Looking for the perfect getaway destination to marvel in the best of bright sunshine, azure blue skies, and starry nights? Stop your search and zero down on New Hampshire right away! Its pristine landscape and serene atmosphere, accentuated by towering, jagged mountains and island-strewn lakes are something out of a storybook, making it truly a hidden gem. Not only are the things to do innumerable, but each being equally fantastic as well. Water sports to mountain hiking, skiing to trekking, there’s just about everything for the outdoorsy soul. As much as its an outdoor activity haven, the town has quite a bit of historical allure as well. We’ve put together this exhaustive list of things to do in New Hampshire, USA, which you can use to make your holiday a one to remember!
1. Enter the whimsical world of Santa's Village
Less than 48 hours until these doors will be open for the 2019 season! Are you joining us Saturday, May 25 for opening day? Pure Joy. Family Style. Countdown to Santa's Village.Posted by Santa's Village, Jefferson NH on Thursday, 23 May 2019
Truly a kiddie wonderland, Santa’s Village entered the streets of Jefferson in 1953 and has since been a top attraction, especially for little ones. It is primarily a Christmas-themed park with some 20 joy rides and perhaps everything else you’d expect an amusement park to have. Most of the joy rides’ names are Christmas- and Santa-themed, and are for kids across age groups. While offering an old-school charm as opposed to its newer competitors, Santa’s Village, together with elves, reindeers, and Santa himself makes for a delightful experience.
Address: 528 Presidential Hwy, Jefferson, NH 03583, USA
Website: Santa’s Village
Opening hours: 9:30am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 28 - 30 USD
2. Ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway
Hitch a ride of the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway and spend the most thrilling seven minutes of your vacation. Transporting visitors to the 1,243-m (4,080-ft) high summit of the Cannon Mountain, the 80-passenger cable tram is just as fun as it is safe. Once at the destination, visitors are able to enjoy extensive views of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, and sometimes even up till Canada! There are designated trails, specially designed to orient visitors towards the best of viewpoints and the summit observation deck, which has the 360-degree observation deck, a cafe, and a bar.
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway
Address: 260 Tramway Drive, Franconia, New Hampshire 03580, USA
Website: Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 17 - 19 USD
3. Book tickets for the Mount Washington Cog Railway
While the aerial tramway is great for a ride up the Cannon Mountain, a train ride up Mount Washington is nothing less. These brightly coloured trains take hundreds of visitors to the summit of the mountain and since the ascent is slightly slow, you can enjoy marvellous panoramic views and click tons of pictures. It also makes for a great way to explore the area without having to hike or drive. The three-hour-long round trip is accompanied by narration, so not only do you get to soak in beautiful views but also gain some valuable knowledge about the area. It is recommended that you book your admission tickets well in advance. However, do note that they don’t take seat reservations and it is solely first-come, first-seated.
Mount Washington Cog Railway
Address: 3168 Base Station Rd, Bretton Woods, NH 03589, USA
Website: Mount Washington Cog Railway
Opening hours: 8am - 4pm (daily)
4. Enjoy hiking with friends on Mount Monadnock
Spring can be a beautiful time to hike Mt. Monadnock. Here's a shot taken Saturday by Brian McBreairty.Posted by Mt. Monadnock - NH on Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Work up those muscles a bit and get hiking on Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire’s most prominent peak. Offering some beautiful views from its 965-m (3,165-ft) high, rocky peak, a hike to the top is refreshing as well as rewarding. Several thousands of tourists undertake the hike, which is about a four-hour-long round trip and is not very challenging either. Plus, it helps that one doesn’t have to travel too far outside the city to get there. While the destination is stunning, the journey is no less either – the trails are rife with brightly coloured foliage and those being illuminated by sunshine make for an entirely exquisite view!
Address: 116 Poole Road, Jaffrey, New Hampshire
5. Go boating on Lake Winnipesaukee
She broke away yesterday and drifted overnight. Of course I'm 1500 miles away. Thank goodness for cousins and prompt, courteous and professional TowBoatUS and Capt Dan! Grateful!Posted by Richard Elliott on Monday, 7 August 2017
If not mountain hiking, you can try boating. New Hampshire’s single largest, island-dotted lake makes for a superb venue for this. It is a particularly popular summertime activity and hordes of tourists from the neighbouring towns come in to beat the heat and enjoy boating. The majestic lake’s surroundings are also a sight to behold – the foliage, expansive skies, gentle air, and quaint villages inhabiting the banks. Visit during the winters for the best of misty atmosphere and ice fishing, and the summers for the abundant greenery and sunning.
