — a nickname for visitors from around the world who come to watch the dazzling Indian Summer, when millions of leaves change color. The best way to see the imposing tapestry of yellow, orange and red is to drive through mountains and valleys dotted with picturesque villages. You can choose between three panoramic roads: the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, the White Mountain Trail or the Connecticut River Byway.
Kancamagus Highway – the most beautiful road
Fantastic views, charming scenery and wonderful hiking trails: Route 112, also known as the Kancamagus Highway, winds 55 kilometers between Lincoln and Conway through the White Mountain National Forest. It leads to the Kancamagus Pass and offers a number of magnificent viewpoints. Hiking trails lead into the hinterland, such as to the idyllic Sabbaday Falls. Once the highest point is reached, the highway meanders down into the Saco Valley. The road runs for more than 40 kilometers directly along the Swift River, which is repeatedly crossed by covered bridges. The valley widens, rest areas invite you to camp or have a picnic. Highway 112 is called by some “the most beautiful road in New England”.
With more than 300 clean and clear lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, the peaceful Lakes Region is surrounded by three impressive mountain ranges and has been a popular holiday destination for centuries. The centerpiece is Lake Winnipesaukee. With a shore length of 450 km, it is one of the largest lakes in the USA and a popular destination all year round. Recreational activities abound, from boating, swimming, fishing and sea cruising in the summer to great snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter. A very good view of the water and the mountains can be had from the historic MS/Mount Washington. Day trips and dinner cruises in the summer are available www.cruisenh.com
Also worth a drive is Castle in the Clouds, a magnificent arts and crafts mansion built on the hilltop overlooking the lake. In June, motorcyclists from all over the country come to Laconia Motorcycle Week, the oldest motorcycle rally in the USA.
If you’re shopping in New Hampshire, you’re in for a treat because the state doesn’t collect sales tax. The price quoted is what you pay. Rustic farm shops, unusual gift shops and numerous boutiques are available. Two major outlets – the Tanger Outlet in the Lakes Region and Settler’s Green in North Conway in the White Mountains Region – are also available to shoppers.