4 favorite Granite State sites to show your out-of-town guests

Photos courtesy of Stacy Milbouer

By Stacy Milbouer

October 30, 2023

It’s that time of year. Out-of-state relatives are coming up for a long weekend to celebrate the holidays, and you only have one free day available for sightseeing. So, where will you take your in-laws to show them what a great state New Hampshire is to visit? Well, we’ve got something for everybody—mountains, lakes, oceans, streams, forests, and more. But don’t overlook the city for museums, cafes, and plain old culture. These are four of the top places we’ve taken our “flatlander” friends when they come to town, and they’ve never failed to impress.

Pickity Place – 248 Nutting Hill Road, Mason

This is a storybook destination over the river and through the woods. We mean that literally. The little red cottage where the restaurant is situated was the inspiration for Elizabeth Orton Jones’ illustrations for the 1948 Little Golden Books version of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Pickity’s gift shop is filled with Riding-hood-obilia, and a room set up exactly as it appears in the book with a life-sized “Grandma” (furry snout and all) waiting in bed for an unsuspecting Red. Not only does Pickity offer a five-course herbal menu which changes each month, but there’s also a gift shop and nursery. Call 603-878-1151 for reservations.  

Currier Museum of Art – 150 Ash St., Manchester

This gem is considered one of the finest small museums in the country with a permanent collection of 15,000 objects, including works by well-known artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Andy Warhol. There’s also an entire house built by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Currier offers rotating exhibits, artist events, and classes. After taking in the culture, visitors can nosh at the Winter Garden Café and browse the gift shop for unique mementos.

Seacoast Science Center – Odiorne State Park, 570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye

Your landlocked guests will love a visit here, especially if children come along. The center is all about educating people about New Hampshire’s small but vital coastal environments and how to protect them. You can explore teeming tidal pools, both outside the museum and in. The Edge of the Sea inside the center is an exhibit with three cold-water touch tanks filled with animals and a variety of seaweed that can be found on the New Hampshire coast. Reach in and touch crabs, urchins, baby lobsters, and hard-to-find critters like nudibranchs, sea cucumbers, and brittle stars.

Kancamagus Highway – Route 112

Who doesn’t love a family drive? It’s fun and it’s free. If you really want to show the out-of-towners the beauty of our state, head way north to Route 112 to the Kancamagus Highway, or “the Kanc” as we call it in these parts. This Designated Scenic Byway is a 34-mile drive through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Northeast. You’ll ride through the White Mountain National Forest with views of the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls, and Rocky Gorge. Just remember to fasten your seat belts! The Kanc takes you to an elevation of just under 3,000 feet at its highest point. Don’t look for gas stations, restaurants, or any businesses on your ride—this drive is just about nature.

Author

  • Stacy Milbouer

    Stacy Milbouer is an award-winning journalist and has covered New Hampshire for many publications including the Boston Globe, New Hampshire Magazine, and the Nashua Telegraph.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | THINGS TO DO

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