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Last-Minute Road Trip Idea: New Hampshire

Last-Minute Road Trip Idea: New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s chefs, winemakers, and beer brewers are a few of the many reasons you should start planning a trip ASAP

Enjoy some great wine in New Hampshire.

What are you doing this summer? If your plans are still up in the air, here’s a suggestion: go to New Hampshire. Drive there, if you can.

The fifth-smallest state makes up for its lack of square footage with an abundance of variety, be it scenic topography that mixes mountains, valleys, lakes, beaches, and a coastline or the ample amount of artisanal producers of wines, cheeses, chocolates, and brews. That means you can plan a delicious itinerary that caters to all your gastronomic vices, all while driving through some of the most picturesque territory the nation has to offer.

Choosing which region to explore is the tough part.

The White Mountains up north are where you’ll discover moose tours and waterfalls, and on the eastern coast you’ll find breweries and beaches aplenty. The Connecticut River Valley on the western border is dotted with cheese-producing dairy farms and wineries, and the sprawling Lakes Region makes for an idyllic getaway, whether you’re seeking adventure hikes or want to relax and do tax-free shopping. Scenic train rides and boat cruises, historic sites like Canterbury Shaker Village and the Castle in the Clouds, and laid-back inns and B&Bs are all waiting to be discovered in this tiny state that you most likely know solely for those outspoken “Live Free or Die” license plates.

One place you can’t miss is Hermit Woods Winery, located in Meredith, just east of I-93 and smack in the center of the Lakes Region. Known for its luxurious meads, or honey wines — often made sans grapes, with fruits like locally grown blueberries, kiwi berries, elderberries, and apples — Hermit Woods is putting New Hampshire wines on the map with its unconventional approaches. Don’t assume all of Hermit Woods’ honey wines are sweet, either; they also produce dry libations, so you can find bottles to pair with any course.

8 Best Weekend Getaways in New Hampshire

Ready for a weekend getaway in New Hampshire? The Granite State offers lots of quaint towns where you can take in the state’s rugged beauty and explore historic sites. From family-friendly adventures and romantic escapes to destinations that cater to outdoor lovers, these are the best weekend getaways in New Hampshire.


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Franconia is a fabulous spot for escaping the chaos of the city and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. It’s home to both the Cannon Mountain Ski Area and Franconia Notch, with soaring mountains rising as high as 3,000 feet on each side. Visitors can take part in all sorts of activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing and fishing, as well as riding the Aerial Tramway to the top of Cannon Mountain for enjoying the alpine conditions. The New England Ski Museum sits adjacent to the tramway and showcases exhibits on the local aspects of ski history, like a number of important “firsts” at Cannon Mountain, and the career of area native, Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller.


Wolfeboro bills itself as America’s “Oldest Summer Resort.” Set along the banks of Lake Winnipesaukee, visitors can enjoy pretty much every type of water sport imaginable as well as lots of activities on land. Some of the highlights include browsing the shops and galleries on the waterfront, visiting the Wright WWII Museum and the New Hampshire Boat Museum, dedicated to all types of watercraft that figure in New Hampshire’s history, and taking a narrated trolley tour.


This small southern New Hampshire town is a veritable time machine into the past. The majority of Hancock’s buildings lining the main street are on the National Registry of Historic places, with the 1820 meeting house, known as one of the best Federal-style churches in the state, serving as its hub. The meeting house hosts an authentic Revere & Son’s bell, which chimes on the hour, day and night. To truly immerse yourself in Hancock’s history, stay at the Hancock Inn, the oldest inn in the state, and one of the oldest B&Bs in all of New England. It opened up its doors to weary travelers for dining and accommodation back in 1789 only six years after the Revolutionary War ended.

Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill is tucked within the White Mountains and is especially popular for romantic escapes and opportunities for outdoor adventure. Situated close to several ski centers, it makes an ideal base for a winter getaway, with the opportunity for alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. In the warmer months, you can ride the cable car up Cannon Mountain and hike the observatory trail, or take the Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington and gaze out at the vistas from New England’s highest peak. Fuel up for your daily activities with breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor, famous for its homemade pancakes topped with delectable New Hampshire maple syrup.

