New England has a number of small states with different attractions including foliage, skiing, hiking, camping, historic buildings, and more. New England is famously the best place to see the best of the autumn foliage and the states here have some of the United States' oldest history. New England is stunning, it has mountains and extensive forests and is perfect for camping.

Of New England's states, Vermont and New Hampshire sit side by side, but which should one visit? Being so close to each other New Hampshire and Vermont share a lot in common, but they both also have their own unique attractions.


Reasons to Pick New Hampshire

Sitting next to Vermont is America's fifth smallest state of New Hampshire. It was established in 1629 as the Province of New Hampshire. During independence, it saw one of the earliest overt acts of rebellion with the seizing of Fort William and Mary in 1774. It was the first of the 13 colonies to establish an independent government and its own constitution.

It also has a significant French American heritage having around a quarter of all New Hampshire residents claiming some French American ancestry.

The state also has one of the lowest rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime in the US. Additionally, it is great for shopping as it doesn't have any sales tax.

  • Capital: Concord
  • Population: 1.3 Million

New Hampshire is mountainous, is heavily forested, and is a great destination for hiking. In the winter it has some of the highest ski mountains on the East Coast (although nothing can compete with Colorado) and is a major destination for winter sports.

  • Mount Monadnock: One Of the Most Climbed Mountains In The US

New Hampshire also has a small coastline running 18 miles along the Atlantic while Vermont is completely landlocked.

Many of the attractions in New Hampshire are free and the state draws many tourists from further south. It boasts the Northeast's highest peak and offers miles of kayaking waters, mountain-ringed lakes, historic homes, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and more.

Related: These Are Your Options For Getting To Nantucket, No Matter Where In New England You Are

Mt. Washington And The Cog Railway

One of the best things to do in New Hampshire is to explore Mount Washington. On a clear day, from the summit of Mount Washington, one can see four states. The easiest way to reach the summit of the mountain is on the steep Cog Railway.

The Cog Railway first opened in 1869 and is an authentic coal-fired steam engine train. Winter comes early on the mountain and it's normally frosting over in later October and the cog railway no longer runs to the top. But that doesn't mean it stops. In the winter it normally runs as far as the Waumbek Station.

  • Season: The Cog Railway Season is From Late May to Late October
  • Waumbek Station Elevation: 3,900 Feet


At the top of Mount Washington, one can find the Sherman Adams Visitors Center, a cafeteria, and the Mount Washington Observatory.

Reasons To Choose Vermont

Next door to New Hampshire is Vermont. It is the second least populated state (after Wyoming) with a population of only 650,000.

  • Population: 650,000
  • Capital: Montpelier (the Least Populous State Capital)

During the War of Independence, Vermont was not one of the 13 original colonies. Instead, it was established as the Vermont Republic in 1777. But this didn't last long and was the first addition to the United States in 1791.

It is one of the best places in all of the Eastern United States for skiing in the winter. It has some of the largest ski areas in New England with popular ski resorts include Burke Mountain Ski Area, Bolton Valley, Smuggler's Notch, Killington Ski Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, Magic Mountain Ski Area, and others.

  • Skiing: Vermont is Famous For Skiing In The East

In the winter some backcountry skiers travel the length of the state on the Catamount Trail.

Some of the summer resort towns include Manchester, Quechee, Wilmington, Woodstock (not that Woodstock), and Stowe.

When thinking of Vermont, think of sunlit meadows of black and white cows, inviting ski trails, red maple trees, covered brights, and picturesque hillside farms (many of which may be chic B&Bs. While here be sure to explore the Vermont Cheese Trail of the states many artisan cheesemakers.

Related: This The Best Living History Museum In New Hampshire

Discover Stowe

One of the state's gems is the resort town of Stowe. It is idyllic in all seasons with its covered bridge, white-spired church, ski trails, and weathered barns. It's nestled at the foot of Mt. Mansfield in the heart of Vermont's snow belt and is home to the Vermont Ski Museum.

  • Stowe: Picturesque Resort Town
  • Ski: One of New England's Oldest An Premier Ski Destinations

It was one of the first places in the region to establish a ski industry with its first chairlift being opened in 1940. But the town is quaint and relaxing, it is home to shops, art galleries, dining, and plenty of lodging options.

Tip: Rent A Bicycle And Cycle The 5.3 Mile Long Stowe Recreation Path

Next: Here's Why You Should Visit Boston In The Fall Over Any Other Season