The White Mountains region is filled with fun things to do! Our great outdoors offers endless opportunities for recreation, including hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, and rock climbing, just to name a few. But if you ask us “what are the best things to do in the White Mountains?” that don’t entail a lot of exertion, we instantly think Attractions.

Did you know the White Mountains has 17 Major Attractions? From fantasy theme parks and ziplines to gondola rides, cave tours, and railroad excursions, this region is all about entertainment. Here are our picks for the must-do’s at each Major Attraction.

Share your adventures in the White Mountains! Use #yeswhitemountains the next time you post – we’d love to see what you count as “can’t-miss” experiences.

Alpine Adventures (Lincoln, NH)

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Chances are, if you’ve driven down Lincoln, NH’s main street, you’ve spotted it: an aerial ropes course and people tubing down a giant ramp, soaring through the air, and plopping onto an oversized airbag. You might be tempted to think that these activities make up the sum of Alpine Adventure’s offerings, but there is a whole other world of adrenaline waiting just a few minutes south at Alpine’s privately owned acreage on Baron Mountain. For us, the experience at Alpine Adventures is their zipline tour, which will send you whizzing above the trees on a series of thrilling zips. (If you’re after the most adrenaline, pick the Super Skyline zipline tour.)

Book your adventure online in advance; Alpine’s zipline tours are very popular, especially on summer weekends.

Alpine Adventures - Woman on Zipline in Forest

Bretton Woods Skyway Gondola (Bretton Woods, NH)

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Technically, this next activity is two things in one, but we can’t imagine doing one without the other. Take the Bretton Woods Skyway Gondola to the summit of Bretton Woods Ski Area – you’ll have 12 minutes to take in the sights of the Presidential mountain range before you reach the second part of your adventure: a refined lunch at the Rosebrook Lodge! Diners have their pick of the Switchback Grille or Peak’s Café on weekends in the early summer.

Visit Bretton Woods’ website to view their complete schedule. The Bretton Woods Skyway Gondola switches to daily operations on June 15th, 2024.

Bretton Woods Gondola

Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway (Franconia Notch State Park, NH)

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You might think the experience on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway is pretty self-explanatory: board North America’s first aerial tramway, get a spot near the windows, and embrace the awe of Franconia Notch State Park unfolding below you as the tram makes its trip to the tiptop of Cannon Mountain. You might be tempted to stay in the summit building to take in the view, but you’d be missing the most exciting part of all: walking the ½ mile summit loop trail! This path will take you to several scenic overlooks and give you the feel for what it’s like to hike one of New Hampshire’s famed 4,000-footers.

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can summit the observation tower near the end of the hiking loop for an even better view.

Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway - Woman Enjoying the View from Tram with Lake and Mountains Below

Clark's Bears (Lincoln, NH)

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Clark’s Bears is one of the White Mountain’s best theme parks for families. With its main street shops, acrobat and bear performances, and fun diversions like the Anaconda Escape waterslide, Blaster Boats, and Segway Safari, we are hard pressed to pick just one experience…but around these parts, a certain figure is legendary: the one and only Wolfman! Board the White Mountain Central Railroad* and prepare for a wild ride complete with a train chase and a hollering man of the woods.

*Note for parents: This experience does include loud noises and simulated gunfire – plan accordingly, especially with young children.

Clark's Bears (Wolfman) - Children on Train Watching Man Dressed Up as Wolfman in the Woods

Conway Scenic Railroad (North Conway, NH)

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Train travel was vastly important to the White Mountains tourism industry in its formative years, and there’s nothing like a heritage train excursion to recreate the excitement of embarking for unknown parts. These days, we say get the lay of the land with a ride aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad! If you’re after the most scenery, book the Mountaineer (and in particular, the Budd Dome Vista seating) for unparalleled views of the Mount Washington Valley area and Crawford Notch. The Conway Scenic’s 5-hour Mountaineer ride ranks as one of the most recommended activities in North Conway, NH, so secure your tickets soon if you’d like to take a trip this summer.

