Aerial view of Meredith, New Hampshire.

8 Ideal Destinations For A 3-Day Weekend In New Hampshire

Nicknamed the "Granite State" for its abundant granite quarries, New Hampshire is rich with stunning mountain landscapes, vibrant wooded regions, and scenic lakes and rivers. Despite the state possessing only eighteen miles of coastline (the smallest coastline in the United States), New Hampshire also boasts beautiful beaches that attract tourists year-round. During New Hampshire's colder seasons, visitors are drawn to the state's vibrant autumn foliage, while warmer months lure tourists who favor the picturesque greenery. Accompanying this breathtaking natural scenery, visitors can indulge in the state's fascinating history, local cuisines, and accommodating stays. To fully take advantage of your next three-day weekend, consider New Hampshire the ideal choice for your next getaway.


Peterborough-Nubanusit Brook
Peterborough-Nubanusit Brook in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Located where the Nubansuit and Contoocook rivers meet, Peterborough is a town that welcomes nature enthusiasts from near and far. In addition to its elegantly maintained local parks and gardens (such as Putnam Park, Depot Park, and Nubansuit Terrace), visitors can relish the natural wonders found in Miller State Park, located on Pack Monadnock Mountain. Known as New Hampshire's oldest state park, Miller State Park features stunning paths to the mountain's summit. Whether you are driving the scenic 1.3 miles up the road or adventuring one of their winding hiking trails by foot, the exceptional views and surrounding landscape captivate visitors looking to reconnect with nature. For guests hoping to stay over a three-day weekend, Peterborough also offers a variety of overnight options, ranging from rural cabins to cozy inns.


Hampton Beach aerial view including historic waterfront buildings on Ocean Boulevard and Hampton Beach State Park
Aerial view of Hampton Beach including historic waterfront buildings on Ocean Boulevard and Hampton Beach State Park.

Hampton is a lively beach town with a fascinating past, known for being one of the original four coastal towns established by the Massachusetts government before New Hampshire separated. The construction of a railroad through the town in the 1800s allowed Hampton's gorgeous shores and natural landscapes to attract tourists from nearby cities, and from then on, the town's tourism exploded. The same can be said today; Hampton Beach State Park is a gorgeous display of Hampton's persisting natural beauty, and people flock to its shores as visitors did so many years ago. With miles of sandy beaches and jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic Ocean, this state park welcomes its visitors to sunbathe, enjoy the waves, and set up camp at their RV campsite. All in all, Hampton is a vibrant historical beach town with tons to explore, making it a great place to visit over a three-day weekend.


Rye Harbor aerial view in Rye Harbor State Park in town of Rye, New Hampshire
Aerial view of Rye Harbor in Rye Harbor State Park in town of Rye, New Hampshire.

Located on the Atlantic Coast, Rye is a stunning New Hampshire town that credits itself as having the longest-spanning coastline in the state. Of its beaches, Jenness State Beach is one of the town's favored spots, beloved for its relaxing sandy shores and scenic picnic areas. For beachgoers looking to ride some Atlantic waves, Summer Sessions Surf Shop is conveniently located directly across from Jenness State Beach, equipped with anything from gear rental to surf lessons, with the bonus of a cafe serving refreshing smoothies. In addition to Rye's luxurious beaches, the town is also enjoyed for its scenic marshes, pleasant local inns, and unique whale watching opportunities with Granite State Whale Watch.


Piscataqua River.
Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Situated on the southern edge of the Piscatagua River, Portsmouth is a spirited city whose vibrant history, culture, and art scene makes it an incredible choice for a three-day weekend getaway. Originally established in 1623, this historic port city once helped fuel the American Revolution with its production, trading, and selling. Today, the city honors its history with a variety of walking tours, such as a Daily Historic Downtown Tour and The Portsmouth Path of President Washington Tour, both led by the Portsmouth Historical Society from May through October. To experience the local culture and cuisine, Bow Street offers a gateway to some of the city's hottest spots, including a dazzling view of the river, the city's Seacoast Repertory Theater, and an array of delectable dining experiences. Several of these restaurants even overlook the river, including Rio Tequila Cantina, Old Ferry Landing, and River House.


