Best Place to Stay in White Mountain Area

Jul 31st, 2007, 11:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Best Place to Stay in White Mountain Area

With only two months until the Columbus Day week, it may be a bit late to start planning a weekend in the White Mountain area of New Hamsphire. Unfortunately we can only make the trip on the weekend of Sept 28 and then later on Thurs and Fri Oct. 4-5. Which area would be best, North Conway NH, Jackson NH, Woodstock VT or the lakes?
chazman is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Woodstock VT is nice but I think the scenery is much nicer in the White Mountains and around Lake Winnipesaukee. Our favorite area for drives is Center Sandwich/Squam Lake area. It's beautiful in all seasons. The traffic is going to be backed up getting into Meredith NH and further south, the Lake W area is congested (cottages packed close together). I would still choose Meredith as a great area. You are almost in the mountains and could make a nice loop. Wolfeboro, Moultonboro, Center Harbor are all nice. Wolfeboro would be closer to getting up to the North Conway and Jackson area. You might consider a dinner cruise on the Mount Washington which cruises Lake Winnipesaukee.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 05:06 PM
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I just came back from White mountains we stayed in North Conway. I really liked it there they had many choices of restaurants. The center of town is small but some nice shops. Not too far from Mount Washington Auto road. I don't know if you are planning to do it but it's a great trip up. You can drive yourself or take their tour van. We drove ourself but would have rather taken their tour van. I think it will still be open then. We also took a moose tour we saw 12 moose. If you do stay in North Conway a great place for breakfast and lunch is a restaurant called Peaches.
mmouse52 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 04:38 AM
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Jackson.Lovely place.Covered bridge lodge is fine.Good restaurant across the road:Red Fox.Outlets close by in N.Conway.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 06:34 AM
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dfrost - I prefer the scenery in VT over NH is definately in the eyes of the beholder!
To the OP - If you decide on NH, I'd go with Jackson. It's less commercial than Conway or Winnie and it's right in the mountains.
bm is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 06:40 AM
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I'm not sure what to tell you about staying in the area, as when I was just up in that area in July we stayed in Barre, Vt. However, if you do want to do Mt. Washington, I would highly recommend the Cog Railway. We did it over taking the Vans or driving, and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
Lord_Mesron is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 07:58 AM
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I would definitely head to either
Meredith/Lake W or North Conway.

North Conway if you want to outlet shop!

If you have kids, Lake Winnepauske and Weirs Beach if the boardwalk/arcade stuff is still open. Don't forget to eat your fried dough and fudge.There's still a drive in...

Just beautiful to drive around the area.

Woodstock is gorgeous, more upscale.Probably boring to kids though.
GranthamMommy is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We have a townhouse in Jackson and love it!! It is close to North Conway (10-15 minutes) so you can get to the outlets if that's what interests you but you are away from all the crazy traffic (late September/early October is foliage season).

Jackson is quaint, quiet, has not of nice places to dine - upscale and family. There are several golf courses, lots of hiking, you are close to the Kangamagus (via Bear Notch Road), Storyland (if you have kids)...

Here is a post that I left for someone else awhile ago:

I own a townhouse in Jackson, NH and absolutely love it up there. We get up there as many weekends as possible and are never bored. Early October is a beautiful time as the foliage will be out.

There is plenty to keep you busy for 4 days - it is a quaint village. I would choose a hotel in the village as you will then be able to go for early morning walks and then walk to breakfast.

For more than a century, visitors have been “strolling the mile,” a mile-long village loop around Jackson. The “Village Mile” is one of nine walks and hikes outlined in a handy guide published by the Jackson Resort Association.

The Snowflake Inn is a newer B&B in the town center (2-3 years old). Every room has a jacuzzi and fireplace and it is an adult only hotel. I think the room comes with an in room massage. The owner makes cookies/pastries for the guests. We went over to an open house once it was a nice place.

The Inn at Thorn Hill is another nice place. They have a great restaurant and wine list and an in house spa. I have never seen the rooms but the inn burnt down several years back and was rebuilt so it is also newer. It is slightly up the hill from the village (mabe 1/8 of a mile). They have gotten tons of awards (check out their website).

Not sure where you live but the Wentworth ( also a good choice. Lots of Europeans stay here. The owners Ellie & Fritz are from Europe (Ireland & Germany). They have some really great rooms (as pictured on the website) and really bad rooms so make sure you ask for the ones on the website. They are across the street from the Snowflake. They have a cute bar and a piano player on Fri/Sat nights. The restaurant is pretty good too. This is where we own our condo - we don't rent ours out but others do through Ellie/Fritz you can get a 2 bedroom/2.5 bath condo with full kitchen/fireplace.

