Places to Visit in New Hampshire in Summer

Summer is the perfect time to explore the natural beauty and charming towns of New Hampshire. With its picturesque landscapes, outdoor adventures, and vibrant culture, the Granite State offers something for every type of traveler. New Hampshire has plenty to offer, whether you’re into hiking, boating, or simply soaking up the sun. Let’s dive into some of the best places to visit in New Hampshire during the summer.

The Beauty of New Hampshire in Summer

New Hampshire is a treasure trove of natural beauty, especially in the summer. The weather is warm and inviting, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit. The lush greenery, sparkling lakes, and majestic mountains make it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to unwind in a serene environment.

White Mountains National Forest

The White Mountains National Forest is a haven for nature lovers. Covering nearly 800,000 acres, this forest offers a plethora of activities.

Hiking Trails

The White Mountains are renowned for their extensive hiking trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you’ll find trails that suit your skill level. The Appalachian Trail passes through here, offering some of the most scenic and challenging hikes.

Scenic Drives

If hiking isn’t your thing, take a scenic drive through the White Mountains. The Kancamagus Highway, also known as “The Kanc,” is a 34.5-mile stretch of road that offers breathtaking views of the mountains, rivers, and forests.

Camping Spots

Camping in the White Mountains is an experience you won’t forget. There are numerous campgrounds where you can set up your tent and enjoy the tranquility of nature. The sound of the nearby streams and the sight of the star-filled sky at night will make your trip memorable.

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, is a popular summer destination.

Boating and Water Sports

With over 200 miles of shoreline, Lake Winnipesaukee is perfect for boating and water sports. You can rent a boat, go kayaking, or try your hand at water skiing.

Lakeside Dining

After a day on the water, enjoy a meal at one of the lakeside restaurants. Many of them offer outdoor seating with stunning views of the lake, making for a perfect dining experience.

Family-friendly Activities

From mini-golf to ice cream parlors, Lake Winnipesaukee has plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. The Weirs Beach area is especially popular with families, offering a boardwalk, arcades, and a drive-in theater.

Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a historic seaport city with a rich cultural scene.

Historic Downtown

Stroll through the cobblestone streets of downtown Portsmouth, where you’ll find unique shops, historic buildings, and charming cafes. The Strawbery Banke Museum offers a glimpse into the city’s past with its preserved colonial homes.

Seacoast Science Center

Located in nearby Rye, the Seacoast Science Center is great for families. It features exhibits on marine life and local ecology, as well as outdoor tide pools where you can observe sea creatures up close.

Prescott Park

Prescott Park, located on the waterfront, is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The park hosts outdoor concerts, theater performances, and a stunning flower garden.

Franconia Notch State Park

Franconia Notch State Park is a must-visit for its natural attractions.

The Flume Gorge

The Flume Gorge is a natural granite gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. Walking through the gorge, you’ll be surrounded by towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls.

Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway

Take a ride on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a great way to see the landscape from a different perspective.

Echo Lake

Echo Lake is perfect for a relaxing day by the water. You can swim, paddleboard, or simply enjoy the scenery from the beach.

Mount Monadnock

Mount Monadnock is one of the most climbed mountains in the world.

Hiking Experiences

With its well-maintained trails, Mount Monadnock offers a rewarding hiking experience. The summit provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Panoramic Views

From the top of Mount Monadnock, you can see up to four states on a clear day. The view is worth the hike.

Wildlife Watching

The area around Mount Monadnock is rich in wildlife. Keep an eye out for deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species.

The Kancamagus Highway

The Kancamagus Highway is not just for fall foliage; it’s beautiful in the summer too.

Scenic Overlooks

Along the highway, there are numerous scenic overlooks where you can stop and take in the views. Each one offers a unique perspective of the White Mountains.

Picnic Areas

Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal in one of the designated picnic areas along the Kancamagus Highway. It’s a great way to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

Fall Foliage Preview

Although the fall colors are spectacular, summer offers lush green landscapes that are just as impressive. Plus, you can scout out the best spots for a future fall visit.

