Northeast

8 Romantic Getaways in New Hampshire: Craft Beer Bars, Backwoods Trails, and Jacuzzis for Two

Local writer Kelly Burch shares 8 romantic getaways in New Hampshire from Dartmouth and Meredith Bay to Mount Monadnock and Portsmouth.

“We need a night away,” I told my husband on a Wednesday evening, as our toddler had a meltdown after a work week that had already gone off the rails. By Friday evening, we were lounging together in a hot tub, watching cross-country skiers glide gracefully across a nearby field as a fire crackled next to us. It was a much-needed relationship win.

Whether you’re a Granite State native looking for a quick break or a visitor coming for a longer stay, New Hampshire is full of romantic getaways that will relax you year round. The state is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with the ocean, cold, crisp lakes, and the White Mountain National Forest, home to miles of backwoods hiking where you can spot waterfalls, high-altitude lakes, and even moose. At the same time, New Hampshire has plenty of indoor attractions from museums to outlet shopping and great dining that will help you reconnect as a couple.

No matter what the season, these eight romantic New Hampshire getaways offer a balance of adventure and isolation to rejuvenate your relationship.

Lake Views and Hot Tubs on Meredith Bay

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Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire’s largest lake, where tourists flock to swim in the deep, clear waters under the shadows of the White Mountains. No matter how popular the lake becomes, you won’t struggle to get waterside if you stay at Church Landing.

The property sits on a grassy hill on the Meredith Bay’s shore that was once home to a small church but now boasts a full-service resort. Church Landing has an indoor-outdoor pool in addition to a private, sandy beach on the lake, a full-service spa and a restaurant just steps from the water. Best of all, Church Landing has an array of room options available with lake views, balconies, hot tubs, and fireplaces that will let you design your weekend away to suit any season.

Meredith is one of the more developed towns on the lake’s shores, and you’ll find plenty of shopping and dining options to fill a romantic weekend. The entire town was planned to showcase the lake and it shows with an easy to navigate, walkable downtown that hugs the shores of Meredith Bay. If you’re visiting during the warmer months be sure to enjoy sweeping views from the garden seating at Lago, an Italian restaurant just five minute’s walk from Church Landing.

Church Landing At Mill Falls

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (64 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
Air conditioning
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Stay in a Quintessential New England Town

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Dartmouth College, New Hampshire’s only Ivy League university, is located in the hills on the Western edge of the state, just across the river from Vermont. There, you’ll find The Hanover Inn Dartmouth, located right across from the Dartmouth College Green. With the inn’s prestigious positioning in town, you can people watch from the rocking chairs on the porch or delve into fine dining at PINE, the in-house restaurant. After a stay, you’ll understand why the inn has been a favorite for visitors to the college since the 1800s.

Outside the inn, Hanover is the quintessential New England college town, with a bustling main street full of independent shops and restaurants. The Appalachian Trail passes through town, so you can stretch your legs with a day hike before refueling at Molly’s, a favorite local pub. For a more artistic afternoon, stroll hand-in-hand through the Hood Museum of Art, home to collections from all over the world. No matter what, be sure to get dessert at Morano Gelato where you’ll find unusual (but delicious) flavor combinations like chocolate with red pepper.

Hanover Inn Dartmouth

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (467 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
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A Home Base for an Ocean Escape

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Just 13 miles long, New Hampshire’s coastline is the shortest in the country. What it lacks in size the coast makes up for in beauty, with rocky crags and inlets that are splendid for a walk or kayak trip with your partner.

The Wentworth By The Sea, a Marriott Hotel, provides a regal home-base for your ocean escape. The hotel is striking, with a rich decor that harkens back to the seacoast’s time as a trading metropolis. If you’re up to really invest in your romantic getaway, chose the East Turret Suite, which boasts a fireplace and whirlpool tub. Even if you can’t afford a top-notch room, you’ll still get an ocean view and have access to the hotel’s Portsmouth Spa and dining options including Latitudes Waterfront, a bistro where you can choose to cuddle up by the fireplace or take a table with seaside views of the nearby marina.

The Wentworth’s location in New Castle, a tiny island town connected to mainland New Hampshire by a short bridge, truly gives the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the quaint, small-town coastal feel just a few minutes drive from Portsmouth, one of New Hampshire’s biggest cities where The Music Hall brings a continuous stream of comedy, live music, and cinema shows, and restaurants like Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe serve up the freshest seafood. If you venture 10 minutes further north, you’ll enter the shopper’s oasis of Kittery, Maine, a town full of outlets including Eddie Bauer, Under Armour, Cole Haan, and many more.

Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (756 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
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Step Into A Prohibition-era Speakeasy

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Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeastern U.S. at 6,288 feet, reigns over New England with majesty and mystique. Tucked in the slopes of the mountain — and almost as legendary — is the Omni Mount Washington Resort.

