Amanda Loder

New Hampshire's economy is comparatively strong these days, but that strength varies depending on where you are in the small state. The closer you get to its border with Massachusetts, the more robust the economic activity. The state has been aggressive about marketing the so-called "New Hampshire Advantage."

All it takes to enter a time warp in New Hampshire is $15 and a summer afternoon. Spanning more than 250 years of American history, Strawbery Banke is the oldest neighborhood in the state's oldest city, Portsmouth.

It's kind of like Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg — lite. Stationed inside many of the 37 homes are re-enactors in different period garb. Inside a hulking white house, it's 1872.