Unless you’ve fully explored each state in New England, it’s easy to make the assumption that they’re all the same. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned in my time living here, it’s that the different states only appear the same on the surface… They never really are. New Hampshire is one of those states.
Having lived all throughout New England for many years, I’ve had the opportunity to explore all the different states and their sceneries, histories, activities, and foodie finds. One of my favorite states to experience Fall is New Hampshire… Is there anything more beautiful?
FACT: Real Girls Fall Head Over Heels for Fall...
“Apples? New Hampshire has them, but unsprayed, with no suspicion in stern end or blossom end of vitriol or arsenate of lead, and so not good for anything but cider…”
Robert Frost, New Hampshire
City Girl Turned Nature Girl
I’ll admit, I wasn’t always drawn to New Hampshire. I considered myself a “city girl” long before I considered myself a “nature girl”.. Since moving to New England, my appreciation has been a slow and gradual one over time.
In fact, sometimes I get so panicked like if I have my head down in my phone or if I’m driving, I might miss something outside. Each encounter I have with Fall in New England is so special to me. I don’t want to miss any of it.
And now I share my favorite adventures in the Fall with you… I hope my stories inspire you to take a trip to New Hampshire! 😉
New Hampshire, My Fall Adventures
Drum roll please…. Fall-la-la-la-la-la-laahhhh. Fall. Let’s go baby!
Lucky 7 Stables: Londonderry, NH
I took my sister to Lucky 7 Stables as a birthday treat. One of the traditions we have as a family, is to celebrate birthdays over a period of days and involve at least one group activity. Because why celebrate just one day.. right? 😉
I’m so glad we came here! We all absolutely LOVED this riding experience. We did a guided Western style trail ride, rambling through the woods for 5 miles.
In some places, the trail narrowed up & down gullies which really made you stay alert and made it a thrilling experience. I kept having to tell my horse, Boomer to keep on going.. he needed the encouragement sometimes. 😊
The alarm clock was invented in Concord, New Hampshire in 1787.
My Favorite Riding Experience Ever
We all agreed that this may be our collective favorite horseback riding experience ever. Mainly, because our horse guide, Ernesto, made it special. After giving each of us a horse, he told us how to ride (which I already had experience in). Then, he took us through the woods which was lit up with Fall color. We went in October, my personal favorite time to ride.
As we were riding, Ernesto would start singing cowboy ballads like, “Take Me Home, Country Road”, “Rhinestone Cowboy”, and “Galveston”. Then we’d all sing along. It made the experience so authentic. Kinda felt like we were in an old Western. This cowboy was a blast from the past! 😊 It was surprising to hear how great his singing voice was.. He brought thoughts of a cattle drive.
I’d definitely go back!
An Adorable Discovery
Pickity Place: Mason, NH
One day, as I was driving, I happened to see a small sign on the side of the road called Pickity Place. For some reason, I felt compelled to Google it. Something about the name sounded interesting. And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the cutest little find! Literally right out of a storybook… You never know what you’ll discover when you whip out Google. 😉
What is Pickity Place?
In Southern New Hampshire, there lies a quaint red cottage known as, Pickity Place, which dates back to 1786. It later became the inspiration for the illustrations in the popular children’s book, Little Red Riding Hood!
Today, it’s a darling display in the woods with a small restaurant, a garden where many things are “pickity picked” for the food.. Also, a museum and gift shop.
I could not pass up the opportunity to go! If only I had known about this as a kid. I would have made my parents fly me across the country to go… Lol.. Well, they probably wouldn’t have taken me.
Luckily, I’m an adult and can do whatever I want. 😉 And what did I want to do…? Be Little Red Riding hood.
So, I made a reservation, put my red cape on and off to Grandmother’s house I went…. Errr.. sort of! It was adorable. But, adorable does not even begin to describe it. It was a surreal experience for me. I felt like I was Little Red Riding Hood!!
Exploring the Grounds of Pickity Place
It’s a set seating time so we decided to arrive a bit early. We all gathered outdoors. The weather was a bit chilly but not too cold.. While waiting to be sat for lunch, we took the opportunity to stroll around the grounds. They have a garden and a lovely greenhouse that you are welcomed to visit.
Inside the greenhouse, the staff is very accommodating and happy to show you around including, to see some edible flowers you may be having with your lunch! It is a farm to table restaurant after all. 😉
What really made me feel like I was at Grandmother’s house was the very realistic set up… Grandma even had cats! One lurked about the garden as I walked. He seemed a bit cranky… Maybe he was hungry, I don’t know.. lol. But I knew I definitely was…
Time for Lunch!
My Dining Experience
When it was time to be sat for lunch, we were seated in an intimate dining room. It felt cozy. We were then handed menus to start off our courses. I love eating in courses and at Pickity, I had 5 of them!
The lunch menu changes every month. Their selection is curated based on what they have growing in the garden which, I think is very lovely. They also have Vegetarian options.
