The Granite State
New Hampshire is in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, and Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. In general, the spring months are a bit chilly and often rainy, summers are mild and very pleasant, fall days are beautiful while winters are cold and snowy. Some of the most popular sites within the state include Lake Winnipesaukee, the historic cities of Concord and Portsmouth, White Mountain National Forest and its numerous ski areas. To travel around the state, you will need to book a bus or train ticket. For more information: visitnh.gov.
Jump to: Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions | Arts & Culture | Sports & Recreation | Outdoor Activities | Food | Local Festivals | Housing Resources | Transportation | Health & Safety | Help Your Community
Add some local history to your cultural exchange experience by visiting a nearby historical site or tourist attraction when living and working in the U.S.
Fort Constitution Historic Site was built in the early 19th century and used during the War of 1812. The ruins of the fort are now located in a state park and can be visited today on New Castle Island near Portsmouth.
Museum of New Hampshire History in Concord has exhibitions, educational programs and events about the heritage and traditions of New Hampshire.
The Robert Frost Homestead is a farm where Frost and his family lived from 1900-1911 and many poems from Frost have been associated with the area. Visitors can take tours, view exhibits and listen to poetry readings at the farm, which is now a state park.
Tip Top House at Mountain Washington State Park is a former hotel built in 1853 and now on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is open from May to October. Mount Washington State Park is accessible by car, many hiking trails and the Mountain Washington Cog Railway.
White Island Historic Site is home to the White Island Lighthouse, an important historical landmark in New England first built in 1820. The island and lighthouse can be seen on one of many island cruises departing from the Portsmouth area.
Hampton Beach is a popular summer destination for New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine, and has many tourist attractions and historical sites to enjoy. When you're not spending time on the beach, visit the Blue Ocean Discovery Center or see live music at the Casino Ballroom.
Located just north of Hampton, Portsmouth features many quaint shops, restaurants and attractions. Learn more about the city on a Portsmouth Harbour Trail guided tour. Tours run from June to late October and last for about one hour.
The Tuck Museum in Hampton, NH is run by the Hampton Historical Society and features historic buildings, artifacts and monuments and information on the history of the Hampton area.
Visit the Hilltop Fun Center in Somersworth for fun activities like batting cages, laser tag, mini golf, arcade games, go karts and a golf driving range.
- NH Bike Tours
- North Woods Rafting
- Osprey Fishing Adventures
- Outdoor Escapes New Hampshire
- Raft NH
- Still Waters Run Deep Kayaking, Hiking and Snowshoe Tours
Concord, New Hampshire state house. Photo by Jared C. Benedict.
The United States offers a wide variety of cultural learning opportunities through the arts. Dance, music, theater, opera, art museums and festivals are just some of the options available to international visitors who wish to learn more about the U.S. and its culture.
Currier Museum of Art features European and American painters, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including work from famous artists like Picasso, Monet and Georgia O’Keefe. The museum also offers tours of the Zimmerman House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Music Hall is a performing arts center in Portsmouth. Artists and performers from around the world come to the Music Hall. Films, events and special programs are also held at the hall.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is the former home, studios and gardens of famous American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Visitors can take tours, listen to summer concerts, follow nature trails and view Saint-Gaudens artwork while visting the historic site.
Other arts and cultural attractions in New Hampshire include:
- Alumni Hall, Haverhill
- The Colonial Theater, Bethlehem
- Dana Center for the Humanities, Manchester
- Granite State Symphony Orchestra, Concord
- Nashua Chamber Orchestra, Nashua
- Opera New Hampshire, Manchester
- Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Portsmouth
- Silver Center for the Arts, Plymouth
- Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry
Many Americans are passionate about sports – and not just baseball and football! Get a glimpse into this part of American culture by watching or participating in a favorite U.S. sport or recreational activity in your local area.
Recreation in New Hampshire
SkyVenture Indoor Skydiving lets visitors feel what it’s like to skydive without getting into an airplane. No experience is necessary and children from ages 3 and up are eligible to participate.
The New Hampshire Sports & Social Club is an organization that runs sports tournaments and social events for men and women 21 years and older. Play sports like kickball, softball, basketball, dodgeball and football and meet other young people during and after the game.
Skiing is the official state sport in New Hampshire so there are plenty of opportunities to ski and snowboard at one of the 19 alpine areas in the state. Learn more about cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Outdoor Activities section of the New Hampshire guide.
For information on soccer and other sports leagues in the Hampton Beach area, check out the Seacoast United soccer club website.
College Sports Teams
UNH Wildcats are the college sports teams of the University of New Hampshire. Visitors can see basketball, hockey, baseball, football, soccer and other sports from both men and women’s teams.
New Hampshire in autumn. Photo by Someone35.
The United States is home to a variety of landscapes and climates to suit all types of outdoor activities. The courageous traveler can find extreme sports and outdoor adventure tours, while others may want to keep both feet on the ground in a national park or forest. Whatever your interests, take advantage of the many outdoor activities available during your time in the United States.
The White Mountains of New Hampshire provide many opportunities to hike and climb, including hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail. Visit HikeSafe before planning a hiking trip to read safety tips, weather information and to learn how to stay safe on your hike in New Hampshire.
Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in New Hampshire. Visit the Fish and Game Department website for information on safety tips, tournaments and other details on ice fishing in the Granite State.
Visit the New Hampshire Parks & Recreation website for a great map of parks and hiking and walking trails throughout the state.
Hampton Beach Area
Hampton Beach is a popular vacation destination for visitors and residents throughout New England. During summer, free outdoor concerts, fireworks, free movies and other special events take place on the beach.