During the Bretton Woods Conference, held here in 1944, representatives from around the world established The International Monetary Fund, still a major global force today. The resort opened in 1902 as an opulent summer retreat for the elite from Boston and New York and today it feels just as decadent. With restaurants, a golf course, skiing, horseback riding and more, the Omni Mount Washington Resort offers everything you would expect as well as some surprising options, like an authentic Prohibition-era speakeasy and an excellent (and free) historic tour of the property.

Once you’ve taken in what the resort has to offer, it’s time to venture into the surrounding slopes. Not only is Mount Washington the largest around, but it’s also one of the most dangerous, known for its extreme weather. The Mount Washington Observatory on its summit recorded a 231-mile-per-hour wind gust in 1934, which still holds the record for the strongest wind observed by man. Despite its extremes, the mountain is surprisingly accessible, with an auto road and a cog railway that will deliver tourists to the summit during the warmer months, where you can visit the weather station. Even in the winter, a guided tour by snowcat will bring you to the summit, where on a clear day you can see six states, the ocean, and Canada.

Hotel Omni Mount Washington Resort

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (1292 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Independent and Boutique

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If you can’t decide between the seacoast or New Hampshire’s rich forests for your romantic weekend away, head to Exeter. The Exeter Inn prides itself on being an independently-owned boutique accommodation that’s quieter than many New Hampshire destinations. The brick facade is impressive and the interior is just as beautiful, with modern conveniences that still respect the building’s history. With fireplace and jacuzzi rooms available, you and your partner can stay put for a thoroughly relaxing night away.

Exeter isn’t a top tourist destination in New Hampshire, but the town has a little bit of everything. Although it considers itself part of the seacoast, it’s set back from the ocean, surrounded by rich marshlands and the Exeter/Squamscott River, which once gave life to the mills that are still prominent buildings in Exeter.

The town is best known as the home to Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the world, with famous alums ranging from Daniel Webster to Mark Zuckerberg . The academy gives Exeter a world-class college town feel with plenty of history to explore.

Exeter Inn

Gym
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Soak in a Jacuzzi for Two

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With a waterfall in the center of town that flows under a charming covered bridge, Jackson looks like it fell out of the pages of a travel guide. There, you’ll find The Wentworth, which brims with old school charm. After check-in, you can sip cocktails in the inn’s common area, where you’ll spot a tiny hotel bar and plush couches around a roaring fireplace for cozying up with your partner.

When you’re hungry, head to the inn’s restaurant with locally-sourced foods that will rival any of the restaurants in the surrounding towns (the roasted cauliflower gratin is a unique entree option that even non-vegetarians will love). After dinner and dessert, you’ll be perfectly happy to spend the rest of the night in one of the inn’s deluxe rooms, which have both fireplaces and massive indoor jacuzzi tubs that easily fit two.

Jackson is set just outside the main White Mountain tourist areas of Conway and North Conway, meaning that you can enjoy easy access to activities like outlet shopping, snowmobiling or hiking before ducking off for a quiet evening together. During your stay, you’ll want to make reservations one evening at the nearby White Mountain Cider Co. (Save room for the fresh cider donuts topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.)

Hotel The Wentworth an Elegant Country Inn

8.8 Excellent (395 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Craft Beers and Oysters in Portsmouth

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Most of the romantic getaways in New Hampshire are targeted toward people who want to escape into the wilderness, but that’s not for everyone. If you prefer to have easy access to bars, nightclubs, comedy, and live music, opt for The Ale House Inn, a small hotel located in the brick building that was home to The Portsmouth Brewing Company, established in 1871. Today, the interior has been completely gutted and replaced with a sleek, modern feel.

The real appeal of The Ale House isn’t what’s inside, however, it’s the fact that this location makes exploring Portsmouth easy. Surrounded by bars, nightclubs, comedy, and live music, this seaside city is the New Hampshire destination for people who want a more lively weekend away. Set off down the cobblestone streets and make sure you save room for fresh oysters and draft craft beer at Row 34, or head to Earth Eagle Brewings to stock up on your own homebrew supplies.

Ale House Inn

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (163 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Air conditioning
Hotel CTA

Hike Mount Monadnock and Stay in a 19th-century Inn

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When most people think of the New Hampshire mountains, their minds automatically wander up Interstate 93 to the White Mountains. However, the most popular mountain for hiking is in western New Hampshire, south of the Presidential Range. At 3,166-feet, Mount Monadnock is an easy day hike, which is why it’s the second most climbed mountain in the world with 125,000 hikers each year (only Japan’s Mount Fuji sees more foot traffic). From the mountain, it’s an easy drive to Keene, home to a campus of the University of New Hampshire, or to quirky Brattleboro, Vermont.

With Mount Monadnock’s long history as a tourist destination, it’s no wonder that the surrounding area is home to some of the oldest inns in the state. The Monadnock Inn began taking guests in the 1870s and has been serving visitors ever since. Each room at the inn has its own ambiance, so you can choose the decor that you like best — or try a new room each time you visit.

Monadnock Inn

8.2 Very good (126 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.7 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Restaurant
Hotel bar
Hotel CTA

Feature image courtesy of New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism