The 7 wonders of the world inspire people all over the globe. From the pyramid at Giza to the hanging gardens of Babylon, the 7 wonders fascinate people, and inspire wanderlust. But if you live in New Hampshire you don’t have to travel far to see wondrous sites. Here are 7 wonders that are great enough to be wonders of the world, and they’re right here in our back yard.
1. The Basin
This pool in Franconia Notch is a large swimming hole in the Pemigewasset River. Where the rest of the river is smooth and shallow, The Basin is 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep. The swirling action of the river in The Basin carries rocks and sand, that over thousands of years gave the basin its distinctive shape.
2. The Cog Railway
This railroad will take you straight up the side of the largest mountain in New Hampshire, allowing you to take in the 6,288-foot summit in all its glory. The engineering feat of building a railroad up the side of the mountain is amazing in and of itself, but the fact that the Cog Railway began operating in 1869 makes it even more so!
3. The Isle of Shoals
This group of 16 islands is about 6 miles off the New Hampshire coast, although about half of the islands are officially in Maine. The islands have always been steeped in mystery and illusions of wealth. Native Americans set up seasonal fishing camps on the islands, and it’s reputed that pirates used them to store their wares. Great American artists and writers including Nathanial Hawthorne, John Greenleaf Whittier and Oliver Wendell Holmes used the islands as a creative retreat. Today, you can visit the island via boat from Portsmouth and craft your own works.
4. Lake Winnipesaukee
The third-largest lake in New England is the largest in New Hampshire, and one of the most loved. The lake’s sheer size is impressive – it is 21 miles long and its waters cover 71 square miles. The man-made effort to keep the world of the lake bustling is also impressive. Winnipesaukee has 258 islands, and during the summer the U.S. Mail Service operates the M/V Sophie C., one of only two currently operating floating post offices. The Sophie C. began service in 1892, and today it serves 8 islands on Winnipesaukee.
5. America’s Stonehenge
The English Stonehenge is often said to be a wonder of the world, since it captures our imaginations with ancient lore and mystery. New Hampshire’s version has the same qualities. These caverns and man-made structures are – depending on who you ask – the earliest settlement of Europeans in America, or an elaborate hoax. No matter what you believe, a trip to Mystery Hill in Salem to explore for yourself is well worth the journey.
6. USS Albacore
How often can you walk in a real submarine? Probably not often… unless you life in New Hampshire. The USS Albacore was commissioned in 1953 and served until 1972 as one of the fastest and most important submarines in the US Naval fleet. It was moved to Portsmouth in 1985, where it today operates as a living museum, open to visitors who can learn more about life beneath the sea.
7. The Old Man of the Mountain
Made up of a series of five cliffs, this stone profile was arguably the most well-know face in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, like some of the traditional seven wonders, The Old Man is no longer around, but the legend remains.