Fall foliage season turns New Hampshire into a road tripper's dream destination. These New Hampshire driving tours will lead you to scenic places any time of the year, but you'll find these routes especially breathtaking as the leaves put on their annual show. Here are some of New Hampshire's most scenic fall drives. Make a point, too, of seeking out these cool New Hampshire covered bridges as you travel throughout the state.
If you plan only one fall driving tour, make it New Hampshire's National Scenic Byway with the tongue-twister name: the Kancamagus Highway. This exhilarating road through the White Mountain National Forest is the most superb scenic drive in all of New England and a beloved fall foliage route. The Kanc connects Conway and Lincoln, New Hampshire, and while you can expect bumper-to-bumper traffic on peak fall days, you won't mind taking this drive slowly and pulling over often to appreciate the scenery.
Moose Alley, the nickname for the stretch of Route 3 that runs from Pittsburg, New Hampshire, to the Canadian border, is one of the best places to see moose in New England. It's also a scenic drive through New Hampshire's wild and pristine Great North Woods—moose or no moose—so make it your destination during the early weeks of the foliage season, when colors start to pop in the Great North Woods.
Although waterfalls are reliably at their most dramatic in the spring, fall can be a wonderful time to visit and photograph these shimmering cascades framed by the rich reds and golds of autumn leaves. With more than a dozen accessible waterfalls, New Hampshire's Mt. Washington Valley is the perfect destination for a fall waterfall tour. You can even hike to photogenic Sabbaday Falls during a pause in your drive across the Kancamagus Highway.
Trace the path of the Connecticut River, which forms the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont, and enjoy changing colors as you visit small New Hampshire towns on this scenic drive. Be sure to leave time for a visit to the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park.
It's 134 miles of breathtaking water and foliage views! The New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development suggests this driving itinerary that begins in Meredith and traces Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire's largest lake, en route to Wolfeboro, where the drive turns north and continues through picturesque small towns. Be sure to visit Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough for aerial views of Lake Winnipesaukee and leaves.
The Sunapee Loop—a drive in southwestern New Hampshire—takes you around sparkling Lake Sunapee and to a picture-perfect town green you'll want to see in the fall. The petite village green in Washington, New Hampshire, is one of the prettiest you'll find in all of New England. Here in the first town in America to name itself after George Washington, the three classic white buildings on Washington Common—including one of the oldest town halls in New England that is still in use—continue to serve vital community functions.
New Hampshire Magazine staff reveal their picks for the best leaf-peeping routes in each of the seven New Hampshire regions. Even the Seacoast region offers striking routes to follow this time of year.
From the Chamber of Commerce in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, here are six suggested scenic drives for fall foliage season in the White Mountains (you'll need to scroll down the page to find them once you follow this link). One takes you to the summit of Prospect Mountain for 360-degree autumn views.
Fall colors tend to linger later in the southwestern corner of New Hampshire, and these two suggested driving tours from SouthwestNH.com will help you to see some of the region's glorious autumn scenes in the Monadnock Region. Each encourages you to make stops along the way to stretch your legs.