New England is without a doubt the PREMIERE destination in the US for fall loving travelers, and New Hampshire showed us exactly why! As part of our “50 States in a Year” travels, we had the pleasure of spending a day exploring the beauty of this state by way of the famous Kancamagus Highway and the Conway Scenic Railroad! If you’re a time-crunched traveler like us and are looking to get the most out of your short visit to the Granite State, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together what we think is the perfect one day itinerary that will hopefully help you plan your New Hampshire fall getaway!
*Be sure to check out our “One Day in New Hampshire” travel vlog for a closer look at our visit!
Now, let's get into the itinerary!
7:30am: Breakfast in Lincoln
White Mountain Bagel Co. (where we went... 25 Main St, Lincoln, NH)
The Moon Cafe and Bakery
8:15am: Explore the Kancamagus Scenic Highway
The Kancamagus (Kan-kuh-MOG-us) Scenic Highway, or “The Kanc” for short, is a 34.5 mile scenic drive in Northern New Hampshire that is known for being one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the country. Along with beautiful views right from your vehicle, there are also dozens of hikes and vista points along the drive! You could honestly spend an ENTIRE day just exploring the Kancamagus Highway, and if you have more time than we did, we totally recommend devoting a little more time to it. Here are a few of the most popular hikes…
This ½ mile hike is one of the most popular stops along the Kancamagus Highway, and the stairway and railings near the falls make for a great photo op.
Albany Covered Bridge
This covered bridge, originally built in 1858, crosses the Swift River. You can get to the bridge via the Covered Bridge Campground
This short and easy hike starts at the large, paved parking area and features a 15-foot waterfall, a pedestrian footbridge crossing the Swift River, a small picnic area, and restrooms!
Upper Lady’s Bath
A popular swimming hole in the summer, the Upper Lady’s Bath is accessible via large, flat rocks. There’s limited parking available for the public in a signed lot near the tennis courts, but note that the parking at the Riverfront Condominiums is private property.
This Swift River site is better known for its swimming than for its rather small waterfalls, so it may be worth skipping if you’re visiting in the fall like we did.
12:30-2:40pm: Train Ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad (38 Norcross Circle)
Experience the railroad like it’s 1847 on the Conway Scenic Railroad!! Your train will depart from the historic 1847 train station and make its way up to the Sawyer river and back. You’ll cross multiple picturesque bridges with beautiful river views and enjoy the informative commentary along the ride. There are longer and shorter options available, so if you have more time than we did, we totally recommend checking out the 5 hour “Mountaineer” excursion! Or if you have children and/or just don’t think that a 2+ hour train ride is feasible, then check out the1 hour “Conway Valley Train” excursion.
3:00pm: Late Lunch in Conway/North Conway
Muddy Moose Restaurant & Pub
Delaney's Hole In the Wall
4:30pm: Continue exploring along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway or make a visit to Crawford Notch State Park
If you do choose to continue exploring along the Kancamagus Highway like we did, be sure to find a good spot to catch the sunset! We highly recommend the Pemigewasset Overlook.
7:00pm: Dinner in Lincoln
Black Mtn. Burger Co.
The Common Man
Gordi's Fish & Steak House
We hope that these tips help you plan your visit and make the most of your time in New Hampshire! If you did find it helpful, please consider heading over to our YouTube Channel and subscribing for more travel content and following us on Instagram, it would mean the world to us!