What is New Hampshire Known For? (25 Famous Things & People)
What is New Hampshire known for?
New Hampshire is known for its rich history, natural beauty, and New England Heritage. New Hampshire is home to Mount Washington and the White Mountains. The state is also known for favorable tax laws and for not requiring adults to wear seat belts.
Did you know that some of the fastest wind speeds in the world have been recorded in New Hampshire? How many U.S. Presidents came from this state? What else is there to do and see in this New England state? Read on to find out what New Hampshire is known for!
- 25 Things New Hampshire Is Known For
- The White Mountains
- Mount Washington
- The Granite State
- White Mountain National Forest
- Franconia Notch State Park
- Maple Syrup
- Apple Cider Donuts
- Fried Lake Bass
- “Live Free or Die”
- General John Stark
- Dartmouth College
- Daniel Webster
- The New Hampshire Primary
- Franklin Pierce
- The First Alarm Clock in America
- The First Free Public Library
- Christa Corrigan McAuliffe
- The New Hampshire State House
- North Conway
- North Woodstock
- Hampton Beach
- No Seat Belt Laws
- No Sales Tax
- FAQs About Famous New Hampshire Things
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25 Things New Hampshire Is Known For
The White Mountains
New Hampshire is famous for its majestic White Mountains. This mountain range covers approximately a quarter of the state. This range also is considered part of the northern reaches of the Appalachian Mountains. The mountains gave their name to one of New Hampshire’s nicknames, “The White Mountain State.”
❓ Trivia Time: Which states do the Appalachian Mountains run through?
The most famous peak in the White Mountains, without a doubt, is Mount Washington. Towering at a lofty 6,288’, this mountain in Coos County, New Hampshire is the highest peak in the northeastern United States. It is also the home of the Mount Washington Observatory.
In 1934, scientists measured gusts of up to 231 mph at the peak of the mountain, which was the world record until 1996. In 1996, gusts of 253 mph were measured at Barrow Island, Australia, relegating New Hampshire to having the second-highest wind speed.
The Granite State
New Hampshire takes its nickname from the extensive granite formations found throughout the state. Quarries throughout the state mine this resource, exporting it for use in buildings, countertops, and much more.
Most of the quarries are found in southern New Hampshire, with the quarry near Concord being the most productive. The Concord quarry alone produces around 25,000 tons of granite per year!
White Mountain National Forest
Many of the lower slopes and valleys of the White Mountains are covered in pristine forests. One can take in the arboreal beauty of this national forest along many hiking trails winding their way through the woods. Cross-country skiing is a popular activity when the often snowy winters make regular hiking a little more difficult.
Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch is the name given to a pass in the White Mountains. To the west, Cannon Mountain rises above the pass, while the eastern wall is formed by Mount Lafayette. The area around this pass was designated as a state park and remains a popular attraction for New Hampshire nature lovers.
Almost 84% of New Hampshire is forested, and maple trees make up a significant portion of those trees. Any good New Englander knows that where there are maple trees, pure maple syrup can be made. Although their next-door neighbor, Vermont, produces more of this sweet, sticky substance, New Hampshire residents are still proud of their local syrup.
Apple Cider Donuts
Another local sweet treat is apple cider donuts. Made with apple cider and spices, these donuts are a perfect snack for a brisk autumn day of taking in the local fall colors in New Hampshire. Establishments throughout the state serve these sweets and local news and information outlets will often compile lists of the best donuts throughout the state.
Fried Lake Bass
Neighboring Massachusetts may be known for its clam chowder, but New Hampshire holds its own in the world of seafood. For those seeking something a little more solid than syrup and donuts, New Hampshire’s fried lake bass can’t be beaten. One can also find a variety of seafood available in the narrow coastal area on the southeastern end of the state.
“Live Free or Die”
As one of the thirteen original colonies, New Hampshire made many contributions to the American Revolution. Although no major battles were fought in New Hampshire, the volunteer armies from the state fought in many of the major battles in New England. The state motto, “Live Free or Die” preserves that independent spirit to this day.
❓ Trivia Time: What states make up New England?
General John Stark
Born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, John Stark proved his mettle as an officer in the French and Indian War, rising to the level of captain by the war’s end. During the American Revolution, he sided with the rebellion, leading them at such significant battles as the Battle of Bunker Hill and The Battle of Trenton and Princeton.
Another legacy of New Hampshire’s from the Revolutionary era is Dartmouth College. Founded in 1769, this university endured through the difficult years of the Revolution, going on to become one of the premier “Ivy League” universities. Some of its most famous alumni include Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost, Mr. Rogers, and Meryl Streep.
