The Getaway
Things to Do in New Hampshire

New Hampshire may be small, but the Granite State has a lot to offer. The eastern side borders the Atlantic Ocean, so there are plenty of beaches and quaint New England seaside towns to visit, but if you are looking for something a little more exciting and outdoorsy, like rock climbing, camping, hiking, or cross-country skiing, you will find plenty of opportunities to indulge your outdoorsy side, too. Some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country exist in New Hampshire.

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01 Kancamagus Highway

Kancamagus Highway is not your typical Sunday drive. Located in northern New Hampshire, in White Mountain National Forest, the Kancamagus Highway is a 34-mile stretch of road that is a destination for hundreds of thousands of people every year. A drive through the area in the fall is simply stunning as the leaves change to fiery red, orange, and yellow. If you want the full experience, make some stops along the way to check out the trails, waterfalls, and scenic views.

Kancamagus Highway Drive DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

02 Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire's largest lake, located just east of the center of the state. It is a great place to take in the view and relax, but there are a lot of outdoor activities available here, too, including beaches, sightseeing cruises, a nature center, and much more. The fun continues into the winter, too, with downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.

Lake Winnipesaukee Colors DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

03 Canterbury Shaker Village

Just outside Concord is the Canterbury Shaker Village. This National Historic Landmark was founded in 1969 as a way to preserve the heritage of the Canterbury Shakers. It includes four reconstructed buildings, 25 restored original buildings, and more than 690 acres of fields, gardens, forests, and nature trails. Here you can take a tour to learn more about the Shakers and see demonstrations of traditional broom making, woodworking, weaving, spinning, letterpress printing, and much more.

Canterbury Shaker Village Debbie Eckert / Getty Images

04 Downtown Concord

If you want to experience city life in New Hampshire, head to the capital. In downtown Concord, you'll find unique shopping and dining opportunities as well as galleries, theaters, and live events. It is located in the middle of lush forests and lakes and is the perfect place to stop and grab a bite to eat when making your way from outdoor adventure to the next.

Downtown Concord Art DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

05 Historic Portsmouth

Historic Portsmouth is located on the coast of New Hampshire, just south of the Maine border. Once a busy sea village, Portsmouth is now a protected historical and archeological site. The school, post office, general store, and Methodist Church are open to the public seasonally. There are also nature trails to explore and a beach perfect for hunting seashells and swimming. Tent camping and rustic cabins are available for overnight stays.

Historic Portsmouth Downtown DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

06 Flume Gorge

Just north of Woodstock, in the White Mountain National Forest, is Flume Gorge, one of the most photogenic places in New Hampshire. A two-mile loop trail follows wooden boardwalks and stairs right into the rock formations, so you get up close and personal with moss, lichen, and gorgeous waterfalls. Along the way, stop to take a selfie at the Flume Covered Bridge, one of the oldest covered bridges in the state. Check out Table Rock, the Old Man of the Mountain, and explore the Bear Cave if you have time.

Flume Gorge Sentinel Bridge jaypetersen / Getty Images

07 White Mountains

We have mentioned White Mountain National Forest as a home to several landmarks and interesting places, but do not forget to spend time exploring the mountains themselves. There is so much to do here: golfing, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, mountain streams and lakes for fishing, and beaches for swimming. In the winter, there is a range of downhill skiing courses to choose from and several resorts to spend the night.

White Mountains johnandersonphoto / Getty Images

08 New Castle

New Castle is the smallest town in New Hampshire. It is also the farthest east, and the only one contained entirely on an island. All excellent reasons why it is a must-see. The idyllic location makes it a perfect place for sandy beaches and relaxing vacations, and the charming scenery is any photographer's dream.

Coast New Castle DGV / Getty Images

09 Hampton Beach

Hampton Beach is located on the coast, just north of the Massachusetts border. It is the perfect beach town and an idyllic destination for a relaxing family vacation. Discover everything from arcades, waterslides, and mini-golf to family campgrounds, golf resorts, and galleries. And don't forget about deep-sea fishing and whale watching.

Hampton Beach Resort DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

10 Nashua

In the eastern side of the state just north of Massachusetts is Nashua, the second largest city in northern New England. It was named "The Best Place to Live in America," so it is definitely worth seeing what all the fuss is about. Nashua is a quaint town with gorgeous architecture and plenty to do to keep you busy. Check out Mine Falls Park for 325 acres of forest and wetlands right in the heart of the city, or stop by the Djinn Spirits distillery and sample a spiced honey liqueur based on a 500-year old recipe.

Nashua Lake Leaves DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

11 Castle in the Clouds

Nestled in the heart of Moultonborough, Castle in the Clouds is a true gem of New Hampshire. This historic mansion, built in 1914, offers not just a glimpse into the luxurious past but also boasts some of the most stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding mountains. After touring the Lucknow mansion, visitors can explore 28 miles of hiking trails that meander past waterfalls and lush landscapes, ensuring a blend of culture, history, and nature in one visit.

12 Morningside flight park

For those who dream of taking to the skies, Morningside Flight Park in Charlestown is the ultimate adventure destination. Offering lessons in hang gliding, paragliding, and powered paragliding, this park caters to thrill-seekers of all skill levels. Beyond flying, guests can enjoy zip-line canopy tours and outdoor laser tag, making it a perfect spot for an adrenaline-filled day out in the picturesque New Hampshire countryside.

13 Mount Washington cog railway

The Mount Washington Cog Railway presents a journey like no other, ascending to the highest peak in the Northeast. This engineering marvel offers breathtaking views and a unique historical perspective on how travelers conquered these towering heights more than a century ago. Whether covered in snow or basking in summer's glow, the railway provides a memorable experience that encapsulates the adventurous spirit of New Hampshire.

14 Great Glen trails

Located at the base of the majestic Mt. Washington Auto Road, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts. With activities ranging from kayak cruises on pristine waters to cross-country skiing through snow-dusted forests, the center ensures a deep connection with nature across all seasons. The well-marked trails invite exploration by bike, foot, or skis, offering panoramic views and fresh mountain air at every turn.

15 America's stonehenge

Dive into the mystery of America's Stonehenge in Salem, a fascinating archaeological site that predates Columbus's arrival by possibly a millennium. The network of stone structures and megaliths invites speculation about ancient visitors to New Hampshire's shores. Visitors can wander the trails, explore the astronomical alignments, and perhaps leave with more questions than answers about this enigmatic site nestled in the pine woods.

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