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Overview

American tourism began in the early 1800s in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, when for the first time people traveled for pleasure and sightseeing. The impetus was the tragic landslide that took the lives of the Willey family in Crawford Notch in 1826, an event that captured the nation’s imagination. People came to see the site of the slide, staying at local farms, marking the beginning of the resort hotel. At their height, there were dozens of grand resort hotels in the mountains; today there are only three, although a few more smaller ones remain. The Appalachian Mountain Club helped boost tourism by maintaining hiking and climbing trails ...

American tourism began in the early 1800s in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, when for the first time people traveled for pleasure and sightseeing. The impetus was the tragic landslide that took the lives of the Willey family in Crawford Notch in 1826, an event that captured the nation’s imagination. People came to see the site of the slide, staying at local farms, marking the beginning of the resort hotel. At their height, there were dozens of grand resort hotels in the mountains; today there are only three, although a few more smaller ones remain. The Appalachian Mountain Club helped boost tourism by maintaining hiking and climbing trails to the summits of nearly every mountain, and by building huts that hikers still use as lodging today. Families are especially attracted to the mountains for the many high-quality children's attractions, such as the imaginative Story Land and Clark's Trading Post, where orphaned bear cubs are raised by the Clark family and perform daily shows that seem to delight the bears as much as the children. A variety of lifts, including the famous Cog Railway, carry visitors to mountaintops for 360-degree views.

Lura Seavey
About the Expert

Lura Seavey is the author of Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire and she has contributed to several Thomas Cook guidebooks, including Drive Around Catalonia, Travellers Mallorca, and Travellers Barcelona.

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Lura Seavey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Mountain range that covers about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire and a small portion of western Maine.
  • Research: Wikipedia
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    High season is mid-June to mid-October; the best time for foliage is mid-September to mid-October.