It’s also a BYOB. If you don’t know that in advance (which unfortunately, we didn’t), you will have some options of tasty teas & lemonade topped with flowers from the garden.
Picture coming over for lunch at grandma’s house, it is so cute. I can’t wait to come back for a different tasty 5 course meal!
A Fall Picnic…
Madame Sherri Forest: West Chesterfield, NH
All of my siblings are Fall babies, so we have lots of birthday celebrations in Fall. One day for my birthday, I was surprised with a lovely birthday picnic in the forest here.
We had a lovely picnic.. prosecco, delicious French style sandwiches, mulled apple cider, and butternut squash soup in little gourds.. or are those pumpkins? Idk.. pumpkins aren’t black though.. are they?…
Who is Madame Sherri?
Little did I know, that I’d be brought to the spooky and much talked about castle ruins that once housed Madame Sherri, a New York costume designer who purchased the Summer home in the 1920’s to entertain friends. Her motto was “Only the best”…
That was until her money ran out after WWII and she was forced to move on from her lavish party days. Sadly, everything fell to ruins. All that’s left now is the stonework from the staircase, columns, and chimney.. everything else was vandalized and later, burnt down in 1962.
After arriving in the tight parking area, we took a walk over the bridge and followed a well-defined trail up to the ruins which, we walked past for our picnic and found a nice flat spot away from crowds. Yes, crowds. This place does get crowded. We went on a weekday late afternoon and there were a good dozen people there.
Is the Forest Really Haunted?
The forest looks particularly spooky in the Fall, when the fallen leaves are scattered about the haunted ruins.. It is said that Madame Sherri still haunts the forest… She’s been spotted standing atop the remains of the staircase.
Maybe that explains why people try to climb it (I would not recommend). People have even said they can hear the faint sounds of the music and laughter from when the chateau had seen better days… Who really knows… But it’s still fun to imagine, especially if you’re into that ghostly sort of thing..
In Madame Sherri’s honor, the forest is still named after her and preserved as part of a historical effort. You can learn more about the story here.
If you’re not into the haunted scene, you could totally come just to enjoy a picnic like I did. This forest is also great for hiking.
If you’re not into the haunted scene, you could totally come just to enjoy a picnic like I did. This forest is also great for hiking.
Time in Nature…
Aaahh.. the White Mountains. You may have read about them in one of the many poems Robert Frost wrote. He was smitten with the beauty of New Hampshire’s landscape and who could blame him… it’s refreshing. Fall has always been my favorite time of year to explore.
Now is the perfect time to start venturing out and making nature a part of vacation again. The foliage in New Hampshire is not to be missed. The White Mountains’ “peak” colors in the Fall are late September to early October. Of course, that depends on what you consider to be the height of Fall’s beauty.
My Favorite Fall Adventures in the White Mountains
The last few years, I’ve traveled 150+ days/yr. It became very exciting when I would hop from one completely different destination to the next… I’d go from Hawaii to London to New England and get this fierce craving for nature all of a sudden.
New Hampshire is one of the states where I fully transform into Geeves, the “nature girl”. 😉 Different atmospheres bring out different things in you…
You can do some amazing hiking in The White Mountains, which is the most rugged mountain of New England and also part of the Northern Appalachian Trail.
New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live Free or Die”.
Alpine Adventures, Lincoln NH
What do you know… More freaking birthdays! Thanks mom and dad… lol. 😊 Now for my brother’s Fall birthday celebration… A large group of us went ziplining. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and what’s more adrenaline pumping then jumping off a tree at over 200’ in the air! I love zipline, like, love it.
Now ziplining in the Fall… took it to a whole new level I wasn’t expecting. The beautiful colors all around you is truly something else!
An Adventure Before the Big Adventure
To kick off our big adventure, we hopped in a Pinzgauer for a wild ride. In case you’re not familiar.. they’re Swiss Army transport vehicles. This is how you’re gonna start off your zipline tour. It’s super bumby, so buckle up! 😉
Ziplining, The Big Adventure
The ziplining itself was a nice layout. You have options for all skill levels. Since everyone in our group had some experience, we picked the advanced Skyrider tour which took us to the highest peak of 200’ above the canopy floor reaching speeds of 75 mph.
The guides were fantastic…but you have to listen…of course at one point when the guide said “Get set” I took it as “OK go!.. lol.
Fortunately, I was locked in and safe as I screamed my way down the zipline. Made for a funny video anyways. 😉
Scared of heights? That’s alright. They also have a zipling course for beginners which is not as high up.
More Adventure Before & After the Big Adventure!
If you’re looking for an even more fun day, Alpine Adventures offers more activities either before or after your zipline adventures. At their base camp, they have an incredible rope course that is surprisingly challenging.
