Fun things to do in New Hampshire

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Most Viewed Things to Do in New Hampshire

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    Explore Antique Alley

    by Pawtuxet Written Aug 7, 2011

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    Between Concord and Portsmouth there is a road known as Rte. 4 / Antique Alley. It is touted as the oldest antiqueing route in New Hampshire with more than 500 dealers in 20 miles of shops.
    We started on the west end of the shopswith Coveway Antiques where I found an antique calibrator from Brown & Sharpe, where my son in law works. I'll clean it up and include it with his Christmas gifts.
    We moved on to Parker-French Antique Center and beyond... poking, wandering, learning, and looking back in time.
    You can find everything imagineable in these shops... from architectural elements, to clothing, kitchen ware, art, furniture, pottery, antique coins, military guns & medals, and a zillion other things.

    My personal favorite for early Americana Fern Eldridge Antiques - my favorite Parker-French Antique Center Parker-French What are you looking for?
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    NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE VETERANS CEMETERY

    by moiraistyx Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This definately isn't a tourist attraction by any means, but I have to admit that this cemetery is particulary close to my heart due to the fact that we recently place my Uncle Paul to rest here. There is a walking path located near the administration building that has marker points of interest. I know I'll be coming back to visit my Uncle's grave, but I also highly reccommend others coming here just to simply pay respects to those who served in the US military.

    Flag Folding Ceremony
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    MOUNT WASHINGTON - A TRULY PRESIDENTIAL PEAK

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Apex of the Appalachian Range, Mt Washington is the crowning peak of the White Mountains at 6288 feet. Atop the peak, an array of attenae and a large weather station/cogtrain station/visitor center/museum/parking lot sits. You can drive the toll road from the east, you can take the slow chugging train up the western slopes or you can walk up the mountain from almost any direction on a array of paths. A big reputation for being the center for bad weather in the universe, the highest recorded wind gust was attained here on 12 April 1934 - 231 miles per hour. I am not going to say Mt Washington is not deserving of its reputation, though I can think of many similar mountain tops I would rather shy away from in bad weather. The problem with Mt Washington is that so many people wander up its trails regardless of the weather. Not smart. On the trails, I ran across a fellow who bragged he had been up above timberline - 4500-5000 feet - during some winter storms in whiteout conditions. No wonder people die up here every year! Mt Washington's summit is only 4 miles away, but it is also over 4000 vertical feet - a very important factor to figure in! A modicum of physical conditioning should be present before attempting the hike. That said, with good weather, there is nothing really difficult about attaining the alpine terrain and Presidential peaks beyond a little sweat.

    An invaluable guide to the area is the AMC's Guide to Mt Washington and the Presidential Range within which the trail system and long history of the area are described in full detail. There is no accomodation on the summit, but there are several AMC mountain huts in the area including the very busy AMC camp at Pinkham notch along NH route 16. Plenty of other places to stay can be found in surrounding towns like Conway, North Conway, Jackson, Bartlett, Gorham, etc.. Most of the mountains lie within the White Mountain National Forest. The area is very busy with tourists of all sorts.

    Lakes of the Clouds Hut and Mt Washington
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    MT WASHINGTON SUMMIT

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Drive up, take the train or hike up to the highest point in the northeastern part of the US - 6288 feet. The first recored ascent was in 1642. Atop the peak, there is a visitor center with rest rooms, food service, a souvenir shop, a post office, a museum, a radio transmitte and powerhouse and the cogtrain station.

    Mt Washington to the south off Mt Adams
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    The New Hampshire State House

    by traveldave Updated Dec 1, 2010

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    The New Hampshire State House was completed in 1819, just 11 years after Concord had officially been designated the state capital for its central location. Designed by Stuart Park, the Greek Revival state capitol building was constructed of local granite, quarried at the Swenson Quarries, located just north of Concord. The granite blocks were cut and shaped by prisoners from the nearby New Hampshire State Prison.

    The building houses the New Hampshire General Court (the state legislative body, not a court of law), the Senate Chamber, the House Chamber, the Executive Council, and the offices of the governor. The Hall of Flags contains 107 flags of New Hampshire regiments that fought in the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the First World War, the Second World War, and the Vietnam War.

    The statehouse was remodeled in 1866, when the mansard roof, enlarged dome, and granite portico were added. In 1910, the third story and west wing were added.

    The New Hampshire State House is the only state capitol building in the nation whose legislature still sits in the original chambers. The 424-member New Hampshire General Court is the largest state legislative body in the United States, and the third-largest legislature among the English-speaking peoples.

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    The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

    by traveldave Updated Nov 5, 2010

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    The McAuliffe-Shephard Discovery Center was built by the state to honor New Hampshire natives Christa McAuliffe (the first American teacher in space, and one of the people who died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986), and Alan Shepard (the first American in space). Visitors can participate in the interactive exhibits, learn about the constellations and stars in the Planetarium Theater, and peek at the galaxy and sun through the rooftop Observatory.

