At a Glance
You'll quickly see why adventurers have long flocked to the White Mountains, home of 6,288-foot Mount Washington. Take your pick of family-focused outdoor action that ranges from gentle walks to waterfalls and zipline tours to rock climbing, all with the backdrop of the majestic peaks that cover roughly one-quarter of the state. When your eyes can't take in any more gorgeous scenery, there are plenty of small amusement parks and historical attractions to keep your crew entertained.
When to Go
Winter brings downhill and cross country skiers to the White Mountains. If you're after off-snow fun, summer and fall are your best bets (they're also the time when attractions are sure to be open). Crisp fall weather lights up the flaming foliage, and brings lots of leaf-peepers, too.
Spring conditions can be unpredictable, with temperatures in the 50s to 70s, but it's a short season. Summer varies from cool and dry to warm and muggy, with temperatures ranging from the 70s to mid-80s. Daytime fall temperatures range from the 50s to the 70s. Winters are cold and snowy.
The White Mountains are about a two hour drive from Boston, which is also home to Logan International Airport, the closest major aiport to the mountains. Smaller airports include Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, New Hampshire's biggest airport (50 miles north of Boston), and the Portland International Jetport in Portland, Maine, about two and half hour's drive away. Bus transportation via Concord Coach is another option.
A car is a necessity for getting around the White Mountains. If you're planning on hiking, look into the AMC Hiker Shuttle, which is great for one-way hikes. It runs daily June to September, plus weekends and holidays mid-September through mid-October (check the website for exact dates). Fees are $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers.
Festivals & Events
- Annual Lupine Festival (June)
- Fourth of July celebrations
- Annual Pemi Bluegrass Festival (August)
- Sunrise opening of Mount Washington Auto Road (dates in June and August)
- Mount Washington Valley Arts & Crafts Show (August)
- Annual Labor Day Rubber Ducky Regatta (September)
- Climb to the Clouds Vintage Car Race (September)
- Foliage Train Rides (September-October)
- Fryeberg Fair (September-October)
Welcome to New Hampshire is the official tourism website for the state. The White Mountains is the official tourism website for the mountain region.
Deals & Discounts
- Many inns and resorts offer packages with discounts on area attractions.
- Print a coupon online for discounted combination tickets at the Flume Gorge and Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram.
- Click on the Gas-Saving Offers link at Welcome to New Hampshire for current gas-saving deals and other discounts.
- A $25 Fun Pass gets you free or discounted admission for children 12 at many N. H. attractions; proceeds benefit Breathe New Hampshire, a nonprofit focused on lung health.
Fun & Facts
- Granite is New Hampshire's state rock. The state sport? Skiing.
- New Hampshire is known as the Granite State, the White Mountain State, Switzerland of America, and the Mother of Rivers.
- Mount Washington is called "home of the world's worst weather" for good reason: A record wind speed of 231 miles per hour was set on the summit in April 1934.
- Both Lost River Gorge and the Flume Gorge were "discovered" by people out fishing in 1852 and 1808, respectively.
- The town of Franconia has two claims to fame: it's the hometown of World Cup skier Bode Miller and the site of poet Robert Frost's former summer homestead.
- Neighboring Sugar Hill is not to be outdone -- it's the location of the first American ski school (started in 1929).
- The White Mountains overflow with waterfalls. Find lists and directions for visiting at www.visitwhitemountains.com/things-to-do/wfalls.aspx and www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/recreation/waterfalls/.
The White Mountains are a camper's delight. Choose from private, state, or U.S. Forest Service-run campgrounds in the White Mountain National Forest.