Weekend Getaways

June 2 – 4: International Experience

Festive dancing, whiskey tasting and ethnic foods make Jaffrey a worthy destination this June.

Not to Miss:
With piping, dancing, heavy athletic competitions and sheepdog demonstrations, the 8th Annual Southern New Hampshire Scottish Games are a great way to enjoy a June afternoon in southwestern New Hampshire. Held June 3 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Silver Ranch, the event includes live music by Greenwich Meantime, Charlie Zahm, The Barley Boys and Halali. (603) 924-9986, snhscotcelt.org

Along the way:

Get into the swing of things Friday night, when the Inn at Jaffrey Center hosts a whiskey tasting at 5:30 p.m., followed by Greenwich Meantime, who will be piping up some Scottish tunes at the VFW Hall.

After a day of sword dancing and Highland flinging, you may want to work out some kinks with a N.H. Maple Glow Massage at the Grand View Inn’s spa. (603) 532-9880, thegrandviewinn.com

Still have some energy? Make way for Monadnock. This 3,165-foot mountain is said to be one of the world’s most popular hiking destinations. (603) 532-8862, nhstateparks.org

Kimball Farm: A perfect summertime destination — with 40 flavors of ice cream, such as Kahlua Crunch, Mocha Almond Assault, Moo Tracks or Caramel Cashew Chip. (603) 532-5765, kimballfarm.com

Where to stay: Spa treatments aren’t the only way to relax at Jaffrey’s Grand View Inn and Resort. Check into one of the nine suites ($100-$250) for an overnight stay and enjoy a dinner at the inn’s restaurant, Churchill’s. And while you’re in the area sample the American/French menu at Aylmer’s Grille. (603) 532-4949, aylmersgrille.com

June 9 – 11: A Tasteful Walk in the Woods

Summer is about to hit full stride and the beauty of the season is in full bloom. Head up to the Squam Lakes region for short hikes, a beautiful garden, a sunset boat tour on Golden Pond and fresh farmstead ice cream.

Not to Miss:

Kirkwood Gardens Day on June 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plant sales and more. Free admission. A light lunch available at the café. Entrance on Rte. 3 or through trails via the Squam Lake Science Center. (603) 968-7194, nhnature.org

Sunset boat tour of Squam Lake. (603) 968-7577, squamlaketours.com

Castle in the Clouds for viewing, touring and hiking, Rte. 171, Moultonborough, $10. (603) 476-2352, castleintheclouds.org

Along the way:

Frozen strawberry-rhubarb custard at Heritage Farm Creamery at 16 Parker Hill Rd. in Sanbornton. Their rich custard uses eggs and milk from animals on the farm. (From 93 north, Exit 20, turn east onto Laconia Road, straight ahead for 4 miles. Turn left at Heritage Farm sign onto Bay Road. Continue for 2.8 miles.) (603) 524-8188

Ice cream, sorbets and farmstead cheeses from the Sandwich Creamery off the beaten track in North Sandwich. sandwichcreamery.com (From Rt.113A, turn onto Wing Road, then take a right onto Hannah Road.)

Two-mile hike up West Rattlesnake Mountain for majestic views of Squam Lake. (From the south, .5 miles east from the Rockywold and Deephaven camp sign on Rte. 113, walk out of parking area and turn right. The Old Bridle Trail entrance is about 100 yards, just before a private driveway.)

Where to stay: Wrap yourself in luxurious comfort at the Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness ($235-$450). Guests have use of a private beach on Squam Lake. The bar is a very cozy place to unwind before dinner at the inn. (800) 545-2141, manorongoldenpond

Where to eat: Sunday Brunch at the Cornerhouse Inn in Sandwich — they have seven kinds of eggs Benedict.

June 16 – 18: Strolling Nashua

In Nashua, one of the state’s largest cities, Main Street and the Millyard are chock full of surprises. Explore downtown: You’ll find boutiques, galleries, restaurants and more around every corner.

