I have to be honest: Winter in New England hits differently than in the Pacific Northwest. New Hampshire may not be the most popular travel destination, but it really is no exception to the New England winter magic. A day trip or weekend getaway to New Hampshire is the perfect quiet escape from a busy schedule.
Although be advised that some days can drop to 10 degrees Fahrenheit or less (definitely an adjustment for this PNW-native lol), roads are typically well-maintained for the most part. So as long as there isn’t an ongoing winter snow/ice storm, and you have a vehicle well-suited for winter conditions, try not to let the cold weather deter you from a new adventure and layer up!
Here are 5 Things to Do in New Hampshire during the Winter:
1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt for Covered Bridges
There’s just something about New England’s charming covered bridges! New Hampshire alone has over 50+ historic covered bridges that all range in color and length. Luckily most covered bridges can be located via the Google Maps app, making it even easier to map out your route ahead of time to visit as many as you’d like!
2. Visit the Ice Castles
Elsa may not be found at these Ice Castles (sadly), but the magic can still be found nonetheless! This destination has activities for the entire family. Whether you’re visiting for the perfect Instagram photo, or looking for a childhood rush of adrenaline going down the ice slides, the Ice Castles is a must-see experience. Roam through ice tunnels, go for a sleigh ride, or nurse a warm hot chocolate after you spent hours snow tubing. *Tip: Be sure to make a reservation closer to sunset so you can enjoy the Ice Castles both during the day, and so you can enjoy the light displays at night!
3. Drive through the White Mountain National Forest
A bit too cold to explore? No problem! Fill up your gas tank, turn on the seat warmers, and maybe pick up a coffee on-the-go - you can still see stunning winter views from the comfort of your car! Spending the day weaving through the White Mountain National Forest and soaking up the scenery can be a great way to spend a day in New Hampshire. Sometimes it isn’t about the destination, but the journey along the way!
4. Hit the Slopes at Cannon Mountain
For the skiers and snowboarders, check out Cannon Mountain Ski Resort, located within the White Mountains. Cannon Mountain has the highest ski area summit in New Hampshire (4080’ ft. elevation). And for those avoiding the slopes? There’s also the option to ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway up to the 4080’ ft summit of Cannon Mountain for jaw-dropping views.
5. Hike at Franconia Notch State Park
Whether you’re interested in snow-shoeing at Flume Gorge, or taking your snow boots and microspikes out for a stroll, the Franconia Notch State Park winter scenery will not disappoint. Sometimes a peaceful walk or a good workout in the snow is just what you need to feel refreshed for the upcoming week. *Tip: Be sure to keep an eye on All Trails or the State Park’s website to stay up-to-date on closures and safety guidelines.
I know it's tempting to stay indoors all winter long. But if you're like me - you'll have moments where you want to adventure despite the cold. Consider these options for when you have an open weekend, or a free day to explore!
Make it an adventure worth sharing about!
'Til the next one,
Storytelling by Gen
Travel diaries from explorations and adventures.