New Hampshire is a U.S. state in New England defined by the large expanses of wilderness. It is a vacation destination loved by many because of the mountains, beaches, and other activities that abound. It’s no wonder people travel from everywhere to enjoy this place.
It is simply a land of paradise for all tastes. Get back to nature, dive into history, or head up the tallest northeastern U.S. peak. Check out our guide on the best things to do in New Hampshire:
1. Enjoy Sweeping Views by Riding the Mount Washington Cog Railway
If you have 3 hours to spare in your vacation, you might as well ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway for an experience of a lifetime. This 3-hour roundtrip train ride will give you a sweeping view of Mount Washington. Not to mention, it will surely delight the inner nature and history lover in you! Just imagine – an exhilarating voyage through the landscape using a classic 1900’s steam train. Just wow.
The trip will take you to the Summit of Mount Washington where you’ll find the Sherman Adams Visitor Center – complete with a gift shop, snack bar, and a US post office. There’s also the Tip Top House, one of the first hotels on the Summit of Mount Washington, which was restored in the ’60s as a museum.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the 360° views of the surrounding areas. You’ll be able to see up to 5 states including Canada and the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Hike to Flume Gorge
Did you know that The Flume was only accidentally discovered in 1808 by a 93-year old while she was fishing? Well, you better believe it. Jess Guernsey even had trouble convincing her family to come to see the marvelous discovery.
Nowadays, many hikers frequent this place because it features the beautiful Avalanche Falls and the trail is generally good no matter the skill level.
What you should know:
- Distance: 1.9 miles
- Elevation Gain: 469 feet
- Route Type: Loop
- There is a winter route is a good experience as it allows you to see the frozen waterfall. Be careful of the icy trail, though.
- The trail is moderately crowded
May 10 to October 20
- Adults: $16
- Children (6-12): $14
- Ages 5 and under: Free
3. Go Skiing at Wildcat Mountain
One of the best things to do in New Hampshire is to try skiing or snowboarding at New England’s most scenic resort. The Wildcat Mountain is located in the heart of the White Mountains and can give the most vertical value for a ski or ride. There are also other activities you can do such as riding the summit lifts or braving the long trails.
Aside from the fun winter activities, you can also simply enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Washington.
4. Visit Story Land
Let your imagination run free and visit the best children’s theme park in New Hampshire. Story Land offers rides and entertainment that the whole family will definitely enjoy.
The popular rides are:
- Antique Cars
- Bamboo Chutes
- Crazy Barn
- Splash Battle: Pharaoh’s Reign
- The Polar Coaster
The park also recently opened the Living Shores Aquarium, an indoor walkthrough adventure that will let you discover the wonders of the ocean. There are tide pools, exhibits, and other immersive activities.
Plan your trip to Story Land now. The regular day ticket costs $32.99 for those aged 3 – 59 and $29.99 for those 60 and over. If you want to save more, you can buy your ticket online in advance or consider getting the Season Pass.
5. Experience the Conway Scenic Railroad
An old-fashioned railroad experience is without a doubt fun for the whole family. Choose your excursion and enjoy the overview of the surrounding countryside. The Conway Scenic Railroad offers several routes and outstanding service.
Choosing your trains:
- Valley Train (April). Get nice, distant mountain views as you journey on a historic rail route in vintage passenger cars. You will travel from the 1874 Station in North Conway and pass along Routes 13, or 302, and the crossing rivers.
- The Mountaineer to the Notch (June). The dramatic natural scenery in the East will truly be unforgettable. Check out the ravines, brooks, and streams, as well as the beautiful mountain vistas. You’ll pass along the Trestle and Willey Brook Bridge as you depart to Crawford Station.
6. See the Cascades and Pools at Diana’s Baths
The ‘Home of the Water Fairies’ is a magical destination where visitors could try easy hiking, wading in the pools, and admiring the cascades. Many people say this place is a fairies’ paradise because of how the sun shines between the trees and reflected into the water.
What you should know:
- Diana’s Baths was named after the Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature.
- You can go swimming in Diana’s baths. Just remember to wear a bathing suit and bring a towel because it can be cold.
- It is best to go early if you want to secure a parking slot. During the peak season (summer), you might need to purchase a parking pass at $5 per day.
- Use water shoes with good traction as the rocks can get slippery.
7. Get Beautiful Lake Views at the Castle in the Clouds
Have a dining experience unlike any other. The Castle in the Clouds has a Carriage House Restaurant which will provide you with sweeping mountain and lake views. Take a break and relax on the terrace.
Aside from this fine mountain top dining setting, some of the activities you can do include:
- Horseback Riding
- Feeding the Ducks at Shannon Pond & The Meadows
- Winter Activities
- Hiking and Walking
- Joining the Mansion and Basement Tours
8. Explore the All-Outdoor Sanctuary, Cathedral of the Pines
The Cathedral of the Pines is a beautiful historic and natural site situated on a hilltop with a view of the Grand Monadnock. It is an all-outdoor sanctuary that also honors the service of American men and women, both military and civilian.
Here, you can participate in the special events, explore the sanctuary grounds, or meditate in the chapels and gardens.
Got any New Hampshire experiences or activities to share? Let us know in the comments below!