Fall is a magical time to visit and explore New Hampshire and its gorgeous scenery this time of year. The leaves turn a mix of vibrant and earthy colors, painting a breathtaking picture in every direction you look. The air becomes crisp, and endless opportunities exist to enjoy the outdoors.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, a fall staycation in NH is the perfect way to take a break from the hustle of everyday life and breathe in some fresh air. Even those who have lived in the Granite State for years have yet to experience everything it has to offer.
Here are our top suggestions for making the most of your staycation in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is a hiker’s paradise with thousands of miles of trails to explore. In the fall, the leaves change to vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors, making the trails even more beautiful. Here are a few of our favorite parks and trails:
This park offers a variety of different hiking trails. The Flume Gorge Trail is a moderately challenging and fan-favorite trail. It’s a 2.2-mile loop hike that takes over an hour to complete. The Franconia Notch Path is another moderate 8.8-mile trail that offers views of Cannon Mountain, Echo Lake, and Profile Lake.
This park is another popular spot that offers a variety of hiking trails. One is the Arethusa Falls Trail, a moderately challenging 2.8-mile trail that offers excellent views of a few waterfalls and takes under 2 hours to complete. The Ripley Falls Trail is a popular 1.0-mile family-friendly hike leading to a 100-foot tall waterfall that takes under 40 minutes to complete.
White Mountain National Forest spans an incredible 800,000 acres and offers endless hiking opportunities for all skill levels. One of the most popular hikes is the Mount Willard Trail, a 3.1-mile hike that takes about 2 hours to complete. It’s a moderately challenging route offering incredible views of waterfalls and the surrounding area.
From family-friendly walks to more challenging hikes that offer incredible views, New Hampshire’s hiking trails have something for everyone. So, no matter your skill level or interests, you’re sure to find a hiking trail you’ll love.
New Hampshire’s mountains are more than just places to ski and snowboard in the winter. In the fall, many ski mountains offer fun activities for all ages, including scenic gondola rides, ziplining, live music, and much more. Here are a few places to add to your adventure list:
Ride to the top via the White Mountain Express Gondola for beautiful views of the fall foliage. This 1.3-mile ride to the summit is one you’ll remember – especially this time of year. Grab a bite at the Summit Cafe before you leave!
Enjoy a ride on the scenic chairlift to the summit and have a picnic at the top, or stop at the Meister Hut for a snack. Or, check out the bike park, which offers over six miles of trails.
Visit the adventure park for ziplining, mountain coaster rides, aerial treetop adventures, or take a scenic lift ride to enjoy the view from above.
Check out the adventure center for a relaxing and scenic lift ride, play a game of disc golf and one of two courses, or ride through more than 50 miles of mountain biking trails and over 125 miles of hiking trails.
New Hampshire is home to a variety of events throughout the year, but the fall is primarily known for its many fall fairs and festivals. Mark your calendars and get ready to experience local culture, food, drinks, and beautiful fall colors at these upcoming events:
- New Hampshire Film Festival: Thursday, October 12, through Sunday, October 15, in Portsmouth
- NH Brewfest Craft Beer Festival: Saturday, October 14, in Portsmouth at Cisco Brewers at 12 p.m.
- The Great New England Fall Craft Festival: Saturday, October 21, in Milford from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
- Keene Pumpkin Fest: Saturday, October 21, in Central Square in Keene from 2-7 p.m.
- New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival: October 27 (4-8 p.m.) and October 28 (11 a.m.-8 p.m.) in Laconia
- Lakes Region Fall Craft Fair: Saturday, November 11, in Gilford, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Besides fall fairs, festivals, and outdoor adventures, there are many other things to do to make the most of your fall staycation in New Hampshire. Here are a few ideas:
- Go apple picking:
New Hampshire is home to many apple orchards; pick your own apples and snack on them while you walk through the rows of trees, get lost in a corn maze, or catch a hayride through the orchard. Don’t forget to pick up a few apple cider donuts on your way out!
- Try some local maple syrup:
New Hampshire is also a major producer of maple syrup. Visit a maple sugar house to learn about the maple syrup-making process and taste some sweet samples. Bring home some maple sugar treats to enjoy as a souvenir.
- Go pumpkin picking:
Pumpkin picking is a fun fall tradition for the whole family; pick your favorite pumpkins straight from the pumpkin patch and then spend the day carving your best spooky designs.
- Go on a scenic drive:
New Hampshire has many scenic drives, including the Kancamagus Highway and the Mount Washington Auto Road. Enjoy the beautiful fall leaves as you drive through the White Mountains. Be sure to take lots of pictures!
- Visit craft breweries and local wineries:
Visit a local brewery and experience New Hampshire’s thriving craft brewery scene, or stop by a local winery to sample some delicious wine while taking in the fall foliage.
There’s really no better way to experience the awe-inspiring foliage and nature in New Hampshire than by planning a fall staycation to ensure you can soak up as much of the season as possible. In between your outdoor adventures, New Hampshire also offers unique towns full of places to enjoy delicious food and drink, take in local entertainment, browse boutique shops, and more.
Start planning your fall staycation in New Hampshire today with Stay-NH. Browse New Hampshire rentals to find your ideal staycation accommodation: https://www.bookingstay-nh.com/listings/search