Not to Miss:

Art Walk Nashua, June 17, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. What better way to familiarize yourself with area artists? A monthly event, the art walk incorporates fine arts and crafts, artist demonstrations and live music amid historic architecture. A Walk in the Park Murals and Jewelry, Amethyst Wyldfyre, Art Clay Studio, Chimera Gallery, Gallery One at the Mill House and Precision Body Arts are all included. greatamericandowntown.com

Along the way:

Boutiques along Main Street offer prime shopping opportunities. From the Handbag Boutique’s unique collection of bags to the home décor, jewelry, furniture and more found at Beckonings and Scontsas Fine Jewelry & Home Décor.

Have a sweet tooth? Pastries, cakes and chocolate abound. Patisserie Bleu, Swan Chocolates and Riverwalk Cakery & Coffeehouse are all on Main Street.

Soak up some sun and breathe some fresh air. Mine Falls, a 325-acre island park in the middle of the city, offers a network of walking and biking trails accessible from Nashua High School South or behind Hannaford’s at the Nashua Mall.

Where to stay: The luxury of the Crowne Plaza Hotel ($99-$129) can’t be beat. It’s also a great place for Sunday brunch outside on their deck. (603) 886-1200, crowneplazanashua.com

Where to eat: Eat seafood alfresco at the award-winning Surf Seafood (603-595-9293, surfseafood.com) or indulge in Villa Banca’s sweet butternut squash ravioli (603-598-0500, villabanca.com). The Black Orchid Grille on Temple Street (603-577-8910) has a comfortable atmosphere for sipping martinis.

June 23-25: Family Fun

School’s out! Kick off the summer with a getaway to the heart of the White Mountains. Enjoy a Main Street festival, hike to a waterfall with your picnic basket, stroll the streets of a historic town and take a train ride the kids will love.

Not to Miss:

Olde New England Days on Main Street in North Woodstock — artisans, crafters, music, food and fun on Saturday, June 24. lincolnwoodstock.com/events/

Ride on a steam-powered train at Clark’s Trading Post on Rte. 3 in North Woodstock (603-745-8913,clarkstradingpost.com). Watch out for Wolfman!

Take a picnic to Beaver Brook Cascades (lincolnwoodstock.com/vacation/waterfalls.php) — picturesque cascades .5 miles in, next to a very steep section of the Beaver Brook Trail. Trailhead is on Rte. 112 at Kinsman Notch, 6 miles west of Rte. 3, N. Woodstock.

Along the Way:

Whale’s Tail Waterpark in Lincoln (tickets $18; advance tickets $13).

(603) 745-6621

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves at Kinsman Notch in North Woodstock — an hour-long self-guided tour through glacial caves, steep-walled gorges and a river that appears and disappears.


Make your own sundaes at Udderly Delicious at 121 Main St. in Lincoln (603-745-6668). The ice cream is homemade.

The quaint town of North Woodstock has lots of unique shops, great for browsing. visitwhitemountains.com

Where to Eat: For an informal lunch or dinner, try the Woodstock Station, an original train depot not far from Main Street. Open 11:30 a.m. (800) 321-3985

Where to Stay: Mountain Club on Loon (800-229-7829, mtnclub.com) or Woodward’s Resort (603-745-8141, woodwardsresort.com), both in Lincoln. Mountain Club ($117-$227); Woodward’s Resort ($95-$135).

June 30 – July 4: Red White and New

Perhaps the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th as a permanent gift to summer vacationers. This weekend in and around New London blends all the pleasures of the season — picnics, beach blankets, parades, ice cream and cold beer — underneath a bright patriotic banner.

Not to miss:

July 1 is Flare Night and fireworks on Pleasant Lake in New London.

July 2 Fireworks on Lake Sunapee by the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club.

