New Hampshire Trips – New England Weekend Getaways

When you begin to notice inordinately large, relentless mosquitoes and people wearing camouflage to restaurants, chances are you’ve made it to New Hampshire. Go ahead and laugh—New Hampshirites will smile right along with you. That’s because the state’s “Live free or die” motto perfectly describes its residents, who take fierce pride in their home’s abundant natural wonders (including its healthy insect population).

[sidebar]With a whopping 82 percent of the population living in the state’s southern half, which includes busy Manchester and Concord, the northern lands are largely, and blessedly, wide open. All regions, though, have much to entertain travelers. Relaxed and tourist-friendly downtown Portsmouth offers fine dining, boutiques, and museums; the White Mountains challenges hikers and bikers with miles of rugged trails (and Mount Washington, New England’s highest peak); the Great North Woods are a back-country camper’s paradise; and the Lakes Region boasts endless water fun. Just remember: Should you score an invite to a Friday night fish fry at a local church, definitely say yes. Participating in this Granite State tradition is the first step in going native.

A Weekend In: Portsmouth

Bring your bike—and your appetite. The coastal town yields cycling, eating, and more eating.

Generally Speaking: Zeb’s vs. Chutters vs. The Old Country Store

The state’s country stores are famous for their grab-bag inventory—everything from hand-crafted candles and soap to penny candy and local preserves. But which ones really have the goods?

Best Bets: Zip It
Speeding 50 miles per hour while hanging from a wire 200 feet off the ground is a breath-taking way to take in New Hampshire’s terrain.

Weirs Beach
When the kids have had their fill of boating and can’t stomach one more game of Boggle, vacation can start to look grim. Weirs Beach to the rescue!

The White Mountains
It pays to know your way around this region stacked with steep cliffside trails—and, perhaps more important, how to unwind and refuel at day’s end.

New England’s Best Small Towns: Hancock, NH
Because… your great-great-grandparents might have slept here.

New England’s Best Small Towns: Hanover, NH
Because… ivory towers make for a storybook escape. Yes, it’s the quintessential college town, where youthful enthusiasm combines with tradition to create something ageless.

New England’s Best Small Towns: Exeter, NH
Because… of this guy. A 25-year-old wunderkind, Ben hasty, has taken the helm of its highest-profile restaurant.

Summer Escapes! 2009: The Great(est) Lakes: Squam Lake
Better known as its film alter ego, Golden Pond, the real Squam is just as WASPy and nostalgically naturalist as the Fonda-Hepburn classic.

Summer Escapes! 2009: The Great(est) Lakes: Lake Winnipesaukee
Its 240-mile shoreline cuts back into myriad inlets and coves, creating mini destinations that offer a variety of scenes and amenities.

Ask a Native: Jodi Picoult
Bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult writes about tangled relationships and family turmoil, but her own life on a farm in Hanover (with a husband and three kids) is mercifully light on drama.

Discoveries: Need for Speed

Janice O’Leary lays down rubber in her trusty four-speed Corolla at the New England Dragway.

Taste of the State
Our top culinary delight in New Hampshire. Fried Right.