Website: Lake Winnipesaukee
6. Plan a day of fishing with family at Franconia Notch State Park
If you’re a family of fishing enthusiasts, head to Franconia Notch State Park and make it a day for yourselves. Sprawled across an area of 13km (8 miles), the park is home to several attractions among which are the Echo and Profile lakes, ideal for fishing. While the Profile Lake is for fly-fishing, the Echo Lake is for those of you into spin-reel fishing. Both the lakes are rife with an abundance of trout. The Lakeside General Store on-site sells and rents out all essential gear and live bait. Do note that fishing permit is required to fish at Franconia Notch State Park.
Franconia Notch State Park
Address: Flume Gorge, Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251, USA
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
7. Take a road trip along the Kancamagus Highway
If you’re the road-tripping kinds, we strongly recommend you take one along the Kancamagus Highway. It is probably the best and most scenic drive in all of New England, especially during the Fall season. Rife with a wealth of colourful trees and scenic views, the highway sees thousands of tourists undertaking the drive and stopping along the many designated viewpoints throughout; better if you’re up for a bit of hiking to get some formidable views! Make sure you keep your cameras ready as there will be plenty picture-worthy sights. You might also want to consider keeping away a sufficient amount of time for this drive as the traffic can pile up quite a bit, particularly during the peak season.
Website: Kancamagus Highway
8. Witness the spectacular views along the Mount Washington Auto Road
Another superb route for a road trip is the Mount Washington Auto Road, a 12-km (7.5-mile) toll highway that has many stunning sights to offer along its way. It has been a popular road since long and remains to be much loved by road trippers. Although a slightly tough drive, the awe-inspiring views more than makeup for it. If you’re not confident of driving on steep slopes yourself, you can even hitch a guided bus tour and do away with the worry of having to drive. The road is open from May through October, although summertime has been advised as the best time to take the journey. Keep those cameras ready and your eyes wide open, the views are just unmissable!
Mount Washington Auto Road
Website: Mount Washington Auto Road
9. Go moose spotting along the scenic driveway in Moose Alley
Drive along the Moose Alley and you will be able to make a game out of the number of moose you’ll spot along the way. Not only is the road a safe route, but is equally scenic. You’ll find plenty of “Brake for Moose” signages throughout, and with good reason. These moose, while they make for pretty sights, they can make for pretty unprecedented impediments to driving, so drive slow. The maximum moose can be spotted early in the morning or around evenings; they’re usually less around peak traffic hours at mid-day.
Address: Pittsburg, NH 03592, USA
10. Do some indoor skydiving at Sky Venture
Unleash your inner thrill-seeker at Sky Venture and do some indoor skydiving. Wondering how that’s possible? Sky Venture has a state-of-the-art indoor flying tunnel, a chamber that controls airflow to give you a sensation of real sky diving. Trained instructors are present throughout, so should you need any assistance, just holler them over. The experience is as close to the real thing as it can get, sans the scare of a mishap. If you’re a trained skydiver, you’re free to do flips and tricks as well! Else, there are training programs to help teach you. The facility also offers a recording of the flying experience, which can be transferred onto a DVD and purchased by you. A totally fun experience, this one. However, do note that prior reservation of flying slots is highly recommended, especially during peak season.
Address: 100 Adventure Way, Nashua, NH 03060, USA
Website: Sky Venture
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 2pm - 9pm; Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 8pm
Price: 90 USD onwards
11. Walk through the Currier Museum of Art
Showcasing some of the most exquisite works of European and American art is the Currier Museum of Art, one of New Hampshire’s most sought-after art museums. Walkthrough its tasteful interiors and you’ll find works of prominent artists, such as Monet, Matisse, Picasso, and several others. The museum opened its doors in 1929 and comprises of the South and the North blocks. While the former is where you’ll find the souvenir store, ticketing kiosk, and other conveniences for the visitors, the latter is where the three galleries are. The museum offers hour-long and free guided tours of the entire premises and also the nearby Zimmerman House, which is a testament of the great design of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Hitch one and you’ll not regret it.
