White Mountains, New Hampshire

32 Top Things To Do in the White Mountains, New Hampshire

Are you planning a trip to New Hampshire and looking for all the best things to do? Look no further than this blog post, because we’ve included 32 of the top activities, attractions, and experiences in the White Mountains for you to choose from on your next adventure! In this post, you’ll find something for everyone, all year round!

Let’s dive in!

32 Top Things To Do in the White Mountains

The White Mountains are an extraordinary mountain range, covering a quarter of New Hampshire and a small portion of Western Maine. They are known for their rocky, rugged look with Alpine tundras at some of the highest peaks.

Due to their expansiveness, there are a handful of things to do in the area, making it a great vacation destination for you and your loved ones. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery and all that it has to offer during your upcoming trip. Let’s go over 32 of the top things to do in the White Mountains.

Explore the Outdoors

New Hampshire Road

What’s a better way to experience the White Mountains than to be immersed in them?! There are plenty of ways to experience the White Mountains, but getting outside allows you to experience their magnificence firsthand. Here are five top ways you can see the White Mountains, outdoors.

Flume Gorge

Flume Gorge is one of the most popular things to do in the White Mountains due to its beauty and accessibility. Open year-round to recreation activities, this natural gorge showcases long walls of Conway granite at the bottom of Mount Liberty at Franconia Notch State Park. Hike two miles on the Flume Trail to see the 800-foot-high gorge.

Franconia Notch State Park

There is so much more to explore at Franconia Notch State Park than just the Flume Gorge. Surrounded by Echo Lake, this public recreation area is open year-round for spectacular hiking, fishing, boating, and camping. Visit during the winter to explore the park by snowmobile, snowshoe, or cross-country skis!

Franconia Notch State Park

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves

Located in Kinsman’s Notch, Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves is a fantastic place to see the wonders of the White Mountains. Take the one-mile wooden boardwalk along the Lost River to see large rock walls, flowing waterfalls, and eleven different boulder caves. If you’re looking for a breathtaking view into New Hampshire’s forests, take the Forest Adventure Trail up to the Giant Birds Nest overlook to see for miles!

Polar Caves Park

Polar Caves State Park is a must-see when visiting New Hampshire due to its historic nature. Located in Rumney, these caves were formed during the last ice age when a glacier moved across the land, dropping granite boulders. The deepest cave in the park is cold enough to keep snow on the ground even during the hottest parts of the summer!

Hike to a Waterfall

One of the best things about the White Mountains is that waterfalls are plentiful in the area. Hike to Diana’s Bath, Arethusa Falls, or Glen Ellis Falls to see the strong forces that nature presents. New Hampshire’s waterfalls are great for cooling off in the summer, and spectacular to see in the winter.

Participate in an Outdoor Recreation Activity

The White Mountains are an outdoor recreationist’s dream due to the abundance of activities available in the area all year long. No matter what season you visit, the area has countless options for you to experience the outdoors in a fun and memorable way. Let’s go over some of the top things to do in the White Mountains from an outdoor recreation standpoint.

Alpine Slide at Attitash Mountain Resort

The alpine slide at Attitash Mountain Resort is by far rated one of the top things to do in the White Mountains! Ranked as one of the longest alpine slides in North America, it’s worth checking out during your trip. Take the slide at a pace that is comfortable for you to take in the breathtaking scenery on your way down.

Zipline with Alpine Adventures

Want to see the White Mountains from above!? Consider taking one of Alpine Adventures’ zipline tours! Choose between three different zipline options based on your preferences. Alpine Adventures is located in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and offers additional recreation opportunities such as off-road safari tours, snowmobile rides, and an aerial course.

Go River Tubing in Conway

For a fun-packed day in the sun, visit the Saco River Tubing Center to rent inner tubes to take down the river! The river is only 3 feet deep in the summertime with minimal small rapids, making it the perfect activity for families. There are also rope swings and tons of sandy beaches to stop at along the way!

Ski at Cranmore Mountain Resort

Planning a visit during the wintertime? Visit Cranmore Mountain Resort to ski or snowboard down their epic mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire! This resort offers 56 slope trails for all experience levels.

If you’re taking a New England road trip, Cranmore Mountain Resort is only two hours away from Boston! Enjoy a day of skiing before swinging over to Mountain Washington for another great New Hampshire experience!

Visit Mount Washington

Mt. Washington, White Mountains

Mount Washington is one of the top destinations in New Hampshire as it is the highest peak in the Northeastern US, offering visitors and locals plenty of things to do year-round. You can explore Mount Washington by car, railroad, gondola, or by foot! Let’s check out some of the options in further detail below.

