New Hampshire

The US state of New Hampshire is known for picturesque New England towns, deep forests, and the legendary Indian summer. Learn all about the romantic Granite State in the Northeastern USA!

New Hampshire facts

Capital: Concord
Area: 24,216 km²
Population: about 1.4 million
Location: Northeast USA
Hotspots: Mount Washington, Portsmouth
Nickname: Granite State
Time zone: Eastern: UTC−5/−4

New Hampshire: location & population

New Hampshire is located in posh New England in the Northeast of America. As one of the smallest US states, the beautiful "Granite State" also has the shortest seacoast in the USA. Besides the Atlantic Ocean, New Hampshire borders the states of Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island.

New Hampshire is divided into seven distinct territories: the Great North Woods, the central White Mountains, the Lakes Region to the east, the Seacoast Region to the southeast, the Merrimack Valley to the south, Monadnock to the southwest, and Dartmouth to the west.

In relatively densely populated New Hampshire, the Merrimack Valley has the most residents. The Great North Woods region, on the other hand, is the most sparsely populated part and has a slightly shrinking (and aging) population.

Overall, New Hampshire is experiencing slow but steady population growth. The largest non-American ancestry groups include French and French Canadians, Irish, English, Italians, and Germans.

The biggest cities in New Hampshire

In the US state of New Hampshire, there is only one city with a population of more than 100,000. Based on the number of inhabitants, the largest cities in New Hampshire are:

City Population
Manchester 112,000
Nashua 89,000
Concord 43,000
Dover 32,000

Climate and nature in New Hampshire

The US state of New Hampshire has an unstable climate that holds a few surprises: although there are four clearly identifiable seasons, temperatures vary widely even within a day and between territories.

Summers in New Hampshire are short, with temperatures as low as 26°C. But the Granite State makes up for it with a gorgeous Indian Summer, which starts in September and is often warm well into October.

In the typically long New England winters, you have to expect a lot of snow, storms, and very cold temperatures. If you're looking for the worst weather in the world, you'll find it in New Hampshire: some of the coldest temperatures and strongest winds in the United States have been recorded at the summit of Mount Washington.

On a road trip through New Hampshire, you'll see an enormous amount of forest because, after Maine, New Hampshire has the most forest area in the US in percentage terms. In addition, the Granite State is sometimes called the "Mother of Rivers" because five of New England's major rivers have their source in the Granite Hills.

As you hike through forests and parks, you'll encounter moose, white-tailed deer, beaver, porcupines, bald eagles, and terrapins.

Best time to visit New Hampshire

If you're looking for pleasant temperatures for hiking and biking, you'll do best in New Hampshire from May through September. But beware: You'll have to share September with thousands of Indian Summer tourists, and it rains a lot in mid-summer.

If you're a skier or snowboarder, the best time to visit New Hampshire is during the winter months, when you can hit the slopes at the best ski resorts.

New Hampshire in spring and summer

In New Hampshire, the lobster season starts in the warm late spring, which you shouldn't miss on your trip through the Granite State. But you'll get the best weather in June when mud season is over, and the summer rains haven't yet set in.

Enjoy extended hikes in the woods and state parks, or take it easy at the beach, lake, or on a river tour. New Hampshire campgrounds are excellent and surprise you with early morning moose encounters.

The high season lasts from July to August, attracting throngs of tourists along with frequent thunderstorms.

New Hampshire in autumn and winter

Early fall in New Hampshire brings mild temperatures, dry and sunny days, and glowing foliage. High time for a leisurely road trip through the state!

Around Thanksgiving, the first ski resorts open their doors and usually operate into April. Despite the short days and icy snowstorms, you can spend a truly snuggly New Hampshire winter in the ski resorts and towns lovingly decorated with Christmas decorations.

By the way, there's nothing better than sitting in a cozy tavern on the Atlantic Ocean during a winter storm and looking out to sea.

How to get to New Hampshire

Flights to New Hampshire are usually much more expensive than flights to surrounding cities such as Boston or Montreal. We, therefore, recommend a relaxing road trip from your destination airport to New Hampshire.

