The beaches get smaller and more low-key the farther north you drive, but the scenery becomes more dramatic as the beaches are interspersed with rocky outcroppings and tide pools. At the Maine border, just 18 miles after the NH coast started, there is Portsmouth. This old city is home to good restaurants, music festivals, and the historic Strawberry Banke Museum, where you can tour restored Colonial-era homes and buildings, and tour guides dress in Colonial outfits to give you a real sense of the time period.
Not far inland and just north of New Hampshire’s major cities of Nashua and Manchester lies the state capital, Concord, which is basically the gateway to the Lakes Region. There are many large lakes in this area, the largest and most well-known of which is Lake Winnipesaukee. Popular towns along Winnipesaukee are Laconia, Meredith, Wolfeboro and Moultonborough. These towns are an excellent base if you are interested in hiking, boating, fishing, checking out NASCAR races at New Hampshire International Speedway or historical attractions.