The New London Barn Playhouse features “Grease” on July 1 and 2 and “West Side Story” on July 4. (603) 526-6710, nlbarn.com

The Andover 4th of July is pure Americana, with festivities on the beautiful grounds of Proctor Academy on scenic Rte. 4. Get there before 11 a.m. or else you’ll miss out on the strawberry shortcake and the children’s bicycle parade.

Along the way:

Ruggles Mine, off Rte. 4 in Grafton. “The Oldest and Most Spectacular Mica, Feldspar, Beryl and Uranium Mine in the U.S.A.” Open daily. Adults $20, children $10. (603) 523-4275

Ragged Mountain Resort and Golf Club in Danbury offers many summer events and an 18-hole course that’s been called a “mountain masterpiece.” (603) 768-3600, ragged-mt.com

Where to Eat: Enjoy haute cuisine at the recently refurbished New London Inn (800-526-2791) and have a burger at the Anchorage on Lake Sunapee, the spot where Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith first met.

Where to Stay: Inn at Pleasant Lake, 125 Pleasant St., New London is a historic inn with private beach and view of Mt. Kearsarge. (603) 526-6271, innatpleasantlake.com

July 7 – 9: Mountain Music

Stay cool during these hot summer days with an excursion to Plymouth, at the foot of the White Mountains. See a celebrity performance at a renowned music festival, tour a glacial rock garden, paddle down a river and get a relaxing massage.

Not to Miss:

New Hampshire Music Festival at the Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth (nhmf.org). Filmmaker Ken Burns will be featured at the Festival Pops Series narrating Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” on Sat., July 8. Price ranges from $20-$65. Series runs through Aug. 16. Call for tickets to the Festival Pops soon at (603) 279-3300. Ken is a big draw.

While you’re there, take in the Glacial Rock Garden at Polar Caves Park (www.polarcaves.com) — giant-sized rocks strewn by the glacier.

Relax, float. Kayak, canoe or tube the Pemigewasset or Baker River — Rhino Bikeworks at 1 Foster St. offers guided trips. rhinobikeworks.com,

(603) 536-3919

Along the Way:

Spa at the Common Man Inn, 231 Main St., Plymouth, thecmaninn.com, (603) 536-2200. Make advance reservations.

Explore the Bristol area for views of the lake, and stop by Ironhorse Metal Works and its Earthly Treasures artisan gallery and gift shop. (800) 480-0380, ironhorsemetalworks.com

Where to Eat: Have dinner at the Pasquaney Restaurant & Wild Hare Tavern at the Inn on Newfound Lake at 130 Mayhew Tpke. in Bridgewater. The dining room overlooks the lake. (603) 744-9111, newfoundlake.com

Where to Stay: The Glynn House Inn Bed and Breakfast ($139-$259), a restored Victorian on a quiet, tree-lined street off of Rte. 93 in Ashland. Convenient to hiking, boating and other White Mountain activities. (603) 968-3775, glynnhouse.com

July 14 – 16: Fortitude

Rich in history, Charlestown offers a beautiful rural weekend escape on the shores of the Connecticut River.

Not to Miss:

The Fort at No. 4 celebrates the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War this summer and features the Artisan & Sutler Trade Fair on July 15 and 16. This reconstructed settlement from the 1740s, uses costumed interpreters to convey the fort’s story. The fair will feature 18th-century demonstrations of blacksmithing, carpentry, fabric dying, hearth cooking and more. Adults $8, seniors (65 and up) $6, Youth (6-12) $5. Children younger than 6 free. fortat4.com

Along the Way:

Every year Charlestown hosts a town-wide yard sale, with proceeds benefiting scholarship programs at area schools. This year more than 100 sales will be held throughout the town on July 15.

Forest Hill Cemetery. With graves dating back to the 1740s, this is definitely a destination for history buffs. Look for the graves of Fort at No. 4 patriots. Find the cemetery running parallel to Main Street.

Drop by the Town Clerk’s office to pick up a guide to Main Street’s Historic District. (603) 826-5821

While in Charlestown, enjoy lovely views of the Connecticut River from Patch Park. Located off Douglas Street, 16 acres contain a playground, baseball fields and picnic spots.

