New Hampshire is known for low taxes, a high quality of life and an unwielding commitment to living free.
Perhaps it’s time to add another item to the list: skiing.
With the White Mountains as its backdrop, New Hampshire has established itself as the go-to state for thrill seekers and snow enthusiasts alike. And Manchester, with its plethora of dining and entertainment options, is the perfect place from which to launch your excursions.
Here’s a look at five of the top (or most convenient) ski destinations near Manchester, New Hampshire:
If you look at any list of the top ski destinations near Manchester, Loon Mountain is sure to be near the top. With a 2,100-foot vertical drop, 61 trails, an array of terrain and 11 lifts, the 90-minute drive from Manchester is well worth it. Many people make the drive for the skiing and terrain park, but wind up staying for the dining and lodging, which receive rave reviews.
Single-day lift tickets start at $48 for novice skiers and climb to $95 for a Saturday or Sunday.
Bretton Woods is known as “New Hampshire’s largest ski area,” but what really sets it apart is the snow quality. Ski Magazine has ranked Bretton Woods as “#1 in the East” for snow quality for four consecutive years. Combine that with 62 trails on 464 acres and you’ve got one of the best ski destinations near Manchester that is well worth the nearly two-hour drive. It’s also one of the top-rated locations for terrain parks.
Single-day lift tickets will cost you between $60 and $90. And make sure to ask about the night skiing options.
If you’re looking for a resort that is steeped in history, look no further than the Waterville Valley Resort. For decades, it’s been a popular destination for snow lovers and ski enthusiasts from Boston, including members of the Kennedy family.
Waterville Valley Resort boasts 53 trails, eight lifts and an array of other activities for the entire family–dog sled excursions, snow tubing, indoor ice skating and nordic skiing. It’s location is just close enough to keep you close to home and work, yet hidden enough to allow you to escape, which is why it’s long been the go-to place for elected officials and community leaders to escape for a day, weekend or week in the wilderness.
With 68 trails spread across 500 acres on two mountains, Attitash offers something for everyone. There are challenging runs, wide-open cruisers and those that wind through large swaths of red spruce and balsam fir. The highlight, though, might be the New Hampshire’s original freestyle terrain parks, which offer X-Game-like opportunities to push yourself to new limits.
Attitash is in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley, two hours from Manchester.
It’s not the biggest. It won’t blow you away with altitude. And more experienced skiers aren’t likely to be pushed to their limits. But, McIntyre Ski Area is the only ski destination located in Manchester, and its a great way to spend a getaway day with the kids. With 200-vertical feet of terrain, nine trails, learn-to-ski-classes for all ages, a terrain park and eight tubing lanes, McIntyre Ski Area is the perfect place to introduce beginners to the joys of outdoor winter fun.
Full-day lift tickets are between $30 and $38, and kids ages 2-3 as well as seniors 65 and older always ride for free.
Are you still craving more adventures? Check out our free Outdoor Adventure Guide.
New Hampshire is most commonly known for being one of the 13 original colonies, fiercely independent and home to the fourteenth president of the United States, Franklin Pierce.
But those who live in the “Granite State” know something else about New Hampshire: It truly offers something for everyone–four distinct seasons.
Southern New Hampshire alone is a cornucopia of adventures for families, with vast forests begging to be explored, easy access to the ocean and a full calendar of events that makes the absolute most of each time of year.
Here is a look at a few of the most popular activities for physicians and their families in Southern New Hampshire:
Manchester was built on innovation, entrepreneurship and the textile industry, but the city has always had an artists’ soul.
Its willingness to embrace budding artists helped Manchester-raised comedians Adam Sandler, Seth Meyers and Sarah Silverman blossom into stars. But the city’s appreciation for the arts isn’t limited to the stage–it includes the fine arts as well.
Learn to sculpt and paint with wet clay at these family workshop, which are held every Saturday in Manchester. You and your children create a unique piece of art from clay. The experts at the 550 Art Center fire it and have it ready for pickup in three to four weeks.
Loudon is home to the famed New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but you will want to take your time while winding your way through more than two miles of beautiful holiday lights.
Gift of Lights | $15 – $20
The Loudon “Gift of Lights” display has become a holiday tradition for families across Southern New Hampshire. It boasts more than 60 scenes and 400 displays, including the breathtaking tunnel of lights. The display is open most evenings from 4:30 to 9 p.m. starting Friday, November 25.
Durham is located on the seacoast and in the shadows of the mountains. This makes it the perfect place to spend the day. You can hike the famous White Mountains, sit and watch the waves crash in on the Atlantic or make your way to one of the country’s oldest farms for an afternoon of traditional activities.
Emery Farms | Free to visit
Emery Farms was founded in the 1600s, making it one of the oldest farms in America. Today, it’s recognized as one of the must-visit places in Southern New Hampshire because of its fresh blueberries, apples, hayrides, cider donuts, all-natural ice cream and expansive Christmas tree offerings.
Hillsboro may not be located exactly in Southern New Hampshire, but it’s close enough and well worth the jaunt–especially if you and your family loves a good hike. Hillsboro is home to one of the premiere hiking forests in New England.
Fox Research and Demonstration Forest | Free
It’s located on nearly 1,500 acres of pristine forest. It boasts more than 20 miles of well-marked trails that wind their way through impressive pines, maples, hemlocks and birth trees. And then there is Mud Pond and the boardwalk that allows you and your family to take in all of the natural beauty from another perspective.
