New Hampshire Overview
New Hampshire may look small on the map, but its diverse regions offer a variety of destinations and attractions—from historic river valleys to the soaring peaks of the highest mountains in the Northeast. Roads lined with stone walls lead to quintessential New England villages, miles of scenic forests and parks, inviting lakes, picture-postcard rural landscapes and a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities.
This state has New England charm in spades and knows how to show it off. In fall, a scenic drive over hill and dale takes you through rural villages and farms just when the leaves are aflame. Sugar houses invite you to come tap maple syrup, pumpkin patches beckon from the road and mills serve up steaming mugs of freshly-made cider.
The New Hampshire Colony was settled in Portsmouth in 1623, and there are traces of the state’s vivid Colonial history everywhere, from living history museums that recreate life as it was on the colony to towns that seem unchanged by time. Given its cozy scale, it’s not hard to cover a lot of ground in this state, and you won’t want to miss much of it anyway. There are beaches, snow-capped mountains and dreamy forests to see, and just as many ways to see them: from sleigh rides, skiing and dogsledding to tubing, climbing and even moose safaris.
New Hampshire’s well-deserved reputation as an outdoor paradise allows visitors to enjoy all the beauty of the great outdoors in all seasons—the Granite State is home to the magnificent White Mountains and Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast, and myriad lakes, ponds, rivers, and, of course, the sea. New Hampshire boasts some of the region’s best skiing and hiking terrain—the White Mountains are home to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s High Huts, a delightful alpine experience complete with hot meals, and numerous ski resorts perfect for downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts alike.
Tax-free shopping means visitors can enjoy all that towns and cities have to offer for less. The coastal city of Portsmouth has a vibrant culture of dining and history, including the Strawbery Banke Museum, a living history museum great for the whole family. Take a Brewery Tour to see the sights and sample some local beer. And, of course, your accommodations will be as impressive as the surroundings; stay in some of the world’s most renowned historic hotels, including the Omni Mount Washington Resort & Hotel.
Must See Attractions in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is at its most beautiful in September and early October when fall paints its maples shades of scarlet and orange and its birches a luminous yellow. Almost any road you follow will bring views, whether it’s a winding, tree-lined country lane or a highway that opens up sweeping mountain vistas.
Lost River Gorge
During the last Ice Age, glaciers covered the White Mountains with a mile-high sheet of ice. When these melted and receded, the combination of meltwater and moving ice carved deep potholes into the granite and tore loose giant boulders, dropping them helter-skelter across the landscape. It was a combination of these that created this natural wonder. Lost River disappears into caves formed by a tumble of glacial boulders, appearing again in cascades and long waterfalls and swirling in giant cauldron-shaped pot holes as it drops through the steep ravine. You can explore all the caves and the narrow passages formed by the masses of broken granite ledge or bypass them to climb through on boardwalks and stairs.
Video Credit: VisitNewHampshire