One of the more prominent figures in early American history after the Revolution hailed from New Hampshire. Famous for his oratorical ability, Daniel Webster served in the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and as Secretary of State for Presidents Millard Filmore and John Tyler. Although never President himself, he still played a significant role in American politics for much of the early 1800s.
The New Hampshire Primary
Although a relatively small state with a low population, New Hampshire played a significant role in the country’s presidential election cycle for many years. The results of the primaries here often indicated which candidate would be nominated by their party for the presidential race.
The only U.S. President to come from the Granite State, Franklin Pierce was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. His tenure as the 14th president saw many challenges, the greatest being maintaining peace between the increasingly divided northern and southern states. He was also president during the notorious Bleeding Kansas conflict.
❓ Trivia Time: What is Kansas known for?
The First Alarm Clock in America
In 1787, clockmaker Levi Hutchins created a primitive alarm clock in order to wake up and start his work day at 4 AM. An extra gear tripped an alarm bell at this early hour, but the machine could not be set to any other time.
Hutchins didn’t see the need to patent this device, being content to use it only for his own affairs. Several decades later, a French inventor, Antoine Redier, would devise an adjustable alarm clock.
The First Free Public Library
Another notable New Hampshire first was the first free library open to the public. In 1833, in the town of Peterborough, the town library opened its doors to all. Operating costs for the library have been supplied by tax dollars as well as private donors.
Christa Corrigan McAuliffe
This teacher from Concord, New Hampshire was the first private citizen to be chosen for a mission to space. She planned to deliver lessons to her class from space and later tour the United States speaking with students about her experiences.
Unfortunately, the mission she was to travel on was the ill-fated Challenger mission and she never made it to outer space.
The New Hampshire State House
New Hampshire’s state capitol building is the oldest state capitol in which both levels of state government (the House of Representatives and the State Senate) meet.
In addition to the state legislature, it also houses the General Court, the Governor’s office, and the Executive Council (the Governor’s advisors). This golden-domed building has been regarded as a symbol of the city of Concord, where it is located.
One of New Hampshire’s most charming features is its many cozy small towns. North Conway has a population of less than 3,000, but serves as a major jumping-off point for exploring the White Mountains, especially Mount Washington. In addition to name-brand outdoor gear outlets, one can also find quaint old-fashioned shops and historic buildings here.
Another town snugly situated in the White Mountains, North Woodstock should not be confused with Woodstock, the famous music festival held in Bethel, NY. This tiny town in northern New Hampshire also serves as a hub for exploring the rich natural beauty of the area. One unique local attraction is the cave and rock formations at the Lost River Gorge.
New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any state, with only 18 miles of coast. Despite that, there is a lot to see and do along New Hampshire’s border with the Atlantic Ocean. Hampton Beach is an especially popular tourist destination, featuring many shops, cafes, and other attractions as well as the white sandy beach itself.
❓ Trivia Time: What state has the most shoreline?
In addition to mountains and forests, New Hampshire also boasts many scenic, tranquil lakes. Central New Hampshire has the highest concentration of these lakes, and has been dubbed “The Lakes Region.” Here one finds great fishing and boating opportunities and many cozy lakeside towns.
Feeding or emptying the Granite State’s lakes, many rivers run through the state of New Hampshire. Two major rivers in New Hampshire are the Connecticut and the Merrimack Rivers.
The Connecticut River, the longest in New England, flows south from Canada, forming the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. The Merrimack River flows from central New Hampshire down into Massachusetts before emptying into the sea in the Gulf of Maine.
No Seat Belt Laws
New Hampshire is unique because it is the only state with no law requiring adults to wear seat belts. Of course, laws do require minors to wear seat belts. Recent attempts to pass seat-belt laws never made it past the New Hampshire state legislature.
No Sales Tax
Another notable exemption in New Hampshire is the lack of a general sales tax. Of course, other taxes such as property tax are present, but New Hampshire residents pride themselves on living in a relatively low-tax state. Nearby Delaware is also known for having favorable tax policies.
👉 Read Next: What Are All the States Known For?
FAQs About Famous New Hampshire Things
Is New Hampshire the least populated state?
New Hampshire ranks 11th for the lowest population (including the District of Columbia) with a population of 1,405,243.
Was New Hampshire the first state?
Delaware was the first state, to enter the Union on December 7, 1787. New Hampshire joined the union 6 months later on June 21, 1788, as the 9th state. New Hampshire, was, however, the first colony to declare independence from Britain, doing so on January 5, 1776.
So, what is New Hampshire known for?
Lofty mountains, extreme weather, pristine natural beauty, famous Americans, the list goes on. Don’t let the size of the state fool you; New Hampshire is full of treasures waiting to be discovered!