Travel Guide: Local Day Trips to Take This Summer
Jun 29, 2016 10:48PM
● By Erin Frisch
New Hampshire may have the shortest seacoast of any state, but it has one of the Northeast's favorite family beach resorts. Hampton Beach has been a popular resort town for generations, and still has its "casino" - a community focal point of beach resorts at the turn of the 20th century. These were not built for gambling but to house a ballroom, tea rooms, and family entertainment. Today, the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, which was built in 1899, is a live music and comedy venue on the boardwalk that lines the long white-sand beach. Other activities in this always lively town are concerts at Hampton Beach State Park's Seashell Stage, movies on the beach, and fireworks. Fun parks, soft ice cream, and deep sea fishing trips from the harbor round out the beach vacation experience. Each June, the beach becomes a giant art gallery, when international contenders vie for the title at the Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition.
South of the White Mountains is Lake Winnipesaukee, the focal point of New Hampshire's Lakes Region.Winnipesaukee is a beehive of summer activity, surrounded by water parks, beaches, fast food, and family-oriented attractions. The west side of the lake is the most developed, especially around kid-friendly Weirs Beach and more trendy Meredith.
Story Land is straight out of a fairy tale book, made for kids, but with
such clever and original places to play that parents love it, too. Kids
can board a pumpkin coach to Cinderella's Castle, ride in a wooden shoe
or sail in a pirate ship, take a swan boat for a spin around the lake,
or "drive" parents around a track and through covered bridges in an
antique car. Then they can get dizzy in a spinning teacup and slide down
from a treehouse or playhouse in a giant pumpkin. The charm of Story
Land is not only its imaginative rides and play areas, but the fact that
they are original and unique to this long-time family operation. Clever
new attractions are constantly being added to appeal to different ages. Click here for more details.
Lost River Gorge
You can explore all the caves and the narrow passages formed by the masses of broken granite ledge or bypass them to climb through on boardwalks and stairs. If you're claustrophobic, avoid the tightest of these passages, appropriately called "the lemon squeezer." At the top is a garden of woodland wildflowers, a forest adventure trail, and a suspension bridge that leads to a 750-foot boardwalk through a glacial boulder field.
Strawbery Banke was the name of the first 1623 settlement at what is now Portsmouth. The ten-acre Strawbery Banke Museum contains houses from four centuries of the old port neighborhood. Some are restored and furnished to show life in the various eras, while others are preserved to show construction methods and restoration techniques - of particular interest to those who are restoring old homes. Costumed interpreters demonstrate cooking, crafts, and skills from the various periods, and you can watch authentic boats under construction. The homes vary from that of a prosperous merchant and political leader to a 1950s duplex, and represent various ethnicities that called the neighborhood home. Period gardens, a 1770 tavern, a fully stocked World War II era neighborhood market, and frequent special musical and historical programs make this an interesting place to visit. Tthe houses and workshops are open for candlelight evening tours.
Mount Washington Cog Railway
On a clear day, the view from the summit of Mount Washington spans four states; on a cloudy day, you may be able to look down on the tops of clouds. Those who long for the nostalgia of an authentic coal-fired steam engine train, can reserve the steamer special morning departures from late May through late October. To book your ride click here.
Lake Sunapee is ten miles long and is the highest lake of its size in America, 1100 Ft. above sea level.There are only a handful of public access places with swimming and boat launch ramps on the lake. As you drive up from the south on 103 through Bradford into Newbury you will first see the Lake Sunapee from Newbury Harbor, A spectacular view that looks out through The Narrows on miles of open water with Great Island and Burkehaven Lighthouse just barely visible on a clear day. You will certainly want to pull over in the small parking lot on your right for a better look. The Newbury Yacht Club and the Newbury Harbor Bandstand is to your left. The Bandstand features free concerts every Thursday at 7pm during the summer.
Lake Champlain & Burlington VT
Far from the sea, this large lake is New England’s "west coast." Stretching for 120 miles from Massachusetts up to the Canadian border, it is just 12 miles (20 km) across at its widest point. The main hub is Burlington Vermont’s largest city and buzzing with college students. In town, browse the one-of-a-kind shops and galleries along historic Church Street Marketplace or go on a Burlington Brew Tour. Take a narrated cruise on the lake, go kite surfing, take in a free lakeside concert, a waterfront aquarium and science center. Or, rent a bike and pedal along the Lake Champlian Bike-way.
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Factory Tour
Say Ben & Jerry’s and everyone knows you are talking about the
world’s favorite ice cream. Yet another Vermont success story, Ben &
Jerry’s started here in 1978. The best place to get the scoop on your
favorite flavor is in Waterbury, where you can tour the factory, then
taste the flavor of the day. For more details click here.