New Hampshire is truly one of the best states in the entire U.S. for fall foliage, so planning a trip through this beautiful area in autumn is pretty much always a good idea 😉 Whether it’s part of an epic fall road trip through New England, or you’re planning to explore as much of the Granite State as you can, I’m here to help you decide where to stay in New Hampshire in the fall.
I’ve broken down this post into all the best regions in New Hampshire that have amazing fall foliage displays, and have narrowed down the best hotels and cabins to make your planning that much easier. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s start planning your perfect fall trip to New Hampshire!
Where To Go In New Hampshire For Fall Foliage
My favorite regions of New Hampshire to visit in the fall for the best foliage color are:
- White Mountains
- Lake Winnipesaukee/Squam Lake
- Monadnock Region (Keene, Peterborough)
If you can only visit one region, I say go with the White Mountains, as I think you get the most bang for your buck in terms of impactful foliage, stunning landscapes, and things to do.
However, if you have time to explore the state further, all the regions mentioned above would make for an epic road trip in the fall season for foliage. The great thing about New Hampshire is that it’s a fairly small state, so you can get from region to region in less time than you may realize! I truly think all of these regions are worth visiting in the fall.
Where To Stay In New Hampshire In The Fall – White Mountains
As mentioned, if you can only visit one region for fall foliage in New Hampshire, I highly recommend the White Mountains. There are so many iconic views, landscapes, and things to do here that are especially stunning in the fall season. If you Google or do an Instagram search for fall in New Hampshire, you’re likely to see photos of the White Mountains.
Additionally, you’ll find lots of cute towns and cozy places to stay, which most definitely enhances the fall vibe you’re hoping for on your trip 😉 Here are my recommendations on where to stay in the White Mountains in the fall:
Best Accommodations In The White Mountains For The Fall Season
Location: Bretton Woods
One of the most iconic grand resorts in New England just so happens to be one of the best places to stay in the fall season in New Hampshire. The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods is located in the heart of the White Mountains National Forest, and is surrounded by mountain vistas at pretty much every turn.
This is definitely a luxury experience, and the entire resort feels a bit like you’ve stepped back in time, but has all the modern amenities you need. It also just so happens to be a short drive to The Cog mountain railroad, which is one of the top things to do in all of New England.
- Over 6 restaurants and bars to choose from on-site, including a tea room.
- Golf course and spa on-site.
- Resort activities include horseback riding, ziplining tours, and tennis.
- Short 10-minute drive to The Cog.
- Luxurious accommodations.
For a serene stay in the mountains where you have the choice between luxury glamping and cabin stays in the woods, look no further than the wonderful Lumen Nature Retreat.
Lumen has done an impeccable job with their “Luxury Comes Standard” ethos, and booking a stay here means you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds: splurge-worthy amenities, and a secluded nature sanctuary. With options ranging from glamping tents to Nordic-inspired cabins, there’s something to suit almost everyone’s preferences.
The tents and cabins at Lumen are perfectly designed to feel stylish, yet minimal, so they feel like a home away from home – without the distractions.
Lumen is just a 2-hour drive from Boston for the perfect escape from city life. It’s also just 15 minutes from Franconia Notch attractions, and less than 10 minutes from the start of the Kancamagus Highway – all of which are some of the top fall activities in the region.
- Luxury bathhouse that’s more upscale than a nice hotel stay.
- Relaxing waterfront location.
- Two sauna’s on-site, including a very cool barrel sauna.
- Smokeless fire pits and picnic tables (firewood included for the fire pits!)
- Luxury mattresses and premium linens on all the beds.
- Full kitchen, or kitchen kit, depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
When it comes to cozy inns in the eastern region of the White Mountains, it’s hard to beat the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. And don’t let the name fool you, it’s equally as wonderful in the fall, as it is in the winter!
Found in the charming little town of Jackson, you’ll have your choice of standard rooms, suites, or cottages when you book your stay (I definitely recommend the cottages, but you can’t go wrong with any of the room types).
While this inn is great for all kinds of stays, whether you’re planning a hiking adventure through the area, or visiting with friends, it’s especially wonderful if you’re looking to book a romantic getaway. Between options for rooms and suites with a jacuzzi and fireplace, as well as the amazing on-site spa, it’s perfect for a special birthday or anniversary.
