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New Hampshire

Live Free or Die

New Hampshire has lots and lots of New England charm. It's not as urbanized as Massachusetts or Connecticut. It's not as bucolic or sparse as Vermont or northern Maine. With its modest communities, serene lakes, and friendly mountains, New Hampshire seems the closest to some romantic ideal of colonial New England.

The White Mountains are the New Hampshire's most popular attraction, luring hikers, bikers, skiers, and climbers, but sightseers most of all. There are few roads more scenic than the Kancamagus Highway, especially passing through Franconia Notch State Park during winter. Watch out for moose as you drive, and be aware that as the mountain forests are mostly pine, you should descend to lower altitudes during fall to see the leaves turn color.

New Hampshire doesn't have any large cities. Concord, the capital, is a town of 38,000. Manchester, with 100,000 residents the most populous of all New Hampshire municipalities, is also the most heavily industrialized, due to a historic affiliation with cotton and textile manufacturing -- however, the textile market collapsed during the Great Depression, and the surviving mills either operate as museums or have been adapted for other purposes. North Conway is the ski capital of New Hampshire; its scant population of 2,000 is supplemented by the visitors who come to stay in the village's plentiful lodgings.