Currier Museum of Art
Address: 150 Ash St, Manchester, NH 03104, USA
Website: Currier Museum of Art
Opening hours: Sun, Mon & Wed - Fri: 11am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Tue)
Price: 5 USD onwards
12. Admire art at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Engulf yourself in the beauty that abounds the home of the great American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and experience pleasure in the company of art and nature. More than 100 artworks of the famous sculptor have been put up for display in the galleries as well as the grounds that are as much an aesthetic beauty in themselves. The house, which was also Saint-Gaudens’s studio and art gallery, sees many an art admirers coming its way now. You can browse through the art or just luxuriate in the well-maintained gardens itself.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Address: 139 St Gaudens Rd, Cornish, NH 03745, USA
Website: Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 10 USD
13. Visit the Woodman Institute Museum
Setup in 1916, Woodman Institute Museum is all about science, history, and the arts. Housed within the museum’s three buildings are exhibits, antique art pieces, and showcases of natural history among many other things. And, not just artefacts, the museum’s grounds are also home to Dover’s oldest house and also the oldest garrison house of the state, the William Damm Garrison. You can take tours of the entire museum along with the garrison. Don’t forget to check out the brass Napoleon Cannon, which was used in the American Civil War. Also, the saddle on which President Abraham Lincoln rode shortly before his assassination. The museum has quite a collection!
Woodman Institute Museum
Address: 182 Central Ave, Dover, NH 03820, USA
Website: Woodman Institute Museum
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
Price: 7 - 13 USD
14. Check out the Old Country Store and Museum
Touted to be the oldest establishment, perhaps in all of USA, is the Old Country Store and Museum. Once a post office, town hall, Masonic Hall, and whatnot, the premises that you see now have seen its fair share. Right from the way it has been laid out to what all it houses, everything about this place is old-worldly. Whether it be the penny candy counter or the wood stoves used in older American households, it is totally a trip down history lane. The old-fashioned general store is also no less – John Deere collectibles, travel books, local products, or New England specialty food – there’s quite an interesting mix of items available for you to purchase. The museum on the second floor is also quite a hit. Among the many things you’ll find here will be old household items, advertisements that you can rummage through.
Old Country Store and Museum
Address: 1011 Whittier Hwy, Moultonborough, NH 03254, USA
Website: Old Country Store and Museum
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 9am - 7pm; Thu - Sat: 9am - 9pm
15. Explore America's Stonehenge in Salem
While the actual Stonehenge is in the United Kingdom’s England, it’s only poetic that USA’s New England also has one - and it does! A prehistoric enigma of sorts, the American Stonehenge is a mini version of the one in England. The astronomically aligned rock formations, ancient dwellings, and other mysterious structures of America’s Stonehenge opened to the public in 1958 under a different name and remains a popular tourist attraction till date. Questions about when it was created and what was its actual purpose remain unanswered, but it continues to draw the curiosity of visitors, scientists, and researchers alike. Do keep in mind that last entry is permitted at 4pm, so time your visit accordingly.
Address: 105 Haverhill Rd, Salem, NH 03079, USA
Website: America’s Stonehenge
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 7.50 - 13 USD
16. Snap a photo in front of the Sawyers Crossing Bridge
Become a typical camera-toting tourist and get a picture clicked in front of the cute-looking Sawyers Crossing Bridge. It is also known as the Cresson Bridge and was built in 1859. A covered wooden bridge, crossing over the Ashuelot River, Sawyers Crossing Bridge truly looks like something out of a storybook, hiding amidst colourful greenery. Get your cameras ready while heading over to this place – you’ll get tons of Instagram-worthy shots!
Sawyers Crossing Bridge
Address: 181, Sawyers Crossing Rd, Swanzey, NH 03446, USA
Website: Sawyers Crossing Bridge
17. Soak in the sun at the Hampton Beach
Spend a day basking in the glorious American sun at Hampton Beach, an ideal destination for some beachy fun. State-owned and open to all, the beach sees many a locals and tourists heading in to enjoy some fun in the water as the water current is gentle and security by plenty of lifeguards is great. While the beach is in itself fun, head towards the West side of the beach and you’ll find an amusement park, several eateries, and various typically beachy shops for you to raid. The Hampton Beach is the venue for the annual Children’s Festival, Seafood Festival, and Master Sand Sculpting Classic Competition, so check up if one of them is being hosted around the time you’re visiting and have fun!
