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Cultural Gems of the White Mountains

The White Mountains region is blessed with a wealth of history and natural beauty. Today we’ll share a few of our cultural gems with you so that you can plan one or hopefully multiple trips here in the near future.


Outdoor wonders

The White Mountain National Forest

As fall is foliage season in New England, and especially in New Hampshire, The White Mountain National Forest is first on our list. With 148,000 acres of Congressionally-designated Wilderness this is the place to enjoy leaf peeping. 

While you are certainly welcome to take a walk through the forest, there's an equally beautiful way to take in the colors by car. Driving down the 34 mile long Kancamagus Scenic Byway and connecting to the White Mountain Trail makes the ideal nature loop. 


New Hampshire’s covered bridges

There are 28 covered bridges in the state of New Hampshire. They inspire artists to paint and photograph them, they’re good for walking across, and they’re just wonderful pieces of history spanning years and years. Visiting each of them alone could entertain you for an entire weekend! 

  1. Albany Covered Bridge
  2. Bartlett Covered Bridge
  3. Bath Covered Bridge
  4. Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge
  5. Blair Covered Bridge
  6. Bump Covered Bridge
  7. Clark's Bears Covered Bridge
  8. Columbia Covered Bridge
  9. Durgin Covered Bridge
  10. Flume Covered Bridge
  11. Groveton Covered Bridge
  12. Happy Corner Covered Bridge
  13. Honeymoon Covered Bridge
  14. Jack O' Lantern Covered Bridge
  15. Littleton Covered Bridge
  16. Lost River Gorge Allen Hollis Covered Bridge
  17. Mechanic Street Covered Bridge
  18. Mount Orne Covered Bridge
  19. Pittsburg-Clarksville Covered Bridge
  20. River Road Covered Bridge
  21. Saco River Covered Bridge
  22. Sentinel Pine Covered Bridge
  23. Smith Millennium Covered Bridge
  24. Squam River Covered Bridge
  25. Stark Covered Bridge
  26. Swift River Covered Bridge
  27. Swiftwater Covered Bridge
  28. Whittier Covered Bridge


Historic Locales 

An actual castle

Castle in the Clouds was built in 1913-1914 as a country estate called Lucknow. This 6,300 acre, 16-room mansion has lots to explore, plus there are incredible views. It has been being restored in an ongoing manner since the Castle Preservation Society took it on in 2006!

As a visitor, you can dine at the Carriage House Restaurant where you can enjoy a music night on-site! It's also a lovely spot for a wedding or private event and they regularly hold fun educational and networking events

The Gladys Brooks Memorial Library

Not everyone is going to climb Mount Washington, but The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, which houses the Gladys Brooks Memorial Library can still provide you with a glimpse into the history of the mountain. The collection has books, maps, prints, photographs, and more to explore!


Sugar Hill Historical Museum 

Next to the Sugar Hill village green and open from late May to early October is the Sugar Hill Historical Museum. Inside their two barns, main building, and the Reid-Burpee house you'll find information and treasures from 1780 to the present!  

The Old Man of the Mountain Museum 

Quite possibly the most well-known New Hampshire nature attraction may be no more, but the history of it is alive and well. Visit the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza to enjoy the monument designed by Ron Magers and Shelly Bradbury which allows you to “see” how it looked before while enjoying a view of Franconia Notch.


Museum of the White Mountains 

The Museum of the White Mountains is another top option for you to learn about the area in-depth, and artistically. They are running a new exhibit from October 7-December 15 called "Extending Ecology: Making Meaning with the White Mountains" with multimedia interpretations and visual artwork created in an ongoing Oika collaboration. We hope you go see it!

Franconia Heritage Museum 

The Franconia Heritage Museum is open from Memorial Day-Columbus Day (Indigenous Peoples' Day) and free to visitors. It began with just 1,500 documents and artifacts from town historian Sarah Nelson Welch and now includes other items from  local families.

New England Ski Museum

The New England Ski Museum at Franconia Notch State Park has been around since December, 1982, and their Eastern Slope Branch has been a fixture in North Conway since 2018. Their permanent exhibition at the primary location is From the First Tracks to the Fall Line: eight thousand years of skiing. It shows the timeline of the development of skiing from its prehistoric roots through Bode Miller's career and they also have an annual exhibition you can experience. 



Littleton Area Historical Society

You will find this particular gem in the basement of the Historic Opera House/Town Building. It's accessible on Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturdays from noon-3 p.m., or by appointment and admission is free for all!

Gorham Historical Society & Railroad Museum

Gorham wasn't always known as Gorham. It used to be Shelburne Addition until 1836 when it changed names as the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad arrived. That's what makes this historical society truly unique even among historical societies. It's the railroad station from 1907 and inside it is railroad history! 


We hope this list helps you enjoy a bit of our history. We’ve loved sharing it with you and hope that you’ll be a part of our future.

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