Omni Mount Washington Resort

Bostonians have known where to go to escape summer’s sizzling heat for decades now – they head to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. During the peak of the Gilded Age, as many as 57 trains arrived each day to the Bretton Woods depot. Today, it still offers a host of outdoor adventure, with natural air conditioning to keep things cool in the summer, brilliant foliage to enjoy in the fall and a snowy wonderland in the winter. Omni Mount Washington Resort provides an ideal base for overnight stays year-round, offering alpine and Nordic skiing, dog sled adventures, golfing on two courses, horseback riding, tennis, a huge spa, and more. When you want to relax there are plenty of options too, including sinking into one of the wicker armchairs on the expansive veranda to watch the sun go down.

1. Flume Gorge

The Flume Gorge is an 800-foot natural gorge that was discovered by a local elderly lady in 1808. Since that time, it has become a popular place for visitors and locals alike to get out into nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Those who wish to visit the Flume Gorge can hike in from the Flume Visitor’s Center. From there, you can either hike just the distance of the gorge or can traverse a scenic 2-mile loop through the area. The walk is moderately difficult with a large number of stairs and a great deal of uphill walking.

852 Daniel Webster Highway, Lincoln, NH 03251, Phone: 603-745-8391

Fun day trip ideas close to me, things to do this weekend, small towns, best weekend getaways: South Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Day trips

Alaska – Seward Highway‌‌

Credit: Joey Mendolia/ Shutterstock

If you're looking for a road trip with breathtaking views around every curve, you've found it. The stunning Seward Highway starts in Anchorage, which lies just south of the coastal town of Seward, and is an adventurous journey you can't miss. Pass the dramatic shores of Turnagain Arm, a waterway in the northwestern Gulf of Alaska, before reaching the dramatic Chugach Mountains. Once in Seward, you'll have the chance to admire Resurrection Bay, a favorite among photographers, and the Kenai Mountains.

Road Trip Highlights: Stop at the Kenai Peninsula, home to Kenai Fjords National Park. The Exit Glacier in Kenai can be reached by road and offers hiking trails with gorgeous overlooks.

I have a method for simplifying everything in this world. I know that sounds crazy because our world is complicated and overwhelming. It often feels like we have a thousand things to think about at once, and nothing seems clear. But believe it or not it’s actually possible to simplify&hellip

Lots of us think, “expensive,” “time-consuming,” “boring,” and “bland” when we think of healthy eating. But it’s actually possible to enjoy and appreciate healthy foods. Here’s how… Of course we all want to feel as fit and strong and healthy as possible. And of course, eating a healthy diet is&hellip

Road Trip Planner Step 4: Pack Right

This is the getting-ready phase. It&rsquos when you do things like make sure the family car is up to the task, the bags are packed, the apps are downloaded and the snacks are bought.

Road Trip Checklist

The first thing on this list should be making sure your family vehicle is up to the task. Take it to the mechanic for a once-over. Have the tires checked, including the spare. Put on new washer blades and fill the washer reservoir. Read this for more pre-trip advice.

Pack Right for the Trip

You have that whole big trunk to fill, right? Or that roof top cargo carrier you bought for the trip. But just because you have all of that space doesn&rsquot mean you have to fill it. Packing light makes just as much sense on a road trip as it does when you&rsquore flying. Extra weight in the car uses more gas, which can add up on a long road trip.

And, if you&rsquoll be checking in to different accommodations each night, you&rsquoll need to drag all of that luggage into the room for the night and back into the trunk the next morning. If that is your road trip plan, pack one &ldquofamily&rdquo bag. It becomes the overnight bag. Include toiletries, pajamas, a change of underwear and bathing suits for each member of the family. (When you&rsquore choosing the hotel for the night, choose the one with the pool. It can make all the difference to the kids after a whole day in the car.)

Itinerary Help for Fall Trip Portland to NH & VT

Looking for itinerary suggestions for fall road trip starting in Portland, Maine going to NH & VT for fall foliage & antiquing 1st week of Oct.

