Locations: The White Mountains, Mount Washington, Portsmouth
A few weeks ago I was invited to discover New Hampshire. I didn't really know what to expect other than a ton of nature, but I was sold just on that alone. There's just something about being surrounded by trees and mountains that calms my soul. It's kind of like hitting "reset" for me. I was also lucky enough to have the best travel buddies on this trip - Krystle and Jeanne! Yay for stupid faces and laughing the entire trip!
We flew from Boston Logan (the closest international airport and only 1h15 minutes away from Montreal) and rented a car to get around. We were only in New Hampshire for three nights, so I'm going to give you the best places to stay along with what to do and see!
First Stop: The White Mountains
If you're looking to stay somewhere quiet and surrounded by trees and mountains, this is the place to be. With not many people around, it's a good chance to disconnect and immerse yourself in nature. Apart from hiking and camping, I recommend zip-lining with Alpine Adventures. This was easily one of the highlights of the trip. We went on the Super Skyrider Tour which we were told was the highest, fastest and most challenging tour but with the best views too! It was beautiful! The team that took us was awesome and were constantly cracking jokes too. We didn't notice the three hours go by!
Our first night was in Lincoln at the brand new Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain. The rooms were massive and felt like my own little apartment with a full kitchen. Attached to the hotel is Seven Birches Winery where we enjoyed a wine-tasting tour and learned a lot about the wine-making process.
On the following day we were supposed to visit Flume Gorge (hiking and waterfalls) and wanted to stop at Franconia Notch State Park (lupine festival) but unfortunately the weather prevented us from doing any of that. If anyone plans on visiting and gets good weather, I high recommend driving the 10-20 minutes it takes to get there!
Second Stop: Mount Washington
All I have to say about Mount Washington is WOW. It's not surprise this is the highlight of the state. It's 6288 ft above sea level with some of the most incredible views! We didn't have much time at the top, but I could have stayed for hours. It was incredibly peaceful and parts of it reminded me of my trip to Iceland last year.
Since we didn't have time to hike it (it also takes 6-8 hours or something and is quite difficult from what I've heard), we drove up. The drive was stunning and we even saw some snow!
Quick tip: Make sure you take the Auto Road when driving up. Google Maps was a little confusing and took us to the wrong place. You can also choose to drive along the "Kanc" (Kancamagus Highway). It was a beautiful drive through the mountains!
On our second night, we stayed at the quaint Nordic Village in Bartlett. The property is massive at 165 acres and has amazing views of the White Mountains. We stayed in one of their fully-equipped three-story townhouses and I wish we had had more time there. It was so cozy! For dinner, we ate at Red Parka Steak House and Pub and the following morning for breakfast we checked out J Town Deli (try their hot chocolate).
Third and final stop: Portsmouth
Portsmouth was my favourite city we visited! Lined with adorable houses, boutiques and restaurants, I was in heaven. We went house-hopping and spent a good hour just photographing all the beautiful Georgian homes in all the colours of the rainbow. We tasted some super yummy ice-cream at Annabelle's Ice Cream (I had the cookie dough and raspberry chocolate - YUM). We stopped at Fezziwig's Food & Fountain for some tea and cookies. And lastly, we went on a craft brewery beer crawl! I'm not much of a drinker, but it was still cool to learn about the different beers and try the foods that accompanied them! Mark and Joanne of Granite State Growler Tours were super friendly and extremely knowledgable on Portsmouth's history. You can also opt for historic walking tours as well as a Gundalow tour on the water - best to go at sunset!
Hope you guys enjoyed and are able to visit New Hampshire soon!