Vacationing in Scenic NH

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coveredbridge-main_Full.jpg The Flume Covered Bridge in Franconia

How will you get there?   I would not recommend flying into Logan Airport in Boston.  If you are not from the area, or even if you are, the roads there are very confusing, the drivers are nasty and its pretty much a nightmare.  Take it easy, slow down, and fly into Manchester instead.  It is like the opposite of Logan airport.  Its small, its simply and it is not scary, even for the novice flyer.

There is no train station in NH.  If you must take a train, you’ll have to go to Rte 128 Station just outside Boston or Springfield.  The Springfield station is an Auto-train site.

Otherwise, I guess you’re driving.  I always try to steer clear of 95.  It may be more miles to go around but its a lot less headaches and may actually save you time because you’re less likely to get caught up in some mess along the way.

monadnock_Thumb.jpg The Monadnock Region: In the Monadnock Region, there are quaint towns just waiting for you. Keene is a quaint college town with a very properous main street with a variety of shoppes and restaurants. Lindy’s Diner, 176 Main and Timoleon’s are popular dining spots. Keene has a fall festival every October which includes an awesome jack o’ lantern display. Downtown Peterborough also offers some great shopping and dining. The Peterborough Diner is a great place to stop for lunch. If you enjoy hiking, Mount Monadnock is a terrific day hike (Monadnock State Park, Jaffrey, NH). Its not too strenuous and there is a beautiful view. It is a well-traveled mountain, so you will likely see many other hikers on the trail. For a family activity, The Friendly Farm (located near Dublin Lake on rte. 101) makes for a fun afternoon at the petting zoo. Pancake houses are scattered all over NH including “Stuart and John’s Sugar House” in Westmoreland (see link below).
The Seacoast: New Hampshire has only 18 miles of seacoast. The water is ALWAYS cold, no matter what time of year. Some of the attractions on the seacoast are Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, Hampton Beach and Odiorne State Park in Rye. Strawberry Banke is a historical preservation site where people can see what living in the historic seacoast neighborhood might have been like in the 1700’s. Odiorne state park is a great place to spend the day. There are rocky beaches with tide pools to explore as well as a museum on the grounds in addition to remnants of World War II fortification.

The Merrimack Valley: Sites to see in this region include America’s Stonehenge, Canterbury Shaker Village, The Budweiser Brewery, Robert Frost’s home and the mills in Manchester. Manchester is the largest city in New Hampshire and used to be a manufacturing center in the Industrial Revolution due to it’s proximity to the Merrimack River, which was a source of power. Museums, shoppes and  restaurants are now housed within the walls of the old mill buildings. The SEE Science Center boasts a huge lego display which is a replica of the mills during the Industrial Revolution. They also have many hands on science demonstrations for children. The Christa McCauliffe Planetarium is located in Concord, the state’s capital. Beaver Brook Association in Hollis includes gardens to explore (a perfect picnic spot) as well as well marked woodland trails. They also have a fall festival which includes a display of nature photography taken by mostly local citizens.  Beaver Brook also offers summer programs for children on Native Americans, Nature, Art, etc. Parker’s Maple Barn in Brookline is a very popular pancake house. Downtown Milford has a very quaint town square as well as one of the few remaining drive-in movie theatres

The Lake Sunapee Region is home to Dartmouth College, Ruggles Mine in Grafton and Mount Sunapee State Park. Dinner Cruises are available on Lake Sunapee.

The Lakes Region is home to the Castle in the Clouds Estate overlooking Lake Winnapausaukee. Dinner Cruises are available on the lake. The Town of Laconia hosts “bike week” every year for motorcycle enthusiasts. Squam Lake Nature Center is a great place to bring the family to appreciate ecology in Holderness. Did you know Squam Lake is the famous “Golden Pond”?

The White Mountain Region is home to a lot of terrific attractions including the Mount Washington Auto Road and the Cog Railway. Clark’s Trading Post boasts live bear performances and a gift shoppe. The Alpine Slide in Attitash is very unique but favorite summer time activity, located in Bartlett. You can’t miss the Flume Gorge while you are in this area. You can follow the boardwalk to see the rushing water and waterfalls. Lost River Gorge in North Woodstock has beautiful caverns and falls to explore. Santa’s Village and Story Land are family attractions in this region.
The North Country: This area is sparse as far as populated areas and formal attractions, but the scenic beauty is unmatched. You can visit the Northern Forest Heritage Park and the picturesque Stark covered bridge. Graymist farm is a real working farm in Groveton that offers tours.

skinh_Thumb.jpg Cannon Mt. 12/22/08 Let us not forget the skiing! Check out the site below for a complete list of ski areas by region.

Keep in mind:

  • The black flies and mosquitos can be quite annoying in spring. Visiting the seacoast at this time would be a good option.
  • September is probably an ideal time to visit. It is still warm enough to see the outdoor sites and appreciate the fall foliage at its best.
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