Summer is slowly fading away which means we have to cram more adventures in to savor the last few weeks of greenery in New Hampshire. If you’ve missed out on nature adventures this summer, just want to explore even more, or want to try out some new spots, I have you covered. Here’s a list of outdoor day trips that require just hopping in a car and going to on a nice day.
Personalized Waterfall Day Tour
My friend Brad and I hit a total of 7 waterfalls in one day this summer on a day trip up north. Here’s a short list of waterfalls that are easy to get to in one day. Sorry, but I can’t name all the ones we went to, for some are local secrets that need to remain wild and unexplored. There are tons of waterfalls you can choose from that reside up north, so pick a route, waterfall stops, and go!
Glen Ellis Falls
Artist's Bluff + Kanc + Food
It’s easy to plan a few different scenic stops throughout the Franconia Notch and up 93 North towards the mountains. Mixing and matching different stops every trip up there is cool because there’s just so much to see. I tend to stray away from tourist traps (tip: if you have to pay to see nature, don’t go there, it’s a tourist trap), but if you go at random times during weekdays, you’ll run into less tourists and reduce your chances of getting caught in road rage caused by out of state drivers.
White Mountains Day Trip Scenario:
7-minute hike up to Artist's Bluff located in the Franconia Notch. Here you will see a gorgeous view of Cannon Mountain Ski Area, the highway, and the Franconia Ridge Trail.
Drive north and grab lunch in Lincoln, NH then hit the Kanc. I recommend Gordi’s Fish & Steak House, One Love Brewery, or stopping for a quick pizza.
Drive the scenic Kancamagus Highway starting from Lincoln. You don’t have to go all the way to Conway, simply turn around when you’ve got your fill of nature. There’s PLENTY of scenic view stops to explore and mountains to look at. Drive carefully on the highway since wildlife is so prevalent. You may see a moose too if you look hard enough! If you’ve never driven the Kanc, I don’t want to ruin the adventure by telling you all the stops, so here’s some pictures instead.
Sunsets on the Ocean
Pick a nice night to travel to Rye, Hampton, or New Castle to catch a fiery or pastel sunset on the beach. I personally enjoy going to Fort Stark in New Castle for the sunset because it isn’t crowded with people and you can watch boats go by. No sunset is complete without ice cream either, so make time for that too.
Scenic Chairlift Rides
Looking to relax and unwind? Riding a lift whether its winter or summer should be exciting for everyone because you know something fun is about to happen, but that’s just my opinion. You can catch some gorgeous views on a clear day from the top of all of these mountains. Here’s a list of some ski resorts that offer scenic chairlift rides in NH and their information. Cranmore Mountain is the best, and I’m not just saying that because I worked on their summer marketing… the staff rocks and North Conway is the cutest town ever. It is a perfect place to day trip to.
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway Rides
Cranmore Mountain Scenic Chairlift Rides
Bretton Woods Scenic Chairlift Rides
Loon Mountain Gondola Rides
Waterville Valley Scenic Chairlift Rides
Gunstock Scenic Chairlift Rides
Mount Sunapee Skyrides
Nature Walk + Cute Baby Cows
In Southern NH there’s a spot called Purgatory Falls located in Milford. There are a total of 3 waterfalls that are easy to hike or walk to. The trail follows the river and there are a few spots to swim as well. Bring bug spray because it is very wooded. You can make this hike as long or short as you’d like.
After the half day trip to Purgatory Falls, I always stop to pet the calves at Fitch’s Corner Farm. Simply pull over by the cages and corn field or park at the farm stand and walk over to the baby cows. The farm is only one minute away and you can check out the farm stand with fresh veggies and plants too.
Extra Trip Ideas:
Hampton Beach Fireworks Wednesday Nights
Madame Sherri Forest/Ruins, Chesterfield NH
Hiking any mountain
Kayaking the Pemi
Mount Washington Auto Road
Mount Washington Cog Railway
Thank you to Brad Guertin for letting me showcase how beautiful New Hampshire is through his stunning photography.
FB: Mountains By Brad Guertin