Embarking on a road trip through New Hampshire promises a journey through picturesque landscapes, charming towns, and a rich cultural heritage.  From the rugged White Mountains to the serene seacoast, the Granite State offers a diverse range of attractions for every traveler.  In this article, we’ll highlight 10 must-visit places to include in your New Hampshire road trip itinerary, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Franconia Notch State Park

Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire road trip

Nestled within the White Mountains, Franconia Notch State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.  The park boasts stunning natural wonders such as the Flume Gorge, Echo Lake, and the iconic Old Man of the Mountain site.  Hiking trails, waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas make this a perfect starting point for your New Hampshire adventure.

Mount Washington Auto Road

Mount Washington Auto Road

For a truly exhilarating experience, venture up the Mount Washington Auto Road. Known as the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather,” this historic route offers panoramic views of the Presidential Range.  Whether you drive or take the guided tour, the summit’s awe-inspiring views are not to be missed.


A visit to New Hampshire’s historic port city, Portsmouth, is a step back in time.  Stroll along the brick-lined streets of Market Square, explore the fascinating Strawbery Banke Museum, and enjoy the vibrant waterfront area.  Don’t forget to savor fresh seafood at one of the many excellent restaurants.

White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest

Encompassing over 750,000 acres, the White Mountain National Forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.  Whether you’re into hiking, biking, or simply taking in the scenic drives, this vast wilderness offers endless opportunities for adventure.  The Kancamagus Highway, renowned for its stunning fall foliage, is a must-see.

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire Road trip

With its crystal-clear waters and picturesque shores, Lake Winnipesaukee is a jewel of New Hampshire.  Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the lake, or hop aboard the M/S Mount Washington Cruise Ship for a leisurely voyage.  The charming towns surrounding the lake offer quaint shops and dining options.

The Lakes Region

Comprising a cluster of serene lakes, the Lakes Region is a haven for relaxation and water-based activities.  From Lake Squam to Newfound Lake, the region’s tranquil beauty invites visitors to swim, fish, or simply soak up the sun.  Explore quaint towns like Meredith and Wolfeboro for a taste of lakeside charm.

Castle in the Clouds

Perched atop the Ossipee Mountains, the Castle in the Clouds is a historic mansion surrounded by stunning gardens and miles of hiking trails.  Take a guided tour of the mansion, enjoy a scenic picnic, or explore the property’s art installations.  The panoramic vistas of Lake Winnipesaukee are simply breathtaking.

The Seacoast

The Seacoast, New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s coastline may be small, but it’s packed with charm. Visit the historic Strawbery Banke neighborhood in Portsmouth to step back in time, or take a scenic drive along Ocean Boulevard in Hampton.  Don’t miss the iconic Seacoast Science Center in Rye, offering educational exhibits and beautiful coastal views.


Home to the prestigious Dartmouth College, Hanover exudes a vibrant academic atmosphere. Stroll through the Dartmouth Green, visit the Hood Museum of Art, and explore the Baker-Berry Library. The town’s picturesque setting along the Connecticut River adds to its appeal.

Monadnock Region

Monadnock Region, New Hampshire road trip

For a taste of quintessential New England, head to the Monadnock Region.  Dominated by the iconic Mount Monadnock, this area offers excellent hiking, charming villages like Peterborough, and a wealth of cultural events.  The stunning landscapes have inspired artists and writers for generations.

Enjoy Your New Hampshire Road Trip

A New Hampshire road trip offers a diverse array of experiences, from rugged mountain adventures to tranquil lakeside respites. With these 10 must-visit stops, you’re sure to create lasting memories in the Granite State. So, hit the road and discover the beauty and charm that make New Hampshire a destination like no other. Happy travels!

Visiting the USA?  Read about road trips to CaliforniaOregonWashingtonUtahNevadaColoradoTexasArizonaMaine, New York and South Dakota.