Clark's Trading Post named best New Hampshire attraction

Hampton Beach takes second place

Rugged and authentic, the Granite State has long attracted visitors with its mountain peaks, forested lakes and scenic valleys – a heaven for outdoor adventure. Colonial history is alive and well in New Hampshire, from larger settlements like Portsmouth to pristine New England villages like Keene and Meredith. 

Kancamagus Highway
New Hampshire's scenic Kancamagus Highway runs through the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. During the height of autumn color, the 34-mile stretch is one of New England's most popular spots for leaf-peeping.  Photo courtesy of iStock / DenisTangneyJr
Lost River Gorge (North Woodstock)
At the Lost River Gorge in Kinsmen Notch, visitors can explore a deep gorge created by glacial activity over the course of millions of years. Boardwalks wind through the gorge and caves, while nature trails offer more ways to enjoy the scenic White Mountains. Photo courtesy of Bryn Pinzgauer / Flickr
Franconia Notch State Park (Franconia)
Situated in the heart of White Mountain National Forest, Franconia Notch State Park protects a stunning mountain pass extending from the spectacular Flume Gorge to Echo Lake. Highlights of a visit to the park include walking through the gorge or seeing the park from above aboard the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. Photo courtesy of iStock / Baber Photography
Strawbery Banke Museum (Portsmouth)
When the first settlers arrived in the area now known as Portsmouth, they found wild strawberries growing on the banks of the Piscataqua River. The 10-acre Strawbery Banke Museum, an outdoor history museum, offers insight into the lives of these settlers through 38 homes and structures dating from 1695 to 1820. Photo courtesy of Ken Gallager / Wikimedia Commons
Story Land (Glen)
Story Land brings favorite children's fairy tales and nursery rhymes to life. The park's two dozen rides and attractions include Alice's Tea Cup, Buccaneer Pirate Ship, Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach, Swan Boats and an antique German carousel.  Photo courtesy of Mark Goebel / Flickr
Mount Washington Cog Railway (Mount Washington)
Passengers aboard the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire enjoy a 3-hour tour to the highest peak in the Northeast, 6,288-foot Mount Washington. The first cog-driven train made the climb on July 3, 1869, and today – nearly 150 years later – the Mount Washington Cog Railway is a National Historic Engineering Landmark. Photo courtesy of Mount Washington Cog Railway
Mt. Washington Auto Road (Gorham)
The Mount Washington Auto Road, once known as the Mount Washington Carriage Road, extends for 7.6 miles from New Hampshire Route 16 to summit of Mount Washington, climbing 4,618 feet along the way. Private cars who make the journey on the toll road get a bumper sticker proclaiming, "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington." Photo courtesy of Famartin / Wikimedia Commons
Santa's Village (Jefferson)
It's Christmastime all year long at Santa's Village in Jefferson. This holiday-themed amusement park features rides like Santa's Express Train, Reindeer Carousel, Little Elf Flying School, Yule Log Flume and the Skyway Sleigh. Park goers can also meet with St. Nick himself, attend Elf University or feed Santa's reindeer. Photo courtesy of Santa's Village
Hampton Beach
The most popular beach in the area, Hampton Beach has been a popular seaside destination since the turn of the century. The wide, sandy beach has warm water perfect for swimming and a 3-mile boardwalk complete with arcade games, snack stands, palm readers and saltwater taffy confectioners.  Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism
Clark's Trading Post (Lincoln)
One of New Hampshire's most popular family-friendly attractions, Clark's Trading Post offers a little bit of everything: Chinese acrobats, a steam train, water raft ride, climbing tower, magic show, antique photo booth and five museums located along a recreated Victorian Main Street. Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

We asked a panel of New Hampshire travel writers to nominate their favorite state attractions, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites. The results are in!

The top 10 winners in the category Best New Hampshire Attraction are as follows:

  1. Clark's Trading Post - Lincoln
  2. Hampton Beach
  3. Santa's Village - Jefferson
  4. Mt. Washington Auto Road - Gorham
  5. Mount Washington Cog Railway - Mount Washington
  6. Story Land - Glen
  7. Strawbery Banke Museum - Portsmouth
  8. Franconia Notch State Park - Franconia
  9. Lost River Gorge - North Woodstock
  10. Kancamagus Highway

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Kim Knox Beckius (EverythingNewEngland.com) and Eric D. Lehman were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in New Hampshire.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions.