Take Your Pick
Bretton Woods, NH
Mount Washington Resort and Spa
Mount Washington Hotel - Sometimes you just need to treat yourself, and one of the best places in New Hampshire to do that is at the Mount Washington Hotel. The luminescent white structure with a majestic red roof was built in 1902 and offers year-round activities. In Bretton Woods hop aboard one of the longest zip lines in the country for and exhilarating tree-top tour. Other local activities include the state's largest downhill ski area, miles of cross-country skiing, and an 18 hole golf course. If you just need a good pampering, head to the hotel's enormous 25,000 square foot spa for a rub down.
Canterbury, NH
Historic Shaker Village
Shaker Village - Shakers emigrated from England in 1774 to flee religious persecution and set up 19 self-reliant communities in the US during the 18th century. The Shakers were a religious group who believed in among other thing pacifism, hard work, simple living, and ecstatic dancing (their dancing is how they got the name Shakers). The Canterbury Village was established in 1792 and grew to house 300 residents in 100 buildings and over 3000 acres by the mid 1800s. Today the village is a museum with a fine collection of Shaker artifacts and photos housed in their original structures.
Charlestown, NH
New England's Northernmost Settleme
Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum - In 1740, Fort No. 4 was New England's northernmost settlement. The settlement started as a land grant by the Massachusetts General Court in 1735 in order to push west and claim the area which was rich in wildlife and contained very fertile ground. At the fort, homes, a grist mill, smith shop, and saw mill were built by and for the residents. The settlement only last 7 years because Massachusetts pulled troops that were protecting the fort. Today visitors can see a reconstruction of Fort at No. 4 and enjoy 18th century re-inactments.
Concord, NH
Primaries Start Here
State Capitol Building - The New Hampshire State Capitol Building is the oldest statehouse in the nation in which the legislature still meets in its original chambers. Construction began on this Greek Revival structure in 1816 and was built with granite quarried from only a few miles away. New Hampshire is the location where the Presidential Primaries are kicked off to begin the new election cycle. This is evidenced by the enormous collection of political buttons and bumper stickers on the wall of the Visitor Center. Other items of interest are the Hall of Flags and the Golden Eagle atop the shimmering dome.
Concord, NH
The Concord Coach
Museum of New Hampshire History - Just across the street from the New Hampshire Statehouse is the Museum of New Hampshire History. The museum is a nice place to become familiar with the people, places and history of the Granite State. On display is the Concord Coach (the stagecoach that won the west), antique hand-made furniture, and the most intriguing object called the "Mystery Stone". The Mystery Stone is a football shaped grey stone with etchings that was unearthed in 1872 near Lake Winnipesaukee.
Derry, NH
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost Farm - The poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) whose most famous poems include "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken" owned this farm from 1900 to 1911. He spent the years here attempting to make a go of farming, but in the end the academic went back to teaching. He then went on to win four Pulitzer Prizes for his works. The home is now a National Historic Landmark and offers tours of the two-story house and poetry readings. A piece of loosely quoted advice from the late great poet, if ever two roads diverge in a wood, take the one less traveled and it will make all the difference.
Exeter, NH
Historic Exeter
Historic Town - Incorporated in 1638 (as Squamscott), Exeter was one of four original towns established in New Hampshire. A visit to the American Independence Museum will introduce you to Exeter's storied history, the Gillman family (area merchants linked to the American Revolution), and tour the Folsom Tavern (a center of political activity). On display are two original draft versions of the US Constitution and a Purple Heart given to George Washington for bravery. Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have visited this Historic Town.
Franconia, NH
Old Man of the Mountain
Old Man of the Mountain - State highway signs and even the back of the New Hampshire quarter contain diagrams of a 40 foot tall stony face profile clinging to the side of a mountain. When I got to the Old Man of the Mountain Park I eagerly asked directions to the "Great Stone Face". It was only then I learned the formation had fallen to the ground on May 3, 2003. I was crushed (no pun intended) and can only imagine how the great people of New Hampshire took the news. There are still things to do at the Cannon Mountain Ski Area, ski of course, and visit the New England Ski Museum.
Franklin, NH
Birthplace of Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster Birthplace - One of New Hampshire's favorite political sons, great orators and statesmen is Daniel Webster (1782-1852). Starting out as a lawyer, Webster became a US Congressman for Massachusetts and New Hampshire, a Senator for Massachusetts, and served as Secretary of State under Presidents Harrison, Tyler and Fillmore. He was born in this large wooden farmhouse, which had room enough for him and his 9 brothers and sisters. Webster is honored with a statue on the state capitol grounds in Concord, the nation's capitol in Washington DC, and in New York's Central Park (to name a few).
Grafton, NH
Collect Minerals at the Ruggles Mine
Ruggles Mine - Mica, a mineral used in lamps and stoves at the time, was first discovered here by Sam Ruggles in 1803. For years the mine was kept a secret by the Ruggles family as they hauled out the precious mineral in the dead of night. Through the years more than 150 different minerals have been found including, feldspar, beryl, uranium, pyrite, garnet, and quartz. Over 30 million dollars in these minerals have been collected from the mine. In 1963, after 160 years of mining, the Ruggles Mine was turned into a place where tourist could look for and collect minerals. The underground chambers and tunnels are also fun to explore.
Hampton Beach, NH
New Hampshire Marine Memorial
Hampton Beach - With just 18 miles ocean front property, New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any state in the union, but they make good use of it. Hampton Beach is the most popular sea-side destination for families and party-goers alike. On regular, non-event weekends, large crowds flock to the boardwalk-lined white-sand beach with notoriously calm waves. During event weekends, like the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition and the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, crowds come for the great food and the throngs of tourists can reach in excess of 200,000.
