Beat the Summer Heat in NH: Keep Cool in Caves and Waves

New Hampshire is Home to New England's Only Commercial Caves & Its Largest Waves

Polar Caves NH
••• Polar Caves in Plymouth, New Hampshire, is a cool place to visit. Media photo courtesy of the White Mountains Attractions Association

Want to beat the summer heat? Tired of relying on the AC for relief? Head for New Hampshire: home to New England's only commercial caves and one of New England's largest water parks. No matter how high summer temperatures climb, New Hampshire offers fun ways to chill out.

Caves are Cool

No matter how high the mercury climbs, there's one place where it's always cool--a cave! Not only are caves fun to explore, they have the natural advantage of always being cooler and less humid than the steamy world above.

There are two neat cave attractions to explore in New Hampshire:

Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in North Woodstock, NH, is sure to provide cooling relief on a hot summer day. The hour-long, self-guided tour through glacier-carved caverns, steep-walled gorges and plunging waterfalls is sure to leave you in awe of nature's great forces. Wouldn't you choose the cooling mist of a waterfall over central air conditioning any day? For an extra cool adventure, book your spot on a nighttime Guided Lantern Tour. Lost River Gorge is open through October (weather permitting). For admission prices and directions, call 603-745-8031.

Polar Caves Park in Rumney, New Hampshire, is another cool spot that's open daily through late October (weather permitting). The Polar Caves were carved some fifty thousand years ago as the third continental glacier blanketed the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire.

As the ice receded, it carved out an impressive series of caves and passageways that are fascinating and fun to explore. Self-guided tours lead to a rock garden, along nature trails lined with pines and through the caves. To get to Polar Caves Park, take exit 26 from I-93 at Plymouth, then go five miles west on State Route 25.

For more information, call 603-536-1888.

Catch Cooling Waves at Water Country

One of New England's largest water amusement parks, Water Country, is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With more than a dozen different water rides and attractions including Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror, plus many more activities on 47 acres, you're sure to spend a refreshing day at the park. Water Country boasts New England's largest wave pool: It's 700,000 gallons! Rides range from those appropriate for the tiniest of tots to big thrillers including Racing Rapids and the utterly dark, roller coaster-like thrill of Black Hole. Information to help you plan your day is available at the Water Country Web site. You'll save time at the gate by purchasing tickets online in advance. For more information, call 603-427-1111.

Other Ideas for "Beat the Heat" Getaways in New Hampshire

Visit the Lake Winnipesaukee Home Page for all the information you need to enjoy swimming, fishing and boating on the lake's cool waters. Located in Central New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee covers 72 square miles and offers a host of summertime fun activities.

Take a tour of 12 New Hampshire waterfalls with this guide to the scenic falls of the Mt.

Washington Valley. leads you to more than 50 old-fashioned New Hampshire swimming holes, including Crystal Cascade in North Woodstock, with its natural water slide. Neat!

There's one place in New Hampshire where, no matter how hot it gets, it's always December. The 25th of December to be precise! Santa's Village in Jefferson is a great place for a day of shows, rides and even a chance to meet Santa himself in his relaxed "off-season" mode. For more information, call 603-586-4445, or drop Santa an email.

Have a Cool Time in New Hampshire!