Travel

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New England B&B Weekend: New Hampshire

September 18, 2009
by Sarah Amandolare
New Hampshire offers that coveted mix of nature and culture, with the towering White Mountains and artsy city of Portsmouth drawing travelers from up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Getting There

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Due to its enviable location—bordering Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts—and accessibility via Amtrak train and bus routes, New Hampshire could easily be your next weekend getaway.

According to Visit New England, Amtrak's Vermonter train route, for example, "runs daily from Washington D.C. to St. Albans, VT," making several stops in New York City, Massachusetts and Claremont, N.H.

New Hampshire Weekends

There are plenty of options year-round, such as a drive along the Merrimack River in Central New Hampshire, or through parks for picnicking and camping in the southern part of the state. The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Web site is an invaluable resource, with New Hampshire fall itineraries and a slew of practical travel information, including directions and maps, and regional attractions.

Once you've decided where to visit, use findingDulcinea's Bed-and-Breakfasts Travel Web Guide to find a unique place to stay, and our New Hampshire Travel Guide for an overview of tourism opportunities and ideas for travelers throughout the state.

Monadnock

From late September's first hints of crisp evening air, through October's leaf-changing dramatics, the Monadnock area, known as New Hampshire's quiet corner, is especially enticing. Small towns dot country roads, and covered bridges carry road-trippers past the vibrant foliage; drive west on Route 101 until you reach back roads that wind their way to the small town of Peterborough.

Visit the Monadnock Travel Council Web site for tips on local autumnal events, cultural activities and where to find the quaintest of New England scenery. Monadnock also touts cozy bed and breakfasts and country inns, listed on the Monadnock Lodging Association Web site.

Portsmouth and Concord

Try a city stay in Portsmouth, where museums and antiques sit alongside a brewery, and you'll see Wentworth by the Sea, the last "historic seaside grand hotel in the Northeast," according to Yankee Magazine. It's possible to fill an entire weekend perusing the shops, strolling by the water and enjoying the tasty variety of restaurants, including a few great pubs and local taverns serving hearty, seasonal fare.

The city of Concord is another good option, allowing for day trips to the White Mountains. Concord also has an independent movie house known as Red River Theatres, and nearby apple orchards, according to travelers in a recent thread of Fodor's New Hampshire fall travel forum.

White Mountains and the Lakes Region

The White Mountains are perhaps New Hampshire's most treasured attraction; the Presidential Range has the highest peak (Mount Washington) of any mountains on the East Coast. Hikers are presented with 1,200 miles of trails of all levels of difficulty, through dense hardwood forests leading to sprawling vistas, GORP explains. There are 170 miles of Appalachian Trail through the White Mountains and eight huts specifically designed for hikers; lean-tos and cabins are also found along the way, but GORP recommends that you bring your own tent on overnight hikes, just in case the shelters are full.

If you decide to stay in Meredith, a town on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee, you'll be close to the mountains, and have access to the coveted quiet back roads that lead through Center Sandwich, a charming lakeside town. The Lakes Region Association Web site details Sandwich and other New Hampshire waterside towns. You'll find everything you need to enjoy a weekend of watching trees along the riverbanks turn shades of gold and red.
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