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Top Travel Destinations in New Hampshire

Sep 18, 2023|

New Hampshire is a state small in size but big on adventure. The Granite State offers mountains, forests, lakes, and beaches in addition to quaint towns and a history dating back to its status as one of the original Thirteen Colonies.

Due to its compactness, you can drive from north to south in about three to four hours. Of course, you'll want to make plenty of stops in between. The state's size means you can make a day trip or an extended weekend out of many of the following trip ideas with this New Hampshire travel guide.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA townscape

Visit a sugar shack

Vermont may be the top producer of maple syrup in the country, but its neighbor New Hampshire can hold its own when it comes to syrup production. Harvesting occurs in the spring when sap starts to run; prime conditions for this to happen include cold nights and temperatures that warm up to the 40s during the day, which begins around March or April of each year.

A sugar shack is a business that usually consists of a small cabin located in a forested area with maple trees. Proprietors of these shacks collect the sap from these maple trees and then boil the sap down into syrup, which then gets bottled. While you're out and about exploring, stop by one of the following sugar shacks and purchase some homemade syrup as well as maple candies and ice cream:

Go leaf peeping in autumn

There's no better region in the country to check out the reds, yellows, and oranges of fall than New England. Most sections of New Hampshire offer prime viewing for admiring the changing colors of fall. The following are three of the best regions of the state for leaf peeping.

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Dixville Notch

The more norther the latitude, the earlier fall begins in the state. Dixville Notch, in the northern part of the state and close to the border with Quebec, is a mountain pass that offers some of the best foliage viewing early in the fall season. This part of New Hampshire also features moose, so keep an eye out for them while driving through the region. Autumn is also when rutting season begins for moose, so you may hear them calling out to each other.

White Mountains region

Autumn also begins early at the higher elevations. Drive the Kancamagus Highway through the White Mountain National Forest in mid-September to witness an explosion of colors. While in the region, stop by Franconia Notch State Park and check out the Old Man of the Mountain historical site. The Old Man of the Mountain was a cliff ledge that resembled the profile of a human face. The cliff ledge collapsed in 2003; a memorial commemorates the rock formation.

Fall colours in Franconia Notch State Park

Crawford Notch

In North Conway, take a trip on the Conway Scenic Railroad to cross over the Crawford Notch and view the fiery colors of fall along the mountainsides.

Go skiing at a resort

Several ski resorts operate within the White Mountains. The following are three resorts to try out.

Bretton Woods

This resort offers night skiing on Fridays and Saturdays as well as holidays. Bretton Woods also offers 98 trails, with terrains suitable for all skill levels. You'll get great views of Mount Washington from Bretton Woods.

Mount Sunapee

Mount Sunapee offers trails for both skiers and snowboarders. If you're of an intermediate skill level, know that about half of this resort's trails are for intermediate skiers.

Wildcat Mountain Ski Resort

Wildcat Mountain features terrain suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. This resort also has prime views of the Presidential Range.

Group of happy friends having fun on the mountains top

Hike a section of the Appalachian Trail

At over 2,190 miles, the Appalachian Trail runs from Georgia to Maine. Nearly 161 miles of the A.T. go through New Hampshire. Instead of attempting to tackle the entire trail, you can do section hikes in New Hampshire. You can hike for as short or as long as you wish on these sections. Just make sure to come prepared for mostly alpine hiking; much of the A.T. traverses the higher-elevation parts of the state, including the 4,000-foot peaks of the Presidential Range in addition to Mount Washington.

Take the cog train to the top of Mount Washington

At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the tallest peak in New Hampshire. You can hike to the top of the summit if you're in great shape; note that it's a tough trek that gains over 4,200 feet in elevation. You can also drive to the top of the peak in your car via the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Note that rates depend on the season of travel and number of passengers.

For a different way of traveling, take the Cog Railway to the summit. Opened in 1868, the railway takes passengers on a steep journey of roughly three miles round-trip. The duration of the trip depends on the train type; the steam-engine trains take longer to reach the top than the biodiesel-powered cars. You'll get to spend time exploring the summit before your return trip, although the amount of time you get depends on the season.

No matter when you visit Mount Washington, note that it's notorious for having some of the most extreme weather in the world. Dress warmly, even during the summer, and come prepared for weather conditions that can change suddenly.

Sit on a beach and work on your tan

New Hampshire has about 18 miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. This Seacoast region of the state features small beach towns ideal for a quiet getaway. Hampton Beach has a mile-long boardwalk with souvenir shops and seafood restaurants. Visit during the Sand Sculpting Competition to see amazing works of art made entirely of sand. Portsmouth, one of the oldest towns in the state, offers whale-watching tours and fishing charters as well as the USS Albacore Museum. Other beach towns to visit include Rye, Wolfeboro, and Seabrook.

Vivint offers peace of mind while you're away

Given all that there is to do in New Hampshire, you'll want to get out and explore as much of the state as you can.

With a Vivint system, you can rest easy knowing that your home is protected while you are away. Vivint offers several security packages, including a security camera package, that can help you keep an eye on your home from anywhere. The Vivint Smart Hub and Vivint app let you control every aspect of your home security system. Smart Locks offer keyless entry and let you assign unique access codes to people you trust.

No matter if you're headed up to the White Mountains or you're spending a long weekend in Manchester, let Vivint take care of all your home's security needs while you tour New Hampshire.

To find out more about our home security and automation products and packages, call today at 855.822.1220 to speak to a Smart Home Pro.

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