What defines New Hampshire is not its outdoor activities (although it has that) nor its dizzying variety of landscapes (it has that, too). A holiday in New Hampshire is about intimate moments: the scent of the sea along the coast, the crunch of autumn leaves under your shoes, the smell of homemade apple pie at a cafe. We love moments spent at the many farmers markets, sampling maple syrup at Portsmouth Farmers Market and buying goat's milk soap at Bedford Farmers Market.
New Hampshire farms and country shops are a throwback to a simpler time. What is really unique about them is that they often function as community centres and cafes as well. One of the best farms to visit on holiday in New Hampshire is D Acres of New Hampshire in Dorchester. This organic farm teaches the skills of sustainable living and small-scale farming. Walk the beautiful trails, explore the gardens, hike the forests, or visit the farm animals. Tamworth Village Store and the Other Store in Tamworth both offer insights into local life and the community spirit that New Hampshire possesses.
If you like your scenery more than a little bit rural, head for Route 12. Drive this picturesque highway at sunset for sheer glory. The road winds through the Connecticut River Valley, past rolling, bucolic pastures dotted with grazing cows. Everywhere around you are stretches of green, gold, and blue, all made more vivid at sunset.
New Hampshire holidays are sure to be filled with the sights and sounds of some of the most charming towns New England has to offer. Head to Dorr Mill Store in Guild to see the production of wool or check out Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth for a good example of 17th century life in New England, including restored and furnished houses, landscapes, and gardens filled with costumed actors. Get your credit card ready at Conway's 100-plus factory outlet stores or see the revitalised historical mill town of Manchester.
The skiing at Bretton Woods is entirely breathtaking. Choose from 102 trails and glades and four terrain parks that cater to every ski level. If you want something a bit more unpredictable, head to the magnificent stretch of backcountry the resort has to offer. This is one of the best ski resorts on the East Coast.
If you fancy a bit of hiking in the splendid outdoors on your New Hampshire holiday, then head to the spectacular Appalachian Trail. The trail passes through 14 states, eight national forests, and two national parks. The New Hampshire section starts in Hanover and exits at Grafton Notch. Thread through the state's breathtaking scenery in the White Mountains or White Mountain National Forest, hiking so high you will be able to peer down at the tops of the trees in some spots.