You’ll start seeing the bumper stickers as soon as you start driving around New England: “This Car Climbed Mount Washington.” You can get your own (even if it’s just for a rental) on the zig-zag Mount Washington Auto Road (Rte. 16, Pinkham Notch, 603/466-3988, www.mountwashingtonautoroad.com , 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. daily mid-Jun.–early Sept.; shorter hours starting in early May and until mid-Oct.) that climbs eight miles to the top of New England.
The history of the road goes back to the mid-19th century, when laborers working 10 to 12 hours a day took seven years to cut a winding passage to the top of the peak. Back then, it was an all-day affair to climb the mountains in uncovered horse-drawn wagons, and could get quite wet if the weather didn’t cooperate.
On that score, Mount Washington’s weather has been called the “worst in the world,” and even in a modern automobile, the drive to the top is always unpredictable (and exciting). But if the day is even partly clear, you are in for a treat, looking down the sheer sides of Tuckerman Ravine  and above the heads of the mountains that you were looking up at just an hour before.
Passengers up the road can choose to take a guided bus tour to the top ($29 adults, $25 seniors, $12 children 5–12, free children under 5), or drive themselves (and get their bumper stickers) with the help of a self-guided CD tour ($23/car and driver, $8 each additional adult, $6 children 5–12, free children under 5).
At the bottom of the road, the free Red Barn Museum displays objects relating to the auto road’s past, including antique cars and a carriage that used to climb the mountain.