Southern New Hampshire is a perfect place for you and your family to have fun. You can learn about other activities by visiting VisitNH.gov. or by downloading our free adventure guide. Your family will be glad you did!
New Hampshire is justly renowned for its natural beauty and for the quietude that it affords its residents. Nevertheless, the Granite State also provides a lot of outdoor adventure for anyone knowing where to look. Here are some suggestions for outdoor adventures in New Hampshire for the more intrepid folks out there:
Ski a little – or a lot! – They are not called the White Mountains for nothing. New Hampshire offers some of the best skiing “powder” in the East. Novices and families should consider the relatively easy “green circles” at Attitash Peak while experts can definitively test their skills on the “black diamond” runs of Wildcat. Don’t miss it – skiing the “Cat” is definitely a thrilling experience.
Visit motorcycle week in Laconia – Every year since 1923, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts has ridden the renowned Gypsy Tour of New Hampshire. Originally a rally for the hardcore motorcyclists of the early 20th century, this nine-day event is now attended by riders from every state in the nation. If interested, look for it to begin or end on Father’s Day.
Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail – Running from its highest point at Grafton Notch in the Green Mountains of Maine to the foothills around the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont, the entirety of the Mahoosuc Trail in New Hampshire is certainly a hard road to travel for any but the most dedicated hikers. Still, portions of it can be navigated by the most unskilled novices on a day trip.
Flyfish the Great North Woods – As its name belies, this fishing spot is located in the most northern part of the state. Admittedly, it can get a little cold in the most northern reaches of the state but the fishing is truly phenomenal – so, wade in the river, stare intently at your line, and try to maintain a perfect drift. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Ride the rails of Mt. Washington – The Mount Washington cog railway is not your average train ride. Instead of a simple cross-country trip that traverses level terrain, this train ride ascends up the side of Mt. Washington for over a half-mile. The views are spectacular and the ride itself – the second steepest train ride in the world – is also thrilling especially if you are not comfortable with heights.
Take a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee – Whether you choose a relatively tame “foliage tour” where you just take in the scenery or opt for a more romantic sunset cruise, there are any number of excellent cruise options in the New Hampshire area. In particular, the 70-Foot replica turn-of-the-century paddleboat, the Belle, plies the waters of the lake around the Wolfeboro area.
We are proponents of work-life balance and would love to tell you more about the area and the physician opportunities at Elliot Health System. If you’d like a visual list of these ideas that you can share with friends and family, download our free resource below.
Making a move into the heart of the Manchester, New Hampshire area has many appeals. There is a rich and vibrant history here to be experienced. There are plenty of outdoor experiences that are local or within a couple of hours distance. There is so much to offer in this region that it would be beyond description to fit it all here. But, here are some great outdoor adventures in New England to consider for those who have a great love of being active.
Rip Roaring Fun on a Zip Line
Imagine hanging free with your arms and legs stretched out as you glide through the air speeding along a cable at high speed. This exciting activity gets you above the tree canopy for a grand view of the countryside.
The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is one of the most intensive and exciting zip line outdoor adventures in New England. This tour near Mount Washington is the longest zip line in New England, and it operates year round. Travel time from Manchester is about an hour and a half by car.
Skiing and Snowboarding Adventures
The New England states are the foundation of American skiing and the origin of snowboarding. There are many ski resorts throughout the entire region offering some of the best skiing in the whole country. So whether you want to make a drop down a black diamond chute or mosey along the bunny slope, there are plenty of locations for you to choose.
New Hampshire – Features ten excellent ski resorts upstate from Manchester.
Maine – Sports two resorts, which boast being open longer than all other New England resorts.
Vermont– Features not only the most 2000′ vertical slopes in the region but more miles of cross-country trails than any other ski region.
New York – While technically not considered part of New England, this part of upstate New York is not more than a few hours west of New Hampshire and offers 27 great resorts, including Lake Placid, home of the Winter Olympics in 1980.
Walking and Hiking New England
Perhaps the most relaxing way to experience some outdoor adventures in New England during time off is taking breathtaking walks or some trail hiking. Head up to the White Mountains and choose from a variety of scenic trails that vary in difficulty from easy to difficult.
For a little more adventure consider the breathtaking views along the Appalachian Trail. New Hampshire provides 161 miles of in-state trail with more miles above the tree line than anywhere else on this 2,200-mile trail that spans from Georgia to Maine.
Cycling Near Manchester
If you prefer some outdoor adventures in New England, that is closer to home then cycling the moderate difficulty 26 mile Rockingham Recreational Trail from Manchester to the village of Newfield.
If you want something a little easier and flat that the whole family can enjoy then consider taking a day along the Northern Rail Trail, which meanders, through farms and past ponds.
New England Beaches
Perhaps you would like to pursue a more relaxing day off by heading to the beaches along the New England coastline. Although New Hampshire has only 18 miles of shoreline along the coast, Hampton Beach State Park is a popular destination. Of course, there are many other beaches such as Martha’s Vinyard, Cape Cod National Seashore, or Nantucket.
Discover New England has many other outdoor activities to consider, making Manchester such a beautiful place to live and play, and working for Elliot Health System a unique opportunity for employment.
Are you still hungry for more adventure ideas?