In New Hampshire, where you're more likely to see a Harley Davidson dealership than a store that sells Birkenstocks, the "Live Free or Die" mantra extends even to car seatbelts—adults are not mandates to wear them within the state. This ethos brings with it a whole lot of charm. With the exposed peaks of the White Mountains, the vast tracks of the Great North Woods, its jagged lake district, and tiny strip of seacoast, it's no wonder this spectacular landscape is home to such an independent people. With the highest summits in the northeast (48 are over 4,000 feet), New Hampshire is especially welcoming to hikers and rock climbers. And in summer and fall, ski resorts often open their cross-country trails to bikers, riders, and walkers.
New Hampshire's radiant foliage often peaks during the first two weeks of October, with the color change happening earlier in more northern and higher elevation areas and later in more southern and lower elevation areas. Book early, as New Hampshire's small inns and bed and breakfasts fill up with Bostonians looking to get out of dodge. (Or just off the T.) Beautiful fall foliage drives await those who bring a car, from the Kancamagus Highway to the Mount Washingon auto-road to the section of I-93 that winds directly through Franconia Notch. Don't forget to explore New Hampshire's historic small towns and villages, which have all the stoic charm of the Old Man of the Mountain, the state's signature rock formation, gone but never forgotten.