    The museum's interactive exhibits teach people of all ages about astronomy, aviation, and Earth and space sciences. Other exhibits include a full-scale replica of the Mercury-Redstone rocket that took Alan Shepard into space, a full-scale replica of the Mercury capsule that brought Alan Shepard back from space, and a large-scale model of a space shuttle.

    The 103-seat Planetarium Theater offers shows for the general public and school groups. Free telescope viewings are available at the monthly Sky Watch events, and Astronomy Day is celebrated by the planetarium each May.

    The rooftop Observatory has a telescope that visitors can look through to see stars, planets, moons, galaxies, nebulae, and other features of the galaxy. A solar telescope has filters that allow visitors to look directly at the sun and observe solar flares, sunspots, and other actions that take place on the sun's surface.

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    The Museum of New Hampshire History

    by traveldave Updated Nov 5, 2010

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    The Museum of New Hampshire History chronicles over four centuries of the state's history, with exhibits about New Hampshire's landscape, people, and traditions. The museum contains exhibit galleries; a library with an extensive collection of books, documents, and archives; and a gift shop where visitors can purchase books and gifts relating to New Hampshire.

    The Museum of New Hampshire History features permanent exhibits that include the Concord Coach, the stagecoach that played a big part in the opening of the American West; nineteenth-century White Mountain paintings; and rare examples of New Hampshire-made furniture. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits and educational programs.

    The museum was established by the New Hamshire Historical Society, an organization that has been active in collecting and preserving artifacts relating to the history of New Hampshire since 1823.

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    Profile Lake

    by traveldave Updated Nov 5, 2010

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    There is a well-maintained trail from the parking area to the lookout point where the Old Man of the Mountain could be viewed before it collapsed. The trail continues to Profile Lake, visible in the distance. Its name comes from the fact that the profile of the Old Man of the Mountain could be seen from the lake and its surrounding area. Since it is just under the mountain where the Old Man of the Mountain used to be, it is also called the Old Man's Wash Basin.

    The lake forms the headwaters of the Pemigawasset River, which is a popular place in New Hampshire for white-water rafting. In addition, the cold waters of 13-acre (five-hectare) Profile Lake are full of brook trout, but fly fishing is the only type of fishing allowed in the lake.

    During the nineteenth century, the lake was the scene of concerts and other events attended by members of New England society as they summered in the White Mountains.

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    The White Mountains

    by traveldave Updated Oct 27, 2010

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    The White Mountains are one of the prime vacation destinations on the East Coast due to their proximity to Boston and New York City. The White Mountains cover about one-fourth of the land area of New Hampshire, and most of that area is public land, including White Mountain National Forest and several state parks.

    There are numerous natural sights to see, such as the Old Man of the Mountain (which collapsed in 2003 but still remains the symbol of New Hampshire), Franconia Notch, Mount Washington, and dense forests, waterfalls, and lakes. There are also roadside attractions, such as the famous Clark's Trading Post, the Cog Railroad which takes visitors to the top of Mount Washington, and tourist shops in the small towns. The area also has many excellent ski resorts, which make the White Mountains a draw in the winter.

    The highest of the White Mountains, as well as the tallest mountain in the northeastern United States, is 6,288-foot (1,917-meter) Mount Washington. It is part of the Presidential Range, a line of peaks named after American presidents and other prominent Americans. The mountain is subject to extreme winter weather and enormous amounts of snowfall. It is most famous as the place where the fastest surface gust of wind ever recorded in the world occured. In 1934, a gust of wind was measured at 231 miles per hour (372 kilometers per hour) on top of Mount Washington.

    The White Mountains were formed about 100,000,000 to 124,000,000 years ago from volcanic activity. Because they are relatively young, the White Mountains are the tallest and most rugged mountains in New England. They are composed mostly of granite, giving rise to the New Hampshire state motto of "The Granite State."

    The granite cliffs pictured here form the north wall of Franconia Notch, in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest.

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    The Old Man of the Mountain

    by traveldave Updated Oct 18, 2010

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    It is difficult to see in this picture, even when enlarged, but this is the Old Man of the Mountain, the iconic symbol of New Hampshire. The rocky profile is featured on the state's license plates and the new commemorative New Hampshire State Quarter.

    The Old Man of the Mountain was formed from a set of five granite ledges that looked like the profile of a man (some say Thomas Jefferson), and which protruded from just below the summit of Cannon Mountain 1,200 feet (366 meters) above Profile Lake.

    Note: Over the years, extensive rehabilitation work had been done on the face to prevent slippage and cracks caused by erosion. Tragically, all of the work has been in vain; in May 2003, the Old Man of the Mountain collapsed into rubble.

