Fun things to do in New Hampshire

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    by machomikemd
  • Things to Do
    by machomikemd
  • Things to Do
    by machomikemd

Most Viewed Things to Do in New Hampshire

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    Crawford Notch

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Crawford Notch links the villages in the Eastern White Mountains like Glen, Jackson, Bartlett with those in the Northwest, like Bretton Woods and Fabyan. It is one of the earliest explored valleys in the White Mountains - thanks to Timothy Nash in 1771. It is a beautiful (but not as much as Pinkham Notch IMO), relatively wide valley which offers great hiking opportunities (see my Sports tip on Sawyer Pond).

    US 302 follows the valley and reachest the highest point (1900 ft.) at Crawford Notch where the AMC runs the Highland Center which provides information and guides for visitors. Along the way you will find several attractions, such as Arethusa Falls (2-hours hike), Willey House site and Silver Cascade water falls (not much water in October, though!).

    Willey House site tells a tragic story: In a night in 1826 the family heard a debris avalanche and ran out of the house to reach safe ground; but sadly the avalanche separated above the house, changed directions and killed the whole family. Only their dog, who had stayed in the house, survived. Right next to this site you find a gift shop, the State Park Information Center and a nice picnic area.

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    Mt. Washington Auto Road

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    First one thing: I did not drive this road. It was too late in the day when we arrived at Glen House (the foot of the road) to really take enough time to enjoy the views from along the road and the top of Mt. Washington. Besides, I was torn whether the rental car was technically ok for the drive - my car at home seemed to have much better brakes :-) And yet another thought: As a 'green' thinking German guy I am in general against driving up to the summit of a mountain. There must be a more ecological way to reach the top.

    Anyway, this Auto Road is considered to be one of the most scenic roads in Northeastern U.S. and I am sure this is true. We had gorgeous weather that day and I could see the road winding up along the slopes of Mt. Washington to the top. The views *must* be fabulous.

    What we did instead was to visit their Visitor Centre, Glen House, at the foot of the road (east of NH 16). They have a nice exhibit on the history/construction of the road. Next to Glen House there is an old barn that was turned into a small museum (free) where you can see vehicles from the early days of the road: old carriages in excellent condition. Wonderful!

    You can choose whether you want to drive yourself or join a guided tour - they have large vans and drive you up to the summit. Calculate about an hour for the drive plus a half hour free time on the summit (which is not much IMO). You find the operating hours and rates on their website (see below).

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    Wildcat Mountain

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Less than a mile north of the AMC Visitor Center on Pinkham Notch Rd. (NH 16) at an elevation of about 2,000 ft. you'll see Wildcat Mountain to your right. Main attraction in summer is the gondola that takes you up to 4,062 ft. From there you can do some serious hiking or just enjoy the gorgeous views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range to the West and the rolling hills of Maine to the East.

    Besides the gondola, there is the ZipRider (see my Sports tip) and a cafeteria and a gift shop (bought a nice and inexpensive t-shirt and cap). The gondola, which has been the first of its kind in the U.S., runs from mid-June daily through Foliage in mid-October. A round-trip ticket cost $15.

    I am sure the skiing at Wildcat in winter is fantastic. Looked like a very nice area, large enough and varied. The snow certainly won't compare to the Rockies but they have snow machines.

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    Pinkham Notch

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Pinkham Notch is the most frequented transverse from South to North in the Eastern White Mountains. The Road (NH 16) runs from North Conway via Glen and Pinkham Notch to Gorham. The road is very scenic, similar to Kancamagus Highway. To the West the Presidential Range with Mt. Washington tower up above the road, to the East the slightly lower Carter Dome massif dominates the views. The road follows a trail that was built by settler Joseph Pinkham in 1790. Along the road you find cute villages like Jackson, parking/picnic places and trailheads.

    Please see also my Sports Activity tip on the Appalachian Mountain Club Visitor Center.

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    Jackson and its Covered Bridge

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Jackson is one of those picturesque, quintessential New England villages. It is located right off NH 16, on the way to Pinkham Notch, east of Ellis River. The perfect way to visit Jackson is to drive over the historic red covered bridge, which is one of the most beautiful covered bridges I have seen anywhere. No wonder it is also called 'Honeymoon Bridge'. Right next to the bridge is a nice Country Store/Gift shop.

    The village has some fancy hotels and restaurants, has a beautiful golf course and in winter extensive cross-country skiing trails. If you plan a stylish White Mountains vacation then Jackson is the place to stay!

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    Kancamagus Highway

    by german_eagle Written Jun 27, 2009

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    Kancamagus Highway (NH 112) links Lincoln with Conway. It is one of the most scenic roads I've driven in New England. We were very fortunate to be there in early October when foliage was at its peak. And the weather was perfect. The road is well maintained (but not quite a highway, thank god) and offers stunning views of the vast maple- and birch-tree forests to both sides and the mountains which reach about 4300 ft. (Mt. Osceola) in the south.

    There are plenty of parking/picnic places along the road. I thought Hancock Overlook offered the most stunning views with Mt. Kancamagus in the southwest and Mt. Osceola right in southern direction. Shortly after Hancock Overlook (eastbound) you reach the highest point of the road and soon CL Graham Overlook provides views of the Northern/Eastern White Mountains near Bartlett and Jackson (our destination). Thus we didn't drive all the way to Conway but turned north to reach Bartlett via Bear Notch - which is by far not as scenic as Kancamagus Highway, but had very little traffic.