If you prefer to fly directly to the Granite State, you can assume that flights to Manchester are the cheapest.

The largest airports in New Hampshire include:

  • Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
  • Portsmouth International Airport at Pease
  • Lebanon Municipal Airport

Flights to New Hampshire

New Hampshire travel authorization

You are coming to New Hampshire without a Green Card, and you are not an American citizen? Then you need an ESTA travel authorization or a US visa for your trip.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

New Hampshire airport transfer

After landing at Manchester Airport, you have several transit options:

Shuttle and taxicab services

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has a total of 21 different cab and shuttle services that will take you around the area. You can also use the cab alternatives from Lyft and Uber here. However, they don't have their own arrival and departure points and have to compete with the other vehicles at the airport.

Public transport

On weekdays, the Manchester Transit Authority's MTA bus will run for you. A ticket costs $2.

Other options

Greyhound buses, which commute nationwide, depart directly from the airport. You'll find the Greyhound station near the "Friends/Family" Greeting Area next to the Starbucks on the first floor.

State parks and natural wonders in New Hampshire

Forests, mountains, beaches, and parks: there's something for every nature fan in the Granite State. Here are the most beautiful places in New Hampshire:

Lake Winnipesaukee, The Lakes Region

New Hampshire's lake district (The Lakes Region) consists of a multitude of lakes nestled among beautiful landscapes. One of the most enchanting of all is Lake Winnipesaukee, with its 3,000 islands. Since large parts of the lakeshore are lined with private residences and therefore inaccessible to visitors, the best way to explore this crystal clear jewel is to paddle out on a small boat.

Mount Washington, White Mountains

"The Whites", as the White Mountains in New Hampshire are also called, are home to the legendary Mount Washington, which apart from having the worst weather in the world, also has foggy views to offer. Therefore, it is enough to look at this imposing giant from a distance. During a drive on Mt. Washington Auto Road or a hike on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, the colossus reveals itself in all its beauty. By the way, on a clear day, you could look over four states from the top of Mt. Washington.

Hampton Beach State Park

You wouldn't expect water this blue in New England. At the beautiful, clean Hampton Beach, you can enjoy wonderful sunsets or spend really great beach days in the short summers of New Hampshire. But beware: the water here is crazy cold!

Franconia Notch State Park

The Franconia Notch is a gigantic gorge in the White Mountains. Around it, miles of hiking trails invite you to explore beautiful nature. An exciting highlight is the rocky Flume Gorge, where you can walk along the rushing stream on a wooden bridge. On a clear day, the view from the top of Cannon Mountain stretches all the way to New York and Canada!

Echo Lake State Park

A few quiet nights of camping at crystal-clear Echo Lake are like a reset for your stressed-out body. Relax on the sandy beach among ancient pines or hike through the surrounding woods and hills until you can gaze out over the lake and countryside from dizzying heights on craggy cliffs. At Echo Lake, you'll have peace.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights in New Hampshire

The following places in New Hampshire are a must-see and should be on your travel list:

  • Mount Washington
  • Story Land
  • Loon Mountain Resort
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • White Mountains
  • Kancamagus Highway
  • Flume Gorge
  • Currier Museum of Art
  • Strawberry Banke Museum
  • Clark’s Bears

New Hampshire city trips

Amidst all the forests and mountains, New Hampshire charms its visitors most of all with picturesque towns to dwell in and enjoy the local specialties. Here are our New Hampshire city highlights:

City highlights Portsmouth

In the quaint little town of Portsmouth, the ruins of New Hampshire's first historic settlements await your discovery. Many great museums, the stormy Atlantic coast, exquisite restaurants, and thoroughly enchanting architecture make a trip in and around Portsmouth a perfect city experience. These are the places you should see in Portsmouth:

  • Strawberry Banke Museum
  • Market Square
  • USS Albacore Museum
  • Prescott Park
  • Water Country Water Park

Accomodation in Portsmouth

City highlights Concord

As the pretty little town of Concord sinks into the snow during the long winters, the ice climbing season begins for many here. Not an adrenaline junkie? Never mind because even from below, the bizarre ice walls of the frozen waterfalls are a true spectacle.

