Lake Winnipesaukee ©JohnJHenderson
Located in the northeastern corner of the United States, New Hampshire is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Known as the 'Mother of Rivers', the five great streams of New England originate in its hills, most notably the 410-mile (670km) Connecticut River, which begins at New Hampshire's Connecticut Lakes and flows south into Connecticut.
Bordered by the Canadian province of Quebec to the north and northwest, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Massachusetts to the south, and Vermont to the west, life in New Hampshire is like a permanent vacation, drawing visitors from the surrounding states for a week at the coast or a memorable mountain trekking experience.
Its highest peak, Mount Washington, which rises 6,288 feet (1,918m), has claimed many lives over the years with its strong winds and freezing temperatures, some of the worst recorded in the continental United States. Mount Monadnock in the south, with its bare rock summit, mild weather and 40 miles (65km) of foot trails is a popular alternative and is rated as the second most climbed mountain in the world.
New Hampshire shines as a travel destination as the weather begins to turn cold. The fall foliage is beautiful, and many big-city dwellers from Boston and New York City take a weekend drive to New Hampshire come autumn to enjoy the spectacular colours. Skiing in New Hampshire is a popular winter activity, and resorts like Attitash, Waterville Valley, and Ragged Mountain cater for skiers of all skill levels.
From camping and climbing, to swimming and fishing, the list of possible activities in the 'granite state' is lengthy. Not to be forgotten though, are its captivating cities. Recently named as one of the 'Dozen Distinctive Destinations of 2008' by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, culturally rich Portsmouth was celebrated for its striking coastal beauty, historic buildings and lively downtown. Manchester, a historical mill town, has a number of museums, restaurants, and galleries, and the most active nightlife in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire experiences warm, humid summers and cold, wet winters with relative precipitation all year round. The weather close to the sea is milder and wetter than the interior, which encounters lower humidity and cooler temperatures. Winters are snowy throughout New Hampshire, particularly in the mountainous areas. The state is intermittently affected by hurricanes and tropical storms.
Public transport in Manchester is provided by the Manchester Transit Authority. Buses operate along set routes around the city from 5.30am to 7.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 9.30am to 6pm on Saturdays; there is no bus service on Sundays. Buses stop to pick up passengers at designated bus stops, but it's also possible to flag the bus down anywhere along its route and it will stop when safe to do so. There are several cab companies operating in Manchester and it's easy to arrange a taxi, either by hailing one off the street or ordering ahead via the telephone. Car rental agencies are located at the airport and in the city. The roads are well-maintained and there are a number of off-street parking garages in downtown Manchester, which make hiring a car a good option for those wanting to explore Manchester and the wider region.
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