I'm a New Hampshire native, born and raised. I love this state and all the great things it has to offer. I thought I'd share some of our favorites - from the city, mountains, ocean, and countryside, New Hampshire has it all!
Things to Do in New Hampshire This Summer
- This list will be continually added to, so be sure to check back often for more ideas -
Located in the White Mountains, The Flume is a fairly short loop trail that brings you right through a narrow gorge with a rushing river and several waterfalls. There is a covered bridge, stairs, and deck walkways to help you through the tricky parts with ease.
Castle in the Clouds
I confess I'm biased to this place - afterall it's where my husband popped the question and where we got married :) But Castle in the Clouds does offer some of the most breathtaking views of the Lakes Region from the lawn of the Lucknow Estate (aka "The Castle"), where you can also explore the rooms of the mansion during your-self guided tour. There are also miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, and a restaurant on site.
Polly's Pancake Parlor + Lupine Festival
Pancakes - do we really have to say more..? But seriously folks, Polly's has amazing pancakes, delicious hearty breakfasts, and great views of the mountains. We recommend making the trip up there in June for the Lupine Festival and checking out the gorgeous fields of lupines in bloom after your hearty breakfast.
Strawberry Banke, a 10-acre historic collection of buildings along the seaside in Portsmouth is rich in history and historic architecture. The buildings on the property span 300 years and costumed guides and artisans fill you in on interesting stories and facts from an era gone by. I especially love seeing all the quirky features of the buildings there.
4th of July Parade in Wolfeboro
As "The Oldest Summer Resort in America," Wolfeboro does the Fourth like no one else with the largest parade in the state complete with their traditional Precision Lawn Chair Drill Team, Antique Tractor Brigade, and Presidential hopefuls. Jimmy Fallon and Mitt Romney are frequent attendees of the parade.
Isles of Shoals
The Isles of Shoals is a group of islands off the coast of NH is known for it's rugged coastal beauty and it's historical significance. Guided tours are available through the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. (Taking a tour of the islands is something we haven't done ourselves yet but have been meaning to for years - this year we plan to change that though and finally go!)
There are various places around NH that offer this new trend, one being Full Moon Paddleboard in Wolfeboro. It's a lot of fun and adds a whole other level to your yoga practice. Whether you're a yogi master or just a beginner, you'll have a fun (yet challenging) time.
There are many places throughout the state that offer zip line tours and obstacle courses. We've gone with Alpine Adventures in Lincoln before and highly recommend them - great staff, great views, and a lot of fun.
There are countless mountains and great hiking trails in New Hampshire (this website is a great resource for trail info), but Mount Monadnock is definitely the most popular. After all it's one of the most-hiked mountains in the world, and with good reason - a moderately difficult hike rewards you with great 360-degree views atop it's rocky peak. If you hike Mt. Monadnock we recommend getting there early to beat the crowds, then getting lunch and ice cream at Kimball's in Jaffrey after.
A must-do, the Cog Railway brings you up Mount Washington (the tallest mountain in the Northeast) on the first mountain-climbing train in the world! Make sure to bring extra clothes for the summit since Mt. Washington is also home to some of the world's worst weather.
There are countless campgrounds across the state, with varying degrees of amenities. Two of our personal favorite campgrounds are Fransted Campground in Franconia and Crawford Notch Campground in Hart's Location - both are family friendly, well-kept, and convenient to hiking trails.
There are also many canoe tour companies throughout the state, but we really love Contoocook River Canoe Company in Concord, NH. They offer many choices for rentals, shuttles, and tours of surrounding rivers and lakes. I've done the 9-mile Contoocook River Tour a few times and can't say enough great things about it.
Clark's Trading Post
A true NH novelty, Clark's Trading Post is a little theme park tucked away in the White Mountains. It's best known for it's trained black bear act and "The Wolfman," an ornery prospector who chases the train ride to keep visitors away from his mine.
A day in Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a gem of a city tucked away along the seacoast - there are countless amazing restaurants to eat at, unique shops to explore, and historic buildings to see. Get into downtown before 11AM to best ensure finding a parking spot in the downtown parking garage, then spend the rest of the day eating and shopping your way through town.
Fisher Cats Game
The Fisher Cats is NH's own Minor League baseball team - their beautiful new ballpark is located conveniently in Manchester where affordable tickets ensure everyone can enjoy America's favorite pastime.
Storyland is a wonderful theme park where kids of all ages will find rides and attractions to enjoy. I have so many great memories of going to Storyland with my parents and exploring the different themed areas. I'm really looking forward to taking our little one there this summer for her first time!
A Day Out with Thomas
If you have a Thomas fan in your family, going to A Day Out with Thomas in North Conway is a must. You'll not only be able to meet Thomas, Percy, and Sir Topham Hatt but you'll also be able to go for a ride on the famous trains!