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Scenic drives in NH range from coast to snow-capped mountains

New Hampshire has places to stay and scenic drives any time of year from any direction and to any point in the mountains, along the coast, near pristine lakes. Travel on state highways and scenic byways, cross over mountain passes, along lumber trails and the Connecticut River - straight through the heart of New England. The coastal byway touches Portsmouth and the beaches of Rye, Hampton, and North Hampton. The Kancamagus Scenic Byway is a place of spectacular beauty as the seasons and the colors change. Circle Lake Winnipesaukee on a special journey through the lakes region.

Constitution House in Vt on Ct Scenic Byway
See more beautiful images of New England by Massachusetts photographer Jeff Folger.
Spring Lakeside Drive in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire - Lakes Region NH Tourism Association
Lakes Region Tourism Association

61 Laconia Road Tilton, NH, 03276 Phone: 603-286-8008 Toll-Free: 800-605-2537

Scenic drives are a great way to get to know Lakes Region and experience its beauty, charm

There is so much to see and do in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire - a good way to begin is by taking one of the many scenic drives that show off the area’s vibrant autumn foliage, going past lakes and rivers and through inviting New England towns. The Lakes Region Tour offers views of lakes, mountains and villages and takes you past the amusement parks and arcades of lively Weirs Beach, NH. Take the Lake Sunapee Tour and drive along a scenic shoreline (stop and take a boat tour!). The River Heritage Tour crosses the Pemigewasset River and past working farms. You’ll see covered bridges and Colonial homes on the Currier & Ives Trail. A small, charming tour begins in the Canterbury Shaker Village and goes past stone walls and pre-revolutionary homes.
Elevated Views - Mount Washington Auto Road - Gorham, NH
Mt. Washington Auto Road

Route 16, Pinkham Notch Gorham, NH, 03581 Phone: 603-466-3988

Astonishing sights, breathtaking mountain views along the famous auto road

Drive yourself or take a guided tour: Either way, the sights are astounding along the famous Mt. Washington Auto Road. Opened in 1861, the road is the oldest man-made tourist attraction in the country, with more than 45,000 vehicles driving it each year. You’ll see why when you drive up to the summit, the highest peak in the Northeast, gazing out over multiple states to the Presidential Range and beyond. There are several scenic pull-offs, with mini hikes, along the way as you travel through four distinct ecological zones. At the summit, there’s a cafeteria and the Mt. Washington Observatory Museum, as well as the Tip Top House, the oldest surviving summit building. You can also take a guided tour or, in winter, a SnowCoach tour to the tree line.
Currier & Ives Scenic Byway

Routes 202, 103 and 127 Henniker, Hopkinton, Warner, Webster, and Salisbury Concord, NH Phone: 603-226-6020

This scenic byway, in south-central New Hampshire, just a bit west of the capital city of Concord, is named after Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives, who became very popular artists in the late 1800s through their dreamy images evoking a pre-industrial, rural American past. This byway brings many of those bucolic images to life in real time on a peaceful drive through these very typical New England towns. Henniker invites you to visit the New England College art gallery, along with shops and restaurants facing the Contoocook River. Photograph the area’s covered bridges and stone walls – no two look exactly the same. Shop at farm stands. It’s a gorgeous drive. Byway map.
lakes region scenic byway
Connecticut River Byway

Length: 498.7 miles

This byway travels along the Connecticut River in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, for a distance of 500 miles, passing through the heart of New England.
Kancamagus Scenic Byway
Kancamagus Scenic Byway

Route 112 Lincoln to Conway, NH Phone:

Length: 26.5 miles

Known fondly as "the Kank," the Kancamagus Scenic Byway passes through the heart of the White Mountains between the towns of Lincoln and Conway. It is a place of spectacular beauty. During fall foliage season, this is the place for splendid vistas, vivid color, and all of the glory of Mother Nature. Map of Kancamagus Scenic Byway.
Lakes Region Byway

Length: 97 miles

This byway circles Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest and most scenic lake in New Hampshire. The lake is superb for boating, swimming, and fishing. This route travels around Lake Winnipesaukee and sometimes follows lots of tiny little jogs of roads; see map link below for details. For a less traveled route, take Route 25B from Meredith east to Center Harbor. This route winds through the hills north of Winnipesaukee and is a less traveled. Map of Lakes Region Byway
white mountain trail
White Mountain Trail

Length: 100 miles

The White Mountain Trail crosses through a least three mountain passes -- or notches -- in rugged mountains. Marvelous mountain views in the White Mountains National Forest. Passes near the Appalachian Trail. Map of the White Mountain Trail.
Coastal Byway - New Hampshire
Coastal Byway

Route 1A Portsmouth to Seabrook, NH Phone:

Length: 18.5 miles

This byway runs along New Hampshire's only coastline. It touches the delightful and historic port city of Portsmouth, which brims with interesting shopping, dining, culture, and outdoor recreation, and it includes the beaches of Rye, Hampton, and North Hampton. The state's coastline is short but well-supplied with water fun and interesting small cities.
Woodland Heritage Trail

Routes 3, 110, 16 and 2 Lancaster, Northumberland, Groveton, West Milan, Milan, Berlin, Cascade, Randolph, Jefferson, NH Phone:

Length: 65 miles

The route travel through the wood-producing area of the state in and near the White Mountain National Forest. A significant attraction on this route is the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, which celebrates the lumbering industry in the Granite State.