The Christmas Farm Inn is also in a great location in the White Mountains. Jackson is such a cute town in and of itself, but it’s also just 30 minutes to Crawford Notch State Park, 15 minutes from charming North Conway, and 20 minutes to Echo Lake State Park.
- On-site dining and spa.
- Lots of choices for rooms, including options for cottage stays, fireplaces, and jacuzzis.
- Special add-on packages available.
- Heated indoor pool.
- Fitness center.
Location: Sugar Hill
Voted as the best bed & breakfast in New Hampshire by TripAdvisor, booking a stay at the Sugar Hill Inn is always a good idea! And because it’s nestled in the countryside in the quaint town of Sugar Hill, it’s packed with gorgeous fall scenery just outside your doorstep.
Sugar Hill Inn is a quintessential New England B&B, and is perfectly located to get to all the best fall attractions in the White Mountains. It’s just about 10 minutes from all the best fall things to do in Franconia Notch, including Flume Gorge, the Artist Bluff Trail, and the Cannon Mountain Tramway. You can also get to the adorable town of Littleton in 10 minutes.
- Fantastic 5-star dining on-site, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner – including a cozy tavern option!
- Massage services on-site.
- Choice of standard rooms, and cottages to book for your stay.
- Some rooms come with whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, and private decks.
- Romance and special packages available as add-on enhancements.
- Partnerships with local experts for specialized tours, like wildlife photography and helicopter excursions.
Location: North Conway
For a unique, kind of quirky, but totally awesome hotel option, the Adventure Suites is such a wonderful choice. Located in the cute town of North Conway, which has a lovely Main Street for shopping, and the amazing North Conway Scenic Railroad, you’re steps to some of the best scenery in the White Mountains when you stay here.
The cool thing about Adventure Suites is that each room is uniquely designed to feel like an entirely different place. For example, some of the room options are Haunted Castle, Victorian Spa, Treehouse, and New York Penthouse. This is definitely for those that love a good theme, and is especially fun for families with children.
- Saloon dining & spa on-site.
- Awesome back yard with hammocks, lawn games, fire pits, and a playground (s’mores kits also available to purchase for the perfect fall night).
- You choose the room theme that you book, so there are no surprises.
- All kinds of add-on enhancement packages available, including romance, birthday, and … spooky!
For a more luxurious and upscale stay in Jackson that’s still very New England, The Inn At Thorn Hill might just be perfect for you. With rooms to choose from that include standard, suites, and cottages, many of them come with options for a fireplace to light on a chilly fall night.
This boutique-style inn is also unique in that it’s adults-only, so it’s especially wonderful for a romantic getaway. With mountain views right from the property, you’ll also enjoy a fantastic location that’s right in the heart of Jackson’s village – walkable to Honeymoon Covered Bridge!
- On-site dining for breakfast and dinner, including a fantastic wine cellar, and a cozy tavern.
- Wonderful spa on-site.
- Special package enhancements for a memorable stay or celebration.
Best Cabin Rentals In The White Mountains In The Fall
This cozy little A-frame cabin in Conway sits on a beautiful pond, and is surrounded by foliage in the fall season. It’s a wonderful choice for those looking for a peaceful getaway in nature, and want an entire property to themselves.
Enjoy a fall-flavored cup of coffee on the gorgeous deck overlooking the pond and foliage colors, but also relish in the fact that you’re just a few minutes from the start of the famous Kancamagus Highway scenic drive, 15 minutes from charming North Conway, and less than 30 minutes to quaint Jackson.
- 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a full kitchen.
- Deck with furniture overlooking the scenic pond and foliage.
- Wood-burning fireplace for cozy fall nights.
- Charming A-frame style cabin, which is such a fun experience!
Don’t worry, just because Ski is in the name of this awesome cabin doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful fall getaway destination. The Ski Chalet A-Frame is another perfect opportunity to rent a charming A-frame in the woods, nestled in the scenic White Mountains.
