The Heart of New England
Top 10 Reasons to Summer in
New Hampshire

New Hampshire
is the classic New England summer vacation destination --
even for New Englanders who may think they've “Been there, done that.”

Here are ten good reasons to think “New Hampshire” when it comes to
planning a summer getaway. For sample itineraries, go to
www. and for more information,

1. Beaches: New Hampshire's ocean beaches are worth the trip. The best-
known Hampton Beach is a summer classic, a boardwalk-and-arcades type
hub of activity while Jenness Beach and Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye,
North Hampton State Beach, and Sandy Beach in New Castle are family-
friendly sandy spots. On the lakes, the beaches at Ellacoya, Silver Lake,
Kingston, Sunapee and Wadleigh State Parks also offer services such as canoe
and kayak rentals.

Odiorne Point State Park, with its ocean views of Whaleback Light and
Wentworth By the Sea, is a nature preserve that is a favorite for birdwatchers,
kayakers and families, thanks to well-maintained facilities. The Seacoast
Science Center offers hands-on sea-life and guided tours of the local tidal
pools. Contact: or 603-436-8043.

2. Kids' Fun -- In Portsmouth, the Children's Museum of Portsmouth attracts
families from all over New England for its 15 award-winning, hands-on
exhibits, from a sound chamber to a dinosaur fossil dig. The new Discovery
Center opening July 1 at Strawbery Banke Museum lets the whole family
explore times past through a child's eyes. Nearby Prescott Park offers outdoor
art festivals and summer theater performances for all ages. Throughout the
state, attractions include Attitash Alpine Slide, Polar Caves Park, Mt.
Washington Cruise, Lost River Gorge, Mt. Washington Auto Road, Conway
Scenic Railroad, Loon Mountain Park, Flume Gorge, Story Land, Santa's
Village, Clark's Trading Post, Cannon Mountain Tramway, Six Gun City and
Whales Tale Water Park. All summer long there are country fairs and festivals
offering midway attractions, livestock/4H displays, local crafts and all sorts
of home-town baked goodies and other summer-special treats.

North Woodstock's “Splash into Summer Weekend” kicks things off June 23-
24. On Friday, Whale's Tale Waterpark offers discounted admission ($13 in
advance or $18 at the gate instead of $26) and live entertainment, games,
contests and prizes. Saturday, June 24 is Olde New England Day and the
Olde New England Day Brewfest Main Street in North Woodstock will be
lined with approximately 40 artisans and crafters and the Town Common will
feature live music all day. Kids can enjoy fire engine and hay wagon rides,
face painting with AliWishes the Clown, bouncing in the Moon Bounce and
other activities. At 4 pm, the Second Annual Olde New England Day Brewfest
begins, with all of the New Hampshire microbrewers and their special beers
gathered in North Woodstock for the only event of its kind in the state.
Admission is $12 and includes five beer-sampling tickets. For a complete
calendar of events: or 603-745-6621

3. History and living museums: History buffs will enjoy a visit to the
American Independence Museum in Exeter, especially during the
Revolutionary War Festival encampment re-enactment in July. Shaker Village
is a 400-acre living museum showcasing Shaker life including organic herb,
flower and vegetable gardens whose produce is sold at an onsite farmstand
and showcased at Shaker Table Restaurant on the grounds.  
See story on NH

Celebrate the Centennial of Teddy Roosevelt's Nobel Peace Prize in
Portsmouth. The "An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace
Treaty 1905" exhibit tells the story of the multi-track diplomacy that won the
peace in 1905 andearned Roosevelt his Nobel in 1906. Incorporating new local
stories and artifacts, the exhibit is housed at the Portsmouth Historical
Society's John Paul Jones House Museum in Portsmouth. Open daily, 11 am-5
pm. Admission $8. Children 12 and under, free. May 27 through October 31.
Contact: or 603-436-8420

4. Lakes: In the Lakes Region, options range from New Hampshire’s largest,
Lake Winnipesaukee (72 square miles) to 1299 other smaller lakes and ponds.
“On Golden Pond” was filmed here, on Squam Lake, 25 years ago and still
offers quiet coves and the call of wild loons. A special exhibit on the making
of the film will travel throughout the Lakes Region all summer. Weirs Beach
on Lake Winnipesaukee offers miniature golf, ice cream stands and arcades.
Active adventurers will discover over 40 streams and rivers to swim, paddle
or fish. There are dozens of classic summer camps throughout the Lakes

Visit the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum to see how boys' and girls' summer
camps operated in the 1930's and to plan your trip to communities all around
the lake. The Museum explores the history and heritage of the Lake in a
setting preserved from the second cabin colony built in Laconia. Admission is
free. Contact: or 603-366-5950.

5. Hiking/camping in the White Mountains: For real outdoor adventure fun
for the whole family, the 800,000 acres of the White Mountain National Forest
and the scores of New Hampshire State Parks are waiting. Trails range from
nearly-flat, handicapped-accessible paths suitable for all ages, to 48 peaks
over 4,000 ft for the intrepid hiker. Or ride the Cog Railway up the 6,288 feet
of Mount Washington (New England's tallest peak) for an incomparable view
of the Presidential Range.

