The White Mountains have fascinated and attracted individuals since explorers first saw the mountain peaks while sailing off the coast of New England. Since that time the area has attracted many individuals who came to explore the area, do scientific research, paint the landscape, and make a living. The group that did the most to spread the word about the White Mountains and its unique landscape were the visitors who came to the region for leisure.
More sophisticated roads, rail lines, and commercial modes of travel were developed and established. Growing tourism was also supported by the growth in lodging for the travelers. The urban, wealthy travelers were joined by the growing middle class who, by the mid-1850s, were able to afford travel and vacation time to the White Mountains. Middle class tourists came at a time when the railroad made travel was easier; their journey to and time in the area shortened as they traveled a well-trod path. The accommodations they stayed in were far more sophisticated and comfortable than the rustic accommodations of the early travelers. What was once an unknown region became a beloved region because of shared stories and the tourist industry.
The White Mountains still attract many to hike, make art, climb and experience what the early visitors discovered.