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New Hampshire – Wooden State on Granite Soil

New Hampshire ranks among the smallest states both in terms of population and area. However, the state is politically important since it traditionally hosts the first presidential primary in early January of each election year. New Hampshire is also one of the 13 original US states, ratifying its admission to the Union on June 21, 1788. With Mount Washington, the small New England state which borders with Canada also has an impressive peak, more than 6,000 feet high.

New Hampshire has generally a humid continental climate, generating warm, humid summers and cold winters with a lot of precipitation. The southeastern part is more moderate temperature-wise than the rest due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Annual snowfall in winter ranges from about 60 to 100 inches, especially the areas with a higher altitude therefore have good winter sport conditions. Occasionally, one of the notorious “nor’easters” or a blizzard can bring much more snow and ice than usual.

The state of New Hampshire is second only to its northern neighbor Maine in terms of the percentage of the total area that is covered by forest. Today, New Hampshire has about 1.2 million residents and has experienced a rapid demographic growth especially in the 1960s through 1980s with more than 20% surplus each decade.

White Mountains

The White Mountains range, covering about one fourth of New Hampshire, is part of the Appalachian Mountains. It is especially well known for its rugged shape. Mount Washington at 6,288 feet is the highest peak in New England. It is part of the famous Presidential Range with Mounts Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, Franklin and others. There is an extensive hut system in the area which makes the White Mountains an excellent terrain for hikers and bikers. The Appalachian Trail also crosses New Hampshire from northeast to southwest. The White Mountain National Forest, established in 1918, it is great for hiking and camping in summer, as well as skiing and snowboarding in winter. All in all 1,200 miles of hiking trails and 23 campgrounds make the National Forest one of the major attractions in New Hampshire.

Hampton Beach

Located on the Atlantic Coast, some 15 miles south of Portsmouth, Hampton is the busiest and most popular beach within the state. Thousands of visitors enjoy Hampton’s beautiful sandy beach, take a stroll on the boardwalks, and maybe play a game of poker or black jack in the famous Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. Hampton has some of the finest accommodation in New Hampshire. Along Ocean Boulevard, the hotels, vacation homes or beach houses, most often frequented by Bostonians and New Yorkers, have a great view of the Atlantic.

Lakes Region

During summer, this mid-state region draws particularly many visitors during the Motorcycle Week, when various popular races are held at the New Hampshire International Speedway. But the Lakes Region is not only popular for this one week of roaring engines, but moreover for the many beautiful lakes, which invite for great fishing, canoeing and swimming in summer, and for ice fishing and skating in winter. All in all, 273 lakes and ponds are situated in this picturesque region. Winnipesaukee is the largest lake, 72 square miles big. Scuba diving or scenic train rides along the shores are two of many great things to do around Lake Winnipesaukee. Lake Ossipee is another area of wild and unspoiled nature and crystal-clear lakes surrounded by thick green forests. Not only the lakes but also the historical villages, like the Canterbury Shaker Village, or the other small towns scattered across the region, are worthy to be explored.

Dartmouth / Sunapee

The western part of New Hampshire is home to the Connecticut River as well as magnificent green hills and historic farmland with old barns and curvy dirt roads. An ideal place for family vacation, and a region that invites visitors to explore its many facets, e.g. by bike or on foot. In the town of Hanover, surrounded by idyllic scenery, lies one of the centers of the American academic world, Dartmouth College, a prestigious Ivy League school. The granite summits, e.g. of Mount Cardigan, offer spectacular views. New Hampshire’s nickname is “Granite State,” for its most typical underground. The Dartmouth-Sunapee region is a perfectly natural experience for all ages.


Mount Monadnock is the biggest attraction in the area. Its summit lies as high as 3,165 feet. There are some 40 miles of hiking trails just on and around this mountain. A picturesque sight are the five mill villages Harrisville, Temple, Stoddard, Wilton and Hillsborough. In the town of Peterborough, the arts are at home. Mark Twain and Thornton Wilder are among the many famous writers, painters and sculptors who came to the MacDowell Colony to find inspiration and engage in fruitful intellectual discourse. The colony is still active, attracting hundreds of writers, visual artists, filmmakers and architects each year.

Merrimack Valley

The Merrimack River gave the area its name. Manchester, the largest city with more than 100,000 residents, and home to the professional hockey team, the Manchester Monarchs. Concord, New Hampshire’s capital, is famous for the golden dome of the capitol building, stemming from the early 19th century. Other attractions include the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, the Museum of New Hampshire History and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

New Hampshire impresses visitors with its vast natural beauty and extensive woodlands despite its comparatively small size. But not only that: New Hampshire has some of the finest beaches in New England, a rich cultural and historical side, and great conditions for winter sports. The state is really a great year-round target!

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