Best RV Day Trips Around New Hampshire

New England RV Rental RVnGO and Day Trips around New Hampshire

If you’re in or around the Northeast US and looking for a trip that will take only a few hours, we’ve got you. These day trips around New Hampshire

These are all trips that would usually require overnight stays – I mean, why else travel in an RV? Most are within NH, but as we all know, New England is kind of a state within itself, so we occasionally stray outside those NH borders. 

These are weekend trips, exciting outdoor activity situations, or longer outdoor adventures. New Hampshire doesn’t sound too exciting if you’re from somewhere more dramatic, but it’s actually an area of amazing natural beauty. It’s not the cheapest state for vacationing in boutique B&Bs and hotels, making an RV trip a great way to spend time enjoying the state while keeping things cheap. In fact, even renting an RV can be a great option for a trip that won’t break the bank – check out our RV rental tips here

Best Time of Year For Visiting Around New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a state with seasons! These trips are all advised from spring to fall – note when we mention the leaves changing. That means it’ll be super beautiful from late August to November. If you’re visiting in summer, it can get hot. Take a look at our tips for staying cool in the heat on an RV trip if you’re planning a July or August vacation. Also read these tips for chasing 70 degrees!

Winter can get pretty chilly in NH, so unless you’re particularly hardy, you might want to avoid the coldest months.

White Mountains, New Hampshire

The White Mountains is an area of natural beauty that includes several state parks, including 440-acre Franconia Notch State Park and the highest State Park in the East, Mount Washington State Park.

There are many options for staying in an RV in the White Mountains. If you’re with a family, there are easy full-service sites, or if you’re more up for adventure and wilderness, there are remote RV parks almost in the mountains. Wherever you stay around the White Mountains, you’ll find incredible views through the state parks and activities, including swimming, mountain biking, and fishing.

But let’s get specific! Most of the following RV camping options are within the White Mountains, as they’re a huge part of the state. 

The Most Beautiful Town In New Hampshire? Sugar Hill

Sometimes described as New Hampshire’s best-kept secret, Sugar Hill is a town along I-93. With only 600 residents, it’s not exactly a tourist hot spot but doesn’t that make it more appealing as a road trip stop?

The town got its name from a grove of sugar maples and was popular in the Victorian era. Businessmen and artists alike visited during the 1900s, but the town remained small despite all the visitors. In fact, it wasn’t actually incorporated until the 1960s – making it the ‘newest’ town in NH.

Hike the Lost River Gorge (or just stay and take a look!)

The Lost River Valley Campground has RV hookups, a brook, and fantastic children’s play areas. 

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves are in Kinsman’s Notch. It was carved out by wind and water. Hiking is easy here, as a well-built wooden boardwalk runs along the river as an easy-to-access trail. 

You’ll find glacial boulders, caves, forests, waterfalls, and more.

On top of that, there are the man-made attractions – a treehouse, suspension bridge, and even a giant bird’s nest (for people, rather than birds). We’ve talked a lot about the White Mountains, and this is a great way to see them. 

Lafayette Place Campground: Access to the Appalachian Trail

This RV site is the perfect place to watch the leaves turn. Or just enjoy nature in general. 

There’s a babbling brook and space for your RV or tent. 

The site is wooded, and there are treats available!

It’s at the trailhead of the Franconia Ridge loop and on the Appalachian Trail, so if you’re looking for somewhere to start a big trek or take a lavish stop on a larger adventure, Lafayette Campground might be the one!

Pawtuckaway State Park: If You're Here for the Leaves…

If you’re on an RV trip with family, Pawtuckaway might be perfect. There are amazing glacial fields dating from the ice age, a marsh with beavers, deer, and heron, and a fire tower that’s great to hike to. 

This state park is pretty wild and has something for everyone. If you’re into nature at all, you’ll be into Pawtuckaway State Park! There are trails for every level, as well as plenty of forested areas and beautiful waterways. 

Umbagog Lake Campground: A Wildlife Haven

On the southern shore of Umbagog Lake, this campground (in fact, a series of campgrounds) let you hang out right by a wildlife reserve!