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    Hanover: Rollins Chapel

    by german_eagle Written Jun 21, 2009

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    Rollins Chapel, on the northeast corner of the Green (College Street) is a fine example of Richardsonian (Neo-Romanesque) architecture and a peaceful place to collect your thoughts. It was consecrated 1885 and has served as the College's spiritual center ever since. It is used by several religious populations on college.

    I liked the interior a lot. A highlight are the stained glass windows: they were designed and executed by craftsmen from Germany, Scotland, and America, including Louis Tiffany. Very unique to me is the work of art depicting Noah's Ark (see picture).

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    Hanover: Hood Museum of Art

    by german_eagle Written Jun 21, 2009

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    From the start of collection art in the 18th century to the current time this collection has expanded to about 65,000 pieces of art. The collection is particularly strong in American art, including Native American art, but also has interesting works from other parts of the world on display. A highlight is the set of Assyrian reliefs from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal that date from around 900 BCE.

    I also saw some very nice paintings of famous European artisans from the Baroque era, beautiful prints of Dürer, Rembrandt and Canaletto and contemporary works. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to see everything that was on display.

    Admission is free (!), opening hours:
    Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
    Sunday, 12 noon-5 p.m.

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    Hanover: Baker-Berry Library

    by german_eagle Written Jun 21, 2009

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    One of my fondest memories of the whole trip is the visit of this library. I had read about it in a guide book and since I am a huge fan of those old libraries I put it on my 'to-do-list'. I am glad I did. The building is located on the North side of the Green, not to miss. We entered it from College Street, coming from Rollins Chapel, and exited it on the western side, North Main Street.

    See the impressive mural called Epic of American Civilization in the reserve corridor on the lower level, then go up to the uppermost floor to the wonderful library room that features ornate woodwork, plush leather chairs and books lining the walls, floor to ceiling, on two levels. Lean back in one of the chairs and enjoy the ambience and the quiet. Maybe some students work on their laptops near you and you hear them typing ... enjoy the view of the Green. It's like being back in college (LOL).

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    Hanover: Dartmouth College

    by german_eagle Written Jun 21, 2009

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    Dartmouth College was chartered in 1769 primarily for the 'education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes'. However, it was soon attended almost exclusively by colonists. Daniel Webster (1782-1852) is probably the most illustrious alumnus of the College.

    The Green is the focal point of the Campus - you cannot miss it coming from I-91. Short time parking is available around the Green, if you want to explore longer park your car at a lot south of the Green.

    Most interesting are the East, North and West side of the Green: in College Street (East) you see four harmonious Georgian buildings: Wentworth, Dartmouth, Thornton and Reed Hall. Dartmouth Hall was the original College building, constructed in 1791.

    Undergraduate students lead free guided walking tours of the campus. No reservations required, but confirm the schedule - which is usually 10 am and 3 pm Mon-Fri, 10 am and noon Sat. Tours start at the Admissions office in Mc Nutt Hall (West side of the Green, North Main Street).

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    Hanover

    by german_eagle Written Jun 21, 2009

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    Hanover, NH has to be my (and my parents') favourite town of those we visited. Granted, we only spent about 3 hours there but immediately fell in love with Hanover. It is a very charming College town, authentic New England, large enough so that it feels lively but small enough to not get on one's nerves. The reason for all that is Dartmouth College, chartered in 1769, one of the Ivy League Colleges. Visiting Hanover means visiting Dartmouth College.

    Hanover means graceful Georgian buildings covered in ivy surround the Green, streets lined with trees (foliage!), wide lawns where students relax, toss footballs or stroll to class. The cultural activities in this town are surprisingly interesting: Hood Museum of Art, Hopkins Center for the Arts (performing arts). Cute shops, cafés and restaurants are to find south of the Green.

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    North Conway

    by SteveOSF Updated Jan 28, 2008

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    North Conway offers an opportunity to explore the White Mountains via the Conway Scenic Railroad. This railroad uses steam locomotives or old-fashioned diesel engines to pull passengers up Mount Washington or through the Crawford Notch. North Conway is well located as a base for exploring the White Mountains and offers lodging and other services accordingly.

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    Crawford Notch

    by SteveOSF Written Jan 28, 2008

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    The Crawford Notch is a steep, rugged gorge through the heart of the White Mountains. It is accessed by Highway 302, which runs right through this scenic valley. The highway through Crawford Notch offers spectacular views. Pullouts are provided along the way where you can stop and take in the view or shoot some pictures. Time this trip right, and you can enjoy a nice spot to observe the fall colors. Unfortunately we timed our visit to coincide with a heavy rainstorm, so our walks through this scenic area were limited.

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    Unbelievable Sand Sculptures 2

    by agapotravel Updated Jul 4, 2007

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    Are you ready for these pictures??? Every summer in New Hampshire, contestants come from all over the country (and various parts of the world) to enter this sand sculpture contest. I believe you have to be invited to participate. They import special sand for this contest. Only one person can work on the sculpture at a time. Sand and water are the only materials used.

    Although some of these are a bit weird, there's no denying the talent and detail that is involved.

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    Unbelievable Sand Scultpures

    by agapotravel Written Jul 4, 2007

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    Are you ready for these pictures??? Every summer in New Hampshire, contestants come from all over the country (and various parts of the world) to enter this sand sculpture contest. I believe you have to be invited to participate. They import special sand for this contest. Only one person can work on the sculpture at a time. Sand and water are the only materials used.

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