A Drive through the White Mountains, New Hampshire
In 2017 we set out to the East Coast to find ourselves the most beautiful leaf peeping and season changing we could find. We embarked on a 9 day road trip through the New England area, which include the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. We spent time in every one except for Connecticut and since it’s the fall time again, it’s only fitting to start our posts on this area. It was one of our favorite trips we’ve ever taken, given the immense American history, the brew tour, and the sense of community that New England exudes.
Today we’re talking about our second stop, New Hampshire. In case you missed our first stop in Boston, you can find it here. New Hampshire was more of a middle ground stay between Maine and Vermont. We didn’t technically stay in New Hampshire but we are glad we got to see some of it. Our main goal was leaf peeping through the White Mountains, which we learned was a little different this year than previous years. This season was considered a kind of a “fluke year” for the changing leaves. Apparently, the spring lasted too long and the fall came early with longer moisture, so it affected the normal leaf colors. We were told by locals that the colors are normally a lot more vibrant and stay a little longer, but we were still satisfied with the beautiful scenery we got in New England. It sure beat the desert brown color of Reno!
We broke up our drive over the course of two days because we drove from Boston to Maine and spent a night. Then we headed through the White Mountains over to Vermont the next day. With that being said, you could definitely do this in one straight shot. You could do this drive starting in Boston like we did or just do everything in reverse starting in Vermont.
If you’re starting in Boston, we think you should definitely stop in Portsmouth on your way up. Maybe even consider spending a half day or full day exploring this town. You could visit the many breweries in the area or use it as a home base to explore other coastal towns. It’s close to Kennebunkport, but a fraction of the price to stay in! If we would’ve had a little more leeway in our schedule we probably would have spent more time here. We really loved Portsmouth!
We recommend grabbing a drink at both Liar’s Bench Brewery and the Portsmouth Brewing Co. Also, a great little town to stop for lunch before heading in is North Conway. If you decide to stop here for lunch, we recommend grabbing pizza slices at Boston Brother’s Pizzeria and checking out some of the shops on the Main Street. Another option would be to grab the fixings for a picnic and stop along the drive through the mountains. Either choice, you can’t go wrong!
Whether you’re on the search for camping, hiking, picnicking, or leaf peeping – the White Mountains have something for everyone. You can ski here during the winter or hike part of the Appalachian Trail in the summer. We loved just driving through and stopping when we saw something we liked. We never felt rushed or like we needed more time, it’s a perfect area for a leisurely drive. Altogether, it probably took us a couple hours from the entrance to the exit of the forest.
When exiting the National Forest, make sure to drive through the northern towns of Bethlehem and Littleton. They embody the quiet, quaint New England life that we love about New Hampshire.
Have you done a drive through the White Mountains or have any other drives in New Hampshire that you love? Let us know in the comments below.