With an endless supply of year-round activities and a wondrous backdrop of scenic beauty, the New Hampshire’s White Mountains provide the perfect vacation getaway for families who love the great outdoors—and great antiquing in a town surrounded by cozy Americana.
If you were to look up the word charming, you just might find the town of Lincoln, New Hampshire. Here, red brick hook-and-ladder fire stations that date to the 1800s live comfortably in the 21st century. Relics like the Moxie Horsemobile can be seen standing in repose. Yesterday’s treasures wait for you today on the shelves in places like Arnold’s Antiques. The works of local artisans hang proudly on display. Billboards advertising “famous” tonics good for what ails you line the streets. Towering behind is the wilderness. This big, bold and beautiful expanse is the perfect remedy for a vacation in and around the great outdoors.
It’s Greater in the Great Outdoors
Be sure to visit during the fall when the countryside is ablaze with orange, red and yellow leaves. Hop in your car for a trip along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway and marvel at spectacular views of national forests. Keep your eyes open and you just might spot a moose. Moose spotting tours conducted by local guides are available to help you and your family get a little closer to these magnificent creatures.
For a truly sweet time, taste one of New England’s top exports—maple syrup! When it comes to tapping trees and creating tempting treats, Ben’s Sugar Shack is New Hampshire’s King of Maple Syrup. Pour on the goodness and sample the yield of the sugary harvest.
Visit Franconia Notch State Park for a glimpse of the Old Man of the Mountain rock formation. Or walk along the natural gorges of the Flume that extend an incredible 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The journey takes you through granite walls that rise 70 to 90 feet and are just 12 to 20 feet apart. You’ll also hike past some of the most beautiful flowers, ferns and mosses found in the state. Make plans to traverse the Lost River Gorge for a fascinating adventure filled with cave exploration, opportunities to mine for treasure and lantern tours.
Hike to the Extreme
At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Put on your most comfortable shoes and get ready to climb. Please be aware that Mother Nature can sometimes get pretty moody in these parts, so always check the weather report before trying to conquer this mountain by foot, car or guided tour.
If you’re looking for variety, Clark’s Trading Post is a great place to be. From trained black bears and White Mountain Central Railroad train rides to a backwoods inhabitant known as the Wolfman and purebred Eskimo sled dogs, you’ll find plenty to grab your attention and raise your curiosity. Plan to spend a full day experiencing everything this popular attraction has to offer.
Spend some time shopping for bargains and souvenirs New England style at the Village Shops, then take a break and have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area. When it comes to big tastes in a small town, Gypsy Café delivers in a big way. The eclectic atmosphere, alluring décor, multicultural menu items and friendly wait staff are just some of the main ingredients that make this restaurant a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike.
Another Great Hangout
Nestled at the bottom of Loon Mountain is South Mountain Resort. This cozy retreat features an on-site spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, game room, reading lounge and fitness center to complement comfortable 2-bedroom villas with full kitchens and plenty of extra living space. These villas are perfect for families who enjoy curling up in front of fireplaces, exploring the outdoors and making memories that last a lifetime.