Looks can be deceiving! I was a little shaky after ziplining so, I sat that one out. But those in the group that did it had a blast. What I did do…is climb my butt up for the giant ramp in their EXTREME Stunt Zone.
It was so GREAT… you hike up a hill carrying a giant inner tube and then you fly down…like literally get airborne landing on a giant airbag. I ended up hurting my butt like crazy on the landing.. lol. It was scary and fun!
If you’re staying in the area, stop by Flume Gorge for another day of fun!
More New Hampshire Adventures
What’s Fall without poetry and apples…
Robert Frost Farm & Museum: Derry, NH
I’m a huge fan of Robert Frost… He’s incredible at describing the subtleties of nature. I’ve always been impressed with the way he captures the beauty of New Hampshire. So naturally, I had to stop by his farm.
Located in Southern New Hampshire, the Robert Frost Farm & Museum is a nice day trip if you’re in the area. The museum is open May – October and has trails you can walk that lead into the wells.
There are also tables to sit and enjoy a picnic. There are apple trees and such on the property. Wear flat shoes. I of course did not, opting for boots with heels instead… The apples conveniently got stuck in my heel.. lol.
Robert Frost wrote a poem called “After Apple Picking”. He’s been known for his poems about nature, particularly New Hampshire and lived there for many years.
Speaking of apples… what is more Fall than apple picking?!
I am such a theme freak…and to me Fall screams apple picking! So you know I love it. Literally everything about it from finding the perfect apple worthy outfit… to getting to the farm and enjoying apple cider… to picking all the different varietals they offer… Just everything, it’s like being a kid in a candy store.
New Hampshire has some great farms to get fresh, in season fruit. Below are two of my favorite orchards to go apple picking.
Mack’s Apples: Londonderry, NH
I love the history behind Mack’s Apples. Continuously farmed since 1732, Moose Hill Orchards, (home of Mack’s Apples) is the oldest single family run farm in New Hampshire!
When I went, you could sample juices from different apples before you start picking your own apples! If there are specific apples you are in the mood for, make sure you check and see in advance what is being harvested during your visit.
To get into theme for this apple picking visit, I put on my straw hat and overalls. I was too legit to quit! There were a lot of dead apples scattered all over the fields that of course, I stepped in. Good thing I wore my boots! I learned after my Robert Frost Farm visit.. apple & shoes is not a good combo… lol.
Currier Orchards: Merrimack, NH
This orchard was adorable and right up my alley! Not only was the experience themed (and you know how much I love my themes), it was old fashioned.
I was excited because the history of the Currier’s farm was so apparent in its tractors and farmhouses from back in the day. I felt like a total farm girl! This was a big win for me! 😉
We picked Honeycrisp. I love that they give you woven baskets to put your apples in. You can even pull the baskets around in classic Radio Flyer red wagons as you pick apples… it made the experience so more fun. If you know me, you know how much I love dressing in theme. You better believe I wore my apple sweater!
My sister and I like to bake with fresh ingredients whenever we can, fruit especially. When we got home, her and I made pies with the apples we picked.
Another one of my favorite Fall activities…
McQuesten Farm: Litchfield, NH
One morning, my friend John and I ran to the pet store for his dog… As we were checking out, a very friendly cashier overheard us talking about finding a place to go pumpkin picking and recommended McQuesten Farm, owned by someone she went to High School with.
I’m so glad she overheard us! In all my years living in New England, I can honestly say that this was my favorite place to pick pumpkins.
Not just for the pumpkins themselves, but for the overall atmosphere. It’s a great experience. It made me feel like a kid again! It was the perfect break from adulting…
We had a competition to see who had the bigger pumpkin.. My sister clearly did as when she put it over her head, she fell..
So, you got… the Bouncy House… Farm animals you can feed, I mean who doesn’t want to feed a YAK!..
Carnival food like fresh popped popcorn and cotton candy!
Free hay ride that take you to the field where you pick your own pumpkins on this farm from 1744. Need I say more?!
And now, for my favorite part…
Real Girl Reviews
The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
Because of the unique nature of the place, I give it a 4. The food is definitely not the best ever and the portions are quite small. However, you're coming for an experience so keep that in mind. It's reasonably priced.
Reservations are recommended. If you can’t get a table, stop by and check out Pickity Place.
If you were going just for a hike or picnic, that'd be one thing but we came for the Madame Sherri experience. I was really underwhelmed with the ruins. Not to mention, parking was tight and the area was very crowded.
I was pleasantly surprised when coming to this orchard. They gave you baskets and radio flyer wagons which made the experience so authentic for me. The farm had an old fashioned feel to it. Will definitely come back!
I really felt they went out of their way to give you the whole experience. It made me feet like a kid again! Petting zoo, free hay ride to pick pumpkins, carnival snacks, bouncy house.. Overall, a fantastic time. Will definitely return.
Do you like to stay indoors to enjoy Fall or go out and have adventure? Or both?!
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