Best Time to Visit - 9 min read

Best Time to Visit New Hampshire (Fall Foliage & Gorgeous Scenery!)

Alaina Johnson

Alaina Johnson, Updated November 13, 2022

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New Hampshire is a popular New England state and provides tourists with an extensive list of activities and museums to visit. You can opt to hike in the White Mountains or visit Portsmouth and explore New Hampshire’s oldest settlement. There is truly something for everyone in the small state.

The best time to visit New Hampshire and skip the fall crowds is during the springtime, between April and June. The weather stays in the high 50s, which makes exploring the outdoors enjoyable. You can expect hotels to be around $105 per night if you book early, which is 12-15% lower than prices during the peak of tourist season.

New Hampshire is a beautiful place to visit year-round. If you can’t make it in the spring, booking a winter vacation enables you to enjoy the snow and all that it has to offer, such as skiing and tubing.

When is the Worst Time To Visit New Hampshire?

Depending on what you’re looking to get out of your trip to New Hampshire, you may find that certain months prevent you from enjoying the activities you had planned on.

June and July are the rainiest months in the state, so if you’re looking to hike and explore the great outdoors, your plans may be dampened.

If you don’t enjoy sub-40 degree temperatures, then it’s best to avoid New Hampshire from December through February, as highs stay under 39°F (3.9°C). However, those looking to ski and snowboard may very well enjoy these months as it’s perfect for such activities.

For those who don’t particularly care about changing fall colors, then the autumn season coincides with the busiest time in the state.

If you don’t want to get caught up in crowds of tourists, then consider avoiding traveling to New Hampshire between October and early November.

When is the Cheapest Time to Visit New Hampshire?

For budget travelers, the most cost-effective time to visit New Hampshire is between the first week of January and mid-March. The weather is often cold and you can expect some snow, which may delay flights and make getting around the state a bit difficult.

Another window of opportunity to snag a cheap flight and a discounted hotel rate is between August and early September. The fall colors haven’t quite turned yet, which generally happens mid to late September. However, the weather is pleasant and you can go hiking and explore the beauty of the state.

If you’re looking to travel into New Hampshire but are sticking to a tight budget, there are cheaper hotels and vacation rentals in less prime parts of the state. While you may not be staying in the middle of a city, you can drive to an array of activities nonetheless.

Best Time to Visit New Hampshire? Monthly Breakdown

January: Winterfest at Concord

January is often the coldest month in New Hampshire, so pack accordingly. Temperatures range between 34°F (1.1°C) and 20°F (-6.7°C). Nights will be chilly, especially if you go to an outdoor festival.

There are several winter events in the state, all of them family-friendly. Pack the kids up and enjoy carnival games and warm apple cider.

  • Winterfest at Concord
  • Nansen-Milan Winter Festival
  • Winter Carnival in Hooksett

Related Read: 17 Best Romantic Getaways in New Hampshire

February: Best Time to Watch the Dog Sleds

Due to expected temperatures being between 37°F (2.8°C) and 22°F (-5.5°C), you’ll want to pack warm outerwear. There are many festivals still occurring that celebrate the cold temps.

Depending on where you find accommodations, you can expect icy roads. In the larger cities, this is often remedied by salt and it will be safe to drive once the ice melts.

  • Keene Ice & Snow Festival
  • World Champion Sled Dog Derby
  • Remick Ice Harvest & Winter Carnival

March: Best Time to Enjoy Maple Syrup

March warms up a bit, with highs hitting 44°F (6.7°C) and lows staying below freezing at 30°F (-1.1°C). If you’re a fan of sticky sweet maple syrup, there are several events celebrating the delicacy.

For those looking to bring a little piece of Naw Hampshire back home with them, you won’t want to miss out on the Made in NH Expo.

  • March Maple Madness
  • Made in New Hampshire Expo in Manchester
  • Sap Gathering Contest at Stonewall Farm

Related Read: 15 Best New Hampshire Hiking Trails

April: Earth Day Celebration

With Earth Day occurring on the 22nd, this is a great time to pick up litter and enjoy the beautiful hiking trails in the area. New Hampshire has no shortage of striking views and green outdoor spaces.

Tourists can expect the weather to range between 55°F (12.8°C) and 39°F (3.9°C).

  • Annual 5 Colleges Book Sale
  • NHTP’s Annual Storytelling Festival
  • Earth Day Celebration in Auburn

May: Best Time to Eat Chowder

If you’re traveling during the month of May, pack clothes for temperatures of 65°F (18.3°C) to 48°F (8.9°C). Whether your love chowder or have never tried it, you won’t want to miss out on the annual Chowderfest in Waterville Valley.

