Just a dozen states still have a single area code. That’s pretty unique.
New Hampshire is one of those states, but there’s a lot more unique about it than its 603 designation.
We decided to see if our readers could generate 603 reasons why New Hampshire is special.
Most people think their home state is special, but we always thought New Hampshire residents were fiercer than most.
We were right.
We dubbed the project “603 Reasons” and asked readers of The Eagle-Tribune and the Derry News to tell us what they like most about the Granite State.
The responses were as diverse as the state’s geography, thoughtful, predictable and unexpected.
The state motto, Live Free or Die, got lots of votes. So, too, did poet Robert Frost, Derry’s own Alan B. Shepard Jr., Christa McAuliffe and Adam Sandler.
Lots of other people made the list, some historical figures, some inventors, some celebrities.
New Hampshire lays claim to the country’s 14th president, Franklin Pierce. It also is home to the first-in-the-nation primary, a fact some enjoy for the opportunity to meet the next White House resident.
Outdoor activities — fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, skiing — all ranked high.
Many natural wonders — Mount Washington, the Flume, Franconia Notch — made the list.
A lot of people like what the state doesn’t have — helmet or mandatory seat-belt laws, no sales or income taxes. They also prefer it to Massachusetts.
Plenty of restaurants and attractions were mentioned, from the rival lobster pounds in Seabrook to artisan ice cream shops.
Santa’s Village, Clark’s Trading Post and Story Land were popular, but so were memories of Benson’s Animal Farm.
New Hampshire’s proximity to Boston, Canada and Maine matters to many, who consider its location the best possible. That includes four distinct seasons and the opportunity to experience rural and urban life simultaneously.