We love all of New England, but New Hampshire is one of our absolute favorite states in the area. The place is quaint, full of history, and just waiting to be explored. Whether you prefer walking through museums or spending time outside, there is something for you in the Granite State. In fact, there is so much to see and do here, we recommend starting a New Hampshire bucket list.
A travel list for New Hampshire will help you in a few different ways. It’ll ensure you keep track of your favorite bucket list ideas, and it will make it easy to pull them up when you find yourself with a moment of free time while in the state. It’ll also help you organize your ideas for planning purposes.
What is a Bucket List?
Wondering what a bucket list is? Generally speaking, a bucket list is used to keep track of all those places you want to visit and things you want to do before you die. You can, of course, organize these bucket list items however you see fit, but we prefer to keep a separate travel bucket list for each place we plan to visit.
Keeping travel lists for each state helps ensure we see and do all of the things that are most important to us when visiting a particular state. Today, we are going to focus on showing you our New Hampshire bucket list so you can get an idea of what your own list might look like.
— Bucket List Vacations: New Hampshire’s National Parks —
National parks are always an excellent addition to any travel to-do list. While New Hampshire doesn’t have a lot of national park sites, the ones the state does have are pretty fantastic, and are well worth adding to your New Hampshire bucket list.
Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of the greatest American sculptors in history. The man called New Hampshire home (seasonally) for years, and then lived there full-time beginning in 1900 and until he passed away in 1907. Today, the place where he lived has been made into a national historical park, which tells the story of the artist and features many of his bronze sculptures.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
A whopping 2,180-mile trail, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a public footpath that winds its way through the scenic lands of the northeast. Work on this trail began in 1921 and wasn’t completed until 1937. Today, the path is maintained by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and many other agencies.
— More New Hampshire Bucket List Experiences —
Want more ideas for your New Hampshire bucket list? We’ve got you covered. Below are our absolute favorite things to do, see, and experience while in the Granite State. Take a look and add anything that sounds exciting to your own ‘must-do’ list.
Have a Beach Day at Hampton Beach State Park
New Hampshire may only have 18 miles of coastline, but that coastline sure is beautiful. Go experience the natural beauty of the beach and relax to the sounds of waves as you play in the sand at Hampton Beach State Park. This is a classic summertime experience you won’t want to miss.
Cool Off in Diana’s Baths
Another great place to go for a swim is Diana’s Baths. Yes, you will have to go on a short hike to get there, but this series of small waterfalls and pools is cool, clear, and absolutely wonderful on a hot day. Besides, the scenery of the White Mountains where the spot is located is breathtaking, making this a trip that is well worth taking.
Ride the Conway Scenic Railroad
Mount Washington Valley is a lovely sight to see. Sure, you could drive or hike through it, but there is something extra special about checking out this amazing scenery while riding a train. The Conway Scenic Railroad allows you to do just that, and is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Head to the Top of Mount Washington
Speaking of Mount Washington, you will definitely want to take in the view from the top of this mountain. At 6,288 feet, this is the tallest peak in the northeast part of the country, and it’s absolutely a must-see. You can hike to the top if you want, but driving is also an option.
Take the Kids to Story Land
Want to take the kids on a magical adventure? Pack them up and head to Story Land. This adorable amusement park features over 30 attractions, all of them themed after fairy tales and other popular children’s stories. Many call this place “ the land where fantasy lives,” and you’re sure to enjoy walking through this living storybook.
Walk the Flume Gorge Boardwalk
Located in the beautiful Franconia Notch State Park, Flume Gorge is a wonderful sight to see. The gorge was created by the Flume Brook, which still flows through the rock. The Flume Gorge loop takes you across a boardwalk within the gorge, where you can get up close and personal with the water, plants, and animals.
Get into the Holiday Spirit at Santa’s Village
Christmas is a holiday that deserves to be celebrated year-round. That’s why Santa’s Village was created. This small but magical theme park transports you to the North Pole where you can enjoy food, shopping, and Christmas-themed rides. You might even get to meet Santa himself, an honor that is sure to get the kids excited.
Step Back in Time at the Strawbery Banke Museum
A large open-air history museum, the Strawbery Banke Museum is practically bursting at the seams with over 300 years of US history. This is the site of the oldest European settlement in New Hampshire and includes 32 restored historic buildings, as well as plenty of costumed interpreters ready to share their knowledge of the past with you.
Learn at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Want to learn something new? We recommend heading to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. This museum allows visitors to see a variety of awesome animals, and offers plenty of information on their habitats and way of life. We also really love the walking trails onsite, which allow guests to experience New Hampshire nature in person.
Gather More information at the Seacoast Science Center
As mentioned before, New Hampshire doesn’t actually have that much coastline. That said, they do love the ocean, something that can be witnessed at the Seacoast Science Center. This place features all kinds of amazing information on marine life, including a touch tank that allows guests to really get to know some ocean creatures.
