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New Hampshire

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Travel Guide North America USA Northeastern United States New England New Hampshire

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Introduction

Day 39 - NH Fall Foliage

Day 39 - NH Fall Foliage

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New Hampshire is a fairly small U.S. state, located in the northeastern region of New England and bordering Maine.

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Geography

New Hampshire is part of the New England region. It is bounded by Quebec, Canada, to the north and northwest; Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; Massachusetts to the south; and Vermont to the west. New Hampshire's major regions are the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area. New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. coastal state, with a length of under 30 kilometres.
The White Mountains range in New Hampshire spans the north-central portion of the state, with Mount Washington the tallest in the northeastern U.S. - site of the second-highest wind speed ever recorded - and other mountains like Mount Madison and Mount Adams surrounding it. Major rivers include the 110-mile (177 km) Merrimack River, which bisects the lower half of the state north-south and ends up in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Its tributaries include the Contoocook River, Pemigewasset River, and Winnipesaukee River. The 660-kilometre-long Connecticut River, which starts at New Hampshire's Connecticut Lakes and flows south to Connecticut, defines the western border with Vermont. The state border is not in the center of that river, as usually the case, but at the low-water mark on the Vermont side; meaning that the entire river along the Vermont border (save for areas where the water level has been raised by a dam) lies within New Hampshire. Only one town – Pittsburg – shares a land border with the state of Vermont. The "northwesternmost headwaters" of the Connecticut also define the Canadian border with New Hampshire.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

  • Mount Washington State Park - Mount Washington is the largest mountain in the Northeast, and the site of the highest recorded windspeed in the world (231 miles per hour). Mount Washington provides an excellent experience for a hiker, contains Tuckerman's Ravine, a popular and difficult skiing destination reached only on foot.
  • Waterville Valley - a resort town in the White Mountains.
  • White Mountain National Forest - home of many peaks in the Presidential Range; a beautiful region with good hiking and skiing.
  • Portsmouth is a historic town on the sea
  • American Classic Arcade Museum. Weirs Beach in Laconia Located inside the Funspot Family Entertainment Center (or simply ""Funspot"") the ACAM has been recognized as the "Largest Arcade in the World" by Guinness World Records. The museum hosts roughly 180 playable games on the floor and another 100 or more in storage. It has been called "the Louvre of the '8-bit' world."

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.

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Weather

New Hampshire experiences a humid continental climate, with warm, humid summers, cold, wet winters, and uniform precipitation all year. The climate of the southeastern portion is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and averages relatively milder and wetter weather, while the northern and interior portions experience cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and especially severe in the northern and mountainous areas. Average annual snowfall ranges from 150 centimetres to over 250 centimetres across the state. Average daytime highs are around 24-28 °C throughout the state in July, with overnight lows around 13-15 °C. January temperatures range from an average high of 1 °C on the coast to overnight lows -18 °C in the far north and at high elevations. Average annual precipitation statewide is roughly 100 centimetres with some variation occurring in the White Mountains due to differences in elevation and annual snowfall. New Hampshire's highest recorded temperature was 41 °C in Nashua on July 4, 1911, while the lowest recorded temperature was -44 °C atop Mount Washington on January 29, 1934.

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Getting There

By Plane

Manchester–Boston Regional Airport (MHT) is the main airport in New Hampshire and located near Manchester. Destinations include Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Orlando, Denver, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Newark, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Charlotte.

By Train

There are a few places where Amtrak trains stop in the state of New Hampshire. These are:

  • The Vermonter travels from Washington DC and New York up north towards Vermont, stopping in Claremont, New Hampshire en route.
  • The Downeaster travels between Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine, stopping en route in Dover, Durham and Exeter in New Hampshire.

By Bus

Check Greyhound buses for options.

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Getting Around

By Plane

  • Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
  • Mount Washington Regional Airport
  • Lebanon Municipal Airport
  • Portsmouth International Airport at Pease

By Train

Amtrak/USA Rail - Serves northern New England with a stop in Claremont, New Hampshire. Amtrak Downeaster makes five round trips daily between Portland, Maine, and Boston, Mass, with stops in Dover, Durham and Exeter. Amtrak has a terminal in Boston's South Station, as does Concord Trailways bus service. For more information on Amtrak call: 800-872-7245. Visit the Amtrak website.

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

New Hampshire has a number of National Scenic Byways which offer a great way to explore the state crossing beautiful landscapes. Mostly, there are lots of national parks, state parks or monuments along the way and it's generally a better alternative than the faster but boring Interstate Highways.

By Bus

  • C & J - Includes service between the Seacoast and Boston and Logan Airport. 430-1100 or 800-258-7111. Visit the C & J website.
  • Concord Coach Lines - Providing daily service to Boston's South Station and Logan Airport to and from 18 communities in New Hampshire. Stops are primarily in the Merrimack Valley, Lakes Region and White Mountains. 800-639-3317 and in New England 603-228-3300. Visit the Concord Coach Lines website.
  • Greyhound - Greyhound Bus Lines/Vermont Transit Serves Hanover, New London, Concord, Manchester and Nashua, and has routes to Boston, Montreal, White River Junction and Burlington (Vermont). Service from Montreal to Hartford (Connecticut) and New York City stops in Keene. For New Hampshire call 800-231-2222 or 436-0163. Visit the Greyhound website.

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Eat

New Hampshire offers up many great roadside diners, places that are a belt busting quick cheap eateries.

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Drink

While the state is not known for its nightlife, there are some clubs to check out in Manchester.
There are several breweries and brewpubs worth a visit in New Hampshire.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Red Roof Inn of Loudon, LLC2 Staniels Road LoudonHotel-
Econolodge304 Main Street, PlymouthGuesthouse-

Hotel and Motel Chains

There are dozens of hotel and motel chains, ranging from budget to top end. Allthough they are not the most charming accommodations, they usually have a very decent midrange service with good rooms and are generally good value. At least you know what to expect and in some cases they are either the only or the best option in the area. Some of them include:

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Accommodation in New Hampshire

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in New Hampshire searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in New Hampshire and areas nearby.

Contributors

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This is version 25. Last edited at 7:52 on Dec 23, 16 by Utrecht. 17 articles link to this page.

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