Best Places to Live

Laconia, NH

Population: 16,075
iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Why It’s an Amazing Fall Destination: Every year, tens of thousands of fall fanatics descend upon Laconia for the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, where the main event is the lighting of the pumpkin tower, a 54-foot-tall display of hundreds, sometimes thousands of jack-o-lanterns carved by festival goers. They broke the Guinness World Record for most lit jack-o-lanterns in 2013 with 30,581 glowing gourds!

Where to Spot the Best Fall Colors: You can’t go wrong with a visit to White Mountain National Forest, but for something a little different, take a train ride on the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, which boards in nearby Meredith, NH and offers seasonal foliage tours throughout the region.

What to Eat and Drink: Warm up at Wayfarer Coffee Roasters with a pumpkin caramel latte and a plate of apple pie waffles. They even have a fireplace for maximum hygge vibes.

And While You’re There…: Build your own ice cream sundae at Kellerhaus, New Hampshire’s oldest ice cream and candy shop. Get anywhere from one to 10 scoops of ice cream — in flavors like pumpkin pie, banana pudding and Cookie Monster — then take a trip through their toppings bar, which is stocked with hot fudge, sprinkles, marshmallow, butterscotch, strawberries, various candies, whipped cream and more. (Yes, more!)