Last, the Lodge at Jackson Village is also a great choice (they are rated # 1 in Jackson on trip advisor). We also met the owners at an open house. They were very nice. The rooms are all very cute. They are located at the end of the village across the street.

Eagle Mountain House used to be a nice place years ago but they have really let the place go. We have golfed there and been to their Sunday brunch. They have been trying to sell off the units as time share I am guessing because they don't have the cash to put into the place. It is also about a mile ouside of the village.

You mention that you plan to go on the Cog Railway. I wanted to let you know that is is on the other side on Mt. Washington up near Bretton Woods not near Jackson. Also, it is a big rip off. A very slow smoky ride and then when you get to the top they let you look around for 5 minutes before they make you reboard and head down.

I would instead recommend the Mt Washington Auto Road. It is close to Jackson (about 10 miles) and you can stay on top as long as you like. If you don't want to drive your own car there are vans that will take you up. If you are hikers you can hike the Tuckerman's Ravine trail to the top (about 3 1/2 hour hike) which starts in Pinkham Notch near the Auto Road. You can hike down or take a van. We've hiked with a 5 year old and a 73 year old - it is a tough hike but doable. Just check the weather first they may already have snow in October.

As far as eating - lots of great places right in Jackson Village that you can walk to from any of the hotels I have mentioned:

Shannon Door Pub - Irish food, excellent pizzas and have 2 Irish guys with guitars on Fri/Sat - they accept only cash but have an ATM machine inside.

J-Town Deli - great place for picking up groceries, good lunch sandwiches/picnic food, breakfast is okay, not great but it is a great place to sit on Sunday with a newspaper and meet some of the locals.

Thompson House Eatery - mid to upscale dining - great food especially their salads.

Wilcat Tavern - fun on Tuesday nights, its an open Mike nite. They have a fine dining establishment and a pub. Both have great food. Under new ownership and I have to say it's gotten even better.

I have already mentioned the Wentworth & Inn at Thorn Hill - both are fine dining.

The Red Fox Pub - casual, affordable and really cheap good Sunday brunch. They have a kid's only room where families sit and kids can run around and do what they want - play with toys, watch movies, etc.

Yesterdays - awesome breakfast!!

Outside of Jackson try:
Horsefeathers in North Conway - has been around for years, great place, great food - casual dining but serve some unique foods. Try the Asparagus Crab Bisque.

For a great Sunday Brunch (a bit expensive but well worth the price - need reservations) stop by the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway (off of West Side Road at Hales Location). While there take a drive up Cathedral Ledge for great views of the valley.

Also check out Mae Kelly's Cottage Restaurant North Conway - good food (Irish) - the owners are very nice. Lots of locals go here on Friday evenings to sit out on the deck, have a few drinks and listen to the band.

For a great Italian meal check out Bellini's in North Conway. The owner Vito is very personable and goes out of his way to make sure his guests are happy - if you are from Italy this is probably not a good choice as it is not as good as the meals I have had there - but close!!

We have also had good meals at Delaney's Hole in the Wall, North Conway (they serve everything but have great sushi).

The 1785 Inn (North Conway) is very upscale & expensive but the food was great.

The Lobster Trap is good if you are looking for seafood (casual dining on Westside Road in North Conway).

Pick up a copy of The Mountain Ear - it's a free weekly newspaper that comes out on Thursdays that lists all of the local events/happenings.

A good overview is offered by the Five-Mile Circuit Drive up Route 16B into the mountains east of Jackson, a loop worth driving both directions for different perspectives. Look for spectacular glimpses of Mount Washington, and stop for a picnic, a swim or a stroll through the picturesque cascades called Jackson Falls, part of the Wildcat River just above the village.

Try to get up early or stay out at sunset. If you take a right out of Jackson Village and head to Gorham at early and late hours you are bound to see some Moose. Just drive slowly and keep your eyes in the woods. They seem to come out only in the spring and fall. We did this drive in April and saw 7 moose in a 10 mile drive. At the bar that evening we met a man who had seen 18 that evening.

If you make it out to Gorham (about 20 miles) have dinner at Libby's Bistro - the owner graduated from the same culinary school as I did. Call first as they are not open every night and its small so you may need reservations - really great food!!