Address: 115 Ocean Blvd Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Website: Hampton Beach
18. Watch trained animals perform stunts at the Clark's Trading Post
Take a ride on the White Mountain Central Railroad...but keep an eye out for the Wolfman! Photo: Richard CzinaPosted by Clarks Trading Post on Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Having opened first in 1928, Clark’s Trading Post is a modest yet great family-friendly theme park, offering the best of classic New England fun. There are five museums, several water activities, four souvenir stores, and the famous Black Bear Show among plenty of other activities to keep you engaged. While the bear show is easily the most loved attraction, a ride on the steam-powered train is also a lot of fun. Carry along a pouch-full of coins and enjoy playing the coin-operated pianos and other instruments. Else, dress up and get an antique-style picture clicked for keepsake.
Clark's Trading Post
Address: 110 Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251, USA
Website: Clark’s Trading Post
Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily)
Price: 18 - 24 USD
19. Catch a show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
Located within the campus of the Dartmouth College is the Hopkins Center for the Arts or The Hop as it’s fondly known as. The cultural hub of the college, The Hop is famous for hosting some of the best drama, dance, and musical shows every now and then. Several student groups perform regularly here. While the centre is primarily student-oriented, it is open to the public as well. You can easily enrol in one of their workshops, attend the many classes held here, or catch one of the performances. Just keep a tab on their website for the event line-up and book your tickets accordingly.
Hopkins Center for the Arts
Address: 4 E Wheelock St, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
Website: Hopkins Center for the Arts
20. Ride the water slides at Whales Tale Water Park
Another gorgeous day at Whale's Tale Waterpark in the heart of the White Mountains. Need we say more?Posted by Whale's Tale Water Park on Tuesday, 6 August 2019
Also in Lincoln is the Whales Tale Water Park, a full-fledged water park with several fun activities to keep kids entertained and occupied. There are water slides, a wave pool, a cabana, and other amazing activities that you can engage in. Although, do note that weight and height restriction applies on each ride. All in all, a superb day activity for summertime!
Whales Tale Water Park
Address: 481 Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251, USA
Website: Whales Tale Water Park
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 9 - 44 USD
21. Practice yoga at the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves
We have extended Yoga in the Woods for one final session, Monday, September 3rd! All ages and abilities are welcome. Reserve your spot now: http://bit.ly/YogaintheWoodsPosted by Lost River Gorge on Wednesday, 29 August 2018
Nothing is more peaceful than the sounds of leaves rustling, flowing gentle winds, birds chirping, and boundless calm all around. Such is the atmosphere at the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves, which is as much an explorer’s paradise as is a meditator’s. Daily yoga classes are held in the gorge’s Forest Treehouse and are free for enrollment of all. You can either attend just one session or book yourself for the full six-week course. There’s only limited participation allowed, so remember to sign up for the sessions well in advance.
Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves
Address: 1712 Lost River Rd, North Woodstock, NH 03262, USA
Website: Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
22. Learn pottery at the Hanover Fine Craft Gallery
How about picking up a new skill while on vacation? The Hanover Fine Craft Gallery offers some fantastic pottery lessons and workshops that you can enrol yourself in and learn some pretty amazing stuff. They conduct classes for kids as well as adults and trained professionals assist everyone through the techniques and tricks of pottery. Quite fun, really!
Hanover Fine Craft Gallery
Address: 13 Lebanon St, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
Website: Hanover Fine Craft Gallery
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5:30pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
23. Ski with your kids at Attitash Mountain Resort
Can't wait to be soaring down snowy trails again. Good news 2019-20 lift tickets are ON SALE NOW. Buy early to save more with deals up to 75% off https://bddy.me/2Tsl6bEPosted by Attitash Ski Resort on Tuesday, 13 August 2019
Perched in the heart of the White Mountains and making for a formidable skiing location is the Attitash Mountain Resort, home to some 68 ski runs, ideal for skiing enthusiasts of all age groups and expertise level. There’s also a learning centre, where visitors can enrol for picking up the skill of skiing and return home with a new skill set.
