Live Free or Die

From the top of Mount Washington to Hampton Beach

New Hampshire

New Hampshire, the Granite State, and the ninth of the thirteen states to sign the Declaration of Independence, has it all, with a rich history (the first skirmish of the Revolutionary War was fought at Fort William and Mary in New Castle in 1775), centuries-old, colonial architecture, grand, historic hotels, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River, broad, sandy, North Atlantic beaches, mountain lakes and streams, waterfalls, covered bridges, lighthouses, renowned universities, and four distinct seasons to enjoy them in. 

Indeed, if there is anything missing here, for families, couples, skiers, surfers, hikers, deep-sea fishermen, theater-goers, history-lovers, or adventurers young or old, we can’t think of anything … if there is, we’d love to hear about it.

HAMPTON

hampton beach summer vacationers
Hampton, the home of Hampton Beach State Park, where the population expands on summer weekends from about 15,000 to more than 150,000.  Visitors come here for the mile and a half by 100 yards of sandy beach and free nightly entertainment at the bandshell.  The beach is especially popular with families because of the dozens of cafes, pizzerias and seafood restaurants, convenience stores and gift shops, amusements, and other entertainment venues (including the historic Hampton Beach Casino) along the boardwalk, all just steps from the sand. Hampton Beach is located at the end of a four-mile spur off Interstate 95, an easy 55-mile, one-hour drive north of Boston.

The Isles Of Shoals

The Isles of Shoals is a cluster of nine small islands and tidal shoals, four in New Hampshire and five in Maine, five miles off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire.  Star Island, the second-largest, is the home of a seasonal hotel and conference center, and is accessible during the summer months by a twice-daily ferry from Rye Harbor and downtown Portsmouth. The islands have been occupied for more than 400 years, originally as fishing  villages, and today, they remain the home of several of the oldest houses in New England, some of which date to the early 1600s.
seagull rye harbor

Rye

Lifeguard flag at Wallis Sands Beach
WALLIS SANDS

Rye is a beautiful, seaside bedroom community stretching between the Hamptons and Portsmouth, perhaps best known for its sandy beaches and for Rye Harbor, a lovely, protected basin for recreational and commercial fishing boats, the twice-daily whale-watching cruises and ferries to the Isles of Shoals.  The harbor itself is locally popular for its lobster rolls, probably the best on the New Hampshire Seacoast, made daily with lobsters freshly harvested by Rye Harbor-based lobster fishermen.

Portsmouth

Historic Portsmouth, founded in 1623, was already 166 years old when President George Washington visited New Hampshire’s only seaport in 1789.  Portsmouth has a busy working harbor, and its walkable downtown is perhaps best known for its well-preserved colonial architecture (at left), and for shopping and harborside dining (overlooking its iconic tugboats) with literally more seats in its restaurants than the roughly 25,000 residents who live there.

New Castle

New Castles the smallest town in New Hampshire, entirely contained on an island surrounded by saltwater at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, a two-minute drive from Portsmouth via a bridge and a causeway.  New Castle is well known for its cluster of quaint, colonial homes, some dating almost to the time of its settling in 1623, and perhaps less well known as the scene of the first battle of the Revolutionary War, when local patriots, warned by Paul Revere, (who arrived on horseback aftera ride from Boston) of an impending attack by British regulars, stormed Fort William and Mary and made off with its store of munitions that were eventually used in the Battle of Bunker Hill.  New Castle is arguably the home of the worst public elementary school in the United States.

Hanover

Hanover is an historic and picturesque town of about 12,000 residents, chartered in 1761 along the east bank of the Connecticut River (which separates New Hampshire from the State of Vermont).  

Hanover may be best known as the home of Dartmouth College, and the resources, including the Hood Museum of Art (below left), the Hopkins Center performing arts facility in the center of town, and the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center that the College offers its residents and visitors. 

Hanover is located near the intersection of interstate hi highways I-91 and I-89, and thus easily accessible by auto from Boston, Hartford (about two hours from each), and from New York City (about a five-hour drive via I-95 and I-91).

RYE

seagull rye harbor

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HAMPTON

mount washington hotel winter

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WHITE MTNS

hampton beach summer vacationers

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RYE

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seagull rye harbor

HAMPTON

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mount washington hotel winter

WHITE MTNS

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hampton beach summer vacationers

HAMPTON

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mount washington hotel winter

WHITE MTNS

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hampton beach summer vacationers