Mountains, snow, and fun await visitors in this prized New Hampshire region. In 1642, Darby Field, a ferryboat operator and translator of Indian languages, set a course for history when he took off by foot from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, heading northwest toward the mountains. Eighteen days later, with the support of two Native American guides, […]
By Yankee Magazine
Feb 01 2016
The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods sparkles under a winter night sky.Photo Credit : Courtesy of Omni Mount Washington-Bretton Woods
Mountains, snow, and fun await visitors in this prized New Hampshire region.
In 1642, Darby Field, a ferryboat operator and translator of Indian languages, set a course for history when he took off by foot from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, heading northwest toward the mountains. Eighteen days later, with the support of two Native American guides, he became the first recorded European to successfully climb Mount Washington. We’ve been following his lead ever since. There are the mountains of course, which birthed America’s interest in skiing, but the air is just as rarified at lower altitudes. Antiquing, outlet shopping, award-winning inns, and locally inspired cuisine give this part of New England a flavor all its own.
WHAT TO DO
Bretton Woods Canopy Tour, Bretton Woods
There’s quiet in them thar trees. Take flight and take in the views surrounding Bretton Woods at the ski resort’s Canopy Tour, a year-round, multi-hour zipline experience that brings visitors down the mountain via thick cables and some securing hitches. The reward: a through-the-forest experience with spectacular sights of the Western Whites. 99 Ski Area Road. 603-278-4947;brettonwoods.com
League of NH Craftsmen Retail Gallery, Littleton
Everything here (jewelry, baskets, pottery, fiber arts, glass, and more) is made by hand by New Hampshire artists. Inspired? Sign up for a class taught by league members at the nearby Little Studio School. 81 Main St. 603-444-1099;nhcrafts.org
New England Ski Museum, Franconia
If you’ve never seen an Olympic medal up close and personal, imagine taking in five at once. At the New England Ski Museum, nestled at the base of the Aerial Tramway at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, you can. There, the gold, bronze, and three silver medals awarded to champion New Hampshire skier Bode Miller at the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games are on display year-round, along with dozens of other objects, videos, and exhibits that celebrate New England’s contributions to American skiing. 135 Tramway Dr. 603-823-7177; skimuseum.org.
Ravenwood Curio Shoppe, Jackson
“Curio” is defined as an interesting and unusual object. You’ll find plenty of fodder for your curiosity inside this handmade hobbit house, stuffed to the rafters with sparkly gifts, but it’s the backyard that truly dazzles, with a maze of fencing, plants, statues, and fountains, winding into secret nooks. 60 Main St. 603-383-8026; ravenwoodcurio.com
Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel, Jefferson
Visitors can experience the thrill of being pulled by a team of Alaskan huskies, Siberians, and malamutes. Trips range from a 90-minute Presidential Range Ride to full-day Mush-Inn sojourns. 32 Valley Road. 603-545-4533;dogslednh.com.
Weather Discovery Center, North Conway
This entertaining and interactive museum steeps visitors in the region’s sometimes legendary weather. Start with a 10-minute film dedicated to the wind; then get the fascinating facts on the history of the Mount Washington Observatory. Step into the re-created version of the observatory’s first office and experience firsthand just what the wind atop the Northeast’s highest peak feels and sounds like. 2779 White Mountain Hwy. 603-356-2137;mountwashington.org
WHERE TO EAT
Schilling Beer Company, Littleton
“Bready,” “toffee”—just a few notes that have beer nerds toasting this cozy, urbane brewery overhanging the Ammonoosuc River. The converted mill building is strung with lights, bright umbrellas dot the balcony like mixed-drink decorations, and the wood-burning oven releases a happy procession of Neapolitan flatbread pizzas. But it’s the artisanal brews—smoked-wheat beer or Foy IPA—that keep the fans hoppy. 18 Mill St. 603-444-4800;schillingbeer.com
Polly’s Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill
Pancakes, views, and most especially views of pancakes: You’ll be in blueberry buckwheat heaven at this family-owned institution, which has been flipping delectable discs for more than three quarters of a century. Polly’s has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a woodshed, and inaugurated a new building in 2015to accommodate the 58,000 pilgrims who make the trek to tiny, aptly named Sugar Hill each year. 672 Sugar Hill Road (Route 117). 603-823-8849; pollyspancakeparlor.com
Mountain View Grand, Resort & Spa, Whitefield
The candlelit tables surrounded by bins holding 6,000bottles are undeniably romantic. Food such as lobster-scallop stew and roasted locally farmed venison fit the elegant setting. Gentlemen will want a jacket and ladies will like a wrap, as the wine cellar stays cool year-round. 101 Mountain View Road. 855-837-2100; mountainviewgrand.com
WHERE TO STAY
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods
Make sure your stay is grand by making the Omni Mount Washington Resort your home for a night, weekend, or longer. This famous red-roofed grand hotel is a National Historic Landmark, welcoming presidents, writers, and other luminaries since it first opened in 1902. Stroll the famous porch, then take your seat for a fine dinner at the hotel’s four-diamond restaurant. 310 Mount Washington Road. 603-278-1000; omnihotels.com
1785 Inn, North Conway
With a footprint spanning six prime mountain acres, it’s no wonder this inn has some of the best views of the Presidential Range. Soak in the vista from poolside, surrounded by a garden of tall, spikey pink-and-white cleomes, or from the dining room’s bay window while sampling cuisine that has garnered a host of culinary awards. 3582 White Mountain Hwy. 603-356-9025;the1785inn.com
Mulburn Inn, Bethlehem
Set in the heart of the region’s antiques capital, the century-old Mulburn Inn offers seven decorated rooms with names (“Washington,” “Jackson,” “Monroe”) inspired by the nearby Presidential Range. Full country breakfasts and a hot tub on the screened-in porch are just a few of the many amenities. 2370 Main St. 603-869-3389; mulburninn.com