Attitash Mountain Resort
Address: 775 US-302, Bartlett, NH 03812, USA
Website: Attitash Mountain Resort
24. Play with farm animals at The Friendly Farm
If you’re the animal-loving kind, you’d love a trip to The Friendly Farm. Sprawled across an area of 2hectares (5 acres), the farm is home to some of the cutest and friendliest animals you’d find. The pig, baby goats, turkeys, chickens, cows and also the lamb, they’re all equally lovely to play with and pet. And, these are not the only animals you’ll find, there are more! The sprawling gardens are a great place to have fun outdoors, so remember to plan a trip to spend some fun time with animals.
The Friendly Farm
Address: 716 Main St, Dublin, NH 03444, USA
Website: The Friendly Farm
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 7.50 - 8.50 USD
25. Pamper yourself at the Cascade Spa
Give your body some ultimate loving and book yourself an appointment at the Cascade Spa. Give one of their uber relaxing massages a try and you’ll return thoroughly energized and refreshed. Their other treatments are equally amazing, so do squeeze in some time for giving your body some tender love and care. The spa caters to both men and women, so you can even go in for the couples’ treatments!
Address: 281 Daniel Webster Hwy, Meredith, NH 03253, USA
Website: Cascade Spa
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 7pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 8pm; Sun: 9am - 5pm
26. Enjoy some beer at Anheuser-Busch Brewery
Don’t let the many things to do in New England overwhelm you. Just sit back and enjoy some beer and head to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery for an unlimited amount of America’s favourite, Budweiser beer. Not many know, but it is at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery that Budweiser beers are manufactured as well as bottled. The brewery also offers several brewery tours, offering the best of “Seed to Sip” information, so not only will your bellies be happy, but also your minds boggled with all that amazing insight.
Address: 221 Daniel Webster Hwy, Merrimack, NH 03054, USA
Website: Anheuser-Busch Brewery
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
27. Gulp down a few craft beers at the Strange Brew Tavern
If Budweiser is already tried and tested and you’re looking for something different, head over to try one of Strange Brew Tavern’s excellent craft beers. Available in a variety of excellent blends and flavours, the beers here are for every kind of palate – strongest to the lightest to the frothiest to the nuttiest. They’ve been one of beer lovers’ fav spots in New Hampshire since 1999 and have never once disappointed a customer. The imports on the tap are also pretty great. Each night is a live band performance at the pub, which makes for a perfect accompaniment to the crisp beer and great food the place has.
Strange Brew Tavern
Address: 88 Market St, Manchester, NH 03101, USA
Website: Strange Brew Tavern
Opening i hours: Mon - Wed: 4pm - 1:30am; Thu - Sun: 12pm - 1:30am
28. Relish Cotton Restaurant's modern American fare
Offering the best of Southern flavours with an accompaniment of zingy cocktails is the award-winning Cotton Restaurant. Not only is it a hot favourite of Manchester’s locals, but also tourists travelling by. Cotton Restaurant’s comfort food and a superb selection of wines is laud-worthy. They have claims to fame for the having “Best Martinis in New Hampshire”, so do try. Their pan-seared crab cakes, Ben’s Meatloaf Melt, and the Blue Mango Vegetarian Burger are of the many amazing dishes you ought to try.
Address: 75 Arms St, Manchester, NH 03101, USA
Website: Cotton Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 9pm; Fri: 11:30am - 9:30pm; Sat: 5pm - 9:30pm; Sun: 5pm - 8pm
29. Hit the dance floor at The O Club
For a fun night with some games and party music, go over to the O Club. Replacing the former Club 550, The O Club is a pretty new addition to North Conway’s party scene. Nonetheless, it is a hit with the party peeps already. The place has pool/billiards tables, which the boys love raiding and a superb bar, whipping up some of the best drinks, which the ladies love. Fridays and Saturdays are DJ nights, playing some of the trippiest music for you to let your hair loose.
The O Club
Address: 2025 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860, USA
Website: The O Club
Opening hours: Tue - Thu & Sun: 4:30pm - 12am; Fri - Sat: 4:30pm - 1am (closed on Mon)
The ultimate getaway destination
While New Hampshire may look tiny on the map, it is abundantly rich with activities, attracting several thousands of tourists each year. Right from scenic forest trails to soaring mountain peaks, it is quite the natural paradise. The picture-perfect rural landscapes are no less either. Yours may be a weekend getaway or a longer stay, New Hampshire won’t disappoint. These things to do in New Hampshire, USA, will ensure that.
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