New England On A Budget - Things To Do In New Hampshire

On our 11 day trip to New England we saw many sites both historical and 21st century.  We visited one of the most populated areas in the United States and some of the least populated areas. We visited New Hampshire for only 2 days during our trip. Listed below are some of the sites we saw on our trip.
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire : Click the link for White Mountain National Forest to find the variety of activities you can see while visiting this region of New Hampshire.  Make sure you stop by the National Forest Service Station at 33 Kancamagus Hwy, Conway, NH 03818  (603) 447-5448 and get your kids sworn in as Junior Rangers. This is a fun and FREE activity your kids can do. Our time was limited and our budget was important so there were several attractions we did not see. 
Glen Ellis Falls White
Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Hiking: Hiking is a wonderful activity to do for the budget conscious family.  It is a great way to see the world, be fit, and at the same time disconnect from the digital world. Oh, and did I mention it costs little to nothing?  In the White Mountain National Forest you have to pay to park.  It is a little confusing but once you read the parking card you get when you pay, it makes sense.  Basically you pay a few dollars (I seem to remember $5) to park your car at the different hiking trails and you can use that same pass all day long at other hiking trails. We did enjoy hiking to see several waterfalls in the national forest.  However, what the websites I researched prior to going on my trip failed to mention were the massive number of black flies (buffalo gnats) prevalent in New Hampshire during June. One nice gentleman at the tourist visitor center in Conway, NH told me the black flies are worse from Mother's Day through June.  We visited the 2nd week in June. The black flies were so bad the Off brand bug repellent we sprayed on was merely an appetizer for the main course - US!! Thankfully we had on long sleeves and pants.  We even covered our faces with handkerchiefs and were still being bitten! We finally just gave up on hiking.  I think it would be fantastic to hike during the season when there are no black flies. 

Kancamagus Highway White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire: This 32 mile stretch of highway between Conway, NH and Lincoln, NH is beautiful.  You have covered bridges, hiking trails, and water falls to enjoy with short walks from the highway.  The Albany Covered Bridge is definitely worth stopping to see. Lower Falls & Sabaday Falls are beautiful as well. I can't believe how clear the water in the Swift River is! This drive has been voted the best scenic drive in all of New England.  Our only complaint, other than the black flies, was that we were there during motorcycle week and you could not enjoy the serenity due to loud motorcycles at every turn.  In Lincoln we visited the famous Clark's Trading Post.  I am not sure why it is famous as it just had high priced tourist trap junk in my opinion. 

The Weather Discovery Center North Conway, NH: The Weather Discovery Center was FREE! ( they accept donations) We found it to be very interesting. They had a film you could watch and then you explored the musuem.  One of our favorite things in the museum was the wind room. This is a great way to spend an hour or two.  i highly recommend visiting this attraction if you enjoy museums or learning about different weather types. 

North Conway Outlet Mall: North Conway, NH is home to hundreds of outlet stores in the Settler's Green Outlet Village.  We spent an afternoon shopping the stores of the outlet since we gave up hiking due to the black flies. Among other purchases we were able to find some real deals at the Brookstone Outlet. Example: leather iPad cover that was regularly $59 I got for $5.  Talk about a bargain! Also, did I mention New Hampshire has NO SALES TAX?  This is a bargain hunter's dream!

More Information About Visiting North Conway, NH Village There are many more things to see and do in this area.  I am certain a family could easily spend 4-5 days and not get bored in this area.  However, our time was limited and our budget was tight so we had to forego some of the pricey "touristy" things such as paying $28+ to drive up Mount Washington - in your own car.  Yeah you read that right $28 for a car with 2 adults, everyone extra you pay more for.  Or how about the $68 per person charge to ride the cog railroad up Mount Washington? Neither of these options were something we were willing to pay those rates to do. There are other attractions similar in this area - choose wisely where you spend your money.  You do want to have the money to vacation next year too right?