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New Hampshire Best Attractions 2010

New Hampshire Best Attractions 2010
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by in May 2010

Best Yarn and Accessories
HARRISVILLE DESIGNS, Harrisville
A riot of colorful wools and woven creations, this shop is set at the heart of a photogenic mill village where woolen yarn has been spun since 1794. 41 Main St. 800-338-9415 (products), 603-827-3996 (workshops); harrisville.com

Best Hiking Maps and Guides
THE MOUNTAIN WANDERER, Lincoln
Owner Steve Smith edits the AMC’s White Mountain Guide and hits the trails year-round. His small shop is a trove of maps and books on hiking, biking, birding, and fishing. Check out Smith’s illustrated weekly blog. 57 Route 112. 800-745-2707, 603-745-2594; mountainwanderer.com, mountainwandering.blogspot.com

Best August Christmas Shopping
LEAGUE OF NH CRAFTSMEN’S FAIR, Newbury
More than 200 of the Granite State’s premier craftspeople sell their work during this nine-day extravaganza. Now in its 77th year, the show is set for August 7-15 this year at Mount Sunapee Resort. 1398 Route 103. 603-224-3375 (League), 603-763-2416 (fair office); nhcrafts.org

Best Artist Co-Op
ARTISTIC ROOTS, Plymouth
Quilted backpacks, eye-catching woven scarves, glassware, jewelry, and handmade furniture by local crafters are the reasons to check out this arts center in the middle of Plymouth’s lively downtown. 75 Main St. on the Common. 603-536-2750; artisticroots.com

Best Wildlife Experience
SQUAM LAKES NATURAL SCIENCE CENTER, Holderness
Wooded paths lead to wildlife, from otters to black bears to mountain lions. You can view them safely but often up close, in ways wonderfully geared to kids. 23 Science Center Road (off Route 113). 603-968-7194; nhnature.org

Best Vintage Theater
COLONIAL THEATER, Bethlehem
One of the oldest surviving movie theaters in the U.S., this restored Art Deco facility is now a venue for art films and documentaries plus live performances, from children’s storytelling to nationally known musicians. 2050 Main St. (Route 302). 603-869-3422 (office), 603-869-5603 (box office); bethlehemcolonial.org

Best Beach
WELLINGTON STATE PARK, Bristol
A lovely strand on Newfound Lake; the water is so clear that you can see fish swimming by your toes, and it’s just enough out of the way to be generally uncrowded. West Shore Road (off Route 3A). 603-744-2197; nhstateparks.org

Best Family Mountaintop Excursion
LOON MOUNTAIN GONDOLA SKYRIDE, Lincoln
Pick up a treasure map before boarding the gondola to search the summit caves for legendary gold. Plus a playground, an artisans’ village, walking trails, and the view from 3,050 feet. 60 Loon Mountain Road (off Route 112). 800-229-5666, 603-745-8111; loonmtn.com

Best National Historic Landmark
CANTERBURY SHAKER VILLAGE, Canterbury
These 25 buildings on nearly 700 acres of rolling fields and woods were “heaven on earth” to the people who came here to live and worship. Today, you can glimpse their paradise, as the on-site museum demonstrates the Shakers’ simple yet joyous and creative lifestyle. Be sure to lunch at The Shaker Table restaurant. 288 Shaker Road. 603-783-9511; shakers.org

Best Art Fix
CURRIER ART MUSEUM, Manchester
The state’s largest art museum celebrates its recent 33,000-square-foot expansion. Sol LeWitt’s whimsical Whirls and Twirls mural is one of the newer additions to an eclectic collection that includes American and European superstars. 150 Ash St. 603-669-6144; currier.org

Best Paddling
NORTH STAR CANOE LIVERY, Cornish
Housed in the barn of a working riverside farm is the oldest canoe service on the Connecticut River. Patrons are shuttled to put-ins either 4 (half day) or 12 (full day) miles above the iconic Cornish/Windsor Bridge, to paddle back down with the current. 1356A Route 12A. 603-542-6929; kayak-canoe.com

Best Summer-Stock Theater
THE BARNSTORMERS, Tamworth
Founded in 1931, the resident company stages a new show–usually a beloved old chestnut–every week of the season. Built in the 1820s as a store and home to The Barnstormers since 1936, this is one of the most appealing theaters around, with 282 comfortable seats, plus air conditioning. Open mid-May thru August. 100 Main St. 603-323-8500; barnstormerstheatre.org

Best Zipline Experience
BRETTON WOODS CANOPY TOUR, Bretton Woods
There’s really nothing like flying through the sky with the Presidential Range in your face. The guided three-and-a-half-hour tour across a series of nine treetop ziplines ($110) requires a reservation, but the 20 minutes on the Williwaw Racing Zip is first-come first-served ($15). Omni Mount Washington Resort, Route 302. 603-278-4947; mountwashingtonresort.com

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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