Where to stay: The Dutch Treat — the charming accommodations of this bed and breakfast ($109-$149) can be found in close proximity to the town’s main attractions at 355 Main St. (603) 826-5565, thedutchtreat.com

Where to Eat: You can’t go wrong with Burdick’s Café in Walpole for lunch, brunch or dinner. Reservations necessary for dinner. While there, stock up on their sublime chocolate. Look for the seconds, they taste just as good. (800) 229-2419, burdickchocolate.com

July 21 – 23: Seacoast Sojourn

New Hampshire’s seacoast is only 18 miles long, but it’s packed with all kinds of fun things to do. So grab your sunscreen and head toward the sunrise. See a concert at a vintage venue, take a dinner cruise, walk through formal gardens and dig your toes in the sand.

Not to Miss:

The Indigo Girls performing at the historic Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, 169 Ocean Blvd., on Sunday, July 23. Get tickets ($32-$34) in advance. (603) 929-4100, casinoballroom.com

Take a dinner cruise on the M/V Thomas Laighton, which plies the smooth waters of the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor. Friday nights. Reservations required. Adults, $38; child, $19. (603) 431-5500, islesofshoals.com

Fuller Gardens is a short ride north to North Hampton. It’s one of the few remaining estate gardens of the early 20th century with 1,500 rose bushes. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (603) 964-5414, fullergardens.org

Along the Way:

Travel scenic Rte. 1A north to Portsmouth — you’ll find beautiful seaside mansions, Odiorne State Park and the Seacoast Science Center, the quaint town of New Castle and the Wentworth by the Sea grand hotel and Portsmouth’s eclectic mix of shops and fine restaurants (portsmouthnh.com).

Where TO Eat: In Hampton, Ron’s Landing, a restored 1920s home with oceanfront dining, at 379 Ocean Blvd. (603) 929-2122, ronslanding.com

In Portsmouth, new-to-the-restaurant-scene Dunaway Restaurant at Strawbery Banke, 66 Marcy St. Creative rustic American cuisine. (603) 373-6112,

Where to Stay: Enjoy oceanfront views at Ashworth-by-the-Sea ($140-$220), 295 Ocean Blvd., Hampton Beach. Great dining there, too. (603) 926-6762, ashworthhotel.com

July 28 – 30: Art on High

One of the most beautiful spots in the state is Saint-Gaudens Estate. Wander through sculpture gardens and take in the view of Mt. Ascutney while listening to dulcet tones on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Not to Miss:

Saint-Gaudens Historical Site, home of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Rte. 12A, between West Lebanon and the Windsor-Cornish bridge. Sunday concerts at 2 p.m. free with the $5 admission. Easy hiking trails, too. (603) 675-2175, sgnhs.org

Kayaking or canoeing down the Connecticut River with North Star Canoe Livery on Rte. 12A in Cornish. Float under the Windsor-Cornish Bridge, the longest in the state. (603) 542-6929

Along the way:

The Cornish Colony Museum, Main Street, Windsor, Vt. Summer showing of Maxfield Parrish and other Colony members is scheduled. (802) 674-6008,


The American Precision Museum, Main Street, Windsor, Vt. See the art in yesterday’s technology. (802) 674-5781,


A trip to Hanover opens a world of possibilities on the campus of Ivy League Dartmouth College. The AVA Gallery in Lebanon is worth at least an hour or two of exploring. (603) 448-3117

Where to eat: Bistro Nouveau, lunch and dinner in Claremont. (603) 542-8000, bistronouveau.com

For the ultimate in French dining, the Home Hill Inn in Plainfield. (603) 675-6165, homehillinn.com

Where to stay: Chase House Bed and Breakfast Inn ($150-$225), Rte. 12A, Cornish. Historic home set on 160 acres across from the Connecticut River. (603) 675-5391, chasehouse.com

August 4 – 6: Moose Spotting

Is it on your life list to see a moose in the wild? Your best bet is to head as far north as roads will take you and look for swampy areas in the early morning or dusk into evening. Organized tours know the way of the moose.

