New Hampshire is a state in the New England region that packs the best of Mother Nature into its small frame. Known as “The Granite State” referring to the extensive granite quarries, New Hampshire is known for its wilderness, including all the lakes, mountains, and forests. As you drive around New Hampshire, you will see license plates with the state motto “Live Free or Die” on them. This motto was adopted from a speech by General John Stark in 1945 and has been used ever since to claim the resident’s independence, which makes sense since New Hampshire was the first state to claim its independence from England, prior to the Declaration of Independence. New Hampshire is filled with natural beauty, but tons of man-made attractions as well. It is also home to the oldest man-made attraction in the US, the Mount Washington Auto-Road, which was opened in 1861 and leads you to the highest peak in the Northeast. So, come along as we start our tour around New Hampshire.
Let’s start high and work our way down for this tour. As we mentioned, Mount Washington Auto-Road is the oldest man-made attraction in the US. The scenic road leads to Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. The mountain stands at 6,288 feet and has no real “summer” weather, even on the hottest days. If you are planning to hike or drive to the top, make sure you check the weather on their website and dress accordingly. The view of nature is quite special from the ride/hike up to the top of the mountain!
There are tons of state parks throughout New Hampshire. One of the most well-known however is The Franconia Notch State Park located in the epicenter of the White Mountain National Forest. If you’re looking to spend the day outdoors, this is the place for you! There are endless amounts of activities such as biking, hiking, and fishing. As well as exploring all the amazing views throughout the park. There is also a 15-foot deep pothole that was formed around 25,000 years ago called “The Basin” with rushing water flowing through. You can get fairly close to the water from the trails so don’t forget to bring your camera for photos! There is also a viewing spot from above that is also handicap accessible that has the same beautiful view.
Take a visit to the perfectly named Castle in the Clouds mansion. The mansion was built in 1914 and owned by Thomas Plant and his wife Olive, after retiring from the shoe industry. The property spanned 6,300 acres and is featured a “16-room Arts and Crafts mansion, stable and six-car garage, two gatehouses, a greenhouse, a golf course and tennis court, a man-made lake, a boathouse on Lake Winnipesaukee, and miles of carriage and bridle trails.” Now, the mansion offers tours, live music events, a restaurant, and rental space for weddings and other private events.
For those who love the winter months and more specifically Christmas, take a visit to Santa’s Village, a year-round amusement style park, with Christmas-themed rides, activities, theaters, and live shows. You can even tour Santa’s house, sit in his rocking chair, and take pictures with him, even in the warmest months! Don’t forget to bring your camera for this one, nothing says happy holidays like a picture right at Santa’s Village.
We hope you enjoyed your trip around New Hampshire. While it is the 5th smallest state in the US, it still is packed with tons of activities for everyone and beautiful views. If you stop by any of the attractions we mentioned or found a few gems of your own, don’t forget to send us your photos to frame. We would love to see all your adventures!