Check Out the Polar Caves
The caves at Polar Caves Park are absolutely spectacular to see. These caves were formed during the last Ice Age when a moving glacier deposited granite boulders along its route. The boardwalks at the park take you on a path that weaves in and out of the caves and gives you an excellent view of this natural marvel.
Admire the Ice Castles
Have you ever seen a castle made entirely out of ice? In New Hampshire, you can see more than one, and you don’t even have to be friends with a magical singing snow queen to do it.
The Ice Castles in North Woodstock are created using thousands upon thousands of icicles. A huge number of sculptors work on the project, creating tunnels, thrones, fountains, and more, all formed out of ice.
Play in the World’s Largest Arcade
Video game fans will love to hear that the largest arcade in the world is located in New Hampshire. Funspot Arcade is an amazing place that is sure to leave gamers of all ages in awe. It plays host to over 600 games, 300 classic arcade games, a bowling alley, cash bingo, mini golf, and more.
Time Travel at the Fort No. 4 Open-Air Museum
Fort No. 4 is another fantastic open-air museum that allows guests to step back in time and experience what life would have been like way back when. This site dates back to the mid-1700s when it was established by European pioneers. The museum features restored buildings, live reenactments, and artifact displays.
Have a Bowl of Chowder
Absolutely no visit to New Hampshire is complete without at least one bowl of chowder. Fortunately, this delicious soup can be found at almost any eatery in the state. Want to try a LOT of the stuff? Head to the New Hampshire Chowder Festival!
Get Your Thrills at Canobie Lake Park
Yet another amusement park worth visiting, Canobie Lake Park is the largest amusement park in New Hampshire. Not only that, the park has also been named one of America’s 10 best amusement parks by TIME magazine, and once you visit, you’re sure to understand why.
Drive the Kancamagus Highway
Looking for a relaxing way to take in the beautiful fall foliage that New Hampshire has to offer? We highly recommend a drive on the Kancamagus Highway. This 34-mile stretch of road winds through the White Mountain National Forest, offering plenty of amazing views along the way.
Try Skiing at Loon Mountain Resort
Those who are on the lookout for a thrilling wintertime activity should head to Loon Mountain Resort. This ski resort offers some of the best skiing opportunities in New England, making it the place to go if you wish to try your hand at this winter sport.
Hop into the USS Albacore Submarine
Submarines are crazy cool vehicles, and most of us have wondered at one time or another what it would be like to get inside of one. The USS Albacore in New Hampshire offers visitors the opportunity to find out. This submarine was built in the 1950s to conduct top-secret research. It is now open to the public for self-guided tours.
Look Up at the Castle in the Clouds
The Castle in the Clouds isn’t really a castle, but a mansion built on top of a mountain. Nevertheless, the incredible 1913 home is pretty awesome to tour, and the view from the windows cannot be beat.
Hike at Cathedral Ledge
Want a relatively easy hike that rewards you big time? The Cathedral Ledge hike might be right up your alley. This shaded trail takes you up a gentle slope to the top of Cathedral Ledge, where you will be met with some of the most gorgeous views of Saco River Valley and the White Mountains.
Explore the Woodman Museum
An interesting attraction, the Woodman Museum in Dover has made itself at home in four lovely historical buildings. The exhibits here feature information on local history and natural science, as well as some sections about the decorative arts. It’s fun to wander the museum slowly and really look at all the collection has to offer.
Eat an Apple Cider Donut
Fall in New Hampshire is crisp and cool. It requires warm sweaters and cups of cocoa by the fire. Another must-have during the autumn season in New England? A delicious apple cider donut. Luckily, these sweet treats can be picked up in all sorts of places during the season, so finding one shouldn’t be too challenging.
Immerse Yourself in History at the Canterbury Shaker Village
Yes, we are listing another history attraction. What can we say? New Hampshire knows what it’s doing when it comes to this sort of thing.
Canterbury Shaker Village is a National Historic Landmark that is now over 200 years old. The folks at this landmark work to preserve the heritage of the Canterbury Shakers and educate people on the historical significance of these people. Whether you explore the grounds on your own or take a guided tour, you’re sure to learn something new in this beautiful village.
There you have it: a huge collection of amazing things to see and do in New Hampshire, and a great start to your New Hampshire bucket list. The only problem now? Finding a place to stay. This is where a New Hampshire RV rental can help.
Staying in a rental RV allows you the freedom to see and do it all in comfort. No matter where you roam during your New Hampshire adventure, you are guaranteed access to a comfy bed, a functional kitchen, and a clean bathroom.
Take a look at our New Hampshire rental options today. Book one that suits your needs, finish your New Hampshire bucket list, and get ready to have an amazing time!