Autumn in New Hampshire

The turning of the leaves is quite beautiful in most northern states, but the brilliance of fall foliage in New Hampshire is one of the most popular tourist events in all of New England. Much of this is due to the long, thin size of the state and its main north-south highways that allows visitors to drive from Boston all the way to Canada over a period of several days, witnessing the spectacle unfold over time as you proceed further north.

In fact, if you’re vacationing in Boston, it is possible to book autumn in New Hampshire day or overnight vacation packages that include transportation, lodging, a professional guide, some meals, and other features. It’s also possible to book fall foliage in New Hampshire ocean cruises that make stops in Portsmouth, cities in Maine, and along the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia coastlines in Canada.

Be aware that fall in New Hampshire is a peak tourism season, especially around mid-October. Even longtime residents become “leaf peepers” at this time of year. If you want the New Hampshire hotels of your choice as you drive through the mountains and scenic byways, make your reservations well in advance.

The farms are harvesting during autumn in New Hampshire and farmer’s markets blossom across the state. In some areas, like the Lakes Region, you will find little stands on the side of the road every few miles. Some of the best dining in the state is during this time when so many restaurants offer local produce on their menus. Popular agricultural fairs and events are held in big cities like Concord and small towns like Sandwich. Scenic drives burst with color, and the state tourism board publishes a daily fall foliage in New Hampshire report that tells you exactly which leaves are turning in what resorts areas at what time.

Scenic drives during autumn in New Hampshire can take you to the state’s historic covered bridges, to the Atlantic coastline, or straight north up the center of the state to the border with Canada. Timing is important, and you can hear foliage progress reports on television and radio newscasts throughout New England. Traditionally, the peak time is around the Columbus Day holiday, and you will find many events, fairs, and festivals occurring at this time. Fall in New Hampshire also gives you opportunities to visit historic sites, do some shopping on Antique Row, and stop for vintage tastings at local wineries.

Autumn in New Hampshire is particularly rewarding for camping and hiking, especially in the White Mountains and the Lakes Region. There are more than 1,200 miles of hiking trails in state, and there is technical mountain climbing on Mount Washington. If you’re a little less athletically inclined, you’ll find that many of the skiing resorts remain open throughout the year. The lifts and gondolas are operational, and a ride to the top of mountains provides spectacular views of the vibrant fall in New Hampshire foliage below. You can hike or ride back down to the bottom, depending on your inclination.

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