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New Hampshire Guide

New Hampshire's White Mountains boast the highest peak east of the Mississippi—Mount Washington; the world's third-most climbed mountain—Monadnock—as well as one of New England's largest lakes—Winnipesaukee—but also some fine art museums, and even its own short seacoast.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Mount Washington, with some of America's most extreme weather.

Outdoor Adventures

—Hike up Mount Washington, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, or Mount Monadnock, the third most-climbed mountain on earth

—Lake Winnipesaukee offers many possibilities for swimming, boating and fishing

—Go cross-country skiing on 90 miles (150 km) of trails starting from Jackson

—Hike and camp along the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountain National Forest

—Travel the scenic Kancamagus Highway from Lincoln to Conway

—Go canoeing or kayaking from North Conway on the Saco River

—Ski at one of the state's many excellent ski resorts

For Kids

—Take a cruise on the m/s Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee from Weirs Beach

—Ride right up a mountainside on the historic Mount Washington Cog Railway in Bretton Woods

Mount Washington Cog Railway, Bretton Woods NH.

—Take a nostalgic train ride through the mountains on the Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway

—Hike the trails of Franconia Notch State Park

Glide through the air in a gondola of the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, near North Woodstock in Franconia Notch


—Strawbery Banke, in Portsmouth, is ten acres of 18th-century buildings brought back to life and filled with working artisans

—Manchester's Currier Museum of Art has a surprisingly good collection, beautifully displayed

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester NH
Don't miss the superb Currier Museum in Manchester NH.

—Visit the Shaker village at Canterbury to learn how this religious sect produced such beautiful and functional handicrafts

White Mountains

Much of the White Mountains range is protected in the White Mountain National Forest, with rustic campgrounds, good hiking trails, enough beautiful scenery to fill days, and the drama of Mount Washington.

Franconia Notch

Franconia Notch, near Lincoln and North Woodstock to the west, has wonderful dramatic scenery and excellent hiking, camping and skiing. It's a base for climbds up Mount Washington.

Lonesome Lake, Franconia Notch State Park NH
Hikers at Lonesome Lake in Franconia Notch State Park.

Waterville Valley, just south of Franconia Notch, is an integrated-design, environmentally-friendly ski resort filling a whole beautiful valley.

North Conway

North Conway, on the eastern side of the range, is the state's skiing and hiking center, and a base for climbing Mount Washington.

Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods, to the north, is famous for its stately Mount Washington Hotel & Resort, and for the Mount Washington Cog Railway running to the summit of the mountain.

Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods NH
The Mount Washington Hotel, with the mountain behind.

Mount Monadnock

Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire may be the third-most-climbed mountain in the world.

Summit of Mount Monadnock NH
Climbers enjoy the view at the summit of Mount Monadnock.

Northern New Hampshire

Northern New Hampshire, up past Mount Washington, has dramatic mountain and lake scenery, especially at Dixville Notch.

New Hampshire Lakes

Not to be outdone by its mountains, New Hampshire's 118 lakes cover 207 square miles (537 square kilometers). Here are the first ones to visit:

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee, a veritable inland sea (at least on a New England scale), is a mecca for summer vacationers (including motorcycle clubs), many of whom own or rent cottages on its shores.

Lake Winnipesaukee NH

Lake Sunapee

Lake Sunapee is among southern New Hampshire's most popular getaway destinations, with swimming, boating and hiking in summer, skiing in winter.

Lake Sunapee NH

New Hampshire Seacoast

Surprise! New Hampshire has a seacoast! The charming colonial town of Portsmouth, on the border with Maine, is among New England's best towns for dining. Hampton Beach is a honky-tonk beach town straight out of the last century, with a fine, long sea beach.

Hampton Beach NH
Hampton Beach

Manchester & Concord

New Hampshire's two largest cities belie its reputation as an outdoors-only state. You'll find reasons to stop in them.


Manchester, New Hampshire's largest city, once produced more cotton cloth than any other city in the world. Its historic buildings have been restored, its Currier Museum of Art is a gem, and its Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is a growing transportation hub.

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester NH
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester NH.


Concord, New Hampshire's capital, is a nice little city with a handsome granite capitol building, several museums, President Franklin Pierce's house and, nearby, Canterbury Shaker Village.

New Hampshire State House, Concord NH
New Hampshire State House, Concord NH

Upper Connecticut River Valley

Hanover & Dartmouth College

Hanover, near Lebanon, is famous for Dartmouth College and for being part of the lively Upper Connecticut River Valley community.


Lebanon is a pretty, small city with its own airport.

Where to Stay

Country inns, B&Bs, hotels and motels—they're all here:


NH Transportation

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) serves Manchester, southern New Hampshire, and Greater Boston. More...

Several bus companies operate routes between a few New Hampshire towns and Boston and New York City. More...

New Hampshire's only scheduled train service is the Amtrak Downeaster from Boston MA to Brunswick ME, which stops at Exeter, Durham-UNH, and Dover NH; and a stop by Amtrak's Vermonter in Claremont NH.

Here's all the information on New Hampshire transportation.