The tiny state of New Hampshire has a lot to offer no matter what the time of year. With its White Mountains, there are plenty of ski resorts to visit in the winter. Autumn brings scenic vistas of turning leaves and their glorious hues of red, yellow, gold and orange. And its many lakes and coastline offer water-based activities—sailing and swimming, whale-watching and deep-sea fishing—in the warm-weather months.
There are many lovely resorts, full-service hotels and quaint inns throughout the state, but here are my top three picks for accommodations if I were planning to honeymoon in New Hampshire—an area of the country I’m intimately familiar with, since I spent my childhood, high-school and college years in the Granite State.
Atlantic Coast: Wentworth by the Sea
This historic hotel on an island just off of Portsmouth was originally built in 1874, with generations of visitors spending entire summer seasons at the “grand dame” of the New Hampshire seacoast. It underwent a $25 million renovation about five years ago and his been restored to its original glory, with some wonderful modern-day amenities as well, including a full-service spa, an upscale dining room, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and tennis courts. The Marina Suites each offer more than 1,000 square feet of living space and a balcony that overlooks a marina. The Wentworth, a member of the Historic Hotels of America, a AAA four-diamond resort and a Marriott brand, exudes elegance.
White Mountains: Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa
This is another truly grand hotel, also with quite a bit of history: it dates back to 1865. And like the Wentworth, the Mountain View (so named because it’s nestled in the White Mountains) underwent a huge renovation ending in 2002. Luxury suites of course offer luxurious amenities, including fluffy robes, thick towels, and upscale bath products. Amenities and activities at this resort in Whitefield include an on-site movie theater, golf course, ice-skating rink, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and full-service spa. A honeymoon at this hotel would be ideal in the autumn, when fall foliage is at its peak (typically at the end of September through early October in the northern mountain areas of the state).
Lakes Region: Church Landing at Mills Falls
A lakefront hotel, Church Landing at Mills Falls isn’t quite as “grand” as the resorts listed above, but you can’t beat it or the town of Meredith when it comes to New England charm. The Adirondack-style hotel sits on Lake Winnespesauke, the state’s largest body of water, and has a sandy beach for swimming. It’s location in town is ideal, within walking distance to the area’s best ice cream and crab cakes found at the Town Docks. There's also plenty of nearby shopping at the Mills Falls marketplace, and kayak rentals and antique boat rides in the summer. The on-site Lakehouse Grill offers delectable American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And don’t miss a pampering treatment at the hotel’s Cascade Spa. Guest rooms here offer cozy fireplaces, indulgent down bedding and private lakeside balconies.