Northern New Hampshire is a wonderful place to visit, whether you’re interested in the mountains, the arts or an affordable escape for your family. Northern New Hampshire communities do a wonderful job of combining small town charm with the amenities you expect on your vacation. Here are seven reasons to visit northern New Hampshire this year.
1. It’s family-friendly
Story Land, Santa’s Village, Clark’s Trading Post—these are just three of the tourist destinations catering to families in northern New Hampshire.
At Story Land, your young children can meet their favorite nursery rhyme characters and enjoy rides, attractions and shows. At Santa’s Village, it’s Christmas every day, with rides and shows for children of all ages. And at Clark’s Trading Post, it’s a unique grab bag, where you’ll find trained bears, acrobats, player pianos, a few quirky attractions and a train ride unlike any you’ve been on before. In the winter, the focus shifts to winter sports, with skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding taking the stage.
Families are welcome throughout northern New Hampshire, with lots of activities catered specifically to them.
2. It’s gorgeous
Visit Franconia Notch State Park, the historic home of the Old Man in the Mountain. There is a plethora of hiking trails and lakes and, if you visit in the fall, amazing foliage wherever you turn your gaze.
Other parts of northern New Hampshire have their own mountains, lakes and rivers too. Consider a drive up to the top of New Hampshire, where you can check out the Moose Festival (taking place Aug. 24 and 25 this year) or go on a moose tour and visit some of the most pristine lakes in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.
3. It’s affordable
Camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or at a campground on the rim of a lake is a fantastic way to keep your vacation affordable and fun. Local inns and motels in most communities are more affordable than you’ll find in much of the tourist areas in New England. If you’re wanting to save even more on your trip, consider a visit in the off-season (any time but mud season, mid-March to mid-April, will be gorgeous). And while you will need to budget for rooms and meals tax—it’s a hefty 9 percent, although campgrounds are generally exempt—you won’t need to budget for sales tax here.
4. The arts are essential
From local crafts and handmade artwork to great touring artists in Plymouth, Bethlehem and Colebrook, the arts are an essential part of what makes northern New Hampshire so special. Back in the 1800s, vacationers would take the train north and spend the summer in the mountains and lakes of New Hampshire, and artists would capture the beauty and sell it back to them. Nowadays, you’ll still find artists living in the mountains, but you’ll also find national touring artists and professional theater productions. Whether you’re visiting galleries in the village of Bethlehem or catching a performance in North Conway or Whitefield, the arts are everywhere here, with fairly accessible prices too.
5. It’s easily accessible
It’s so easy to get to northern New Hampshire. With Interstate 93 connecting the most southern part of the state to its northern tip, it’s an easy and beautiful drive north. It’s also easily accessible from Maine, Vermont, Quebec and other parts of Canada. If you’ve got a car, it’s time to take a drive.
6. You can enjoy tax-free shopping
Did I mention there isn’t any sales tax in New Hampshire? This is one of the few states where you can have a shopping spree and not pay a tax on it. Use the money you’ve saved to treat yourself to a night out or an extra day on the slopes. You’ve earned it!
7. History is everywhere
As one of the thirteen colonies, New Hampshire is full of interesting historical characters and locations. Just about every town has a historical society or museum, and whether you’re antiquing or taking a scenic drive, there is history to be seen and found everywhere. Whether visiting a cemetery or a mill, you’ll find fascinating stories wherever you journey in New Hampshire.
If you’re ready to begin your adventure, you’ll find the best RV rentals available on Outdoorsy. You may also enjoy reading up on RV limits in all fifty states, the Best Portable Camp Grills or how to save money on camping.