Not to Miss:

Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin moose tours. Three-hour tours ($20) leave around 6:15 p.m. from the park. Make a reservation for Friday evening and in the morning visit the park to get a glimpse of the logger’s life in the early 1900s. Take a river tour (90 minutes), city tour (60 minutes) and an easy, narrated walk (60 minutes) that will fill you in on the cultural roots of Berlin. Closed on Sundays. northernforestheritage.org

Along the way:

If you are staying at The Balsams, sign up with their local guides for an evening tour. They have permission from N.H. Fish and Game to use spotlights for those evening encounters.

See moose by kayaking and hiking into their habitat with Lucie Laplante Villeneau of Outdoor Escapes. outdoorescapesnh.com

North Woods Rafting runs rafting tours down the Androscoggin every day of the week. Get a little wet and see osprey and eagles, and when returning from evening trips, spy an occasional moose along the roadside. northwoodsrafting.com

Where to eat: Libby’s Bistro in Gorham is a transcendental dining experience. Reservations are most necessary because the secret is out. (603) 466-5330

Where to stay: At the Wildberry Inn ($89-$139) in Shelburne owners Bob and Jackie Corrigan can give you a few more tips for enjoying nature north of the notch. (603) 466-5049, thewildberryinn.com

August 11 – 13: Fiddles and Berries

Find old-fashioned family fun during a weekend in Richmond.

Not to Miss:

The 4th Annual Richmond Blueberry Fiddle Festival with music by New York’s Lime Hollow Boys, music workshops, dancing, traditional folk games and races, blueberry bake-off, auction and more. August 12, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Along the Way:

Wildflowers are in bloom at Rhododendron State Park throughout the summer. Though the peak blooming season for the rhododendron grove is in mid-July, trails through the thicket of giant rhododendrons are shaded and cool. Bring mosquito repellent. Rte. 119W, Fitzwilliam. (603) 532-8862, nhstateparks.org

In its 46th year of business, The Yankee Smuggler Antiques specializes in 18th- and 19th-century Americana. Call ahead for an appointment. 122 Fitzwilliam Rd. in Richmond. (603) 239-4188, yankeesmuggler.net

Chesterfield Gorge on Rte. 9, approx. one-half mile east of the east entrance to Rte. 9A and Spofford Village. The .7 mile-long trail through a natural gorge provides dramatic views of the cascading waters of Wilde Brook.

Where to Stay:

The Fitzwilliam Inn ($110-$175) offers accommodations, but also serves delicious meals in the restaurant. (603) 585-9000, fitzwilliam.org/ftinn.htm

August 18 – 20: Action in Jackson

Summer’s drawing to a close, so pack in all the fun you can. Head to Jackson for a weekend of arts and crafts, a gondola ride with spectacular views of the White Mountains, 18 holes of golf with more spectacular views and a bicycle race up Mt. Washington.

Not to Miss:

White Mountain Arts Festival in Jackson, Aug. 19-20, at Jackson Park, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m, respectively. Selected artists and craftspeople will sell their work at this juried event.

(603) 383-8500

Take a scenic gondola ride to the 4,000-foot summit of Wildcat Mountain in Pinkham Notch. Views of Mt. Washington and eastward to the Atlantic. Open daily, weather permitting. Check out the Lunch & Ride packages, $49.95, two adults, two juniors. (603) 466-3326

More great views of the White Mountains can be found while golfing (18 holes) at the Wentworth Golf Club at Jackson Village, Rte. 16A, Jackson. (603) 383-9641, wentworthgolf.com

See what’s called “the toughest hillclimb race in the world” Friday, Aug. 19 — the 34th annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. (603) 447-6991, hillclimb@tinmtn.org

Along the Way:

Don’t miss the Ravenwood Curio Shop in Jackson Village, a unique handmade house full of handmade items. Next to the fire station. (603) 383-8026

Picnic at Jackson Falls — on the federally designated “wild and scenic” Wildcat River. Off of Rte. 16B.