4 replies to this topic

Tip number one. Early October is prime foliage season in these states, heavy tourism. Many lodging will require 2 or 3 night minimum stay. Will also book up. Make reservations ahead.

Tip #2: take tip #1 seriously.

Joking aside, I think this year is going to be much busier than others.

Fall Foliage in New ENgland is glorious! Highly recommend securing your Rental Car ASAP and book your Airline tickets as there are fewer flights this year and prices are already increasing--

If you intend to be in New England over Columbus Day weekend- book your lodgings ASAP as well - rooms go quickly and prices are about 3x what they are other nights. Have an incredible trip!

Tip #3, The Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg ME is scheduled for 10/3-10/10. It's always good fun, if it's something you want to do. Either way, it always draws a crowd and a lot of traffic on all roads in/out of Fryeburg. You'll find a large day tripping crowd coming up Rt 302 from Portland in the AM and that same crowd driving back in the late afternoon/evening. Rt 302 would be the main route.

See the link below to googlemaps for an alternative route that will take secondary highways over from Portland into the Conway area. I would take Rt 25 to 153 to Conway. It also avoids Rt 16 north from Rt 25. This road can also get jammed up with people coming up from NH and Mass to N. Conway or to hop on The Kancamagus Hwy (Rt 112). The Kanc/Rt 112 leaves Rt 16 about a 1/2 mile south of downtown Conway.

One other thing, Rt 16 between Conway and N. Conway, though it's only about 6-7 miles, can be bumper to bumper for those 6 miles - on a nice peak foliage weekend. The route below takes 25 > 153 > Conway and then the Westside Rd to River Rd. That leads right into downtown N.Conway at Eastern Slope Hotel. I'll also take that a little further on River Road up to Glen and Bartlett for good measure and Rt 302 (several miles north of N. Conway). That goes right past Cathedral Ledge and Diana's Bath (both extremely popular stops) and can help bypass lots of in bound traffic into N. Conway from the north. I love Westside Rd because it's saved me many hours of traffic jams over the years.

Also, if you do want to drive from Portland up to the Fair, you'll see Rt 113, which departs Rt 25 way back in Standish ME and "sneaks" into Fryeburg from the south. That may help avoid some traffic into Fryeburg on the way to the fair. Regardless, arrive very early for the Fair.

A Bite-Size Stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

When my friend proposed the idea spending a few days in Portsmouth, NH as one of the stops on a recent road trip, I had no idea what to expect. I knew very little about Portsmouth except that the seaside city was known for its quaint New England vibe and for serving wieners and lobster rolls in New England stlye top-split hot-dog buns. However, after spending a few days there, I learned that Portsmouth is about so much more than seafood sandwiches served in unique bread shapes.

Settled in the early 1600s, Portsmouth is one of the United States’ oldest communities. Located an hour’s drive from Boston, the small port city is known for its picturesque setting and architecture dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. While you’ll find plenty of cobblestone streets and historical monuments at every turn, Portsmouth is young and vibrant. Home to a thriving local food scene and a host of craft breweries, it’s easy to fall in love with Portsmouth’s low-key sophistication. Also, did I mention there’s an ice cream buffet within driving distance?

If you have a few days in Portsmouth, NH and plan on seeing, doing, and eating as many amazing things as possible, here are a few not-to-be-missed places to check out.

48 of the Best Road Trip Destinations in the U.S. for Families

There's a little something for everyone in these top spots across the country.

There's no better, and may we say, affordable, way to see the wonders of America than by a good old road trip. With much to do before a cross-country expedition, we're here to take away one stressful part of the journey: planning the actual tour. We used Randy Olson's epic road trip for Chevrolet that takes you through the entire continental United States, which is perfect for a family friendly adventure. Feel free to take on every single place, opt for a shorter leg, or just head to the top destination in your own state.