“Bike the Whites” offers value-conscious travelers a wonderful inn to inn
biking tour. The three-day getaway (Tuesday-Friday) offers customized route
planning covering 20 to 40 miles per day, for cyclists of all abilities. The
package combines the scenic beauty of New Hampshire’s White Mountains
and award-winning food, accommodations and hospitality from three
premier inns -- 1785 Inn, The Snowvillage Inn and Tamworth Inn -- all starting
at under $95 per person per day. Package includes all luggage transfers,
hearty meals, emergency repairs, safe indoor bicycle storage, customized
route planning, luxury accommodations, and even a complimentary water
bottle. “Bike the Whites” also maintains a fleet of Trek all-terrain lightweight
24-speed Alpha aluminum bicycles for rent. Contact
or 800-421-1785.

6. Wildlife-viewing: For wildlife watchers, there are 300 species of wild birds
in New Hampshire's fields, forests and marshes. Silk Farm Audubon Center
in Concord has live animals, programs and events, as well as walking trails.
Or look for moose, bear and deer in the Great North Woods. The 3-acre
waterfront site of Berlin’s Northern Forest Heritage Park is a playground that
also lets visitors spot moose as they feed on white birch and striped maple
trees. While mostly active at dusk and dawn, moose sightings can occur
throughout the day. For information on park times visit www.

The Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center is an environmental
education center in Manchester on the banks of the Merrimack River. Open
year round, Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Windows in the
Center offer an underwater view of the 54-step fish ladder that allows
migrating shad, herring and sea lamprey to swim around the Amoskeag Dam.
The Center also houses an interactive exhibit hall that lets visitors explore the
Merrimack River, the history of the Amoskeag area and river wildlife. Visit

7. Scenic car trips and great hotels: New Hampshire gives visitors a choice of
over a dozen official Scenic Byways. From the famous Kancamagus Highway
(through the Mount Washington Valley) to the Connecticut River Byway that
starts in the Great North Woods and travels south along 274 miles dotted with
original covered bridges there is scenery galore. “Moose Alley” follows
Route 3 to the Canadian Border. Route 1B hugs the rocky Atlantic coast,
passing fishing villages, grand seaside hotels and classic New England towns
before reaching vibrant Portsmouth. All along the way there are historic inns,
grand hotels, family-owned B&B's and a variety of dining options, from
family style restaurants to gourmet inn chefs.

The Mount Washington Resort's “Friends and Family Getaway” is a great
reason to explore the area. Reserve a minimum of five guestrooms for two
nights at The Mount Washington Hotel, The Bretton Arms Country Inn or The
Lodge at Bretton Woods and receive a 20 percent discount off regular rates.
Rates start as low as $79 per room, per night with continental breakfast at The
Lodge at Bretton Woods. Contact: or 800-314-1752   

8. Farmstands and Farmers’ Markets -- Whether it's a box of freshly-picked
berries, a basket of sweet corn and a corn maze to explore, or a pat on the
nose of a dairy cow, there's nothing that says “summer” quite like a visit to a
working New Hampshire farm or roadside farmstand. Pick-your-own
strawberry patches open in June, then blueberries and raspberries in mid-
summer and apples starting in early September. Visit for
both the ”NH Farm Stand” and “NH Farmers Markets” directories of places
open all over the state, all summer. Monadnock Berries in the shadow of
Mount Monadnock is one. Open for picking everyday, 8am- 7pm, once the
season starts, the farm has festivals and lunchtime barbecues and even has a
special picking patch accessible to disabled pickers. Contact:
www. or 603-242-6417

Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm has planned “Ox & Rocks” day on
June 17, 10 am to 2 pm. The Victorian era Remick museum's staff demonstrate
historic and modern farming chores like stone wall building, plowing with
oxen, and haying with sickle and scythe. Appropriate for all ages. Admission
is free. Contact:

9. Shopping – The item on every vacationer's list and there's no better place
than New Hampshire where there is
NO SALES TAX. Choose from original
crafts in museum stores, outlet shopping, country stores in Barrington, North
Conway and Meredith; ”Antiques Alley” along Route 4 in Northwood; and
distinctive boutiques in Portsmouth, Concord, and the many “Main Street”
communities that have welcomed back local merchants. The longest candy
counter in the world is Chutters in Littleton. World famous chocolates come
from L.A. Burdick in Walpole. “Made in New Hampshire” products are
featured in every State Park.

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen has shops in 7 locations as well as
the oldest craft fair in America, on the Mt. Sunapee Resort campgrounds,
August 5-13.

10. Accessibility -- New Hampshire became America's summer playground in
the 1800's when painters and Presidents started vacationing here. Manchester
International Airport is the nation's fastest growing, while interstate highways
access the quiet backroads to explore at leisure -- Robert Frost wrote about
the joys of 'the road less traveled' from his farm in Derry, New Hampshire
(which is now a state park). Drive from ocean to mountains in less than three
hours or dawdle in antique shops, berry-picking farms and picnic spots along
the way.
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont
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Mt. Monadnock, NH -- Photo by Marcia Passos Duffy
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Top Ten Reasons to
Summer in
New Hampshire

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