Located along Saco River, near Crawford Notch State Park, North Conway, and Jackson, this is an awesome rental for fall leaf peeping and nearby attractions. Take advantage of crisp fall mornings on the deck, and chilly fall evenings with two fire pits to make s’mores.
- 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms – but sleeps 8 with bonus sleeping areas.
- Furnished outdoor deck with fire pits.
- Full kitchen.
- Ideal location for all attractions.
Here are some posts on towns in the White Mountains you may enjoy:
- Best Things To Do In Franconia, NH
- Best Things To Do In Littleton, NH
- Best Things To Do In Lincoln, NH
Top Things To Do In The White Mountains In The Fall
- Ride The Cog to Mount Washington’s summit (the highest peak in New England!).
- Hike the Flume Gorge trail for amazing foliage views.
- Hike the Artist Bluff trail for an iconic view of Echo Lake surrounded by fall color.
- Drive the Kancamagus Highway, which is regarded as one of the top scenic foliage drives in the Northeast!
- Visit the White Mountain Cider Co. for a cidertini or cider donuts 😉
- Drive through Crawford Notch State Park for jaw-dropping views.
Where To Stay In New Hampshire In The Fall – Lakes Region
Just south of the White Mountains, and you’ll find the gorgeous Lakes Region, which is home to the largest lake in New Hampshire – Lake Winnipesaukee. While the Lakes Region is a very popular summer destination, I think there’s something really special about it in the fall.
First, the Lake Winnipesaukee Loop is one of the most scenic fall drives in the state, and planning a day trip to drive the whole thing is such a treat! You’ll find some really stunning fall color, picturesque lake views, and lots of fun farm stands and places to stop along the way.
There is also some pretty incredible hiking in this region that take you to overlooks with panoramic views of the lakes surrounded by fall color. And since this isn’t peak season for the area, you’re likely to find some cheaper hotel rates, compared to summer prices.
Best Accommodations In The Lakes Region In The Fall
For a premier location on Meredith Bay at Lake Winnipesaukee, it’s hard to beat Mill Falls At The Lake. Located in the charming town of Meredith, which is arguably the most picturesque town along Lake Winnipesaukee, this beautiful inn is surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage in autumn. You won’t even have to leave the hotel for awesome leaf-peeping!
There are a few different choices for rooms and buildings at this inn, including cottages, so you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay during your visit. And the inn does a wonderful job lining the waterfront lawn area with Adirondack chairs to admire a beautiful sunset and the water during fall.
- Several dining options, and a spa, all on-site.
- Some rooms offer fireplaces and balconies overlooking the lake.
- Kayak and canoe rentals available on-site.
- Fall foliage boat cruises depart right from the hotel.
- Complimentary activities include a wine reception, yoga, and paint and sip classes.
In the biggest town in the Lakes Region, you’ll find the gorgeous Lake Opechee Inn And Spa, which sits between Lake Winnisquam and Lake Winnipesaukee. The location is perfect for those looking to stay in a larger town with more amenities, while still being close to the charm nestled around the lake perimeter.
Just 20 minutes from Meredith, and easily accessible to the Lake Winnipesaukee Loop, the Lake Opechee Inn offers amazing waterfront accommodations for a fall stay. All the rooms here feel extra cozy, as they’re decorated in a traditional New England style that invokes a sense of home. And you’ll just have to walk a few steps to enjoy amazing lakefront views.
- All rooms come with a cozy fireplace for chilly fall evenings.
- Some rooms have two-person tubs available.
- Complimentary continental breakfast.
- Several on-site dining options, and a spa.
11. Squam Lake Inn
If you’re a fan of the movie On Golden Pond, then you’ll be excited to know that it was filmed around Squam Lake, which happens to be a beautiful place for fall foliage. During your visit, one of the best places to stay is the Squam Lake Inn, which is a very cozy boutique inn that feels like a home away from home.
A short distance from lots of scenic nature trails and hikes that are especially beautiful in the fall, Squam Lake Inn is nestled in a perfect little area between both Little Squam and the main Squam Lake. Canoe rentals are also available nearby so you can take in the foliage views from the water during your trip. When you come back, enjoy a drink on their relaxing deck while you admire the gardens.