Where to Visit: Pike Place Market

Grab a bite to eat at Pike Place Market and then make your way to the famous "Gum Wall"&mdashthe one (and only!) place you can encourage your kids to leave their chewing gum. Then head to the Seattle Great Wheel for the best views of the city, the Seattle Aquarium to spend the day with some new fish friends, or the Museum of Flight where kids 10 and oler can test their flying skills through "The Pilot Experience."

Get ready to hear plenty of "oohs" and "aahs!" Trust us, everyone in the family will become wide-eyed when they see Oregon's stunning Crater Lake, which was formed by a now caved-in volcano. Within the national park, your family can enjoy camping, hiking, bike trails, water sports, fishing, and more activities.Your clan can also check out several nearby national forests while you're in the area, including Umpqua National Forest, Deschutes National Forest, and Wallowa-Winema National Forest.

Skip Las Vegas, and head to this family-friendly destination instead. Gearheads will love Reno's National Automobile Museum, which is home to 200+ vintage and modern vehicles.

If cars aren't your thing, spend the day honing your bowling skills at the National Bowling Stadium. And just an hour away, you'll find scenic Lake Tahoe, which is the perfect place to stretch and take in some fresh air on your way to the next stop.

Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) Travel Survival Guide by Wyatt Nash

Wyatt Nash, our resident Dirty Dude, is back with a very special WFPB travel survival guide for you. If you travel often you are going to want to MAKE out with this guide. Wyatt travels a fuckofalot for work and he compiled all of his plant based MacGyver moves for you in one guide. He has you covered from the beginning of your trip to the end, and everything in between.

Wyatt, thank you for sharing this and inspiring other Dirties to be as badass as you!

Whole Food Plant Based Travel Survival Guide by Wyatt Nash

I’ve traveled a lot for work and pleasure over the years, averaging about one week per month away from home. It was always an excuse to eat and drink whatever I wanted. Predictably, I gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of self-confidence during the process.

Staying in a hotel with a kitchenette is ideal when traveling. It isn’t the same as cooking at home, but it does allow for basic cooking. Staying in a hotel with no microwave or refrigerator is the other end of the spectrum where you’re limited to eating fruit and cooling a bottle of Kombucha in an ice bucket. Driving to your destination allows you to bring a cooler and a variety of cooking utensils that would be impractical on a plane. This guide assumes domestic air travel and a room with a microwave and a small refrigerator.

TIP: If you’re going to Hawaii to visit Molly and Luanne (ha!), check with the USDA concerning restrictions for transporting fruits and vegetables into and out of Hawaii.

Molly’s Travel Tips

I wouldn’t be writing this if I hadn’t discovered Molly and signed up for the meal plans. Instead I’d be dreaming about eating at In-N-Out Burger during my next trip to San Diego. She’s done some great blogs about how she eats while traveling that you should definitely check out. Here’s the link to her plant based travel posts.

Before You Leave for Your Trip

Figuring out ahead of time what you’re going to eat on the plane and at your destination is important. Without a solid plan, it’s too easy to default to whatever is convenient, and convenient is not synonymous with healthy. While larger airports may have healthy options, the smaller ones like Norfolk, VA, are very limited. Having a plan and taking action is key.

Let’s start with my typical carry-on and checked bag foods.

Carry-On Food

TIP: I don’t recommend taking bananas or avocados because they get pretty banged up and make a serious mess if they split open.

Checked Bag Food

  • Pre-made spice, sauce, and ingredient packets (see recipes below / keep in fridge at your destination)
  • Soba noodles (uncooked)
  • Quinoa (cooked)
  • Larger quantity of Hummus
  • Larger quantity of salad dressing (Thousand Island / Sesame Orange) (contains some oil)

TIP: When packing something that could possibly leak, put it in a Ziploc bag. It may save your clothes, and the bag will come in handy at your destination.

TIP: If your hotel offers a free breakfast, ask if they have plain oatmeal so you don’t have to pack your own.

TIP: Don’t pack soup and oatmeal if you know you can find them at your destination because they take up a lot of space.

Checked Bag Utensils and Cooking Equipment

Pampered Chef Rice Cooker
I’ve never used any other rice cooker. If you have one that will work in a microwave and is small enough to pack, just use that one! There are probably some electric models out there that will also work.

