New Hampshire, often referred to as the “Granite State,” is not only known for its stunning natural beauty but also for its rich political history. As the first state to hold primary elections in the U.S. presidential race, New Hampshire has played a significant role in shaping the nation’s political landscape.
In this comprehensive travel guide, we will take you on a journey through the key political landmarks and nearby natural wonders of New Hampshire.
1. The Historic New Hampshire State House
Our journey begins in Concord, the state capital, where you’ll find the historic New Hampshire State House. Built-in 1816, it’s the oldest state capitol in the country still in use. The State House boasts a stunning gold dome that reflects the state’s motto, “Live Free or Die.”
Inside, you can explore the Hall of Flags, adorned with flags from different periods in the state’s history. Don’t miss the Senate Chamber and House of Representatives, where you can witness the legislative process in action.
After your visit, unwind in nearby Rollins Park, a beautiful urban green space perfect for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. Accommodation options in Concord include the Centennial Hotel, conveniently located near the State House.
2. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Heading west from Concord, make your way to the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. This site pays homage to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s greatest sculptors. While not a political landmark per se, it offers a unique perspective on art and culture that complements your journey.
Explore the sculptor’s studios and admire his iconic works, such as the Shaw Memorial, honoring the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. The tranquil gardens surrounding the site provide a serene setting for reflection.
For accommodation, consider staying at the Cornish Inn, a charming bed and breakfast just a short drive from the historic site.
3. Strawbery Banke Museum
Next, venture to Portsmouth, a coastal gem with a rich history. Begin your exploration at the Strawbery Banke Museum, a living history museum that showcases the city’s colonial past. Wander through meticulously preserved houses and gardens, gaining insight into early American life.
Portsmouth also has a strong political history, having hosted the Portsmouth Peace Treaty negotiations that ended the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Don’t miss the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which has played a vital role in the nation’s defense.
For a unique accommodation experience, check out the Ale House Inn, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Portsmouth’s historic district.
4. The New Hampshire Presidential Primary
No visit to New Hampshire would be complete without delving into its political significance, especially its presidential primary. Every four years, the state becomes the epicenter of American politics, as candidates from both parties vie for votes and attention.
While you may not witness a primary election during your visit, you can explore the New Hampshire Primary Historical Exhibit at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord. This exhibit offers a fascinating look at the state’s influential role in the presidential nominating process.
Accommodation options in Concord are plentiful, including the Hilton Garden Inn, providing a comfortable stay for travelers.
5. Franconia Notch State Park
Now, let’s shift our focus to New Hampshire’s breathtaking natural wonders. Head north to Franconia Notch State Park, nestled in the White Mountains. This park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking trails, waterfalls, and stunning vistas.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hike to the iconic Flume Gorge, a narrow chasm with towering granite walls and cascading waterfalls. The park also features Cannon Mountain, where you can take a tramway ride to the summit for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
For accommodation, consider staying at the Franconia Inn, a cozy retreat surrounded by nature’s beauty.
6. Mount Washington
Continuing our journey through the White Mountains, make your way to Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. While not a political landmark, Mount Washington has historical significance as the site of the world’s worst weather.
Take a thrilling ride on the Mount Washington Cog Railway, which has been operating since 1869, making it the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway. Once at the summit, witness the awe-inspiring landscape and explore the Mount Washington Observatory.
Accommodation near Mount Washington is available at The Glen House, a modern hotel with stunning mountain views.
7. The Robert Frost Farm
Our final stop is Derry, the hometown of renowned poet Robert Frost. Visit the Robert Frost Farm, where the poet wrote many of his famous works, including “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Take a guided tour of the farm and learn about Frost’s life and his contributions to American literature. The tranquil setting of the farm is perfect for introspection and appreciation of Frost’s poetry.
Accommodation options in Derry include the Woodbound Inn, a historic inn with a serene lakeside location.
New Hampshire’s unique blend of political landmarks and natural wonders makes it a captivating destination for travelers seeking both history and natural beauty. From the historic State House in Concord to the serene landscapes of Franconia Notch State Park, this travel guide has provided a comprehensive overview of the Granite State’s offerings.
When planning your trip to New Hampshire, don’t forget to use Expedia for convenient accommodation booking. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable vacation, New Hampshire has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey through this charming state, where history, politics, and nature converge in a harmonious blend.