Conway Scenic Railroad - Aerial View of Mountaineer Train on Tracks with Mountain in Background)

Cranmore Mountain Resort

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North Conway, NH has its fair share of amazing experiences, but if you’re chasing mountain vibes, head to Cranmore Mountain Resort. This adventure hub as it all: a Mountain Adventure Park with activities like summer tubing and riding a Mountain Coaster, plus a Bike Park that offers lessons and lift-serviced downhill mountain biking. If you are traveling with a group that spans the generations though, our top recommendation is to take the Scenic Chairlift ride to the summit. The views are impeccable on the way up and down, and you can have lunch (and ice cream!) with a view at the Meister Hut.

Cranmore Mountain Resort - Three Girls Riding a Chairlift in the Summer with a Mountain View Behind Them

Flume Gorge (Franconia Notch State Park, NH)

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The Flume Gorge is breathtaking in every sense of the word, and chances are if you’ve looked into what to do while vacationing in the White Mountains, this attraction has come up near the top. From its granite walls rising nearly 90 feet high to the verdant forest and refreshing mist from Avalanche Falls, the Flume Gorge truly is a natural wonder.

What we love most about the Flume Gorge, though, is a feature found near the end of its 2-mile walking loop: the Sentinel Pine Bridge and the Pool. This picturesque spot has a great story entailing a centuries old pine felled by a 1938 hurricane, but we won’t spoil it here. Instead, take the journey and prepare to be wowed by this perfect mix of natural and manmade attractions.   

Flume Gorge - Four People Crossing Covered Bridge in the Woods

Image Credit: @kelsconverse /

Granite State Scenic Railway (Lincoln, NH)

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All aboard! The Granite State Scenic Railway is one of those perfect activities in Lincoln, NH that appeals to all ages. The shimmering views of the Pemigewasset River, as well as the breezes wafting in on a hot summer day, are all things beautiful and relaxing…but we’d say, bring a picnic lunch to make it unforgettable! This train allows passengers to bring their own nosh for the journey, so why not book a trip right around lunch time, grab some goodies from a local grocer like the Purple Tomato, and have your picnic with an ever-changing view? 

Granite State Scenic Railway - Girls Looking Out Window of Train to River

Living Shores Aquarium (Glen, NH)

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If you are after escapism of the aquatic kind, head to Living Shores Aquarium in Glen, NH. As the only New Hampshire aquarium, this stop already counts as a must-see during your time in the mountains – but did you also know you can interact with stingrays? The touch tanks at Living Shores are legend, and we think there’s nothing more novel than booking a stingray feeding session to better enjoy these amazing underwater creatures.

All guests can enjoy the touch tanks during open hours, but if you would like to take part in the stingray feeding sessions, book in advance online. An additional fee to your general admission ticket will apply.

Living Shores Aquarium - Family Enjoying Stingrays in Touch Tank

Loon Mountain Resort (Lincoln, NH)

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Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, NH is an amazing option for your family vacation. This stop is ideally situated just steps away from the iconic Kancamagus Highway and White Mountain National Forest, and it also offers an array of activities to keep everyone entertained (including scenic gondola rides, mountain biking, caves and a cafe at the summit, and even ziplining and rock climbing at the base).

These days though, we can’t stop singing the praises of Ninja Wild, an outdoor wilderness-themed obstacle course that will test your agility and athleticism. This activity is great for kids that need to work off some extra energy, as well as nimble adults.

Book your tickets ahead of time for this popular activity. Head to Loon’s website for more information.

Loon Mountain Resort - Kids Exploring Ninja Wild Adventure Course

Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves (North Woodstock, NH)

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Drive up, up, up to Kinsman Notch on Route 112 in North Woodstock, NH: Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves awaits! This wonderful attraction has 11 granite caves to scoot through and 1 mile of scenic boardwalk exploring, plus a sluice for gemstone mining, a forest treehouse, and giant bird’s nest. If we had to pick just one thing to experience though, it would be taking a stab at traveling through the Lemon Squeezer.

This famed cave has a gauge at the beginning that indicates the narrowest point you will pass through – for those lucky enough to fit, you can expect plenty of crawling and squeezing before you emerge victorious on the other side. Top it off by purchasing a Lemon Squeezer t-shirt in the gift show (there are options for those who made it and those who didn’t), and you have an adventure that is all things sweet, not sour.

Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves - Girl Entering Lemon Squeezer Cave

Mt. Washington Auto Road (Gorham, NH)

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The Mt. Washington Auto Road offers two different ways to summit the Northeast’s highest peak: drive yourself up the steep, stunning 7.6 miles to the top or take a guided coach tour. While we love the thrill of steering our rig around tight turns and earning that famed “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington” bumper sticker, there’s something to be said for taking it easy on vacation. The Auto Road’s coach tours are perfect if you want to sit back and take in the view while your driver narrates the tour from bottom to top, and that’s why we rate it as one of the top experiences in the White Mountains (as well as one of the best scenic drives in New Hampshire!).

Mt. Washington Auto Road - Family Stepping Out from Guided Coach Tour on Summit of Mount Washington

Mount Washington Cog Railway (Marshfield Station, NH)

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Head to the other side of the mountains for another way to ascend Mount Washington. As the world’s first mountain climbing cog train, the Mount Washington Cog Railway is a must-visit during your time in the mountains. They offer biodiesel train excursions year-round, but in the summertime, no trip compares to the nostalgia of the coal-fired steam train to the summit. This option will transport you back in time as you enjoy a three-hour round trip filled with history, technology, and amazing scenery. Our tip? If you choose the steam train option, dress with the expectation that coal smoke and cinders could wind up on your clothing. Plan accordingly!

Train Engineer on Coal Trail at Marshfield Station

Polar Caves (Rumney, NH)

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Polar Caves in Rumney, NH has 9 granite caves famous for the polar breezes that keep guests cool even on the hottest of summer days. While some of the caves, like The Lemon Squeeze and Orange Crush, are famed for their narrow pass-throughs, we understand if wriggling your way through a maze of stone isn’t the thrill you’re looking for. If so, make the Mysterious Hanging Boulder your top spot to see at Polar Caves. This massive, 80-ton boulder hangs precipitously over the wooden boardwalk and is balanced on just 3 contact points, making it an easy spot for a great family photo.

Polar Caves - Family Standing Below Mysterious Hanging Boulder

Santa's Village (Jefferson, NH)

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Festive magic, Yuletide cheer, friendly elves, and happy reindeer…doesn’t it sound like the start of a Christmas tune? Santa’s Village in Jefferson, NH is overflowing with all of the above, and they also have some exciting news for summer 2024: a brand-new rollercoaster! The Midnight Flyer is set to open soon, and we cannot wait to ride this coaster that is rumored to feel like flying alongside Santa’s reindeer.

Until the Midnight Flyer opens, you can delight in the many other rides found on property, including the likes of the Yule Log Flume, the Skyway Sleigh, and Flying Reindeer Antique Cars.

Stay tuned to Santa’s Village’s social media for the latest news on Midnight Flyer’s opening date. Slated to open summer 2024.

Santa's Village - Family Riding Log Flume

Story Land (Glen, NH)

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Storybook characters, fun shows, and fantastical rides are just part of the appeal at Story Land this year. This beloved White Mountains amusement park is welcoming something super cool this summer: a new waterpark! Moo Lagoon is a new farm-themed addition to Story Land’s grounds that includes water slides, a sprayground, bath house, and retail store, plus Barn Yard Pizza. If you’re looking for more ways to beat the heat at Story Land, Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Ride and the Bamboo Chutes are also excellent options.

Moo Lagoon opens Friday, June 14th, 2024! 

Story Land (Aerial View with Mountains in Background)

Whale's Tale Waterpark

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Ride a wave, right in the White Mountains! Whale’s Tale Waterpark has plenty to boast about, what with its rentable cabanas, waterslides ranging from kid-friendly to pulse-pounding, wave pool, and winding river, but for us, the simulated surfing wave at Akua Beach is reason enough to book a ticket on steamy summer days. While it might take you some time  to find your balance, the satisfaction that comes with successfully riding a wave is matched only by the surreal realization that you are surfing minus the sea and plus the mountains.

Whale's Tale Waterpark - Girls Watching Boy Surfing Akua Beach Wave

Now that we’ve listed our favorite things to do at each Major Attraction, it’s up to you which one to visit first!

To learn even more about the White Mountain’s best, beloved Attractions, check out our Local Lens series.