New England is famous for its fall foliage. All the brilliance of fall is on display in this New England state. New Hampshire has mountains, lakes, and trees, making it a perfect choice for a fall road trip. You can stay in a country inn, drive through romantic covered bridges, and experience the multicolored leaves in a variety of ways.
Places to Visit in New Hampshire in Fall
The White Mountains
In the north of the state are the lofty White Mountains, of which Mount Washington is the star. ￼Mount Washington is the tallest peak in the northeast, standing at 6,288 feet. The White Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountain range, and the AP Trail runs along with the range. If you want to take a moderate hike on a bit of it, try the Lonesome Lake Trail.
Where to Stay in the White Mountains
Most of the towns in the White Mountains have an associated ski resort. They all have their own unique personality.
North Conroy is my least favorite of the big mountain towns, only because it is so touristy. But it has one of my favorite breakfast spots around, some excellent places to stay, and a plethora of family activities. It has many local shops and inns, but also major shopping outlets.
White Mountain Hotel & Resort
This gorgeous property is nestled at the base of Cathedral Ledge. Search for your room in this dream property.
The Cranmore Inn
This family-friendly bed and breakfast is one block away from downtown North Conway. Search for your room here.
Darby Field Inn
This bed and breakfast sits on its own secluded property in the woods. Find a room at the Darby Field Inn.
Jackson is a charming town, just about 10 minutes outside of North Conway, with access to all the fun without the crowds. It even has its own covered bridge.
This elegant country inn was built as a private home for a daughter’s wedding gift in 1869. It has a fabulous restaurant and bar. Look for your room at The Wentworth.
A small town built around the Attitash Ski Resort. This town has a grownup, outdoorsy feel but also contains the family theme park, Storyland.
A town built around the Loon Ski Resort that is great for families. Lincoln is is the town my family has spent the most time in. Read about all the reasons that we love it.
Where to Eat in the White Mountains
Vintage Bakery, Bartlett
A great spot for coffee and croissants.
Peaches, North Conway
I have been to this breakfast and lunch stop multiple times because I love it so much. It has a precious prayer room in the middle of the country-style building on North Conway’s main street, White Mountain Highway. I recommend that you have the stuffed French toast and a peach ice tea.
Ledges in the White Mountains Inn
Whatever you do in Conway, you will likely view this large hotel nestled below a large granite rock face. Be sure to make reservations, especially in foliage season.
The Wentworth Hotel, Jackson
Beautifully plated food in the elegant dining room of a historic building.
Vito Marcello’s, North Conway
Italian family dining requiring a reservation.
The Common Man Restaurant
The Common Man is a local chain of restaurants providing family dining in historic buildings with unique American food. Two of my favorite locations are the barn in Lincoln and the old church on the water at The Lakehouse Grille in Meredith.
Spend Your Next Two Days in New Hampshire’s Lake Region
In southern New Hampshire, spend a few days in the Lake Region. There you will find Lake Winnipesaukee and the Squam Lakes.
Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New England and lies in the foothills of the White Mountains.
My favorite lake town is the upscale Meredith. Think white colonial houses on the autumn colored banks of a large blue lake- definitely, the stuff autumn dreams are made of.
My go-to place to stay in Meredith is the Mills Fall on the Lake. I recommend staying in the building on the water, as this is a complex of buildings. It has a lawn on the lake, a spa, and the yummy Lakeside Grille, a Common Man with spectacular views.
Foliage Drives to Include on your New Hampshire Fall Road Trip
Drive The Kancamagus (The Kanc)
This 35-mile drive on Route 112 will bring you through some of the best foliage in New England. There are multiple spots to take easy hikes and see waterfalls. Be sure to pull over on the scenic lookouts. Be aware that there will be crowds and traffic during leaf-peeping season.
Spots to Stop and Hike or Explore on the Kancamagus Highway
- Sabbaday Falls
- Lower Falls
- Albany Covered Bridge
- Rocky Gorge Scenic Area
- Sugar Hill Overlook
- CL Graham Wangan Overlook
Cruise Along Bear Notch Road in Bartlett
Part of the beauty of this drive is the lack of crowds! There are also multiple pull-offs with great views.
Follow the Lakes Region Tour
This route will take you completely around Lake Winnipesaukee.
What to do in the White Mountains
Continue reading for What to Do in New Hampshire in Fall.
When is the Best Time to Visit New Hampshire to See Beautifully Colored Fall Leaves
It is hard to predict when peak foliage will be. It ranges from the middle of September to the end of October. Peak foliage moves from the north to the south. The beginning of October is a safe time to visit, but it is definitely not a guarantee. You can follow Visit NH’s Foliage map for up-to-date predictions. The best way to see the best foliage is to book flexible travel.
Read on for more New England Bucket List items.
12 thoughts on “4-Day Fall New Hampshire Road Trip”
We love to explore home in Canada in the fall. But I must admit we have always wanted to go to New England in the fall. Those views out over the White Mountains just can’t be beat. Your route to see the fall leaves looks like a good one to follow. Especially if we will find waterfalls too! One year for sure.
I didn’t know a foliage drive was a thing (we don’t get the same fall colours in Australia…) but it looks like a perfect road trip to celebrate the arrival of fall…
What does fall look like in Australia.
What an idyllic time of year to see the fall foliage. Stopping in on these quaint towns, staying at these lovely inns you’ve shared and taking a few of those short hikes to see some waterfalls sounds perfect.
New England in the fall really is a dream destination! The fall colours are stunning in your pictures. The drive along the Kancamagus sounds fantastic – that’ll be top of my list when I get a chance to visit.
I think maybe next year I will have to take Darcee Leaf Peeping up in New Hampshire. In particular, I think she would love to pretend to be all upscale and hang out in Meredith. Those views from the Lawn at Fall Mills on the River would be perfect with a cocktail and a cigar just watching the world float by! Plus with all the amazing places to eat, I may have to be rolled up the White Mountain!
I would love to visit New England in the fall! And I haven’t been to New Hampshire yet, so fall would be the perfect time. I would love to do a foliage drive or a hike.
The foliage is the best here, but I may be biased.
This is beautiful. I didn’t know about all this. The Lawn at Fall Mills on the River photo was beautiful. I really will have to consider taking this trip.
Wow New Hampshire looks stunning in fall! I’m from Canada and thought we did fall best but now I’m rethinking it
This is a lovely itinerary. Very well thought out and doable. Thank you!
Wow that view towards mount washington looks great. Great reccomendation for the Derby inn. A friend of mine stopped there on her way south and said the owners were really warm and welcoming. She’s planning to head back there and explore the white mountain area for longer in spring.