Drive Mt. Washington Auto Road

A popular option for experiencing Mount Washington is to self-drive the auto road to the top. You’re required to pay a small fee to access the road, but will be provided with a free audio tour and bumper sticker for your car! It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the summit and the drive up will take you through four different ecological zones.

Take Mt. Washington Cog Railway

If you’re hesitant to drive yourself, or you are without a vehicle, you have the option to take the Cog Railway up to the top. It’s the world’s first mountain-climbing railway and the second steepest! Take Base Station Road off Route 302 for six miles until you arrive at the beginning of the railroad.

See Mt. Washington on a Gondola ride

If you want a panoramic view of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range (the surrounding mountains), consider stopping at Omni Mount Washington. The resort offers a Bretton Woods Skyway Gondola ride for scenic overviews of the area. The 12-minute ride takes you to a summit where you’ll have multiple dining options inside the Rosebrook Lodge.

Hike the trails at the top

Once you reach the top of the mountain, there are a few different hiking trails at the top for you to explore! If you do plan to hike the trails at the top, make sure to arrive prepared as the terrain can be dangerous and the weather at the top is often unpredictable. Take on a rocky and technical hike for views that only the highest mountain in the area can provide!

Take in the Scenery

The White Mountains are known for their beauty, so it’s only fair to include some of the best ways to experience it. Whether that’s going on a wildlife tour, taking a scenic drive, or taking a ride up a mountain, here are four ways to take advantage of those picturesque views.

Take the Aerial Tramway up Cannon Mountain

The aerial tramway that goes up Cannon Mountain is the only one in New Hampshire and is North America’s first! This cable car brings you up the 4,080-foot summit to Cannon Mountain in just under ten minutes, providing you with breathtaking views and dining options at the top. Reservations are strongly encouraged since walk-ups are only available when the tramway is not sold out.

Ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad

Conway Scenic Railroad

If you plan on visiting North Conway, their scenic railroad is a great way to see the area. Riding the railway offers some great views of New Hampshires mountains, rivers, and valleys. Take the railway from Mount Washington or Sawyer River to get from town to town!

Take a Moose Viewing Tour

It’s pretty common to see Moose in Northern New Hampshire… especially in the White Mountains. If you love seeing wildlife, there are a few moose viewing tours that are located in popular towns. The current tours available include Gorham Moose Tours, North Conway Moose Safari, and Pemi Valley Moose Tours.

Drive the Kancamagus Highway

One of the prettiest drives in the White Mountains is the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, aka “The Kanc.” It’s about 34 miles long and there are great hiking trails and campgrounds along the way. It’s located in Northern New Hampshire on Route 112 and has been said to be one of the best fall foliage drives in the country.

Exploring Nearby? See what there is to do in Bar Harbor, Maine in the wintertime!

Visit an Attraction

Not only do the White Mountains offer some cool outdoor opportunities, but they also offer some pretty great attractions. Here are six different attractions that’ll keep you entertained during your trip to New Hampshire!

Visit Clarks Bears

Clarks Bears

Bring the family to Clarks Bears where they can watch trained bear shows, take train rides, and see acrobat shows! There is plenty to see and do at Clarks Bears, such as scale the walls of a climbing tower, cool off on waterboats, and learn how to glide on a segway. Additionally, there are five museums and four local shops to keep the adults entertained!

Take the family to Story Land

If you’re coming to the White Mountains with kids, Story Land is a great theme park in Glen, New Hampshire! There are over 30 rides and attractions to provide a day of fun for the whole family. Buy your tickets online to save time and money before you arrive!

Celebrate the holidays at Santa’s Village

If you’re interested in the idea of a theme park but are visiting during the wintertime, check out Santa’s Village – a Christmas-themed park! Located in Jefferson, this amusement park offers 23 holiday-inspired rides for the family to enjoy. Buy your tickets a few months in advance before they sell out!

See the notorious Ice Castles

Continue your winter adventures at the Ice Castles in Woodstock! Explore ice caves, ride down ice slides, or take a sleigh ride to experience all the holiday fun. This attraction also has enjoyable opportunities such as snow tubing, a mystic forest light walk, an ice bar, and more!

Cool off at the Whale Tale Water Park in the summer

Said to be New England’s favorite waterpark, Whales Tale is in a prime location and has all the best attractions to satisfy all family members. Between a lazy river, flow-boarding, pools, and a handful of waterslides, you’re in for a fun day with your loved ones. Additionally, there are three dining options available within the park.

Go shopping at the Settlers Green Factory Outlets

For all your shopping needs, the Settlers Green Factory Outlet Mall is the place to go. This tax-free outlet shopping center is located in Conway and has 70 different stores and eateries for you to shop. Additionally, you’ll find public gardens, art, and events happening year-round.

Dine at the best wineries, breweries, and restaurants

One of the top things to do in the White Mountains is to delight in the best food and drinks! While there are numerous fantastic places to eat and drink throughout the White Mountains, here are four of the most popular places to dine.

Go wine tasting at Seven Birches Winery

Seven Birches Winery

Looking for a great wine-tasting experience in New Hampshire? Seven Birches Winery serves locally sourced fruits and European grape varietals to make wine so tasty, that you won’t leave disappointed! Seven Birches Winery is located in Lincoln at the Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain.

Eat at Polly’s Pancake Parlor

Polly’s Pancake Parlor is the breakfast spot to hit during a trip to the White Mountains! Polly’s has been cooking delicious homemade pancakes and other homecooked meals for over 70 years and counting. Enjoy the mountainous views and gift shop as you dine at this famous parlor!

Try local spirits at Woodstock Inn Brewery

Woodstock Inn is a renovated historic train station that was made into a lodge, brewery, and restaurant that has been attracting visitors for years! Try some local spirits while you enjoy your stay. Choose from their main pints, their rotating seasonal options, or the creative beers made by the brewers!

Drink some apple cider at White Mountain Cider Co

White Mountain Cider Company is a fancy American restaurant and gourmet market in a quaint New England farmhouse. It’s open year-round, and has a casual bar and a gourmet deli where visitors can purchase their famous cider, cider donuts, take-out meals, and more! Their beverage menu includes their local craft cider, creative cocktails, wines, and drafts!

Find a Cool Place to Stay

During your trip, you’ll need to find an awesome place to stay! The White Mountains have a variety of cool accommodation options for you and your loved ones. Whether you choose to stay at a resort or rent a cabin, here are a few of the most popular choices.

Mountain Club on Loon

Mountain Club on Loon is a great place to stay no matter what time of year since it offers a variety of activities throughout the seasons. No matter how many people you’re traveling with, you’re likely to find a room that fits your needs since rooms can fit two to ten people. You can also purchase packages with the rooms to include all the activities you hope to do during your stay.

Attitash Mountain Village

Great for those looking to ski or snowboard, Attitash Mountain Village is located at the base of Attitash Mountain. There are 350 different accommodation options including rooms, suites, townhouses, and trailside stays for booking. Plenty of the rooms include a spa tub, mountain views, and kitchen appliances.

Omni Mount Washington Resort

The Omni Mount Washington Resort is a luxurious place to stay during your time in New Hampshire. There are four different accommodation options: stay in the historic hotel, the presidential wing, at Omni Bretton Arms Inn, or book a townhome. After a day of adventure, head to the spa to check out some of their relaxing services.

Stay in a local B&B

Maybe you’re looking for something more quiet and intimate during your trip. If so, look into one of New Hampshire’s local bed and breakfasts in the White Mountains! This option will provide you with a local feel during your stay and is usually cheaper than a resort or hotel room.

Rent a cabin with a hot tub

Another accommodation option is to rent a cabin with a hot tub! There are a ton of cabin rentals spread across the White Mountains to choose from, and you can look on popular sites like Airbnb and Vrbo to rent them out. This is a great option for those who want solitude, like to save money, and cook their own meals.

Top Things to Do in the White Mountains: Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we’ve covered 32 of the top things to do in the White Mountains, let’s go over some of the frequently asked questions surrounding the area!

What is the White Mountains New Hampshire Known For?

The White Mountains in New Hampshire are known for their jagged rocks and high elevation. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast United States, known for its breathtaking views and erratic weather. The White Mountains are also known for their abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities.

How many days do you need in the White Mountains?

There are plenty of things to do in the White Mountains, so to take it all in, it’s recommended to visit anywhere from two days to over a week depending on what you’re looking to do. There is plenty to do outdoors, but there are also great attractions to visit and tax-free shopping opportunities.

What is the best time of the year to go to the White Mountains?

The White Mountains are a great place to visit at any time of the year due to the variety of outdoor activities the area offers… however, it’s been argued that the White Mountains are the best place to experience fall foliage in the country, making fall the most popular time to visit.

What is the most scenic hike in the White Mountains?

There are a variety of scenic hikes all throughout the White Mountains, but it is argued that the most popular is Crawford Path at the top of Mount Washington. Franconia Notch State Park is also a great park to visit for its fantastic waterfall trails.

There you have it! 32 top things to do in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Whether you’re driving through and looking for the scenic route, visiting one of the area attractions, or planning a trip with lots of outdoor activities, we hope you enjoy all that the White Mountains have to offer.

Happy travels!

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