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New Hampshire Best Attractions 2012

New Hampshire Best Attractions 2012
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BEST SCULPTURE PARK
Andres Institute of Art, Brookline
Art and nature cohabitate beautifully on Big Bear Mountain with more than 60 sculptures from around the world. Eleven trails lead visitors by works such as Contempo Rustic, a couch fashioned from slabs of rock and metal, or Mbari House, a house-shaped granite-and-metal totem to peace and friendship. Free. 98 Route 13. 603-673-8441; andresinstitute.org

BEST STONE-AGE EXPERIENCE
America’s Stonehenge, North Salem
No need to cross the big pond to experience Stonehenge: This manmade maze of walls, rock formations, and chambers will at the very least pique your curiosity as to who might have been responsible for creating this astronomically aligned calendar. 105 Haverhill Road. 603-893-8300; stonehengeusa.com

BEST BOARDWALK
Flume Gorge, Lincoln
The Jersey Shore it’s not, but New Hampshire’s version of a boardwalk ushers visitors along a natural gorge dropping 800 feet. Listen for the thunder of 45-foot Avalanche Falls at the top of the Flume. Off Route 3. 603-745-8391; nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/flume-gorge.aspx

BEST UPHILL JOURNEY
Mount Washington Cog Railway
Hold on to your hats (and stomachs) as you climb the highest mountain in the Northeast aboard this engineering marvel. Once powered by wood-fired boilers, the Cog can now transport riders to the 6,288-foot summit compliments of biodiesel engines. Off Route 302. 800-922-8825, 603-278-5404; thecog.com

BEST BOTANICAL STROLL
Rhododendron State Park, Fitzwilliam
Named for its 16-acre grove, a National Natural Landmark, bursting with Rhododendron maximum blossoms in mid-July, the 2,723-acre reserve is the state’s only botanical park. Look for wildflowers such as Indian pipe and woodland asters also blooming throughout the park, and listen for ruffed grouse, white-throated sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. Route 119 West. 603-532-8862; nhstateparks.org

BEST UNCONVENTIONAL ZOO
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, Holderness
Visitors here get a closer look at animals hailing from the Granite State. Meander along marsh boardwalks, meadows, and forests to see river otters, bobcats, black bears, and more, or cruise Big Squam Lake to spy loons and bald eagles. 23 Science Center Road. 603-968-7194; nhnature.org

BEST ARCHITECTURAL GEM
Zimmerman House, Manchester
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, this is the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in New England that’s open to the public. Built in 1950, all of the interiors, furniture, gardens, and even the mailbox were designed by Wright. 150 Ash St. 603-669-6144; currier.org

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