New Hampshire is Haven for Vacationing Families
Reprinted by permission from:
New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development
Imagine relaxing at a place where you can leave behind the hectic
pace of city life and reconnect with your kids in the great outdoors.
Or take the time to discover nature's distractions: stars that
are visible in the night sky; the sound of a woodpecker in the
forest; sunset across a cool, clear lake.
From the seacoast to the soaring peaks of the highest mountains
in the northeast, New Hampshire is a vacation destination that
offers plenty of opportunity for sport and play-and for life's
authentic, simple pleasures. Easily accessible via Interstates,
New Hampshire is easy to get to and the state is small enough
to crisscross in a day, with activities to suit everyone's tastes.
Does someone in the family want to mountain climb, while another
wants to hunt shells at the ocean's shore? It's easy to do both
in a short amount of time. A mountain, a lake, a city, a forested
wilderness, an ocean-they're all within easy reach. Just pick
a home base-an all-inclusive family resort, a campground, or
your own rented lake home-and plan your trip from there. It's
a great way to turn your vacation into a family reunion.
Besides swimming, biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor
adventures, there are dozens of activities the kids will enjoy:
water parks, family-size amusement parks, petting zoos and working
farms, museums and historic sites. And New Hampshire's famous
tax-free shopping makes the state a bargain-hunter's haven.
The information below will help you craft a story about New
Hampshire as a family vacation destination. We have also enclosed
the latest New Hampshire Guidebook and our media kit containing
background materials, travel information, story ideas and contacts.
The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development
(www.visitnh.gov) can help with anything else you might need
for a New Hampshire travel story. Also, please visit our media
web site, www.medianh.org for more great story ideas . Let us
know what you are looking for-we will do the rest!
SEE THE HEIGHTS
New Hampshire's many ski resorts are perfect for families any
time of year. They aren't just for skiing and snowboarding (though
they offer excellent children's learning programs). In the off-season,
many ski areas offer family activities such as water parks and
alpine slides, hiking trails or horseback riding. And many offer
the chance to climb the highest heights the easy way-on a chair
lift, tram or gondola. At Cannon Mountain, the views from the
tram reach to Canada and Vermont and the ride up and down the
mountain rivals an amusement park. Loon Mountain's Skyride is
also a thrill for kids, with a café and caves to explore
at the summit.
WALK THE WILD SIDE
The forests of northern New Hampshire provide plenty of opportunities
for viewing and learning about the state's wildlife. One popular
sport is "Moose Spotting," where visitors set out to
find this lovable, huge animal in its natural habitat. Three
areas lend themselves especially well to moose spotting: The
Thirteen Mile Woods near Lake Umbagog and Route 3 between the
towns of Colebrook and Pittsburg, are havens for moose. The Kangamagus
Highway in the Lincoln-Woodstock area of the White Mountains
is also a popular tour for moose spotting. Several tour operations
offer local guides who can lead you right to the moose's favorite
places, or venture out on your own. Of course, you may just happen
upon a moose while out hiking a mountain or strolling through
a state park.
HEAD UP NORTH
The Great North Woods of New Hampshire is an excellent place
for family adventures, particularly if your family likes fishing,
canoeing, kayaking or camping. The Lake Umbagog Wildlife Refuge
may offer a glimpse of bald eagles or nesting loons. This wilderness
is possible because it was once part of a vast working forest
where loggers took the trees to be processed into paper products
at the milling town of Berlin to the south. While visiting the
North Woods region, the family can enjoy an educational visit
to an authentic logging camp established in Berlin. At the Northern
Forest Heritage Park, children can be eyewitnesses to the life
of a logging camp in winter and see how logs were floated down
river to the mills. Special programs explore the cultural heritage
(Russian, Greek, Scandinavian, Italian) of the workers, as well
as the first inhabitants, the Abenaki Native American tribe.
SAMPLE THE SEA
New Hampshire may have only 18 miles of seacoast, but it's a
shore filled with fun for families. Every day can be described
as children's day at Hampton Beach, with its boardwalk of amusements
and its lengthy, sandy beach, but an annual Children's Festival
in August focuses on kids more than ever. More state beaches
are located in nearby Rye. Whale-watching tours and boating outings
can be found at Portsmouth Harbor or sample life on a submarine
at Albacore Park where a 27-foot submarine is housed.
MEANDER A MUSEUM
Most school children can tell you who Christa McAuliffe is-the
New Hampshire teacher-astronaut who lost her life in the Challenger
explosion. In Concord, New Hampshire's capital city, McAuliffe's
educational mission continues at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium,
where a state-of-the-art domed theater takes visitors to the
stars. In Portsmouth, a visit to The Children's Museum teaches
the science of the sea through hands-on exhibits. In Peterborough,
a vibrant arts community, the Mariposa Museum invites children
to learn about the vast cultures of the world through dance programs,
story-telling, and interactive exhibits. A way to get close to
agriculture is a visit to the Stonyfield Farm Visitors Center
where the popular brand of yogurt is made. A tour of Stonyfield
shows the journey from farmer's milk to consumer product. At
the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee
Region, children learn about the history of ancient people through
hundreds of artifacts from the many Native American tribes.
VISIT THEM DOWN ON THE FARM
Because New Hampshire retains much of its rural character, it
offers experiences a child may not find elsewhere-a chance to
milk a cow, see maple sap boiled into syrup, or milk churned
into butter. Several working farms offer children hands-on experiences
with farming-a chance to learn something while having fun. At
Charmingfare Farm in the Merrimack Valley, more than 200 animals
can be seen up close. At the East Hill Farm in the town of Troy,
families can spend a week or a weekend on a working farm and
do as much or as little of the work as they want. At the New
Hampshire Farm Museum, they can watch a cobbler fixing shoes
or a blacksmith working over an anvil.
EXPLORE THE NATURAL WORLD
It's not an exaggeration to say that around every bend in New
Hampshire, you can find a natural wonder sure to impress the
kids. The southwest corner of the state, the Monadnock Region,
is full of easy hikes for families to do, yet they open to some
mountain vistas that can impress even the most jaded climbers.
Of course, the White Mountains range is filled with scenic vistas,
pristine rivers for wading, and hidden waterfalls beckoning.
The Flume Gorge and Franconia Notch State Park are popular stopping
points, with easy hikes for children. In Groton, a series of
glacial potholes known as the Sculptured Rocks Natural Area can
pique a child's interest. A visit to Ruggles Mine in Grafton
offers an opportunity for mining their own gems at an open pit
mine at the top of a mountain.