Where to Eat: Wildcat Tavern, Rte. 16A, Jackson. Breakfast to dinner. Enjoy an award-winning garden. (603) 383-4245

Where to Stay: Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa ($195-$360), Thorn Hill Road, Jackson. It overlooks Jackson Village and has great views of the White Mountains. (603) 383-8062, innatthornhill.com

August 25 – 27: The Allure of the Big Lake

The lure of the big lake is irresistible. Wolfeboro is filled with people who loved Winnipesaukee so much they moved in next door. They are a friendly bunch and have lots of things to share, like great museums and a fabulous music festival. More than you can fit in a weekend, really, but you can try.

Not to Miss:

The Great Waters Music Festival is a summer-long concert series on the lakeside greens of beautiful Brewster Academy. If you arrive a day early (Aug. 24) you can see the très cool Manhattan Transfer in the coolest possible environment.

The weekend of the 25-26 is the annual sidewalk shopping sale with virtually every downtown business offering special deals and displaying wares alfresco. Check out Black’s gift shop, which has been a local fixture since 1800. The Kalled Gallery features an amazing collection of artisan works including Jennifer Kalled’s jewelry design.

The Wright Museum presents WWII from the homeland perspective and is a fascinating and memorable place to spend a few hours.

Along the Way:

The remarkable Libby Museum of natural history is a few miles north of town on Winter Harbor Way and the view alone is worth the drive.

The American Home Gallery, 49 Center St., is home to a collection of antiques and products themed for a summer cottage interior.

Where to Eat: 51 Mill St. is the name and the location of a great restaurant with a small patio, generous crab cakes and sublime chocolate desserts. On the same inlet, on Bay Street, is Wolfetrap Grill and Rawbar. (603) 569-1047

Where to Stay: The Wolfeboro Inn ($185-$275) is an elegant, accommodating inn, founded in 1812, but lacking nothing in comfort. Don’t miss the excellent Sunday Brunch, served 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (800) 451-2389

Labor Day Weekend: Littleton is Grand

The most ironically titled holiday weekend is a great excuse to get away from it all. But if you want to get far from the mainstream and not have to “rough it” there’s no better place than Littleton. It’s like New Hampshire’s Shangri-La, a small town in the middle of nowhere that preserves the charm of the past without sacrificing creature comforts.

Not to Miss:

Downtown Littleton is a destination in its own right, with the world’s longest candy counter at Chutters Store and the historic Thayer Inn, complete with ghost. The Littleton Diner and Jax movie theater complete the time warp illusion. No trip here is complete without posing for a photo with the Pollyanna statue on the Library lawn. Author Eleanor Porter grew up nearby. The Littleton Bike Shop, open 7 days a week, rents bikes for $20 a day. (603) 444-3437

The Weathervane in Whitefield produces award-winning theatre all summer in its signature “alternating rotating repertory”: The season ends this weekend with a musical review on Friday and a theatrical review on Saturday with two shows.

Tickets $25. (603) 837-9322

Along the Way:

Nearby Bethlehem is home to the longest continually running movie theater in the U.S. The historic Colonial Theater shows movies nightly through the summer, many of them foreign and art films that rarely are screened north of Boston.

Where to Eat: Miller’s Cafe and Bakery at 16 Mill St. is where the locals eat, and it’s perfect for visitors with great views of the Ammonoosuc River from each of its two decks. Free WiFi is provided.

Where to Stay: The Beal House Inn at 2 W. Main St. ($135-$215) has a European feel to its suites and dining area. Each room has character and quirks, but a three-course gourmet breakfast comes with each night’s stay. The Beal House “global cuisine” menu is superb and they offer one of the most extensive menus of martinis and rum drinks found anywhere. (603) 444-2661, bealhouseinn.com NH