- Updated rooms that still feel very cozy.
- Cooked to order breakfast included in the room rate.
- Amazing on-site dining and bar for dinner.
- Beautiful grounds.
- Special enhancements and packages available.
12. Oliver Lodge
Oliver Lodge is one of the coolest places to stay in the Lakes Region, and while any kind of stay here is a treat, it’s their A-Frame lake cabin that feels like a true dream come true – especially in the fall season. The cabin is located on its own island just off the shore of the mainland property, and guests are given a paddleboat to use during their visit to get on and off the island.
The cabin also features tons of outdoor deck space with panorama views of the water for the ultimate secluded getaway. While the A-frame is only open through mid-October, you’ll still be able to catch a quick fall getaway just as the leaves are starting to peak in the Lakes Region.
If the A-frame doesn’t work for your plans, the rest of Oliver Lodge is absolutely fantastic. The property consists of a few lakefront cabins that are perfect for a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, and all offer wonderful water views that are backdropped by fall foliage in October.
- Cozy cabin-style lakefront accommodations.
- Located in Meredith, one of the most beautiful towns on Lake Winnipesaukee.
- Fireplaces available in many of the cabins for a chilly fall night.
- Canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals available on-site.
Top Things To Do In The Lakes Region In The Fall
- Spend a day driving the Lake Winnipesaukee Loop, which is regarded as one of the most scenic fall drives in New England.
- Explore the charming town of Meredith.
- Stop at the wonderful farm stands for fall goodies (Beans & Greens Farm and Picnic Rock are especially great in the fall!)
- Hop aboard the Hobo Railroad for a scenic fall foliage tour.
- Hike the Belknap Mountain trail for stellar foliage color.
- Grab the best cider donuts in New Hampshire at Cider Bellies.
Where To Stay In New Hampshire In The Fall – Southern NH
So much gorgeous scenery and charm is to be had in the southern regions of New Hampshire, especially in the fall! Between charming towns, postcard-worthy countryside landscapes, and beautiful mountains, this is an amazing region of New Hampshire to explore during foliage season.
Portsmouth, especially, is one of my favorite cities to visit in the fall, and you’ll find tons of New England charm packed into this cozy little destination. Sitting along the waterfront, you’ll find lots of historic homes, amazing shopping in Market Square, breweries, wonderful restaurants, and so much more.
The Monadnock region is the place to go for a bit of everything in southern New Hampshire, including mountains, quaint towns, and exciting cities. You’ll find the charming towns of Swanzey and Peterborough here, both of which put on really nice fall foliage displays. Additionally, you can visit Keene for a cool college town vibe, and the incredible Monadnock mountain for amazing hiking.
Best Accommodations In Southern New Hampshire In The Fall
13. Hotel Thaxter
One of the best places to stay in the charming city of Portsmouth in the fall is Hotel Thaxter. This very cool and modern hotel is housed in a historic building from the 1860s, and has been renovated into one of the most stylish hotels in the city. The pumpkin spice velvet drapes and accent furniture in each room also feels like such a perfect nod to all things fall.
While the entire interior of this hotel is one big Instagram-worthy moment, it also just so happens to have a wonderful location in the heart of downtown. You’re minutes away, on foot, to all the shopping and dining in Market Square, and a 10-minute walk to the waterfront.
- Beautifully decorated rooms that compliment the fall season especially well.
- Modern amenities like Smart TV’s, wireless charging, and heated bathroom floors.
- Stunning interior design throughout the property.
- Awesome moder Japanese restaurant on-site.
- Special add-on enhancements available.
- Perfect location in the heart of downtown.
Nestled in one of the cutest small towns in southern New Hampshire, Riverhouse is a wonderful place to stay in the fall season. Sitting along the Contoocook River, this boutique hotel is also walkable to the town’s shops and restaurants.
During fall foliage season, you won’t have to even leave the property to enjoy the gorgeous colors – the hotel has a wonderful viewing area of the river that’s aglow with color in October.
- Updated and cozy rooms.
- Walkable to downtown Peterborough.
- Only 15 minutes from Monadnock State Park for awesome foliage hikes.
- Wonderful views of the river from the property that are especially magical in the fall.