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    McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

    by tayloretc Written Oct 6, 2010

    The Discovery Center, dedicated to two of New Hampshire’s astronauts, is a two-story facility full of interactive exhibits designed to engage kids in science generally and space exploration in particular. You can land a space shuttle, steer a Mars land rover, or take an online quiz to see whether you have what it takes to be an astronaut to Mars (we didn’t). There’s a TV station where you can create your own weather forecast and see it played back. The second floor is dedicated to environmental issues - one of the exhibits allows you to fly over New England and the city of Boston to see how global warming might affect the coast. There’s a state of the art planetarium that shows programs for all age levels. A small cafeteria and gift shop are located on the first floor.

    Beyond the facility, the center has lots of programs available, including guided night sky viewing, building (and firing) rockets, summer camp for astronomy and earth science for kids and teens, and many other programs for kids, adults, and teachers.

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    Conway Scenic Railroad

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    North Conway, a very busy resort town (with a traffic jam almost always from one end of town to the other) has a nice sight/activity to offer: the Conway Scenic Railroad. There are actually two trains running: The Notch Train which runs along the Saco river through Crawford Notch to Fabyan near Bretton Woods and the Valley Train which makes a much shorter journey through the lower Saco river valley and stops in Bartlett as well.

    The Notch Train offers scenic views but it is a long five-hours round trip and it is quite costly: calculate at least $45 for Coach, $70 for the superior experience in the category Dome. The Valley Train is cheaper of course: fares vary between $22 for the Bartlett round trip (Coach) and $35 (Dome). Schedules are somewhat odd, though. See their website for more info.

    Conway Train Station locomotives of the Conway Scenic Railroad a steam locomotive of the C. S. RR Penny into a souvenir ...
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    Mt. Washington Cog Railway

    by german_eagle Updated Jun 27, 2009

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    First this: I didn't ride the cog railway. The weather turned cloudy and it started drizzling (later it rained cats and dogs) so there had been no views from the summit of Mt. Washington. Too bad.

    This is a *must* for railway aficionados. It is the world's oldest cog railway. It opened in 1869 and since then the steam locomotives and cars have followed the 3.5-mile track up to the summit of Mt. Washington. The round trip takes about three hours, including a 20 minutes stop on top. The trains run from late June to mid October depending on weather conditions (snow!). Rates for adults are $59 (quite steep IMO). Definitely bring an extra jacket or sweater - the temps and wind differ very much from foot to top station.

    A word on the trains: You get a good impression, almost the full experience I'd say for free if you just watch the trains at the foot station. See the exhibit and you know it all. The locomotives in operation are really ancient - I'd say it is the essential steam train experience. Coal dust, the smell of coal fire, huge clouds of steam hanging over the locomotives, the engines huffing and puffing, covered by oil, grease, dust ... rustic old railroad cars, guys in dirty work clothes ... what a difference to Switzerland or Germany, where everything is cleaned up. But I loved watching it. Oh, did I mention the railroad tracks? LOL - I thought the would crash every moment.

    cog train at the foot station foot station foot station boarding the train exhibit at floor station
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    Mt. Washington Hotel - Bretton Woods Conference

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Did you know that the base for the current financial system of the world was laid out in the Mt. Washington Hotel? Many people know about the "Bretton Woods Conference" and after learning that the hotel's address is "Route 302, Bretton Woods" you can make the connection.

    For three weeks in July 1944 world leaders and financial experts including folks from France, UK and the Soviet Union, gathered at the Mount Washington hotel to develop a plan for the postwar economy. The conference resulted in creating the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) which became a branch of the World Bank later.

    Definitely see the room where the articles setting up the IMF were signed. Turn right at the entrance, follow the lobby to the far end and then it is a door to the right (see pic). An important place in history.

    Mt. Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods Mt. Washington Hotel, the signature room Mt. Washington Hotel, the signature room Mt. Washington Hotel, the signature room
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    Mt. Washington Hotel

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Even if you cannot afford to stay in this hotel you can still see it and enjoy the ambience of grand old days. It is the last remaining of the magnificent Grand Hotels in the White Mountains, a landmark that makes an impressive sight from US 302 with the mountain of the same name towering up behind the large hotel structure.

    It was built in Spanish Renaissance style and opened in 1902. The public rooms are very impressive; the lobby is 100 yard long and features marble pillars, open fireplaces, crystal chandeliers and plush sofas en masse. Dining options are excellent, too.

    For a visit park your car at the Bretton Woods ski area/activity center (south off US 302), buy vouchers for $8 for each person, good for any purchase/dining at the Mt. Washington Resort, and hop on the shuttle that takes you to the hotel. You're free to wander around in the public areas, lounge on the plush chairs and sofas or on the terrace and have a good meal (see restaurant tip).

    Mt. Washington Hotel Mt. Washington Hotel, Lobby Mt. Washington Hotel, open fireplace in the lobby
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New Hampshire Hotels

Top New Hampshire Hotels

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New Hampshire Things to Do

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