Our 25th Anniversary celebrations were in full swing in May for our Seacoast month! We learned so much about the Seacoast region through virtual programs, interviews, and in-person tours.
We hosted two virtual programs in May. Our first panel featured some historical locations in Portsmouth. Our Explore Portsmouth Panel included Jan Smith, Visitor/Tour Guide at the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth, Andy Goodell, Operations Manager at the Gundalow Company, Veronica Lester, Director of Marketing at Strawbery Banke Museum, and Dennis Britton, Board President of the Black Heritage Trail of NH. The presenters shared an overview of their attraction and its historical significance, so the entire presentation highlighted a range of activities for a visit to Portsmouth. Check out the recording to learn more!
We continued our Learn from a GSA series with a GSA Author Panel! We featured 3 talented GSAs who are NH authors. Dr. Mark Okrant, a professor emeritus of tourism management at Plymouth State University, shared the background for his Kary Turnell mystery series. Mike Bruno shared the process for his fantastic book about the historical markers in NH. Dick Hatin shared the basic plot of some of his novels and his path to get there. If you’re interested in learning more about each of these authors, listen in to the recording.
Our Conversations with Emily series featured a variety of Seacoast organizations and activities. We interviewed Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, Star Island, and an overview of 2 NH Forts with a local historian. We have also been conducting interviews with our Center Managers, which can be found on our Visitor Center Information page.
We were also excited to start our in-person tours again in May! It was wonderful to have the opportunity to explore the Seacoast area and learn more about all the region has to offer. We participated in a tour at Hampton Beach, sponsored by the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce. Our GSAs enjoyed listening to presentations at the Seashell, overlooking Hampton Beach. We heard from some local Hampton Beach residents who own restaurants and hotels, the NH State Parks Seacoast Regional Supervisor, the Lifeguard Chief who oversees the lifeguards at the beach, the retired director of the Hampton Historical Society who provided a historical perspective of the area and more. To top off an already amazing day, the Hampton Chamber, and the Executive Director, John Nyhan, sponsored appetizers and drinks at the Boardwalk cafe. What a special day!
The very next day, we traveled to Exeter to board the AMTRAK Downeaster train. We traveled by train up to Freeport, ME and back again. A representative from Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority met us and traveled with us, providing a great overview of the accessibility and travel opportunities with AMTRAK. We learned about the three stations in NH: Exeter, Durham, and Dover. We were greeted by some local Freeport representatives, and then we had the opportunity to explore the adorable town of Freeport. A day well spent!
Organizations Featured in our weekly Newsletter
Each week, we highlight a new topic in our newsletter: NH Rail Trails Coalition, NH Agriculture, NH State Parks, and NH Arts/History/Culture. The NH Rail Trails Coalition wrote a great article about the Rockingham Rail Trail. NH Agriculture featured Flag Hill Winery. NH State Parks highlighted Pawtuckaway State Park, and the NH History theme focused on NH Forts.
We concluded our GSA training in May as a virtual training. Our final day of training was an outdoor gathering at Kimball Jenkins, where we met our new GSAs in person and mingled with current GSAs.
Granite State Ambassadors is pleased to continue a new partnership with the world-renowned customer service expert, Dennis Snow. As the industry leader in customer experience and information services, it is important that NHGSA lead the charge during our state’s recovery of the pandemic. We are so very proud to have been offered this opportunity, and we strongly encourage Granite State Ambassadors and industry members to participate. The courses in the Dennis Snow Virtual Training are designed for people experienced in assisting customers, as well as those new to the role. Learn more about the training here.
June will be our Lakes Region month, and we are looking forward to promoting some Lakes Region organizations and partners! We also have 2 in-person tours scheduled for June. On June 14th, we will visit Prescott Farm in Laconia. On June 30th, we will visit Wolfeboro Museums: Wright Museum, Boat Museum, Libby Museum. We are also participating in the White Mountain Attractions fam tour at the end of June.
On June 17th, we will hear from Brian Solomon of Conway Scenic Railroad with an overview of trains in NH.
We have interviews scheduled with Squam Lakes Association and Mt Washington Cruises as well. We are looking forward to another fun and exciting month!
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.