20 Best Places to Visit in New Hampshire

Best Places to Visit in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, is a charming destination in the New England region of the United States. This small state is packed with natural beauty, historic sites, and cultural attractions that make it an ideal place to visit for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and outdoor adventurers alike.

From the stunning White Mountains to the picturesque lakes region, New Hampshire offers a variety of scenic landscapes to explore.

In this blog, we will highlight 20 of the best places to visit in New Hampshire, including historic towns, outdoor destinations, and cultural attractions that showcase the beauty and charm of this unique state. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, scenic drives, historic sites, or family-friendly attractions, New Hampshire has something to offer for everyone.

1. Hanover

Hanover
Hanover

Nestled in the charming town of Hanover, you’ll find Dartmouth College, offering a delightful New England ambiance with abundant cultural and outdoor activities. Whether it’s hiking or skiing in the nearby mountains or leisurely strolling through the historic Dartmouth campus, there’s something for everyone.

Art enthusiasts can explore the Hood Museum of Art, while performance art enthusiasts can catch a show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

When it comes to dining, Hanover boasts an array of options, from quaint cafes to upscale restaurants. Fall brings a breathtaking spectacle as the town is enveloped in vibrant autumn hues, making it a favorite among visitors.

2. Concord

Concord Hampshire
Concord Hampshire

Concord, the capital city of New Hampshire, offers a blend of history and entertainment. Start your visit at the New Hampshire State House, the oldest state house still in use in the US. White Park is perfect for a stroll, featuring a playground, sporting fields, and scenic walking trails.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center provides interactive exhibits on space and aviation, perfect for curious minds.

Take a leisurely walk along Main Street to explore local shops and restaurants, and don’t miss catching a show at the Capitol Center for the Arts, offering a range of cultural events. Explore Concord’s charms as you make it your first stop on the journey through New Hampshire.

3. Merrimack Valley

Merrimack Valley
Merrimack Valley

Explore the historically rich cities of Manchester and Concord, offering diverse cultural events and the renowned Currier Museum of Art. Embrace outdoor adventures with hiking, biking, and fishing in the scenic White Mountain National Forest.

Don’t miss the Canterbury Shaker Village, showcasing the Granite State’s heritage, or the annual New Hampshire Renaissance Faire in Kingston.

Take a picturesque drive on the Kancamagus Highway through the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. The Merrimack Valley is a great place to experience the charm of New Hampshire, with its culture, history, and breathtaking natural landscapes.

4. Monadnock

Monadnock
Monadnock

Nestled in New Hampshire, Monadnock boasts breathtaking natural scenery and extensive hiking trails, spanning over 40 miles and catering to outdoor enthusiasts. Its summit treats visitors to sweeping panoramic views that include Mount Washington and the White Mountains.

Additionally, the area is steeped in history, featuring Franklin Pierce’s childhood home and the esteemed Dublin School. Monadnock offers a perfect blend of nature and historical landmarks, making it a must-visit location for those seeking outdoor adventure and cultural exploration.

5. Seacoast

Seacoast
Seacoast

Exploring the Seacoast region of New Hampshire offers an array of experiences:

From the historic charm of Portsmouth to the entertainment at Hampton Beach, there’s something for everyone. Rye Harbor provides a scenic setting for boating and fishing, while Odiorne Point State Park beckons with its nature trails and beach access.

Nature enthusiasts can revel in the beauty of the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, known for bird-watching and wildlife viewing. Each spot has its unique offerings, making it a must-visit for those seeking a blend of history, nature, and entertainment.

6. White Mountains

White Mountains
White Mountains

Explore the stunning natural beauty of the White Mountains, offering hiking, skiing, and sightseeing opportunities. Visit Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, for breathtaking views, or take a scenic drive along the popular Kancamagus Highway.

Discover charming towns like North Conway and Lincoln, and explore various lodging options, from camping to luxury resorts, suiting every budget.

Don’t miss out on the cultural events, sandy beaches, and mountain coaster rides while visiting the White Mountains, a great place for summer fun and outdoor adventures. The White Mountains truly embody the best things New Hampshire has to offer, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.

7. Bear Rock Adventures

Bear Rock Adventures
Bear Rock Adventures

Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, Bear Rock Adventures offers an exhilarating exploration of the region’s natural beauty and charm. Visitors can embark on thrilling outdoor adventures, from hiking through the rugged terrain to skiing on the powdery slopes.

Just a short drive away lies the picturesque Lake Winnipesaukee, a haven for boating enthusiasts, anglers, and those seeking a refreshing swim. Meanwhile, the charming coastal town of Portsmouth beckons with its rich history, dotted with captivating historic sites and a vibrant culinary scene.

For panoramic vistas, outdoor enthusiasts can conquer Mount Monadnock, a beloved hiking destination, and explore Franconia Notch State Park, home to the awe-inspiring Flume Gorge and majestic Cannon Mountain. The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region awaits with its tranquil lakes and quaint towns, offering an idyllic retreat for nature lovers.

