Cultural & Historical Itineraries

A true sense of a place emerges when you explore its cultural and historical attractions, and these travel itineraries will show you the heartbeat of New Hampshire, a freethinking and culturally sophisticated yet unpretentious state. Tune in to New Hampshire Public Radio, and set out to find the authentic Granite State on one of these cultural or historical tours.

Whether you’re a history buff, an arts lover, or a shutterbug, these itineraries are jumping-off points for understanding what makes New Hampshire tick. They'll whisk you off the beaten path to see why New Hampshire is so appealing to filmmakers, painters, and photographers; how your parents or maybe even your grandparents vacationed; and what's made New Hampshire a politically strategic state for more than a century. Don't worry—it won't feel like history or art-appreciation class, and you don't have to take notes. But do take pictures of your own, as you make vacationing in New Hampshire part of your family's history and identity.

New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail
History buffs will delight in this trail of unique historic experiences! Follow the trail from Portsmouth to Plymouth for a sampling of New Hampshire's diverse museums, historic sites, and homes.

New Hampshire’s Community Social Dance Trail
Many consider New Hampshire to be the contra dance capital of the world. For centuries, community members and visitors have gathered together to swing, stomp, and dance in what is truly a New Hampshire tradition. Social dances across the United States trace their roots to the old town halls and dance floors of New Hampshire.

Culture & History Tour
Spend a two-day weekend delving into four centuries of history, architecture, and art on this tour that begins in Portsmouth. Along the way, you'll meet characters who shaped not only New Hampshire but our nation as well. You'll also visit communities where traditions from the past are lovingly preserved.

Route 3 Retro Tour
The motels, diners, and attractions that sprang up along Route 3 in the 1950s and '60s still cater to families who crave an old-school vacation experience. If you remember places like Santa's Village and Polar Caves Park from road trips with your parents, you'll love sharing these timeless attractions with your own children.

New Hampshire's Film Tour
Discover cinematic New Hampshire on this tour of movie locations and independent theaters. New Hampshire is known as the silver-screen setting for such classic films as On Golden Pond, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Jumanji.

New Hampshire's Photography Tour
Where do local photographers head when they want to capture iconic images of New Hampshire's iridescent lakes and majestic mountains? Here's your region-by-region guide to shooting spots recommended by the state's top nature and landscape photographers.

Footsteps of Lincoln
This history itinerary, devised by a fourth-grade teacher, takes you to historic sites in New Hampshire that make the past lively and exciting for kids. They're all connected with Abraham Lincoln, who spent five days campaigning in New Hampshire in 1860.

Covered Bridges
New Hampshire has 54 historic covered bridges, and this driving tour will take you to the bridges of Coos County. They may not be as famous as the bridges of Madison County, Iowa—the setting for Robert James Waller's romantic novel and its movie adaptation—but this cluster of spans along the Connecticut River enchants visitors to New Hampshire's North Country.

Forts, Castles, and Kids
New Hampshire's museums and historic sites are the opposite of stuffy and boring. And that means kids will love exploring as much as their parents or grandparents will. This itinerary shows them just how much fun learning about history, nature, and space can be.

A Romantic Winter Stroll
The walkable Seacoast city of Portsmouth is New Hampshire's holiday-season hub. Experience the joys of Christmas past while shopping for the present! The Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum—New Hampshire's oldest neighborhood—is a highlight of each year's “Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth” celebration.

Monadnock Visual Arts Tour
The region surrounding Mount Monadnock is New Hampshire's top destination for art lovers. Wander through inspiring museums and galleries, and observe artists at work in their studios. Even restaurants and cafés in the region are filled with works by local artists.

Franco-American Heritage Tour
Many French Canadians left home in the latter half of the 19th century to work in New Hampshire's textile mills. Spend a Francophile weekend discovering what life was like for these immigrants and how their language, cuisine, and culture persist in former mill towns today.