25th Anniversary – July Recap

July practically flew by, and it was another successful month for our 25th anniversary celebrations!  We enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the Sunapee/Dartmouth Region, through in-person tours and interviews.

Our Conversations with Emily series continued with two businesses in the Sunapee/Dartmouth Region.  We interviewed the New London Barn Playhouse, as well as Kearsarge Food Hub.  We also interviewed Tom Boucher from Great NH Restaurants.  Our Center Manager interviews can be found on our Visitor Center Information page.


We were fortunate to participate in many tours this month that highlighted different areas and activities within the Dartmouth/Sunapee region.  Ashlee Rowley, Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce, put together an impressive variety of tours that showcased so much of what the region has to offer.  

Our first tour took place at the beginning of the month, co-hosted by Ashlee and Tracy Hutchins, Upper Valley Business Alliance.  This Upper Valley Agriculture Tour was a fun-filled day, with almost 50 GSA participants.  The tour started with a visit to Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, where three National Park Service employees gave a brief tour of the beautiful property.  The next stop was Blow-Me-Down-Farm, where Opera North gave an overview of the events that are offered on the property underneath the big-top tent.  Lunch took place at McNamara Dairy in Plainfield, which included homemade maple creamees from Mac’s Maple topped with maple candy.  The family-owned farm also gave us an idea of the history of the property and the diversification of their business over time.  Last but not least, the group stopped at Garfield’s Smokehouse in Meriden for a cheese tasting and an explanation of the cheese smoking process.  Read more to see pictures and hear more about the day.

The next tour of the month was an exploration of Newport.  The group stopped at Parlin Field to see the small airport, followed by an enjoyable walk on the Sugar River Rail Trail.  The GSAs were also able to stop at Gunnison Lake to enjoy a lunch near the water, followed by an ice cream treat at Balthazar’s Ice Shack.  The Sunshine Town was a great area to experience outdoor recreation in NH.  Learn more about the tour and all that Newport has to offer.

In mid-July, our GSAs were given the opportunity to travel around Warner on their own.  Ashlee Rowley and Dan Watts, Kearsarge Area Chamber of Commerce, met the GSAs at Cafe One East to hand out packets for the day.  GSAs stopped in to explore places such as the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum, Nature Discovery Center, NH Telephone Museum, MainStreet Bookends, Warner Public Market, Velvet Moose Ice Cream Shoppe, and Pumpkin Blossom Farm.  These businesses in Warner showcased history, culture, local food and crafts…read more to see pictures of some of the sights!

During the last week of July, we continued our tour activities with the Sunapee Harbor.  Ashlee Rowley met our group of GSAs at Stacy’s Smoothies, before we toured the variety of shops in the harbor area.  We had the opportunity to explore the Sunapee Historical Society, where we learned about the steamboat and railroad eras and the grand hotels, and we were able to see relics of the historical Sunapee area.  We ate a picturesque lunch looking out on the harbor, where we each picked from a variety of local harbor restaurants.  And our day culminated in a ride around Lake Sunapee on the MV Mt Sunapee from Sunapee Cruises.  Captain John gave a great overview of the different areas of the lake and some of the famous houses, as well as the islands, lighthouses, and some of the views.  Learn more about our tour.

Our last tour of our Sunapee/Dartmouth Region month was a trip to Charlestown and Claremont.  Ashlee Rowley and Elyse Crossman, Director of the Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce, facilitated this tour opportunity.  We visited The Fort at No. 4, where we were greeted by docents dressed in 18th century attire.  They gave us an overview of the history of the fort and the time period.  We explored the open air museum and learned more about the way of life at that time.  There was also a tower to climb that offered beautiful views of the Connecticut River, the fort, and the surrounding fields.  We also toured the Claremont Opera House.  Andrew Pinard, Executive Artistic Director of the Opera House, gave an in-depth tour to the GSAs that included the balcony area, the stage, the atrium, and the Ladies Parlor.  He also shared some of its history, the design of the theater, the types of shows that have performed there, and his many plans for future shows.  Read more about the tour.

Organizations Featured in our weekly Newsletter

Each month, we highlight several topics in our newsletter.  In July, we featured an article from NH Rail Trails Coalition about the Concord-Sunapee Rail Trail: A Work in Progress.  We also highlighted Mount Sunapee State Park for our NH State Parks section.

Upcoming Programs

August is Monadnock month, and we are looking forward to featuring the region.

Our Conversations with Emily series will continue with interviews from Pam Lorimer, Jack Daniels Inn and Monadnock Travel Council and Denise Meadows, CC&D’s Kitchen Market.

We will host two tours in the Monadnock Region, one of which includes the “Badass Women of Keene” tour with the Historical Society of Cheshire County.

About New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors

New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors add value to state agencies, local businesses, and individuals through a training and service support network that sustains and enhances the New Hampshire experience. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, NHGSA serves hundreds of travel and tourism-related businesses.

Find out more about NHGSA, Inc. at https://nhgranitestateambassadors.org/ Our key partners are the NH Division of Travel and Tourism and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.