Route 4 Series

Credit Sara Plourde for NHPR

U.S. Route 4 stretches across the heart of New Hampshire — from the Seacoast to the Vermont border, snaking past all kinds of villages, antique shops, roundabouts and historical markers in between. 

This summer, NHPR is reporting stories about - and inspired by - the state's first turnpike. 

Do you have questions or story ideas to help us report this series? Click here to submit them!

To see other stories we've reported along Route 4 over the years, click here. 

Explore our series story map:

 Click here for a full screen version of the map.

Alli Fam / NHPR

Every year in Salisbury, for a short time, people in town experience what things would be like without the cars on Route 4.


The highway NHPR has been exploring all summer runs right through Salisbury, a town of 1,425 located between Andover and Boscawen.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Along Route 4 in Canaan, there are a couple of options to grab a bite to eat: the gas station, a pizza place, a Chinese restaurant. But there wasn't a coffee shop. That is, until earlier this year when two cafes opened not far from one another. As part of the summer series, Exploring Route 4, NHPR's Daniela Allee gives us a peek into what it's like when a town of 4,000 has a bit of a coffee shop boom.

Grafton Historical Society

Historic buildings and sites are scattered all along Route 4 in New Hampshire. Some are well preserved and others look like they need some love.

Grafton native Andrew Cushing works for the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, an advocacy nonprofit. He's also the president for Mascoma Valley Preservation.

As part of NHPR's summer series on Route 4, Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley sat down with Cushing to talk about some of the historic sites he cares about along the highway.

Peter Biello / NHPR

If you drive along Route 4 in Epsom, you may notice a varnished wooden sign with a pine tree logo beckoning you to Blasty Bough Brewing Company. Turn past that sign and travel a mile or so down the road, and you’ll find a rustic red barn with a porch and greenhouse, surrounded by trees, fields and plants.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR


If you drive Route 4 through Northwood, you pass a cluster of colorful cabins by a small lake: the Cottages at Harvey Lake. Generations of travelers have gone there to relax, despite it being just a stone’s throw from one of the busiest roads in the state.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Antique Alley, perhaps the most famous stretch of Route 4, is located roughly between Chichester and the Lee traffic circle.

The miles-long shopping destination is dotted with both higher-end and more eclectic antique dealers. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was the spot for bargain hunters looking for a piece of traditional Americana, everything from solid furniture to tools to handicrafts.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Each year in Enfield, people gather for a unique Fourth of July celebration. It involves singing and pies.

The pies are sold as a benefit for the Shaker Museum, which is on Route 4a, just down the road from the Shaker Farm Bed and Breakfast.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

This summer, NHPR is taking a closer look at U.S. Route 4 in New Hampshire. We’re answering listener questions and reporting on the highway that stretches through the heart of the state, from the Vermont border to the Seacoast.

So, naturally, this is a great opportunity for a road trip.

We're driving the entire length of Route 4 that covers New Hampshire, beginning at the Vermont border in Lebanon. And we’re taking Rick's Mustang convertible, more fitting for the open road than the NHPR Subaru.

Library of Congress, Historical American Buildings Survey

U.S. Route 4 stretches across the heart of New Hampshire — from the Seacoast to the Vermont border, snaking past all kinds of villages, antique shops, roundabouts and historical markers in between. If you live in New Hampshire, you’ve probably been on it.