Top 10 Weekend Getaways in New Hampshire

Last Updated on August 09, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Gallivanting in the Granite State

Known for charming quaint towns and wide sprawling forests, New Hampshire is the perfect place for a proper weekend getaway. It is a state of old charm and new age fun. With such deep roots in the history of America (and for several years, colonial Britain) New Hampshire has no shortage of draws for history buffs. And as a product of the American northeast, the raw natural beauty here just can’t be done justice in a few simple words. There are plenty of cities in the state that accurately represent all there is to residing in New Hampshire. But there are a few that rise above the rest.

Check out this list of the top 10 weekend getaways for tourists in New Hampshire.

Best Weekend Getaways in New Hampshire

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1: Hanover


If you already have a mental picture of New Hampshire and New England as a whole, Hanover is probably the place you’re thinking of. It has all that old spirit, new entertainment that the Northeast is known for. During the fall the leaves turn to a crisp brown and set the city into a golden glow, and during summer ‘vivid’ doesn’t even begin to describe the green. Because of this, Hanover is a major city for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts. Hike a part of the Appalachian Trail, or look into some of the ski companies in the area.

Hanover is also the ideal place for families, as there is plenty of fun for all ages. There are bountiful and immersive museums that keep minds old and young entertained. There is also plenty of history in Hanover that can be experienced in a wide variety of ways. Tours, plays, art, and so much more await your next great adventure in the great city of Hanover.

Address: Hanover, NH

2: Manchester

Adobe Stock Photos/SeanPavonePhoto
Although typically Manchester is only regarded as a business hub, there is plenty to find here for the general traveler. There are shows, museums, galleries, bars, tours, and so much more all nestled in one lively city. Manchester is a great place to go if you like the feel of a moving city around you. If you like to walk past a bustling coffee shop and sit down for a drink or two and then move along to the next museum you see. It is a place with so many options you’re going to wonder how you can fit it all in. And as such a prominent business hub, this is one of the easiest places to find accommodations. Manchester is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway in New Hampshire.

Address: Manchester, NH

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3: Portsmouth

Adobe Stock Photos/SeanPavonePhoto

As another city in New Hampshire settled all the way back in 1623, Portsmouth has been a hub for business and tourism for the ages. Not only are there museums that will detail all the intricacies of history, but there are long-standing staple marks all around. For example, the Strawberry Banke Historic District is open to marveling, and the historic homesteads still erect in the city are one of a kind. This is a history fanatic’s dream as the weekend turns into three days of letting your mind venture into a time long since passed.

Portsmouth is not just for the history fans, though. Portsmouth is also a great city to bring the whole family, or just simply relax in a comfortable riverside city. Hampton Beach is one of the most visited attractions in the city. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the New England sunshine all in the comfort of one of New Hampshire’s most charming cities.

Address: Portsmouth, NH

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Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

4: Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves
Flickr/Bryn Pinzgauer
The kind of place that even pictures don’t do justice! This is one scenic wonder you’re going to want to see for yourself. This is located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and features waterfalls, caves, and gorges galore. Here you can see all the effects of the elements as they morph and create some of the most jaw-dropping beauties known to this world. It is a great place to let your mind and feet wander and stumble upon something fantastic. Use this as the soul-searching journey of a lifetime, or bring a friend to make some memories you won’t forget.

Address: 1712 Lost River Rd, North Woodstock, NH 03262

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5: Franconia Notch State Park

Franconia Notch State Park
Spend your weekend where the wonder is! Franconia Notch State Park is frequently cited by everyone who has seen it as one of the best things to do in all of New Hampshire. It is miles upon miles of blue water, green forests, and the soothing sounds of nature. It doesn’t get much better than this for a getaway. And adult prices are incredibly low, at just $12, with child and senior prices less. That means you get one of the best views in the state for cheap.

Address: Flume Gorge, Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251

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6: Rochester

Flickr/Doug Kerr

Everything is better on the water! Rochester is a massive, immersive city that is beloved by both locals and tourists alike. It is found at the heart of the Lakes Region of the state, and includes all the entertainment one could need for a weekend away. There are several ways to enjoy your time here and each one better than the last. With two (or three) days to explore, you’re going to need some target attractions if you want to see as much as possible.

To start off, you’re going to want to check out the Rochester Opera House! Even better if you go in time to attend an opera. There are also some fascinating displays about the town up at the Historical Society’s Museum ready for viewing. If you hear nature calling, then answer! Sunrise Lake is an iconic spot for some of the best paddling and fishing in the area. Or, look into hiking the Gonic Trails to see some otherworldly waterfalls right here in Rochester.

Address: Rochester, NH

7: Dover

Flickr/Kimberly Vardeman
With roots dating all the way back to 1623, this is one New England city that has acted as a dream destination for centuries. Actually, it is the oldest town in all of New Hampshire! Dover really holds onto that prideful title too, while all the best in historic buildings, landmarks, and museums. History buffs will want to make note of Dover as an absolute essential in New Hampshire. There are numerous tours that will take you throughout these historic streets, and plenty to simply stumble upon during your weekend getaway in Dover.

Address: Dover, NH

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8: Keene

Flickr/Doug Kerr
For those who see a weekend getaway as nothing but serenity. Keene is the ideal city to go to if you want to relax on your weekend off in a charming small town. There is enough here that you won’t have to worry about finding a place to eat or something to do, without the stressful pace of a big city. Keene is a city of vivid green natural beauty and old historic architecture. Bring the whole family and check out some of the museums, farms, and shops that locals and tourists just can’t get enough of.

Address: Keene, NH

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9: Nashua

Flickr/Tracy Lee Carroll

Go where the attractions are! Nashua is the state’s second largest city, and packs just a little bit of everything into its borders. Nashua is a prime location for all things historical, trendy, and outdoorsy. For some of the historical gems: check out the Nashville Historic District. This is just a short distance from downtown Nashua and features some of the best preserved buildings in the city. And there is so much to see! Look into some area tours if you really want to be sure you won’t miss a thing.

Nashua is also a great place to do a little outdoor exploring. There are several locations from all corners of the city that are ripe for adventure. From well-maintained arboretums to the welcoming thrush of nature, Nashua is incredibly naturally beautiful. Here you can hike, bike, stroll, boat, and so much more, all in the comfort of one of New Hampshire’s best cities for tourists.

Address: Nashua, NH

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10: Concord

As the proud capital of New Hampshire, Concord was made for a good weekend getaway! It is one of the best places to go in the state for a plethora of options. From educational and enlightening to unforgettable lively memories, Concord is ready to entertain all! It is also notable for being one of the most prominent art cities in all of New Hampshire. Expression comes alive with works from local and foreign artists exhibited throughout museums and galleries found about town. Check out the Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden or the Capitol Center for the Arts for an immersive look into all that colors Concord.

Address: Concord, NH

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Final Thoughts

Whether you want to get your mind lost in the wilderness or are looking to catch up to speed with a big city, New Hampshire is new go-to! It is diverse in its options and creates a beautiful array of opportunity across its many great cities. The question here isn't where can I go in New Hampshire, but rather when can I get to New Hampshire? Summer, fall, winter, spring---- New Hampshire is always there waiting for you!

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