Lincoln, NH
The Falls of Flume Gorge
The Flume Gorge - Towering 90 foot granite walls rise above the 800 foot long boardwalk that follows through the magnificent Flume Gorge. Visitors can choose to hike the shorter route through the gorge or take the entire two mile route through and around it. Inside the flume are cascading waterfalls, reflecting pools, glacial and volcanic rocks, and covered bridges all enveloped in a jungle-like canopy. The Flume Gorge offers breathtaking scenic beauty and is certainly one of the prettiest places in New Hampshire. Be sure to catch the 20 minute introduction video on the formation of the gorge at the visitor center.
Manchester, NH
Art and a Little Frank Lloyd Wright
Currier Gallery of Art - Established in 1929, the Currier Gallery of Art is a premier art museum focusing on American and European artists dating from the Renaissance to present day. Works by Matisse, Monet, O'Keefe, Picasso, Warhol and Wythe are on display throughout the museum. Also part of the Currier collection is the Zimmerman House, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home built in 1950 for Isadore J. and Lucille Zimmerman. Besides the exterior house design, Wright created the interior, all of the furniture, the gardens, and the mailbox.
Moultonborough, NH
Castle in the Clouds
Castle in the Clouds - Located on top of a rocky outcropping in the Ossipee Mountains is the 5,200 acre estate called "Lucknow" or the Castle in the Clouds. Built by Thomas Gustave Plant (1859-1941), a millionaire who made his money as a shoe manufacturer, the grand structure was completed in 1914 and was a gift to his wife Olive Cornelia Dewey. The castle offers a 270 degree panoramic view of the New Hampshire countryside which includes Lake Winnipesaukee, the state's largest lake. The grounds contain the Castle itself, the Carriage House, a gift shop and over 45 miles of hiking trails (and it's only a 15 minute walk down to the waterfall).
Mount Washington, NH
Ready to Head to the Top
Cog Railway - The highest wind gust ever recorded on the Earth's surface blew over Mount Washington at an astounding 231 mph. Temperatures on top of the 6,288 foot summit have been recorded at -50 degrees Fahrenheit. So what would any good New Hampshirite do? Build a railway to the top of course. The Cog Railway was completed in 1869 and was the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world. Trips aboard the steam-powered locomotive to the summit take about an hour, which offers just enough time to enjoy the stunning countryside. I'll warn you, this is one steep ride!!!
North Conway, NH
Head Through the NH Countryside
Conway Scenic Railroad - There are several rides available on the Conway Scenic Railroad; the 55 minute Conway Valley Train Excursion, the 1 hour and 45 minute Bartlett Valley Train Excursion and the 5 hour and 30 minute Notch Train Excursion. Each ride is aboard an authentic coal-fired or diesel locomotive and travels through the some pretty New Hampshire countryside. But if you have a chance, take the Notch Train during leaf-peeper season (mid-September to mid-October) for some stunning fall colors. Oh what the heck, opt for the first class dining car too, you deserve it.
Pittsburg, NH
In Seach of Bullwinkle
Moose Alley - Moose Alley is the 22 mile stretch of Highway 3 running from Pittsburg, NH to the Canadian border and is filled with gangly-legged monster moose. The best time to see these enormous creatures is at dawn or dusk. During these times they will be hanging out on the side of the road licking salt left behind by snowplows or eating saplings. An adult moose stands over 6 feet tall (to the top of the shoulder) and can weigh in excess of 1,000 lbs making them the largest wild animal in the United States. Guess how many ticks an adult moose can have on them at one time? Over 150,000. That makes me itch.
Portsmouth, NH
What? No Strawberries?
Strawbery Banke - Yes I'll admit it, I thought that Srawbery Banke would have strawberries. Just wanted to get that out there. It is actually the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire and located on the grounds in which Portsmouth was founded in 1630. Over 40 restored buildings from 1695 to 1955, many of which are on their original foundations, fill the 10 acre museum grounds and contain period furnishing and exhibits. Costumed interpreters act as guides and answer any questions about this outdoor museum. Originally this neighborhood was called "Puddle Dock", but with a name like that I would have expected puddles instead of strawberries.
Rumney, NH
New Hampshire's Best Cave
Polar Caves - Formed over 50,000 years ago by a glacier that cut through the nearby White Mountains, the Polar Caves are a series of caves, passageways, canyons and enormous rocks left behind as the glacier retreated. The little monkeys will enjoy squeezing through the tight passages such as Fat Man's Misery and learning about Smuggler's Den which was used as a stopping place on the Underground Railroad. But there is more to Polar Caves than just the caves. There is a Petting Zoo with deer and goats, a Waterfowl Area with a ducks pond, Covered Bridges and a Rock Garden.
Salem, NH
Resting at America's Stonehenge
America's Stonehenge - Once called "Mystery Hill", America's Stonehenge really is a mystery. Differing theories exists, one saying this is simply the work of 18th and 19th century local farmers, another saying it is the work of an ancient Native Americans, and yet another saying it was built by Irish Monks. Whatever the case may be, this is 30 acres of beautiful New Hampshire countryside containing some very interesting stone structures. There is an Oracle Chamber with a speaking tube and secret bed, a sacrificial table, and several astronomical sites. Plus there are some friendly alpacas hanging around to take pictures of.