8. Canterbury Shaker Village

Canterbury Shaker Village
Canterbury Shaker Village

Nestled in New Hampshire, Canterbury Shaker Village provides a captivating window into the heritage and customs of the Shakers, a religious community from the 19th and 20th centuries. With 25 meticulously restored buildings, including the Meeting House and Dwelling House, visitors can immerse themselves in the village’s rich history.

The picturesque gardens and hiking trails offer a serene escape, ideal for a leisurely day trip. Throughout the year, the village hosts an array of cultural events, from music concerts to craft fairs, ensuring there’s always something intriguing to experience.

Guided tours and educational programs cater to visitors of all ages, making it an engaging outing for everyone. Open from May to October, the village welcomes guests with discounted admission for children, seniors, and groups.

9. C huckster’s Family Fun Park

C huckster's Family Fun Park
C huckster’s Family Fun Park

Nestled in New Hampshire’s picturesque landscapes, Chuckster’s Family Fun Park embraces the state’s natural beauty and offers a diverse range of outdoor activities. Visitors can explore the charming historic district of Portsmouth and access the Isles of Shoals, while the White Mountains region beckons with its scenic drives, hiking trails, and ski resorts.

The Lakes Region, centered around Lake Winnipesaukee, is a summer haven with sandy beaches and ample boating opportunities. Additionally, Concord, the state capital, boasts historic sites and cultural events that captivate tourists throughout the year.

Chuckster’s Family Fun Park stands as a great place to enjoy summer fun amidst New Hampshire’s captivating scenery, making it a must-visit destination for families and adventure enthusiasts alike.

10. Mt. Washington Auto Road

Mt. Washington Auto Road
Mt. Washington Auto Road

Ascent the highest peak in New England with Mt. Washington Auto Road, a picturesque drive where visitors can opt for a guided tour or self-drive experience. The narrow, winding road offers remarkable views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Upon reaching the summit, explore the observatory and summit building. Prioritize checking weather conditions due to unpredictability and potential hazards.

11. Great Glen Trails

Great Glen Trails
Great Glen Trails

Nestled in the scenic White Mountains, Great Glen Trails beckon outdoor enthusiasts with its 45 kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. The breathtaking vistas of Mount Washington and the surrounding area add to the allure of this popular destination.

During summer, visitors can partake in mountain biking and hiking or explore kayaking opportunities on the nearby Androscoggin River. For those seeking guidance and equipment rentals, the Great Glen Outdoor Center offers both, along with invigorating guided tours and lessons.

Complete with a cozy lodge featuring a welcoming fireplace, the center also houses a restaurant serving a delectable array of homemade soups, sandwiches, and baked goods.

12. Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train

Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train
Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train

Experience a one-of-a-kind dining adventure aboard the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train, set in the breathtaking White Mountains. Indulge in various themed dining experiences, including engaging murder mystery dinners and festive holiday-themed dining.

As you journey through picturesque landscapes and stunning vistas, relish in the high-quality, delectable cuisine served on board. Whether it’s a romantic rendezvous or a special gathering with loved ones, the train offers a charming setting for cherished moments.

13. Woodstock Inn Brewery

Woodstock Inn Brewery
Woodstock Inn Brewery

Nestled in the scenic town of North Woodstock, the Woodstock Inn Brewery beckons craft beer enthusiasts with its tours, tastings, and an enticing restaurant that showcases locally sourced culinary delicacies. During the balmy summer months, patrons can bask in the outdoor seating while reveling in live music. The brewery’s retail store allures visitors to procure memorabilia and beer for a memento of their delightful experience.

Situated near other attractions in the White Mountains region, the Woodstock Inn Brewery promises an immersive journey into New Hampshire’s rich cultural tapestry, making it a must-visit for those with a penchant for locally brewed libations.

14. Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce

Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce
Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce

Nestled in the majestic White Mountains, the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce is a gateway to the beauty of Franconia Notch State Park and the charm of Portsmouth with its historic landmarks.

Visitors can soak in the scenic views at Mount Monadnock, explore the outdoor recreation opportunities in the Lakes Region, and discover the quaint villages and covered bridges of the Upper Valley.

The city of Manchester offers cultural and artistic offerings while the nearby Hampton Beach State Park provides a sandy beach and summer fun. With its proximity to the White Mountain National Forest and the Squam Lake, the Androscoggin Valley is truly one of the best places to visit in New Hampshire, offering something for everyone.

15. Absolute Hunger Relief at Murphy’s

Hunger Relief at Murphy's
Hunger Relief at Murphy’s

Indulge in absolute hunger relief at Murphy’s after a day of exploring the natural beauty of the White Mountains National Forest and a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway. Engage in outdoor activities ranging from hiking, and skiing, to kayaking, and visit historic sites like Strawbery Banke Museum and the USS Albacore Museum.