Memorial Day can be a busy time in the more populated areas and may lead to increased hotel rates if you book last minute.

  • Wildquack Duck Race & Music Festival
  • Chowderfest and Brews at Waterville Valley
  • Memorial Day Weekend Craft Festival in Meredith

Related Read: 20 Cabin & Treehouse Rentals in New Hampshire

June: Best Time to Go Hiking at a State Park

In June, the weather stays comfortable and perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking in a nearby state park or visiting Echo Lake Beach. Tourists can expect temperatures ranging from 74°F (23.3°C) to 57°F (13.9°C).

If you’re interested in visiting the White Mountains, this is the prime time to do so. There are various trails that are accessible for all ability levels, so you can bring the kiddos along as well for a family-friendly adventure.

  • New Hampshire Bacon & Beer Festival
  • Market Square Day in Portsmouth
  • Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Event

July: Head to the Beach

With highs hitting 80°F (26.7°C) during July, you’ll want to head to one of New Hampshire’s beaches to cool off and enjoy the sun’s rays. Lows still drop down to around 63°F (17.2°C) during the evening, so pack a light jacket.

There are several fun summer festivals in the state, in cities such as Plymouth and Hillsborough. Make sure you don’t miss out on the firework displays on the 4th of July!

  • New Hampshire Music Festival in Plymouth
  • Hillsborough Summer Festival
  • American Independence Festival in Exeter
  • Annual Canterbury Fair

August: Best Time to Watch Hot Air Balloons

Young children will likely enjoy watching the colorful hot air balloons take flight, which is an annual event in Suncook Valley. This is the perfect place to bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxed afternoon.

In August, expect temperatures ranging from 78°F (25.5°C) to 62°F (16.7°C).

  • Suncook Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally
  • Hampton Beach Children’s Festival
  • North Country Moose Festival
  • Jericho ATV Festival

September: Best Time to Enjoy Seafood

Weather generally sticks between 71°F (21.7°C) and 55°F (12.8°C), making for pleasant afternoons and cool evenings. If you enjoy seafood, you can check out the annual festival on Hampton Beach.

If your trip is between mid and late September, you’ll be treated to the changing colors of the foliage.

  • Exeter UFO Festival
  • Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
  • Winchester Pickle Festival
  • Annual Fairy House Festival in Portsmouth

Related Read: 15 Best Waterfalls in New Hampshire

October – Best Time to Enjoy the Changing Colors

For many people, fall in New Hampshire is second to none. The colors of the trees and foliage begin to change into fiery orange and red colors, making for a striking aerial view. Taking a scenic drive through the wooded areas is highly recommended to enjoy this natural wonder up close.

You can expect the weather to stay between the range of 60°F (15.5°C) and 44°F (6.7°C). You’ll want to pack a sweater so that you can head out to an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch. If you want to celebrate German culture, head on out to the Oktoberfest held in the White Mountains.

  • Annual Apple Harvest Day
  • Warner Fall Foliage Festival
  • Milford Pumpkin Festival
  • White Mountain Oktoberfest

November: Christmastime at Santa’s Village

Holidays are gearing up during November in New Hampshire and you can head out to several events celebrating the time of year. Cider Monday is a popular day, providing even more reason to drink a glass.

For the most part, the weather will stay above freezing temps. Highs are usually around 49°F (9.4°C) and lows dip down to 35°F (1.7°C).

  • Gift of Lights in Loudon
  • Keene Holiday Craft Show
  • Cider Monday
  • Christmastime at Santa’s Village

December: Ice skating at Nestlenook Farm

One of the best New Hampshire activities in December is to head to a Christmas tree farm and choose the perfect one. You can even cut it down yourself if you’re willing to operate a handheld saw.

Naturally, the weather will be cold with highs averaging 39°F (3.9°C) and lows dropping down to 26°F (-3.3°C). It’s nothing that a warm cup of hot chocolate won’t fix, however.

  • Little Indonesia Holiday Bazaar
  • La Salette Shrine Festival of Light Display
  • Ice skating at Nestlenook Farm
  • Visit Christmas tree farms in the area

When Is The Best Time to See Fall Foliage in New Hampshire?

There’s nothing quite like the picturesque colors of fall that appear every year in the state of New Hampshire. In fact, it’s not uncommon for tourists to plan their vacations around this natural wonder.

If you want to ensure that you don’t miss the changing colors, you’ll want to book your trip between mid-September and mid to late October.

Keep in mind that these months can also be some of the busiest in the state with tourists flocking in. You won’t be alone in trying to enjoy the fall activities, such as apple picking and cider drinking. New Hampshire is a bustle of activity during the fall time.

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