23 Interesting Things New Hampshire is Known For (+ Famous For)

From gorgeous lakes to autumn foliage, if you’ve come wondering, “what is New Hampshire famous for?” or “what is New Hampshire known for?” then you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve traveled extensively around the USA, and I can tell you that New Hampshire is a fascinating state with everything from Dartmouth College to ski resorts.

It’s a place of natural beauty, of New England charm, of winter sports and of apple orchards.

Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a local wanting to learn more about your state, read on to find out what foods New Hampshire is famous for, what people New Hampshire is famous for, and so many more things that New Hampshire is known for!

1. Scenic Beauty

New Hampshire’s scenic beauty is a testament to nature’s artistry.

Its landscapes are a harmonious blend of the majestic White Mountains, serene lakes, and dense forests.

The state’s diverse topography offers year-round recreational opportunities, from skiing down powdery slopes in winter to hiking through vibrant foliage in the fall.

2. White Mountain National Forest

Encompassing over 750,000 acres of pristine wilderness, the White Mountain National Forest is a cherished gem in New Hampshire.

Its rugged terrain is a playground for adventurers seeking challenges and unforgettable experiences.

Hiking trails lead to breathtaking vistas, while its dense woods host an array of wildlife.

3. Mount Washington

Often referred to as the “home of the world’s worst weather,” Mount Washington’s towering presence in the White Mountains is a symbol of New Hampshire’s indomitable spirit.

Its summit, standing at 6,288 feet, experiences fierce winds and rapid weather changes.

The Mount Washington Observatory, perched at the summit, conducts vital weather research, adding to the mountain’s significance beyond its breathtaking views.

4. Autumn Foliage

Every year, New Hampshire’s landscapes undergo a stunning transformation as the leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold.

The state’s autumn foliage is a sight to behold, attracting visitors from all corners of the country.

The scenic drives through roads lined with colorful trees and the opportunity to hike amidst the autumnal splendor make New Hampshire a top destination for fall enthusiasts and photographers alike.

5. Lakes Region

Nestled amidst rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is a haven for water lovers.

Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in the state, offers boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities.

The region’s smaller lakes provide a tranquil setting for relaxation and outdoor activities.

6. Live Free or Die

New Hampshire’s motto, “Live Free or Die,” embodies the state’s independent and libertarian ethos.

This phrase reflects the fierce individualism that has been woven into the state’s history since the American Revolution.

7. First-in-the-Nation Primary

As the host of the first presidential primary in the United States, New Hampshire plays a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s political discourse.

Its early primary status allows the state’s residents to engage directly with candidates, fostering a sense of civic engagement and participation.

8. Portsmouth

Known for its historic charm, Portsmouth is a coastal city that echoes with maritime heritage.

Its cobblestone streets are lined with preserved colonial architecture, offering a glimpse into the past.

The Strawbery Banke Museum, a living history museum, showcases the city’s evolution through the centuries.

9. Dartmouth College

Nestled in the town of Hanover, Dartmouth College is one of the Ivy League institutions and holds a prominent place in New Hampshire’s educational landscape.

With a focus on academic excellence and innovation, Dartmouth offers a rigorous and diverse curriculum.

10. New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Located in Loudon, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a must-visit destination for motorsports enthusiasts.

The speedway hosts NASCAR races, motorcycle events, and other high-octane competitions.

11. Franconia Notch State Park

Nature’s beauty is on full display in Franconia Notch State Park, home to iconic landmarks such as the Old Man of the Mountain (which sadly collapsed in 2003) and the Flume Gorge.

The park’s trails wind through stunning landscapes, offering opportunities to explore waterfalls, rock formations, and lush forests.

12. Pumpkin Festival

Keene’s annual Pumpkin Festival is a celebration of creativity and community spirit.

Thousands of intricately carved pumpkins are displayed throughout the city, forming a mesmerizing sea of glowing artistry.

The festival fosters a sense of unity among residents and visitors who come together to appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity that transform pumpkins into intricate works of art.

13. Ski Resorts

New Hampshire’s winter wonderland attracts skiers and snowboarders with its array of ski resorts.

From Cannon Mountain to Loon Mountain and Bretton Woods, these resorts offer well-groomed slopes and top-notch facilities for winter sports enthusiasts.

14. Moose

New Hampshire is home to a notable moose population, making moose sightings a unique and exciting experience for both locals and visitors.

These majestic creatures can often be spotted in the state’s forests, especially around the northern regions.

15. Covered Bridges

New Hampshire’s covered bridges are charming relics of the past, evoking a sense of nostalgia and history.

These iconic structures, which once provided safe passage across waterways, are now picturesque landmarks.

Covered bridges like the Swift River Bridge and the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge are not only functional but also serve as symbols of the state’s rural heritage.

16. Robert Frost

The acclaimed poet Robert Frost called New Hampshire his home and drew inspiration from its landscapes to craft some of his most memorable verses.

Frost’s connection to the state is celebrated through landmarks like the Robert Frost Farm, where visitors can explore the settings that influenced his work.

17. UNH Law

The University of New Hampshire School of Law, located in Concord, has earned a reputation for its rigorous legal education and commitment to innovation.

With a focus on practical learning and social justice, the law school equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in a rapidly changing legal landscape.

18. Apple Orchards

Embracing the fall harvest, New Hampshire’s apple orchards invite families and friends to partake in the age-old tradition of apple picking.

Orchards like Apple Hill Farm and Mack’s Apples offer a chance to gather fresh, crisp apples while enjoying the beauty of the changing seasons.

19. Presidential Range

The Presidential Range, part of the White Mountains, pays tribute to U.S. presidents through its peaks named after them.

From Mount Washington to Mount Adams, these mountains provide challenging hikes and stunning vistas.

20. Craft Breweries

New Hampshire’s craft beer scene has flourished in recent years, with a multitude of breweries offering diverse and flavorful brews.

From classic ales to innovative experimental batches, these breweries celebrate the art of beer-making.

21. Currier Museum of Art

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester houses an impressive collection of European and American art, spanning centuries of creative expression.

The museum’s exhibitions showcase an array of artistic styles and movements, allowing visitors to explore the evolution of visual arts.

22. New England Charm

New Hampshire’s towns exude a timeless New England charm characterized by their colonial architecture, tree-lined streets, and community-focused atmosphere.

Places like Hanover, Portsmouth, and Concord capture the essence of small-town living while offering modern amenities and cultural vibrancy.

23. Aviation History

New Hampshire holds a significant place in aviation history.

The Wright brothers, pioneers of flight, made their first public flight demonstration in the state in 1908.

The event showcased the transformative power of aviation and marked the beginning of a new era in transportation.

Want to know what things the other US states are known for? Check out our other guides!

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