Unwind in the charming seaside towns of Portsmouth and Hampton Beach while savoring local specialties such as maple syrup, lobster rolls, and apple cider. Murphy’s offers a delightful culinary experience to complement your adventures in New Hampshire, making it an essential stop for all visitors.

16. Storyland

Storyland
Storyland

Nestled in Glen, New Hampshire, Storyland beckons as a family-friendly amusement park. Its theme revolves around beloved storybook tales like Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. The park boasts over 30 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and a splendid Ferris wheel.

Visitors can also enjoy live entertainment shows and meet their favorite storybook characters. Storyland operates seasonally from late May to early October, featuring special events throughout the year.

17. Castle in the Clouds

Castle in the Clouds
Castle in the Clouds

Perched in Moultonborough, Castle in the Clouds is an exquisite estate boasting awe-inspiring vistas of Lake Winnipesaukee. Originally constructed in 1914 by affluent shoe tycoon Thomas Plant, the mansion now offers guided tours featuring authentic early 1900s furniture and décor.

Additionally, visitors can explore hiking trails, cascading waterfalls, and a restaurant specializing in locally sourced fare. This destination beckons history enthusiasts, nature aficionados, and those seeking the quintessential New Hampshire experience.

18. Isle of Shoals

Isle of Shoals
Isle of Shoals

Nestled off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine, the Isle of Shoals beckons visitors with its intriguing history and breathtaking natural beauty. Accessible via ferry or boat tour, the islands boast rocky shorelines and abundant wildlife, from seals and whales to seabirds.

Steeped in cultural heritage, the Isles of Shoals harbor legends of pirates and Native Americans, adding an air of mystery to the picturesque setting.

Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in a myriad of activities, including hiking, kayaking, and fishing, amidst this idyllic locale. From uncovering tales of yore to immersing in the splendor of the great outdoors, the Isle of Shoals promises an unforgettable experience.

19. Littleton

Littleton
Littleton

Nestled in the northern part of New Hampshire, Littleton offers breathtaking views of the White Mountains and the Ammonoosuc River. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in a variety of activities including hiking, biking, and skiing.

The charming Main Street beckons with an array of shops and restaurants to explore, providing a delightful way to experience the local culture. Don’t miss the famous Chutters candy store, boasting the longest candy counter in the world, making it a sweet stop indeed.

20. Lincoln

Lincoln
Lincoln

Nestled in the heart of New Hampshire, Lincoln beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its plethora of activities, from hiking and skiing to mountain biking, all set against the stunning backdrop of the White Mountain National Forest.

A must-visit here is the iconic Flume Gorge, offering a breathtaking natural spectacle. For a leisurely experience, a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway presents a visual feast. The town boasts diverse accommodations including hotels, cabins, and resorts, catering to every traveler’s needs.

Lincoln is an ideal destination for families, boasting attractions like Clark’s Trading Post and the family-friendly Whale’s Tale Waterpark, ensuring an unforgettable vacation in the Granite State.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some outdoor activities to do in New Hampshire?

Explore the great outdoors in New Hampshire with a variety of activities to enjoy. From hiking the scenic trails of the White Mountains like Mount Washington and Franconia Ridge to skiing and snowboarding in winter, and kayaking, fishing, camping, and mountain biking throughout the year. There’s something for everyone in this nature lover’s paradise.

What are some of the most scenic places to visit in New Hampshire?

Best Places to Visit in New Hampshire, Experience the breathtaking beauty of New Hampshire at the White Mountains National Forest, where you can marvel at stunning mountain views and vibrant foliage. Explore Franconia Notch State Park for iconic attractions like Flume Gorge and Cannon Mountain.

Don’t miss the Lake Winnipesaukee region for water activities and scenic drives, or take a memorable journey along the Kancamagus Highway, showcasing New Hampshire’s natural splendor.

Are there any historic sites or landmarks worth visiting in New Hampshire?

There are numerous historic sites and landmarks in New Hampshire that are worth a visit. From the Strawbery Banke Museum showcasing colonial life in Portsmouth to the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, which was the former home of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, there’s something for every history enthusiast.

Don’t miss the Canterbury Shaker Village, a preserved Shaker community, or the Mount Washington Cog Railway, offering breathtaking views.

What are some family-friendly attractions in New Hampshire?

Looking for family-friendly attractions in New Hampshire? Best Places to Visit in New Hampshire, Look no further! Story Land offers a delightful amusement park experience for young children, while the Mount Washington Cog Railway provides breathtaking views of the White Mountains. Explore natural wonders at Polar Caves Park and Flume Gorge, with their caves, waterfalls, and granite walls.

Conclusion

Best Places to Visit in New Hampshire is a treasure trove of stunning landscapes, charming towns, and exciting outdoor activities. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a history buff, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque state. From the charming town of Hanover to the majestic White Mountains, from the historic Canterbury Shaker Village to the family-friendly Storyland, New Hampshire has it all.

If you’ve been to any of these places or have any other recommendations, we would love to hear from you. Comment below and share your favorite places to visit in New Hampshire. Happy exploring!

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