Heading to New England for a vacation is a great way to guarantee a good time, especially if you include New Hampshire on your list of destinations. Visitors can go east to the Atlantic Ocean or head north to visit Quebec.
New Hampshire is home to a long history and was even the first colony to create a government that was independent of Great Britain. Today, you can see that history in historic sites or take advantage of the beautiful landscape.
Winter is an especially popular time to visit the state, particularly for skiers and other lovers of winter sports. State parks, lakes, and the ocean are open year-round, however, offering attractions for visitors at any time of the year.
So, without much further ado, let's see the list of best attractions you must visit in New Hampshire.
Stretching for 7.6 miles of lush green New Hampshire scenery, the Mount Washington Auto Road is well worth the drive--- and climb. This is one of the steepest unguarded roads in all of America. It goes from 1,527 feet from base to 6,145 feet at peak. On average, the gradient is a shocking 11.6%! That means you’re going to need a car that works as hard as you do.
Before going on this unforgettable experience, be sure your car is properly maintained. Although it’s all-important, one of the most critical yet easily forgotten is a brake check. Especially considering this drive is particularly taxing on your brakes. Also, be sure oil and gas are good before starting the track.
The Mount Washington Auto Road is a toll road and follows this pricing chart: car & driver is $31, adult passengers are $9, Children (5-12) are $7, and under 5 years old is free.
If you aren’t confident in your mountain driving abilities, check out some of the guided tours. This is a steep and unguarded drive and should only be attempted by those practiced in such a sudden incline and decline. But that doesn’t mean you should be scared away.
Thousands of tourists wind up and down this path daily. And if you’re riding with a guide, you’ll be in good hands. Be sure to look around and soak it all in because there truly isn’t another site quite like this.
Address: 1 Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham, NH 03581
Accomodation: Where to stay in Gorham
Conway Scenic Railroad is another major attraction in New Hampshire. The iconic 1874 station in the center of North Conway Village has been home for over 40 years to the Conway Scenic Railroad, which began operations in 1974. In the beginning, there were 5 miles of track between North Conway and Conway villages and only Coach seating in converted boxcars.
Today, in addition to the original line, there are roundtrip excursions to Bartlett and through Crawford Notch on tracks that once were part of the famed Mountain Division of the Maine Central Railroad.
Conway Scenic owns the Conway line, and the State of New Hampshire owns the Mountain Division line. Train excursions range from 1 to 5 hours roundtrip with all three routes offering seating choices of Coach, First Class, and First Class dining.
Address: 38 Norcross Cir Conway, NH 03860
Accomodation: Where to stay in Conway
Tom and Olive Plant's mountain top estate is now one of the most visited attractions in New Hampshire. Built in 1914, this architectural beauty has witnessed many romantic weddings and family gatherings over the years.
Go on an exciting trolley ride through the same paths that the founders took in the 1900s. Also, visit the art gallery to stand in awe in front of some of the most beautiful works of art.
Address: 455 Old Mountain Rd, Moultonborough, NH 03254
Accomodation: Where to stay in Moultonborough
Hampton Beach is a history of being the premier beachside vacation. Golden beaches are broken only by the rolling blue waves that crash upon them. Tourists come from far and wide to soak up that famous New Hampshire sun.
The beach is lively, energetic, and always full of exciting new activities. For example, there are volleyball competitions, shows, sandcastle competitions, and several other noteworthy experiences to join in on.
As amazing as the actual beach is, there are also plenty of other events to enjoy within the city itself. Hampton Beach is also a village district with all the best in cuisine, shopping, and entertainment.
Generally, the city is bustling without being chaotic. It is a comfortable speed for travelers looking to relax and those looking for a party. Whatever your goal is this for this vacation, Hampton Beach is sure to deliver!
Address: 115 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH 03842
Accomodation: Where to stay in Hampton
This is one of the most beautiful and most romantic New Hampshire vacations that you can take. This gorgeous lakeside community has its hands full with preparations for some of the most exciting holiday events such as The Gift of Lights and the Kellerhaus Yuletide Open House.
From exquisite dining opportunities to great places to shop, this is the best place for you and your family to relax and unwind throughout the holidays.
Address: 61 Laconia Rd, Tilton, NH 03276
Accomodation: Where to stay in Tilton
If you are after a thrilling adventure, make sure to visit Mount Monadnock for the best hiking experience of your life. They have over 40 miles of clearly marked foot trails leading all the way up to the rock summit.
Once you find yourself on top of the mountain, you will come face to face with a view of the entire Southwestern New Hampshire region that will take your breath away.
Address: Jaffrey, NH 03452
Accomodation: Where to stay in Jaffrey
If you are thinking of giving your kids vacation that they will never forget, then make sure to take them to the Polar Caves Park. Take them to the petting zoo where they can get up close and personal with some of the animals.
They will even get to feed them corn and biscuits right from their hands. Take them through the nature trails, caves, and to the Maple Sugar House and Museum, where they can explore and discover about New Hampshire's plants and animals.
Address: 705 NH-25, Rumney, NH 03266
Accomodation: Where to stay in Rumney
More popularly known as The Kanc, this 34.5-mile drive provides you with some of the most charming views throughout Northern New Hampshire. This is one of your must-do activities while you are in the area because it was recently designated as an American Scenic Byway.
Discover the area's rich history as well as its aesthetic beauty and have a fun little picnic with your family along with the campgrounds.
Address: Route 112, North Conway, NH
Accomodation: Where to stay in North Conway
Found in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Franconia Notch State Park is a true ethereal beauty. It is the perfect site for hikers and trailblazers looking for a brand new adventure. This park is a massive conglomeration of all things preserved land. That means wildlife, wildflowers, greenery, lakes, and so much more available for public viewing.
It is popular amongst newcomers and experienced explorers alike as no matter how many times you’ve hiked the park, you’re sure to find something new every time.
Entrance into the park requires a State Park fee. For adults, it is $4, and for youths 6-11, it is $2. Anyone under 5 or over 65 is free all-day. Specific attractions such as the Flume Gorge, the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, and the discovery pass (which includes both) are sold separately.
For pricing on these adventures check out the New Hampshire State Park website. However, footpaths are free and highly recommended by all those who wander them. You’ll truly see something you never have before with every stop at Franconia Notch State Park.
Address: 260 Tramway Dr, Franconia, NH 03580
Accomodation: Where to stay in Franconia
Welcome to Winnipesaukee! This popular tourist attraction is actually the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire. It is a massive body of water with several little islands, bays, and accompanying inlets.
One of the most popular things to do here is, of course, a boat tour! Lake Winnipesaukee is an incredible stretch of water and just can’t be truly appreciated from a simple look. You’re going to want to get up close and personal with this attraction. Speed along for a fast-paced boating excursion, or look into some of the unique snorkeling adventures available.
The city of Lake Winnipesaukee has much to offer as well. From several of the highest-rated eateries, cafes, and shops to all-day activities, the fun doesn’t stop. And there’s so much more natural beauty to explore.
The lake is bordered on nearly all ends by some of the most magnificent mountains in the area. Here many tourists take a day trip out to one of the footpaths and spend the day, week, or weekend paving their own way through the lush New Hampshire forestry. Whatever you choose to do in Lake Winnipesaukee, you’re in for a real treat.
Address: Lake Winnipesaukee, NH