New Hampshire proudly exhorts people to “Live Free,” and it gives visitors uncountable exciting opportunities to do just that. With a famed 48 peaks higher than 4,000 feet, the state is a hiking and climbing mecca. Another option: Chug to the top of Mount Washington, the Northeast’s highest peak, on the unforgettably charming Cog Railway. The rugged White Mountains cover a full quarter of New Hampshire, giving skiers and snowboarders heaps of wintertime thrills. Come warmer days, soak up the clean mountain air while hiking, biking, fishing, or picnicking in the White Mountain National Forest.
Farther south, visitors can canoe or kayak to roughly 250 different islands on glittering Lake Winnipesaukee. In Manchester, the state’s largest city, visit the masterpieces—including a Frank Lloyd Wright house—at the world-class Currier Museum of Art. Or if the ocean is more to your liking, New Hampshire has an 18-mile coastline that packs a lot into a short stretch: beaches, lighthouses, lobster and clam shacks, and the quaint historic seaport town of Portsmouth.
When New Hampshire truly stuns is in the fall, when the foliage bursts into glowing color. There are many ways to absorb the spectacle, including popular drives—such as the Kancamagus Scenic Byway—leaf-peeping hikes, and merry foliage or pumpkin festivals, all of which will surely enchant the entire family.
With its dramatic landscapes and postcard-worthy Colonial towns, the North Country makes a great weekend getaway.
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'Bests' of New Hampshire Ski Country
Some of the earliest visionaries of American skiing staked out the rocky, forested slopes of New Hampshire in the 1930s. They cut trails and installed rudimentary tows, and soon ski trains were bringing adventurous types north from Boston to tackle the icy slopes, take in the views and inhale the bracing mountain air. These days, thankfully, snowmakers and groomers have mostly tamed the infamous blue ice, but the views are just as inspiring and the air as invigorating. Look for the spirit of those first intrepid skiers on these Granite State slopes...