Hampton Beach

Hampton Beach is a classic New England beach destination.

Beach Activities

From swimming and sunbathing to playing beach volleyball, there’s no shortage of activities at Hampton Beach. The soft sand and gentle waves make it a family favorite.

Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Catch a concert or show at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. This historic venue hosts a variety of performances throughout the summer.

Seafood Delights

No visit to Hampton Beach is complete without indulging in some fresh seafood. From clam shacks to fine dining, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

The Lakes Region

The Lakes Region is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in New Hampshire.

Squam Lake

Squam Lake is famous for its clear waters and tranquil setting. It’s a great place for kayaking, fishing, and bird-watching.

Newfound Lake

Newfound Lake is known for its pristine water quality. It’s a popular spot for swimming, boating, and picnicking.

Lakes Region Activities

In addition to water activities, the Lakes Region offers hiking, biking, and plenty of festivals and events throughout the summer.

Mount Washington

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States.

Cog Railway

The Cog Railway is a unique way to reach the summit of Mount Washington. The train ride offers spectacular views and an unforgettable experience.

Auto Road

Drive up the Mount Washington Auto Road for a thrilling adventure. The road is steep and narrow, but the views are worth it.

Hiking Trails

For the more adventurous, hiking to the summit of Mount Washington is a challenging but rewarding experience. The views from the top are unmatched.

Hanover

Hanover is a charming town with a vibrant cultural scene.

Dartmouth College

Home to Dartmouth College, Hanover has a youthful energy and plenty of cultural attractions. The Hood Museum of Art and the Hopkins Center for the Arts are must-visits.

Cultural Attractions

In addition to the college, Hanover offers a variety of cultural attractions, including galleries, theaters, and historic sites.

Local Eateries

Hanover boasts a variety of dining options, from cozy cafes to fine dining restaurants. Be sure to try the local specialties.

Conway

Conway is a hub for shopping and outdoor activities.

Settlers Green Outlet Village

Shop till you drop at the Settlers Green Outlet Village, where you’ll find a wide range of stores offering great deals.

Conway Scenic Railroad

Take a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad for a nostalgic trip through the scenic countryside. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the views.

Local Artisans

Conway is home to many local artisans and craftspeople. Visit their shops and studios to find unique souvenirs and gifts.

Outdoor Adventure Activities

New Hampshire is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Zip-lining

Experience the thrill of zip-lining through the treetops. Several adventure parks in New Hampshire offer zip-lining courses for all skill levels.

Whitewater Rafting

For a more intense adventure, try whitewater rafting on one of New Hampshire’s rivers. It’s a great way to cool off and get your adrenaline pumping.

Mountain Biking

With its diverse terrain, New Hampshire is perfect for mountain biking. There are trails for all levels, from beginner to expert.

Conclusion

New Hampshire in the summer is a destination that offers something for everyone. From the serene lakes and majestic mountains to the vibrant towns and historic sites, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the beautiful state of New Hampshire.

FAQs

1. Best time to visit New Hampshire?

  • The best time to visit New Hampshire is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and ideal for outdoor activities.

2. What are the must-see places in New Hampshire?

  • Must-see places include the White Mountains National Forest, Lake Winnipesaukee, Portsmouth, Franconia Notch State Park, and Mount Washington.

3. Are there family-friendly activities in New Hampshire?

  • Yes, New Hampshire offers numerous family-friendly activities such as boating on Lake Winnipesaukee, exploring the Flume Gorge, and visiting the Seacoast Science Center.

4. What outdoor activities are available in New Hampshire?

  • Outdoor activities include hiking, boating, camping, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking.

5. How can I plan a budget-friendly trip to New Hampshire?

  • To plan a budget-friendly trip, consider camping instead of staying in hotels, cooking your meals, and taking advantage of free attractions like hiking trails and scenic drives.

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