Offering plenty of classic New England charm and picturesque natural scenery, New Hampshire is the perfect vacation destination for couples. Whether you’re hiking in the gorgeous White Mountains in Lincoln; enjoying fresh-caught seafood by the water in Portsmouth; or exploring the vibrant nightlife in Manchester, the Granite State is the perfect place to escape with your sweetheart for a few days. It’s a small state, so many of the best romantic attractions are just a quick drive from most New Hampshire vacation rentals. Here are eight of the best places in New Hampshire ideal for an unforgettable weekend getaway.

1. Portsmouth

If you’re interested in vacation rentals by the water, Portsmouth is the perfect choice. It’s a coastal port city that’s known for its beautiful green parks, historic architecture, fantastic museums, and of course its local, fresh-caught seafood. Head to The River House restaurant for lobster, New England clam chowder, and an ocean view. While you’re there, be sure to try the spiked hot mulled cider. Pack a picnic and enjoy relaxing in the gorgeous Prescott Park, located just a few blocks from the vibrant downtown area. While you’re in town, check the calendar at The Music Hall, New Hampshire’s oldest theater, and the 14th oldest in the country. The beautiful venue hosts a wide range of performances, from dance recitals to films to concerts.

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2. Lincoln

Lincoln is one of the best New Hampshire vacation destinations if you’re looking for a quaint cabin in the woods. Home to some of the most beautiful attractions in the White Mountains, it’s the ideal place to look for vacation rentals if you and your loved one enjoy outdoor adventures. Explore Franconia Notch State Park, especially the famous Flume and Basin — the area’s most popular aquatic natural wonders. When you’re ready to unwind, head to Seven Birches Winery, where you can enjoy tasting exquisite wines, touring the grounds, and even meeting the winemakers. Lincoln boasts quite a few lovely eateries, but make sure you reserve a table at Tim-Bir Alley while you’re in town. It’s a small restaurant that’s upscale and elegant yet still welcoming and cozy. The menu includes a variety of rustic, comfort meals that you and your lucky date are sure to love.

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3. Hampton

Hampton is home to New Hampshire’s most popular beach, Hampton Beach. There’s certainly no shortage of vacation rentals near the beach available, many that are seconds from the shore. After you’ve enjoyed suntanning, building sandcastles, and dipping your toes in the waves, spend some time exploring the eclectic boardwalk. There are entertainment venues, casinos, shops, arcades, and many other one-of-a-kind attractions. On some nights, there are even fireworks shows. If you feel like having some classic fun, shoot a round or two of mini golf at Buc’s Lagoon, or hit the water and see if you can catch dinner at Sunrise Adventure Charters and Lobster Tours. For dinner, enjoy some exquisite American fare at CR’s The Restaurant, an upscale, open-timbered restaurant with a romantic atmosphere, whether you’re dining inside or on the outdoor patio. For an especially magical ambiance, call ahead and find out when the restaurant is hosting live piano, acoustic guitar, and music.

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4. North Conway

North Conway offers rural New England charm — perfect if you’re looking for a private getaway away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the autumn, take a drive down the scenic Kancamagus Highway, where some of the country’s best foliage can be seen. Enjoy a picturesque ride on the historic Conway Scenic Railroad, sitting next to your sweetheart watching the rural landscape fly by through the windows. During the cold months, head to Fireside Sleigh Rides for a horse-drawn sleigh ride complete with hot cider and blankets — it ends with marshmallows roasting over a fire. During the non-winter months, stop by Snowy Creek Outfitters (Fireside Sleigh Rides’ partners) for a wagon or horseback ride. North Conway has a few beautiful waterfalls for you to visit, so take a leisurely hike to Diana’s Baths, Glen Ellis Falls, or Arethusa Falls. While you’re in the area, take a quick drive a town over to Jackson for a smooch on the “Kissing Bridge,” one of the state’s most photographed iconic covered bridges.

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5. Manchester

Located along the Merrimack River in Southern New Hampshire, Manchester is one of the state’s most exciting cities. Packed with fantastic bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, the downtown area is loaded with places to explore with your adoring partner. Spend the day admiring works by major American and European artists at The Currier Museum of Art. Check the calendar at The Palace Theatre to see what kind of performances are playing — the classic theater often hosts touring Broadway shows. Enjoy some laughs at the Headliners Comedy Club, and then head to Firefly American Bistro & Bar for an upscale-yet-casual meal. The interior is beautiful, and the menu includes a variety of elevated American dishes, as well as a robust drink menu with a lively bar to accompany it.

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6. Laconia

Located in New Hampshire’s beautiful Lakes Region, Laconia is a fantastic spot to look for vacation rentals near Lake Winnipesaukee. Of course, the lake provides a variety of attractions, from boating and swimming to picnicking by the shore. Laconia is also one of the best vacation destination for history buff couples. Take a stroll down the one-mile Riverwalk in the historic district, where you can visit historic sites such as the Busiel Mill, the Laconia Public Library, the Masonic Temple and the Laconia Passenger Station. When you’ve worked up an appetite exploring this fascinating town, head to Tavern 27 for dinner. It’s a wonderful tapas restaurant that has a warm, romantic ambiance, thanks to is exposed wooden beams and crackling fireplace.

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7. Jaffrey

Jaffrey is a small town in New Hampshire’s quaint Monadnock Region. Take a hike to the top of Mount Monadnock — if you make it all the way to the top, the breathtaking view is worth the effort. The mountain is also home to a whole lot of the state’s famous granite. If you and your sweety prefer a quicker hike, Pack Monadnock is Mount Monadnock’s smaller sibling, and it’s located just a stone’s throw away in Peterborough’s Miller State Park. Jaffrey is a great place to enjoy dinner and a movie or show together. The River Street Theatre hosts various films and performances, so check the calendar in advance. Be sure to stop by Kimball Farm for a delicious seafood meal in a rustic setting. The lobster rolls and ice creams are both local favorites.

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8. Amherst

Located just a quick drive from Nashua and Manchester, Amherst gives you the warm comforts of a small town with the conveniences and amenities of big cities. Stop in for a tour of the gorgeous La Belle Winery, and then enjoy a farm-to-table meal complemented by some of the region’s finest wines. When you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, head to Frederick’s Pastries for some truly tantalizing baked goods. The Black Forest Cafe and Bakery is another favorite spot for a delicious meal and decadent dessert, or stop by Pastamore off of Route 101A for a “delizioso” Italian feast for two. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill on the border of Bedford and Amherst, where you can say hello to some alpacas and other farm animals. Check in advance to see if hay rides are available.

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