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New Hampshire Attractions 2009

New Hampshire Attractions 2009
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by in May 2009

ATTRACTIONS

Best Historic Walking Tour:
PORTSMOUTH HARBOR TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS TOUR, Portsmouth
Delve into the city’s rich past on this hour-long walking tour of Colonial residences and historic landmarks, and hear the stories of early townspeople (merchants, politicians, and laborers) who helped build it into a four-star destination. Call for seasonal schedule. Reservations recommended. Greater Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, 603-610-5510, reservations 603-436-3988; portsmouthchamber.org

Best Revolutionary War Experience:
AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE MUSEUM, Exeter
The Ladd-Gilman House and Folsom Tavern were pivotal meeting places in the 1770s. Today these historic buildings contain exhibits documenting early New Hampshire history and the role New Hampshire colonists played in founding a new nation. 1 Governors Lane. 603-772-2622; independencemuseum.org

Best short family hike:
PONDICHERRY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Jefferson
A level 1.5-mile hike (the State Rail Trail) takes you to a platform with sweeping views of Cherry Pond and the White Mountains. Off Airport Road. Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, 413-548-8002; fws.gov/r5soc

Best Children’s Theme Park:
STORY LAND, Glen
Most parents who were raised in New England visited here as kids. You’ll see why the tradition continues when you ride the “Turtle Twirl,” watch the “Farm Follies” barnyard show, and more. Route 16. 603-383-4186; storylandnh.com

Best Way to Keep Your Cool:
KAHUNA LAGUNA, North Conway
Surf’s up way up north, thanks to the 40,000-square-foot aqua park at Red Jacket Mountain View Resort. You’ll find two tube slides, two body slides, wave and swimming pools, a water basketball court, and one big (25-person) hot tub. 2251 White Mountain Highway. 603-356-5411; kahunalaguna.com

Best Roadside Attraction:
SHRINE TO OUR LADY OF GRACE, Columbia
Find more than 50 monuments at this open-air venue. A favorite sculpture represents the annual “Blessing of the Motorcycles” held here each June. Route 3; columbianh.org/theshrine.htm

Best Kids’ Rainy-Day Activity:
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, Dover
Two floors feature old favorites such as “Dino Detective,” plus new exhibits where kids can try on masks, get a bird’s-eye view of the Cocheco River, and play with kaleidoscopes. 6 Washington St. 603-742-2002; childrens-museum.org

Best Covered Bridge:
CORNISH-WINDSOR BRIDGE, Cornish
The country’s longest wooden bridge (450 feet) features lattice trusses and rough-hewn boards. It spans the Connecticut River and connects to Vermont, but New Hampshire lays claim to it. Off Route 12A. Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce, 603-543-1296; claremont.accountsupport.com

Best Scenic River Drive:
THIRTEEN-MILE WOODS, Berlin/Errol
Even the U.S. Postal Service agrees with us. Last May, it issued a Scenic American Landscapes series stamp of this section of forest and river. Places to picnic, go bird- and moose-watching, take pictures, and enjoy the natural springs and undeveloped beauty. Route 16. 603-482-3906; umbagogchambercommerce.com

Please Note: This article 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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