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New Hampshire

New-Hampshire

Great Destination:

4.5

Value for Money:

3.5

Total Stars:

8.0

Personality Types that Like it Best

Great appeal to Mid-Venturers, Centric-Venturers and Centric-Authentics; less for those at extremes of personality curve

Did You Know…?

  • New Hampshire’s beloved Old Man in the Mountain rock profile collapsed in 2003.
  • Winds of 231 mph were recorded atop Mount Washington, a world record in 1934.
  • The state has America’s longest covered bridge (460 feet) and the oldest (1829).
  • Workers quarried 350,000 cubic feet of the state’s granite for the Library of Congress.
  • Before its transformation into a college, Dartmouth was Connecticut’s Moor’s Charity School for Native Americans.

From forests to outlet shops

New Hampshire is a sliver of a state, but it packs in many of nature’s gifts: the White Mountains, about 1,300 lakes and ponds, the forests which cover 80% of the state and, for still another lure to active travelers, a peekaboo bit of Atlantic coastline.

The Granite State also is known for colorful fall foliage, quaint small towns, shopping (for antiques and for the goods in brand-name outlets) as well as its quadrennial first-in-the-nation presidential primaries. The primaries may not bring tourists but they bring a lot of other people and publicity.

New England is well represented as a popular leisure trip destination, but each state in the area possesses its own character. While next-door Vermont has its Green Mountains, New Hampshire boasts the White Mountains. The numerous granite formations and quarries in the mountains give New Hampshire its Granite State nickname.

Active tourists love this state largely for this dramatic mountain scenery and the variety of activities offered. They can indulge their sense of adventure, their love of the outdoors and their desire for physical activity to whatever extent they wish.

And, it doesn’t hurt that the residents are friendly, but distinctively “New Hampshire” in their independence and points of view.  Visitors call the state clean and pristine and a place with “no big-city problems.”

All like the fact the state is relatively uncrowded. For the venturesome, that means nice chunks of the state are available for the things they love, especially skiing in winter and the rugged hiking trails and campsites in the summer. These travelers also are intrigued by and appreciative of New Hampshire’s associations with America’s history since colonial times.

Glaciers once moved through the area and created the wild, rugged passes and notches in the White Mountains that give New Hampshire some of its character. The wild terrain apparently discourages less adventurous types from visiting these parts of the state, but they come to the more accessible areas and pursue less strenuous activities. They say the slower pace of life in small towns creates a comfortable, relaxed feeling that sends them home refreshed.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Pull on your hiking boots and take advantage of some of the best hiking in the country, in the White Mountains. The local chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club maintains a series of back-country huts for hikers who pursue multiday trips.
  • Take a canoe or kayak excursion on the Androscoggin River for sightings of bears, eagles, moose and countless birds. The river also is a favorite of anglers.
  • Go skiing in New Hampshire. If it is an election year, schedule the trip for primary time if the activity surrounding visiting politicians interests you.
  • For women only, sign on for learning programs with names like Chicks With Picks (for ice climbing) and Dropping In (for snowboarding), or take workshops that teach things like ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
  • Take classes at the Canterbury Shaker Village, a living history museum at a 200-year-old Shaker site, now restored. You can join a workshop and learn to make typical Shaker products such as brooms or oval boxes or learn to spin your own yarn, among other things.
  • Visit Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis just before dusk, said to be the best time to encounter the local ghost, maybe. Called Blood Cemetery by locals, the burying ground is believed to be haunted by one Abel Blood.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Have a gourmet lunch at the cottage in Mason identified as the home of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother (because it was used to illustrate a 1948 edition of the story).
  • Wrap up for a sleigh ride. Or, do the driving yourself on a snowmobile.
  • Ride the cog railway on Mount Washington, a tourist attraction since its 1869 debut. The engine and passenger car are not coupled. The engine pushes the passenger car up, then, for the return, the passenger coach coasts down against the engine.
  • Sit down for an hour of dogsledding in Gorham. Or take the three-hour forest trip and, if you want, learn how to drive a team of Alaskan huskies.
  • Take a wildlife tour in search of moose along the Androscoggin River and into the 13-Mile woods area.
  • Attend the September Mud Bowl in North Conway, where the central event is the World Championships of Mud Football, with a double-elimination series of games played in knee-deep mud. Watch for the synchronized mud swimming.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Visit Dartmouth College, the northernmost Ivy League campus, located in Hanover. Highlights of the campus are the Baker Memorial Library, Hood Museum of Art and the Hopkins Center for Creative and Performing Arts.
  • America has a stonehenge of its own, and New Hampshire’s got it. Near North Salem, have a look at stone structures that comprise the oldest megalithic site in the U.S., possibly 4,000 years old. The site is an accurate astronomical calendar.
  • Take a scenic tour by train to Conway, Bartlett and Crawford Notch on the Conway Scenic Railroad. Take the trip in autumn to make it a foliage tour, or plan a self-drive trip to see autumn colors.
  • Visit the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, home to the Frost family from 1900 to 1909. The house tour includes a brief film plus a half-mile trail through the woods with 23 markers pointing out spots from Frost’s poems.
  • In summer, pick your own berries.
  • Shop in this no-sales-tax state. There are more than 55 name-brand outlets in North Conway; so-called Antique Alley on Route 4, and authentic country stores (General Store in Bath and Country Store in Moultonborough), among other choices.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development at www.visitnh.gov