I chose this rice cooker as my primary means of cooking food in a microwave for a couple of reasons. It’s big enough to cook enough food for dinner and have leftovers for lunch the next day, but small enough to fit in a suitcase. It’s also nearly indestructible. The lid locks into place, it has liquid measuring marks on the inside, it’s vented in such a way that it won’t boil over, and it can be used as a strainer if you remove the plastic insert on the inside of the lid.

  • Small cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Camping utensils set
  • Small plastic plate and bowl
  • Gallon and quart size Ziploc bags
  • Microwave safe Ziploc storage containers
  • Bullet blender

TIP: Pack a bottle brush to clean your bullet blender and smoothie jar.

Other Heat Sources
Although I said this guide assumes a room with a microwave, the following ideas are too good not to mention.

  • Hotplate and skillet if you’re driving to your destination.
  • Coffee maker or Keurig in your room (see note below).

NOTE: A coffee maker or Keurig isn’t going to boil water, so “cooking” ramen or soba noodles is going to take a long time, but I’ve done it in the past in a pinch.

At the Airport

Getting through security doesn’t have to be a stressful event. I see more and more people in the airport and on the plane eating food they brought with them. The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has very clear guidelines about what foods you can bring with you on the plane.

TIP: Make your carry on food look like food, not ingredients. For example, you have a much better chance of getting an eggless egg salad sandwich through security than a container of eggless egg salad.

I typically don’t bring liquids through security. If you decide to bring salad dressing or hummus in your carry on (it counts as a paste), make sure you adhere to the 3-1-1 rule.

TIP: Take an empty water bottle with you and fill it when you get through security. If you want lemon water, put a cut lemon in the bottle and juice it later.

In spite of your best planning, you may find yourself out of the food you brought because of flight delays. Most major airports have healthy options, some of which are listed below.

Airport Restaurants

Airport Snacks

TIP: Gather fruit and healthy snacks. I’m always on the lookout for fruit and healthy snacks at the airport, and I buy them if I have room in my bag. You never know when you’re going to be wandering the terminal in the middle of the night when all the restaurants and shops are closed.

On the Plane

There are so many benefits to eating your own food on the plane. It’s healthy, it’s much less expensive, and you may get to share your health story with someone sitting near you as they’re eyeing your food because it looks so much better than what they have!

TIP: Ignore the drink and food carts unless you need water. Especially ignore the Biscoff cookies on Delta flights.

At Your Destination

I check into my room, unpack, and take a shower before I head to the store. This gives me a few minutes to unwind before I shop for my healthy food. If I arrive late and need to shop for groceries before the store closes, then I go directly to the store.

Grocery List Essentials

  • Salad mix
  • Spinach
  • Vegetables (for hummus)
  • Fruit
  • Sprouted bread (e.g. Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel)
  • Canned chickpeas (for salad)
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Recipe ingredients

I Feel Amazing!

Taking and making food while traveling is obviously more work than going out to eat, but it’s totally worth it. I love arriving home after a trip and NOT feeling like a hot mess because I spent a week eating food that I knew wasn’t good for me.

I also like the challenge of making creative meals in hotel rooms, using unconventional cooking techniques. I may have watched too much MacGyver as a kid. This guide was inspired by a trip to Sprouts in San Diego.

I really wanted to make Chana Masala, but I had no way to open the two cans of chickpeas I was carrying around, and I didn’t want to buy eight spices that I already had at home. That’s when I realized that a John Wayne can opener and a pre-made spice packet would solve the problem. And so it began!

After you’ve reached your destination and you’re done shopping, it’s time to make some food!

You’re going to be buying a lot of canned ingredients and won’t have access to measuring cups and spoons, so measuring requires some creativity. When one of my recipes below calls for a small can of something it means approximately 15 ounces and a large can means approximately 30 ounces.

Below are some of my go-to recipes that I’ve come up with over my travels. Trust me, if I can do this, anyone can!

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all recipes using a rice cooker assume the rice cooker lid (with plastic insert) is snapped in place during cooking.