Despite its small size, New Hampshire is home to many amazing sights and fun things to do for travelers and locals alike, on top of being a treasure trove of American culture and history that goes back to the founding of this country. It is a place where everyone can find something to love almost immediately, from nature lovers to history buffs, so much that you’ll be hard pressed to take it all in during just a couple of days. So how about a guide to the absolute best that New Hampshire has to offer?
We’ve made this list for you to create a perfect tour of the state so that your next visit feels like one rich, seamless experience without the common hiccups of travel, like tourist traps or not knowing where to go next. Since we’re in the middle of spring and most days are beautiful and warm, we’ll focus mostly on outdoor activities, but some indoors attractions will also be included. Let’s see what New Hampshire holds for you!
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s foremost sculptors, and this was at one point his summer home of over a decade, then eventually his permanent residence up until his death in 1907. It’s no surprise, then, that this beautiful building has many of his original sculpture on exhibit, as well as many impressive reproductions of his masterpieces, both on the inside and dotting the outer gardens as well. While the house was originally built in 1816, Saint-Gaudens made a series of changes to its structure to better reflect his artistic sensibilities and tastes. Beautiful terraced gardens and landscaped grounds make for a magnificent view, and there are many hiking trails surrounding the property, offering an unparalleled view of the mountains.
Do you like to immerse yourself in the many mysteries left behind by ancient civilizations? Well, you don’t have to cross the sea or even leave the country to find one. America’s Stonehenge is located right in the pine forests of New Hampshire, right next to the coast, and is one of the oldest historical sites in the United States. Its origins are still a mystery to archeologists and anthropologists studying it; was it constructed by Native Americans, or perhaps a migrant population preceding Columbus’ arrival by thousands of years? What’s clear is that the people who built it were extremely well versed in astronomy, since the site can accurately determine specific solar and lunar events. You can’t miss it!
It’s not common that a historic place is not only one of the most quaint and charming you’ve ever visited, but that is also treats you to some delicious, artistic food as well. Well, Pickety Place is such a historic site, and it has stood gracefully since 1786 on the hills of southern New Hampshire, where a rustic feeling still permeates the air every single day. Even if you’ve never been here before, Pickety Place might seem a little familiar to you, since it served as the model for Elizabeth Orton Jones illustrations of Grandma’s House in Little Red Riding Hood in the 1948 edition. Anyone with a passing interest in amazing food, beautiful gardens, or simply great sunsets in a relaxing afternoon should visit.
So named because of their ecstatic behavior during ceremonies, the Shakers are an offshoot of the Quakers who, back in the 1780s, started spreading through the United States. Their Canterbury village is long defunct but acts now as an internationally-known non-profit museum, showcasing and protecting the cultural and historical heritage of the Shakers. Comprised of 25 restored buildings and almost 700 hundred acres of forest, gardens, trails, ponds, and fields, this beautiful location is perfect if you’re looking for a nice, tranquil place to relax and reflect. Your guide is sure to be knowledgeable about the Shakers and a charming companion throughout the whole tour, and you’ll find plenty of demonstrations of Shaker arts and crafts. For the country history buff that wants to slow down for a bit while still learning something.
It’s not hard to guess how Robert Frost, one of America’s most acclaimed poets, could put down so much beauty in his words when you see the forests that surround his former home. Frost and his family took residence in this farmhouse from 1900 to 1911 and is now a museum preserving much of the life from the poet. Through the many tours, displays, and nature/poetry trail programs, as well as live readings, this simple New England house becomes a place of introspection and learning. If you’ve ever read a Robert Frost poem, this is an obligated stop in New Hampshire.
There are plenty of historical houses in and around New Hampshire, as you can see, and you’ll notice that they’re all very well kept. If the cleanliness of a 200-year-old home is putting yours to shame, why not call a professional to make things even?