A few months ago I attended Mt. Washington Valley IceFest in North Conway, New Hampshire. Not only did I have an absolute blast, but I also learned a new sport and met some great gals. Check out my post and short video of my ice climbing adventure here.
While in town for the ice climbing festival, I had the opportunity to check out North Conway and experience only a smidgin’ of all the fun it had to offer. In the spirit of my recent post on Bozeman, Montana, here’s my “Where To” Guide to North Conway, New Hampshire.
Where to Stay: Riverside Inn
There is a whole range of hotels, B & B’s and hostels to choose from in North Conway, but the Riverside Inn is at the top of the list. There is a total of seven rooms in this restored 1906 house, and each has its’ own unique design and charm. The beds are absolutely heavenly, the in-room fireplaces are oh-so-cozy and the house itself is warm and inviting. This makes it a perfect place to spend a rainy spring or blustery cold winter afternoon. The East Branch River in the backyard is peaceful to sit next to, or even amble your way upstream for a while. My most favorite thing about Riverside Inn? The breakfast. The innkeeper, Ken, whips up delicious meals such as omelets, waffles and fresh smoothies, not to mention his homemade gluten-free biscuits. Seriously, I can’t say enough about this breakfast. It is reason alone to stay here.
Where to Play: The White Mountains
North Conway is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream in New England. Whether it is wintertime for skiing and ice climbing or summertime for biking or hiking, there is always something to do outside. Echo Lake State Park is a summertime climbing hotspot and also a refreshing place to take a dip in the summer heat. The White Mountain National Forest provides excellent hiking opportunities-no matter the season- with lots of choices for trails for all fitness levels. Forget your gear? Want more information on nearby outdoor activities? The International Mountain Equipment store can help out with rentals, courses and local lore.
Where to Drink Beer: Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery
Just as knowing where to drink whiskey in Bozeman was important, so is knowing where to drink beer is in North Conway. Moat Mountain is THE place in North Conway to congregate with friends after a full day of exploring the outdoors. If you just want to taste the brewed goods, you can’t go wrong with the six beer sampler. My personal favorite? The Moat Violet B’s Blueberry Ale. The food is fairly standard pub fare, and it can be a bit loud at times, but nevertheless, it’s a ‘must stop’ at town. You can even take some canned beer (or a growler) home with you to remember your trip.
Where to Drive or Bike: Kancamagus Highway
Don’t ask me to say it three times fast, but I’ll be happy to bike or drive along this picturesque road in the summer or fall. I biked this with my father when I was a teenager, and have fond memories of this breathtaking highway. Named an American Scenic Byway, this 26.5 mile long stretch of Route 112 is popular among leaf peepers in the fall. The highway runs next to the Swift River for a short while as well as passing by a covered bridge, creating beautiful scenery for the bike rider or driver. There isn’t a traditional bike lane, and so it’s important to be careful when biking on this two lane highway, especially in the fall.
Kancamagus Highway photos taken by Josuppi on Flickr (creative commons)
Many thanks to Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce to hosting me on my trip to North Conway. My opinions, as always, are my own.
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