Aerial view of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Settled where the Merrimack and Nashua rivers meet, Nashua is a charming and memorable city known for its close-knit community and beautiful natural landscapes. Home to over 90,000 residents, the city is the second largest in New Hampshire and offers a wide range of overnight accommodations for any traveler's needs, whether you are looking to sleep surrounded by nature in a mellow campsite or enjoy the homely comforts of a bed and breakfast. For visitors hoping to witness and experience the breathtaking views of Nashua's nature, Mine Falls Park is considered one of Nashua's most beloved and popular nature spots, adored for its miles of unique trails through the park's forest. The park also features equally impressive wetlands and dazzling views of the Nashua River.


Bay point at Mill Falls with fall foliage aerial view with Meredith Bay in Lake Winnipesaukee in town of Meredith, New Hampshire NH, USA.
Meredith Bay in Lake Winnipesaukee in town of Meredith, New Hampshire.

For those looking to enjoy lakefront views over their next three-day weekend, Meredith New Hampshire has you covered. Often referred to as "the heart of the Lakes Region," Meredith is situated among several stunning bodies of water, including Lake Waukewan, Lake Winnisquam, Lake Wicwas, and Lake Winnipesaukee, to name a few. If you are looking to stay somewhere directly on a body of water, Mill Falls at the Lake is a resort nestled on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith. In addition to its remarkable waterfront views, the resort attracts guests with its luxury spa services, sensational dining opportunities, and on-site activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, aqua cycling, and social bonfires.


Odd Fellows Hall at 115 Water Street in historic town center of Exeter, New Hampshire
Odd Fellows Hall at 115 Water Street in historic town center of Exeter, New Hampshire.

Located in Rockingham County, Exeter is a darling New Hampshire town whose picturesque streets, historic charm, and natural beauty entices visitors to explore everything it has to offer. Over a three-day weekend, guests can visit and stroll one of the town's many beautiful natural and historic areas, such as Swasey Parkway. Originally created with the intention of beautifying the urban waterfront, this enchanting historic walkway serves as the town's pride and joy. In the 1920s, philanthropist Ambrose Swasey famously proposed the walkway's creation, and within just a few years, the once unexciting stretch of riverfront was transformed into the community's favored gathering place. Today, Swasey Parkway carries a similar beauty and significance, offering impressive views of the Squamscott River and a gateway to Exeter's Main Street, making it an ideal stroll for visitors looking to explore.


Aerial View Of Berlin, New Hampshire.
Aerial View Of Berlin, New Hampshire.

Based in northern New Hampshire, Berlin is a gorgeous city located on the pitch of the Androscoggin River. In addition to the beautiful riverfront views, visitors love Berlin for its inviting markets, charming shops, and pleasant downtown, while nature enthusiasts flock to the city for its access to the magnificent White Mountains. Nestled on the northern side of this mountain range, Berlin grants explorers access to Jericho Mountain State Park, just a few miles from the city's downtown. This White Mountain park welcomes visitors to explore its miles of scenic riding trails, as well as its breathtaking views of Jericho Lake, a body of water ideal for lakeside picnics, swimming, and canoeing. For nature lovers looking to surround themselves in the fresh mountain air for an overnight stay, Jericho Mountain State Park also offers an array of campsites, including tent areas, cabins, and RV sites, each with comfortable washroom facilities and access to a beach.

When visiting New Hampshire, there is something spectacular and fulfilling for any type of traveler. For your next three-day weekend, whether you hope to relax by a soothing waterfront or hike a rugged mountain trail, consider one of these spirited communities for your next destination. New Hampshire's contagious sense of community and stunning natural wonders will have you wanting to come back the first chance you get.


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