Fun outdoor activities on the water in Hampton Beach include boating, fishing & whale watching trips, swimming, kayaking, surfing and more! Check out more information on the five state park beaches on the seacoast of New Hampshire.
One of the best ways to experience cultural exchange is through food and cooking. Visitors will enjoy exploring the regional specialties and local cuisine during their time in the United States.
The Boston region to the south, French-Canadian culture from the north and traditional New England foods influence New Hampshire cuisine. Local specialties include maple syrup, dairy products, apples and seafood.
The New Hampshire Farmers’ Market Association lists seasonal farmers’ markets and shares what fruits and vegetables are currently in season in New Hampshire.
Seacoast Growers Association lists several farmers’ markets in Durham, Hampton, Dover, Exeter and Portsmouth.
- Restaurant Week New Hampshire, May
- Chowder Festival, Portsmouth, June
- Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, Hampton Beach, September
- NH Fish and Lobster Festival, Portsmouth, September
- Pumpkin Festival, Keene, October
For a unique and local perspective on American cultural, be sure to check out festivals and events near your cultural exchange program location. These events are a fun and interesting way to interact with locals and to learn more about American culture by experiencing it firsthand.
New Hampshire Highland Games in September are a celebration of Scottish culture. Music, dance, food and athletics events are held over three days in Lincoln, NH and the festival is one of the biggest Scottish cultural festivals in the Northeast.
Each June, the Sand Sculpture Competition comes to Hampton Beach. Sculptors compete to win big prizes and a chance to go to the World Championships, and visitors also get to vote for their favorite sculpture. The sculptures stay on the beach for weeks after the competition so visitors can see them after the competition ends.
Sail Portsmouth brings tall ships to Portsmouth each July. Visitors can board and tour the ships, take sailing trips, and enjoy live music, food vendors and exhibits around Portsmouth.
The White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival in August is an outdoor blues festival with music, food and crafts vendors, fireworks and other activities in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth is an annual event supporting independent films from local and international filmmakers. Educational programs and discussions are also held throughout the October festival.
The New Hampshire Music Festival in Meredith is a long-running festival that presents many classical musical concerts at the Silver Center in Plymouth State University over the summer.
Each holiday season, the Light Up The Night Festival takes place in Bethlehem, NH. This festival has many holiday-themed events, including a gingerbread house contest and a grand tree lighting.
Main Street in downtown Keene, New Hampshire. Photo by Jon Platek.
Employers may be able to assist with housing during your time in the United States, but this is not always possible for all participants. When looking for housing during your cultural exchange program, consider the cost of the accommodation, the distance to your work place and the amount of time you will be in the United States.
It's also important to avoid fraudulent housing. It is highly recommended that you secure short-term housing upon arrival (e.g. in a hostel) and conduct your housing search once you are in the U.S. Never give your financial information to a stranger over the Internet. Browse the Housing Information guides for InterExchange participants below for more tips and advice.
General Housing Information
- Housing information for Work and Travel USA participants
- Housing information for Career Training USA interns and trainees
New Hampshire Housing Resources
Some examples of housing and accommodation resources for New Hampshire participants include:
- Craigslist - New Hampshire
- American Homestay Agency
- Hostelling International
Public transportation options can be hit or miss, depending on your location in the United States. Buses are a common transportation option for short and long-term travel in the U.S., while some areas will also have trains, subways and other options.
Visit the American Public Transportation Association website for a complete list of public transportation options in your local community.
New Hampshire Public Transportation
Advance Transit operates in the Dartmouth/Hanover area and to locations in Vermont. Routes, maps and schedules can be found at the AT website.
Concord Area Transit (CAT) operated buses in the Concord area of New Hampshire. Routes, a rider guide and maps are available on the CAT website.
COAST buses serve the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. Schedules, maps and fares can be found on the COAST website.
Manchester public transportation includes buses and free shuttles in the downtown Manchester area. Visitors can see bus schedules, purchase tickets and learn more about MTA services at the Manchester Transit Authority.
Nashua Transit System operates buses in the Nashua area. Visit the NTS website for bus maps and schedules, a trip planner and rider’s tips.
Find a full list of New Hampshire public transit providers at the New Hampshire government website.
Travel from multiple locations in New Hampshire to Boston and Boston Logan Airport using Boston Express.
The Amtrak Downeaster travels between Main and Boston with stops in New Hampshire at Dover, Durham and Exeter. Learn more about schedules, fares and ticket reservations at the Downeaster website.
Participants in New Hampshire can use the following resources in case of an emergency or extreme weather event in their area:
Emergency Management Agencies
- New Hampshire Department of Safety
- ReadyNH, an emergency preparedness website for New Hampshire
- More information on beach safety and emergency services in Hampton Beach
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov
- New Hampshire FEMA updates on Twitter @femaregion1
Interact with others and expand your skill set by volunteering in your local community. Volunteer organizations are often looking for short-term volunteers or for individuals to help with a single event, making it a great option for InterExchange participants who wish to add to their cultural exchange experience during their time in the United States.
Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity is an organization that helps to build low-income housing for families in New Hampshire and is in need of volunteers for many types of projects.
New Hampshire Food Bank can help individuals and groups find a volunteer opportunity at a local food pantry, soup kitchen or other organization.
Volunteer with the NH Fish and Game Department in one of their wildlife programs or events.
Volunteer New Hampshire promotes volunteerism and connects individuals and groups with volunteer opportunities based on location or interest.