New Hampshire is famous for being dotted with old towns and having amazing mountain peaks and beautiful wilderness. It's a topographically diverse place and that's what makes it interesting. Lovers of the great outdoors and winter sports enthusiasts are the most frequent guests here. Since the state has always been very popular, it had time to develop the leisure industry. So, there are some very cool and unusual things to do in New Hampshire.
Don't set your expectations low if you're planning on visiting. Although it's famous for the wintertime, this stunning state should definitely be listed as one of the top summer travel destinations in the USA. For all of you that like to get off the beaten tourist tracks in the places you travel to, we have some special treats. Luckily, New Hampshire is blessed with a nice number of unique attractions, and here's our pick.
Visit the Libby Museum
If you ever wanted to visit a truly quirky museum, now is your time. Located right across the Lake Winnipesaukee, this place has lots of Native American artifacts, an incredible collection of taxidermy, and different esoteric items. The name comes from Henry Libby who founded it more than 100 years ago. It is definitely a place with a long tradition.
Among the highlights, there is the famous stuffed seven-foot-long alligator, authentic Egyptian mummy hands, and a necklace that is made from monkey teeth. It's not a place for everyone, but if you're into quirky items you'll enjoy it a lot.
Take a ride on the world's first mountain-climbing railway
As many of you already know, Mount Washington is the most famous natural landmark of this state. Many tourists love to hike toward its high peaks, but we thought of something even better. What do you think about exploring the place on the world's first mountain-climbing railway? If you ask us, it's one of the top cool and unusual things to do in New Hampshire for sure. Buy a ticket, sit back, and enjoy the view while a biodiesel locomotive carries you to the top of the mountain through untouched nature.
The trip in one direction lasts an hour and you get an hour to spend on the peak of the mountain before you head back. On top, there is a museum, snack bar, and some of the best views you're ever going to see. People are often so taken with New Hampshire’s nature that they even consider moving there just to be close to it! If this turns out to be you, leave nothing to chance and hire a reliable company like our friends from Preferred Movers. They’ll do the heavy lifting while you plan your next excursion to Mount Washington.
Awaken your nostalgia with retro gaming
If you're an adult, chances are that arcades were a very important part of your growing up. The American Classic Arcade Museum is the place where you can relive all those fun memories. This is actually the largest museum of this kind in the world. You can assume how incredible the collection we're talking about is.
You'll get a chance to see or even play some of the most iconic vintage arcade machines from the 1970s and 80s. The original Tetris, Galaxian, Tron, Space Invaders... It's all here waiting for you. Learn how to plan a vacation for all family members and definitely include this in your plans.
The UFO festival
Since we're on the topic of Space Invaders, we can't do anything but mention the quirkiest, and probably one of the coolest festivals in the state. It is the Exeter UFO Festival. It was started in 2009 and the idea is to commemorate the 1965 sighting of a UFO in town. The nature of the lights seen that night has never been explained so local folklore took over.
The festival is a big fundraiser for local children's charities and you can find UFO enthusiasts from all over the country here. Additionally, you can attend lectures or talks on the topic and the kids won't be bored either. Chances are slim that there is something more fun among all the cool and unusual things to do in New Hampshire.
See what spirits of the past have to say on a Haunted Trolley Tour
Pretty much every place on earth has at least one ghost story. Well, New Hampshire has much more than one folk tale of this kind and they are embracing them fully. So, if the road takes you to the city of Portsmouth, be sure to check out this history lesson with a twist. The guides will take you through three different cemeteries and tell you some stories that will leave you shivering.
The trolley ride lasts for an hour and forty-five minutes. In that time, you'll also get an opportunity to see some incredibly creepy images that were captured in the past. A special treat for the chosen ones.
Make your own beer at a local brewery
One more fun and interesting thing you can do in New Hampshire is getting crafty in a local brewery. You see, craft beers are a big hit these days and the scene exploded in the last couple of years. However, one of the first ones to do it were Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth.
Besides casual food, outdoor sitting, and live music, you can actually make beer here. So, if you're interested in making some be sure to visit this place. You won't have to worry about keeping memories of your vacations, as you'll be able to brew them back to life anytime you want.
As we already mentioned, the White Mountain State is especially well known for its winter. However, some of the best things to visit in New Hampshire are hidden. Series of caves, tunnels, and sculptures made of ice emerge every year on the grounds of the Hobo Railroad in the northern part of the state.
If you're in luck and visiting these manmade ice castles becomes one of the cool and unusual things to do in New Hampshire for you, do it in the night. That's when everything lights up with an icy glow and that's when it's the most beautiful.
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Site updated on 19. April 2021