From the site of the campground, we know that  both diversity of nature in the form of are being encouraged as well as ‘waterfowl, and other species of regional significance, such as the common loon and bald eagle.’

I mean, who doesn’t want to see a bald eagle?

Strawberry Banke

Strawbery Banke, AKA Portsmouth.

This is what the 1623 settlement was originally called.

There’s a museum about it – Strawbery Banke Museum includes houses that cover several centuries of the town.

It’s all pretty fun, with demonstrations of cooking, crafts, and skills from the various periods the town has been occupied. 

You can book a spot for your RV at the museum, but many coastal RV parks might serve you well too. Especially if the water is your thing.

Tamworth

Settled right in between mountains and lakes, Tamworth is a calm and quaint area of New England charm. It’s particularly loved by artists and poets – so if you want to create, maybe get there asap!

The views themselves should be inspiration enough, but there’s also plenty to do if you’re up for it. 

If you have writers’ block, why not try a hike to Mount Chocorua—apparently, no mountain in the US has been more photographed. Whether or not that’s true, the hike delivers

incredible views of the Whites, lakes, and any foliage that might be happening. 

Skiing - Yes, Really!

Downhill and cross-country skiers are more than welcome in NH. They can choose from several resorts and outdoor activity centers, including The Waterville Valley Resort (603 236 8311, waterville.com) and Loon Mountain (603 745 8111, loonmtn.com).

You can also cycle the cross-country skiing trails in summer. Tough going, apparently, but that’s year-round outdoor fun!

Portland, Maine

 

Portland, Maine, is a spot everyone vaguely knows about but doesn’t often consider visiting.

 

After all the hikes and whitewater sports, you might want to see a small town again!

 

That’s Portland. The history of this city is well known, and it’s a New England landmark. It was once an industrial center and a fishing port, but now it’s all shops, boutiques, craft breweries, and galleries. On top of that, there’s a waterfront of lighthouses and breaking waves. A city on the water, so you don’t feel hemmed in.

There are between 20 and 30 RV sites around the town, so you’ll have no problem finding a hookup and a safe place to spend the night.

How About an Ice Cream Trail?

The New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail has 50 stops. I mean, if you’ve done all that hiking, why not? Who doesn’t love ice cream?

Here are the first few stops:

We start in Kingston and head North.

So, first stop: Memories Ice Cream- Kingston

This is a farm ice cream shop, so you’re getting it as fresh as possible!

Next is King Kone in Merrimack

We think the strawberry and lemonade soft serve is best. But the offers change weekly!

Other stops?

The Inside Scoop: Bedford

Ilsley’s Ice Cream: Weare

Beech Hill Farm and Ice Cream Barn: Hopkinton

Frekeys Dairy Freeze: Concord

Jordan’s Ice Creamery: Belmont

Happy Cow Ice Cream Shop: Laconia

Bobby Sue’s Homemade Ice Cream: Freedom

Moose Alley Cones: Pittsburg

Johnson’s Seafood and Steak: New Durham

The Pink House: Milton

Overall, it seems like an excellent excuse for a road trip. Alternatively. you could just stop at a few of the ice cream spots as you pass through.

And if you’re into foodie road trips, the East has loads to offer. Why not check out our guide to a culinary road trip around West Virginia?

PS - New Hampshire’s Promise

Overall, any day trip around New Hampshire offers an amazing place to camp out in your RV.

Yes, it’s a four-season situation, but spring, summer, and fall are all beautiful times to stay out in nature or explore quaint New England towns. 

And with the White Mountains and all the rivers and lakes around them, you’ll never be without something beautiful to look at, a hike, or an outdoor activity that’ll keep you engaged. 

It’s always best to book ahead to ensure you get a charging spot, etc., but the state (and especially the area around the White Mountains) has many RV parks with all the services you could need. 

Anything from beaches to mountains to forests – New Hampshire has it!

Be sure to get your RV rental through RVnGO and save 30% compared to other RV rental websites, And it is STILL Less Expensive than staying at a resort.

Be sure to read our Road Trip Packing Check List and Great Meals For Road Trips

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