- Fun packages available as add-on enhancements.
This Cozy Monadnock Cabin offers the best of both worlds – it’s nestled in the woods with gorgeous views of the mountains, and it’s also close to Monadnock State Park, Keene, and Peterborough for all kinds of fall fun.
The interior of the cabin is also perfectly updated to blend modern and mountain styles, and since it sits on 5 acres, you’ll feel worlds away from reality. This is perfect for a romantic fall getaway, a small family, or a small group of friends.
- 2 bedrooms, 1 bath (sleeps 4 total).
- Private 5-acre property with mountain views.
- Log cabin style home with modern furnishings.
- Centrally-located to top attractions and destinations in the region.
- Fire pit for chilly fall nights and s’mores.
- Full kitchen, washer, and dryer.
Top Things To Do In Southern New Hampshire In The Fall
- Take a scenic fall foliage hike in Monadnock State Park.
- Tour the covered bridges near Swanzy.
- Visit the local farm stands, orchards, and pumpkin patches.
- Attend the Keene Pumpkin Festival.
- Shop tax-free in Portsmouth.
- Visit Washburn’s Windy Hill Orchard for a corn maze and cider donuts.
Best Time To Visit New Hampshire For Fall Foliage
This varies a bit, depending on which region you’re visiting. Foliage will typically peak in the northern part of the state first, and then trickle down south from there.
Here’s a handy quick guide for you to give you an idea of peak foliage around New Hampshire:
End of September – Early October – The White Mountains & Lake Sunapee
Mid October – Lakes Region (Lake Winnipesaukee & Squam Lake)
Mid-Late October – Southern Regions, including Monadnock, with the Seacoast peaking the latest
It’s also good to note that peak foliage times can vary from year to year, and dramatic shifts is weather and temperatures throughout summer and very early fall can delay or speed up fall foliage times.
Generally speaking, I would say early to mid October is the best time to visit New Hampshire for fall foliage, as the White Mountains will be at peak, and you can chase the changing leaves as you work your way down south.
How To Get To New Hampshire For A Fall Trip
If you’re coming to New Hampshire from a distance, you have a few different airport options that will work, depending on your plans.
The most popular is Boston Logan International Airport, which is the largest international airport in New England, and offers the most options, and cheapest flights. Depending on where you’re going in New Hampshire, the drive from this airport to fall destinations in New Hampshire ranges from 1 -2.5 hours. Portsmouth, for example, is just about an hour from Boston Logan, but the White Mountains will be about a 2.5 hour drive.
Other airports to consider are Portsmouth International Airport at Pease, and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
How To Get Around New Hampshire
To get around New Hampshire, you really need to have a car, as infrastructure for public transportation isn’t as strong. It’s possible to get from city to city without a car (for example, Boston to Portsmouth, NH), but to see the mountains and countryside, which are the best places for foliage, having a car makes your trip so much more enjoyable and stress-free!
Pro Tip: I highly recommend offlining maps on your phone before your trip, as cell service in many parts of New Hampshire isn’t great – especially in the White Mountains.
New Hampshire Fall Tours
There is one great tour option of you’re visiting the area and don’t have a car, which is this fall foliage tour to the White Mountains departing from Boston.
This full-day tour takes you along the Kancamagus Highway, the cute town of North Conway, and to the famous Omni Mount Washington Resort.
More posts you may find helpful:
- Fall In New Hampshire: Best Foliage Spots & Things To Do
- Thanksgiving In New England: Cozy Getaway Ideas!
- Where To Go Apple Picking In New Hampshire
- The Best Covered Bridges To See In New Hampshire
- Vermont vs. New Hampshire In The Fall
- Ultimate Fall In New England Guide
- Haunted Hotels & Places You Can Visit In New Hampshire
- Is New England In November Worth Visiting?
That’s A Wrap On Where To Stay In New Hampshire In The Fall
Now you have the inside scoop on where to stay in New Hampshire in the fall season, including all my hotel recommendations, and where to see fall foliage. Whether you’re planning a weekend up in the mountains for leaf peeping, or you’re hoping to road trip through the state to see it all, just know you’re in for such a treat during this very magical time of the year!