I grew up north of Boston, so you can take Cape Cod and your summer-long traffic jam and cram it: the Granite State is where it’s at for summertime fun as far as I’m concerned. Maine is fantastic, too, and will probably get some love later this summer, but right now we’re focusing on the great NH. Here’s a short list of fun trips to take.

The Kancamagus Highway

Don’t wait until fall foliage season to cruise the Kanc: take a lazy summer afternoon and just drive. Rocky Gorge and Lower Falls are worthy resting spots (bring a bathing suit), and if you’re the camping type, you can turn it into an overnight trip at one of the half-dozen campgrounds along the Byway. Passaconaway is my personal fave.

The Flume Gorge

Easy to drive to (Lincoln, NH) and easy to hike (it’s a 2-mile loop), the Flume is arguably the best New Hampshire day-trip you can take. And the views are spectacular. Bonus: the drive up takes you past the Old Man of the Mountain Historic Site.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway

I prefer to hike to the top of Mount Washington, but I realize that not everyone has my incredibly muscular legs and brass player’s lungs (yes, I can hear you laughing). So take The Cog to the highest peak in New England. It’s a unique, historical trip and something both young folks and old will get a kick out of.

Story Land

Obviously, right? The kids love it, you can spend a full day and do pretty much everything in the park, and it’s located in Glen, NH–a stone’s throw from North Conway, chock-full of great bars and restaurants.

And here’s my last, most important recommendation: if you’re spending the night in New Hampshire this summer, spend it at The Bartlett Inn. I spent a weekend there with the family for our last Drafters trip of the season and absolutely fell in love. It’s the quintessential New England inn: picturesque and inviting. And it’s near pretty much everything worth doing in the White Mountains, like Story Land, Santa’s Village, and the Polar Express. Grab a Cottage Room if you can (my kids loved it), and make sure you’re up early enough for breakfast, because it’s home-cooked, delicious, and served with a smile.

Again, just a short list of some of my NH faves. If I missed one of your favorite New Hampshire summer spots, post it in the comments.