5 Best Scenic Drives In New Hampshire That’ll Leave You Speechless In 2024 (Photos)

New Hampshire is a treasure chest of beautiful roads that offer stunning views of nature’s best work. 

From the towering mountains to the peaceful lakes, these drives are perfect for anyone looking to explore the outdoors from the comfort of their car. 

In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through five of the best scenic drives in New Hampshire

Each one offers a unique way to see the state’s beauty, making for unforgettable road trips. 

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these drives promise views that will take your breath away.

Kancamagus Highway

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The Kancamagus Highway stretches 34.5 miles through the White Mountain National Forest, offering one of New England’s most spectacular drives. 

Situated in northern New Hampshire, this route is renowned for its breathtaking views, especially during the autumn when the foliage turns into a vibrant tapestry of colors. 

Along the drive, travelers can enjoy numerous scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and waterfalls. 

The highway’s highest point, at around 2,900 feet, provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Mount Washington Auto Road

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Ascending the Northeast’s highest peak, the Mount Washington Auto Road offers an exhilarating driving experience in New Hampshire. 

This 7.6-mile road climbs to the summit of Mount Washington, standing at 6,288 feet. 

The drive is a thrilling adventure, presenting dramatic weather changes and stunning vistas of the surrounding White Mountains. 

At the summit, visitors can experience the world-renowned weather extremes of Mount Washington and enjoy panoramic views that extend as far as the Atlantic Ocean on clear days. 

The road is open seasonally, with guided tours available for those who prefer not to drive.

Lake Winnipesaukee Loop

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The Lake Winnipesaukee Loop encircles New Hampshire’s largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, offering a scenic drive through the heart of the Lakes Region. 

This extensive loop passes through charming lakeside towns, including Meredith, Wolfeboro, and Alton, where drivers can explore local shops, restaurants, and attractions. 

The drive showcases stunning views of the lake, islands, and mountains, with opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. 

Autumn brings a spectacular display of foliage around the lake, making it an ideal time for a leisurely drive to take in the natural beauty of the area.

Connecticut River Scenic Byway

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Tracing the western border of New Hampshire, the Connecticut River Scenic Byway offers a tranquil drive along the Connecticut River, showcasing the rural beauty of the region. 

This scenic route passes through historic towns, farmlands, and forests, providing glimpses of New England’s charming countryside. 

Along the way, visitors can stop at scenic overlooks, enjoy recreational activities such as fishing and kayaking, and explore cultural sites. 

The byway also offers stunning views of the river valley, especially during the fall foliage season, making it a perfect drive for those looking to experience New Hampshire’s pastoral landscapes.

Lake Sunapee Loop

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The Lake Sunapee Loop is a picturesque drive that encircles the pristine Lake Sunapee in western New Hampshire. 

This scenic route offers a blend of charming lakeside views, quaint towns, and lush countryside. 

Along the way, visitors can explore local attractions such as the Sunapee Harbor, where you can enjoy boat tours, and The Fells, a historic estate with beautiful gardens. 

The loop is particularly beautiful in the summer and fall, offering a peaceful drive with plenty of opportunities for picnicking, swimming, and enjoying the tranquil lake views.