These are the things you shouldn't miss in Concord:

  • New Hampshire State House
  • Red River Theatres
  • McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
  • Canterbury Shaker Village
  • Clough State Park

Accomodation in Concord

City highlights Hampton

The idyllic seaside resort of Hampton will surprise you with its bright blue water, a large flat beach, and beautiful small-town architecture with stores and restaurants. Even on cold days, Hampton's boardwalk is a showstopper!

These are the things you should see in Hampton:

  • Hampton Beach State Park
  • Applecrest Farm Orchards
  • North Beach
  • Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium
  • Ocean Gaming

Accomodation in Hampton

City highlights Manchester

As the largest city in New Hampshire, Manchester is both a vibrant business metropolis and an idyllic vacation destination. The great offer of art, culture, sports, and entertainment makes Manchester the perfect stopover on your trip through New Hampshire. With little effort, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, and whale watching are also available in the surrounding area.

These are the things you don't want to miss in Manchester:

  • Currier Museum of Art
  • Palace Theatre
  • Lake Massabesic
  • Livingston Park
  • McIntyre Ski Area

Accomodation in Manchester

Instagram hotspots in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is thoroughly "Instagrammable" any time of year, but you'll get extra stunning shots in the fall and winter. Here are our top 5 Instagram hotspots in the Granite State:

  • Ice Castles in Woodstock
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • Conway Scenic Railroad
  • Flume Gorge
  • White Mountain National Forest

Food highlights in New Hampshire

On a trip through New Hampshire, you'll experience the typical tastes of New England. These include seafood, apples, maple syrup, and a lot of cream. Try the following treats when you're in the Granite State:

  • Apple Cider Doughnuts — Fried pastry with cider and spices
  • Venison — Elk or deer meat
  • Clam Chowder — Creamy soup with seafood
  • Lobster Rolls — Hot dog bun with lobster meat, lemon juice, and celery
  • Maple Sundae — Sundae with maple syrup sauce

New Hampshire fun facts

Want to entertain your travel companion with some New Hampshire trivia? Then remember these fun facts:

  • New Hampshire is the only US state without mandatory seat belts in cars.
  • New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of all US states.
  • New Hampshire is also known as the "Switzerland of America" because of its great mountains.
  • At Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, costumed actors re-enact colonial-era life for you.
  • New Hampshire was the first state to have its own constitution.
  • The state is nicknamed "The Granite State" because native granite was used to construct important buildings in Boston and Washington, D.C.
  • The world record for the highest ground wind speed (372 km/h) was set on Mount Washington.

Moving to New Hampshire

It's so beautiful here in New Hampshire! Maybe you don't want to go back home? No problem, grab your Green Card and get ready for your new life in the USA:

Working in New Hampshire

Major industries in New Hampshire include agriculture, technology, manufacturing, and tourism.

The largest employers in the state can be found in schools and universities, construction, and foodservice. Big names like Dartmouth College, Albany International, the University of New Hampshire, and Keene State College are eager to hear from you.

New Hampshire also has an unusually high number of materials engineers, firearms workers, medical instrument and shoe manufacturers, and appliance repairmen compared to other states.

Living in New Hampshire

If you want to live in New Hampshire, you can choose between the state's seven very different territories. Do you love the coast? The mountains? The quiet of the woods? Or do you prefer the fast-paced city life? If you took a poll among locals, Portsmouth and Concord would probably come out as the most livable places in New Hampshire. But the little town of Nashua, which is close to Manchester, is also frequently mentioned.

You have to be prepared for a slightly higher cost of living in New Hampshire, but correspondingly high salaries usually compensate for this. Your advantage: In New Hampshire, there is neither a general sales tax nor an income tax.

Moving to New Hampshire with a Green Card

A Green Card is the only US visa that allows you to live and work in the US indefinitely. The easiest way to get the sought-after US immigrant visa is through the annual Green Card Lottery, in which the US government gives away 55,000 Green Cards every year.

You can apply for the lottery in parallel, even if you are already trying to get a Green Card through a job. Due to the large hurdles for US employers in hiring non-Americans, winning the Green Card Lottery is much more likely.

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!