Doesn't sound like you are in to shopping but if you are the North Conway Outlet stores will have some good deals.

Our favorite place to stop is White Birch Books a locally owned bookstore. You can sit and read or buy. Lots of books by local authors, guidebooks, hiking, etc...

North Conway traffic can be brutal - get a good map and use the road only locals know about to get around the center. North/South Road to the Intervale Crossroad back to Rt 16 to get to Jackson - or from Conway take West Side Road to Bartlett then 302 to 16 to Jackson. North/South Road is fastest.

Jackson is very close to Fryeburg Maine. If you are there between September 30th and October 7th stop by the Freyburg Fair. It is an experience.

adnil1962 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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hi adnil1962
we are planning a trip to the Wilte Mountains in 2 weeks and were going to take the scenic train. Now I am not so sure. I have been to the top of Mt. Washington and agree it is wonderful, breath-taking and a must-see, but I love trains and thought this would be great.
Should I re-think this?
glaird is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:31 AM
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I agree that the cog railroad is smokey with too short a stop at the top (you are guaranteed a seat only if you take the return). But this is the train that goes up the mountain. I think it is not the scenic ride from North Conway you are referring to.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 02:30 AM
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The Cog Railway up Mt Washington is entirely separate from the Scenic Railway in North Conway.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 04:53 AM
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The local news reported that the President of France would be vacationing in Wolfeboro....
GranthamMommy is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:33 AM
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I am sorry about the confusion. I realize they are both different trips. I have been to Mt. Washington and do not need info about that train. I am not familiar with the Notch train and was wondering if anyone can tell me about it. I have heard everything from it being spectacular to being a rip-off. If anyone has info out there, I would love a recommendation.
Thanks so much.
glaird is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 518
The scenic railway out of North Conway is actually very reasonabally priced. I did it a bunch of times as a child and with various nieces, nephews and friends as an adult. Although I haven't been on it for 2 years or so.

We usually sit in the first class section. The seats are wicker chairs versus train seats in this section and you can walk out on the back platform at sit there too.

They have a short ride (about an hour) that goes from North Conway to Conway and back. They also have longer rides.

It's great in foliage season to take a longer ride.

The best thing that they do is the Polar Express. They have been doing this for years long before the movie came out. There are forms around town that you can apply to go all proceeds from the tickets go to a local charity.

It is hard to get tickets. They have a lottery. You can get up to 4 tickets. If you do not answer the phone on the day they draw your name and call you, they just pick another name.

One year (after years of entering the lottery) I bought 6 tickets at a local charity auction. I took my best friend and her 4 kids. You board the train, sing carols, get hot cocoa....just like the story. Everyone wears pjs (okay so we were the only adults in pajamas - but all the kids had them on).

We arrived at the North Pole (they have changed the location I have heard but it used to be the ski lodge at Attitash Bear Peak).

Hundreds of elves holding lanterns were standing in the snow waving and yelling "look at all the humans". As we got off the train an elf took the hand of each child and led them into Santa's workshop. I really thought we were at the North Pole. In no way could you tell that you were at a ski lodge.

Santa arrived and read the story of the first gift of Christmas. Then everyone gor their own bell.

It was just amazing. They do have a wesite (I think it's through the "Believe in Books" Foundation) and you can voluteer to be an elf.

The Cog railroad out of Bretton Woods is completly different. Today's paper (we are here now) lists prices at $59/adults, $39/kids, $54/seniors & kids under 4 free but have to sit on the parents lap.

The ride is 2 hours. The train is slow & smoky - the kids were bored (as were we) after 15 minutes. They only let us stay at the top for 10 minutes (they did tell us we could take our chances that there would be a seat on the next train but couldn't promise anything).

A better bet is to drive the Mount Washington Auto Road or hike Tuckerman's Ravine to the top. You can also get a coach ride to the top from the Auto Road entrance (across the street). In recent years we have hiked up and taken the coach back down to our car.
adnil1962 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 518
I am reading the local paper now...

The Conway Railroad website is

Prices for the 45 minute Conway ride start at $12.50 for adults and $9 for children, kids under 4 free in coach.

They also have a dinner train (kids under 4 not allowed)
adnil1962 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 84
thank you, adnil1962. I think we will take the "long" run to see the beautiful scenery.
We are hoping to visit NH in another week.
If I could be there in winter, I would definitely look into the Polar Express. The description sounds wonderful.
Thank you for the information. Any other tips would be appreciated.
glaird is offline  

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