From miles of coastline to the highest summit in the Northeast, New Hampshire offers a variety of views, recreational activities, and culture. No matter the time of year or the weather you are sure to find yourself on an adventure.
These endless activities span across the Granite State. Find out what there is to explore, and discover what one can indulge in within each region of New Hampshire:
White Mountains Region
The best part of the White Mountains? You can enjoy it all year round. It offers miles of hiking trails throughout the expansive mountain range. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or not, there are many different levels of trail hiking. If you’d like to enjoy the views with a little less physical activity, try the scenic Kancamagus Highway, which boasts beautiful views all year, but especially in the fall with its panoramic foliage. Or, take a ride on the world’s first mountain climbing The Mt Washington Cog Railway all the way up to the highest peak in New England!
The winter months tend to be a popular time to take a ride up this area. For those ski and snowboard lovers, there are endless trails throughout New Hampshire as its home to over 20 alpine ski areas. At night you can head over to Woodstock to explore and take in the beauty of the ice sculptures at the Ice Castles. Looking for some kid-friendly attractions? Be sure to check out: Santa’s Village, Story Land, Clark’s Trading Post, Polar Caves, and the Lost River Gorge.
The Lakes Region is home to more than 250 lakes, ponds, and beaches where one can go to unwind or try out a host of recreational activities. As the largest lake in NH, Lake Winnipesaukee boasts more than just lake water. Mountain ranges tower over parts of the popular vacation destination, along with festival traditions spanning for years and family amusement, such as the Weirs Beach boardwalk.
We can’t forget one of the biggest weeks during the summer is Laconia Motorcycle Week – the world’s oldest motorcycle rally! Riding enthusiasts from all over flock to this week-long rally every year.
If you prefer a slower, more laid-back type of activity to add to your itinerary you must add the Hobo Railroad and Winnipesaukee Railroad, featuring the beautiful scenic views the area has to offer.
When one thinks of classic New England – beach, laid-back vibes, and of course, lobster – the NH seacoast is the place to experience this old-time charm. 18 miles of coastline offer boardwalks, entertainment, and beautiful beaches.
Interested in historic spots along the coast? Downtown Portsmouth has that and more. Portsmouth is a great town to take in the history of the area, grab a drink at a funky brewery and check out some of the small-town eclectic shops. Want to travel farther back in time, Strawbery Banke is the place to go to see what it was like to live in the 1600’s-the 1950’s. This 10-acre outdoor living history museum is especially magical during the holiday season.
Not only is this region home to the ever-popular Mt Monadnock, climbed by hundreds daily, but it consists of 40 scenic towns full of art and culture. This picturesque region hosts multiple festivals and parks throughout the year, all with their own unique theme. Check out the pink blooms at the Rhododendron State Park, gaze at the beautiful ice sculptures featured at the Keene Ice and Snow Festival or partake in a good old fashion fair complete with carnival rides, music, fireworks show, parade, and more!
Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
Want to explore the great outdoors? Whether you want to get in an invigorating hike, go skiing or snowboarding during the winter, or enjoy a relaxing day on the boat, you are sure to get your adventurous fix.
If you decide to venture into town you’ll find nothing short of local art, antiques, and history around each corner. Fun fact: this region is home to the nation’s oldest annual craft fair, the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair.
Great North Woods
Calling all nature lovers – we found your paradise. With plenty of wilderness surrounding you, your adventure awaits. Discover all this region terrain has to offer– camping, hiking, fishing, rafting, snowmobiling – you name it, you will find it! Full of scenic drives, beautiful waterfalls, towering forests, and outdoor sports galore, you will not leave unsatisfied.
Merrimack Valley Region
Made up of New Hampshire’s most bustling cities, Merrimack Valley showcases the Capital Center for Arts in Concord, musical performances of all kinds, and rich history. Home to the famous Canobie Lake Park, there is no shortage of kid-friendly activities to indulge in.
Want something more fast-paced? The town of Loudon is home to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and hosts NASCAR at least once a year, in addition to various events throughout the year.
You are sure to find activities that suit every interest no matter the season, nor, which part of NH you choose to visit. Whether you are chasing views and thrills or looking to escape and unwind, the Granite State offers it all.