6 Notable Things About New Hampshire

New Hampshire– We spent several weeks in June exploring the beautiful New Hampshire landscape and enjoying a retreat from overcrowded suburban sprawl. Focusing most of our New Hampshire stay on natural scenery, we began in the Dartmouth area, ventured into the Laconia lake region, onwards into the White Mountains, and finished our tour by coming down the small coastal section of the state. Throughout our journey, here are a few things that stood out about New Hampshire along the way:

White Mountains

The White Mountains are a breathtakingly majestic setting that dominates the New Hampshire landscape. I am sure this range was most likely named for the snow that covers their great expanses in the winter, but when we visited in June, they were frequently blanketed with a covering of white mist and low hanging clouds. Giving them a mysterious and romantic feel worthy of their name.

Lobster rolls

We were caught off-guard, as we had not expected this traditional New England treat to have such a strong presence throughout New Hampshire. Especially since only a tiny portion of the state actually touches the Atlantic Ocean. Even when we were deep inland, lobster roll shacks were a frequent occurrence throughout our travels. One of our favorite lobster rolls came from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which we highlighted in this prior post dedicated entirely to lobster rolls!

Over the hill

As a sometimes jogger, and not a good one, it felt like I was always running uphill- in. every. direction! Granted, we spent the majority of our time in and around the White Mountains, but this is a small and slender state, and there aren’t many areas that aren’t close to the White Mountains. A lack of sidewalks and a plethora of hills made this a tough state to casually go for a run in.

And the award for the “Most Extreme State Motto” goes to…

One of the things we like to do when we reach a new state is to check out the license plates. Often filled with state symbols and/or state mottos, New Hampshire was no exception in that respect. It was, however, a bit jarring to read “Live Free or Die” on every car we passed. Certainly an incentive to not cut anyone off!

Canadian influence

Being a border state, it was very apparent what an important influence Canada holds in this region. Also, French was widely heard in conversation everywhere, which is not something we are accustomed to in other parts of the country. It is clear that tourism is largely focused on Canadian visitors. Street signs displayed both miles and kilometers the further north we went, “Welcome to New Hampshire” signs contained both French and English, and vending machines everywhere cautioned against using Canadian coins.

Red squirrels

Squirrels are a common critter throughout the U.S., but most traditionally a grey squirrel variety. Throughout New Hampshire, we encountered, with great frequency, a breed we do not normally see. One that has reddish hair and is much smaller in body size than the grey squirrels found predominantly elsewhere. Because it was so different from the squirrels we normally see, it stuck out and we enjoyed spotting them and photographing them along the way!

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