Guidebook for the Mt. Washington Valley

Lisa
Guidebook for the Mt. Washington Valley

Food Scene

My favorite local places to grab a quick bite or enjoy a great dinner.
Wonderful authentic French breads and pastries, flatbread pizza and excellent coffee. Outdoor seating in nice weather.
Vintage Baking Company
41 U.S. 302
Wonderful authentic French breads and pastries, flatbread pizza and excellent coffee. Outdoor seating in nice weather.
Fantastic diner-style breakfast and lunch. Large menu, great food and friendly staff.
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Yesterdays
100 Main St
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Fantastic diner-style breakfast and lunch. Large menu, great food and friendly staff.
Amazing sandwiches (don't miss the Cuban!), old fashioned candy and great little gourmet kitchen shop hidden in back. Good place to pick up a new hot sauce - this place has many varieties.
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The Island Chef
184 Old Rte 302
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Amazing sandwiches (don't miss the Cuban!), old fashioned candy and great little gourmet kitchen shop hidden in back. Good place to pick up a new hot sauce - this place has many varieties.
Must stop for healthy, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free prepared food, groceries and fresh local produce. Eat in the small restaurant or take something to go.
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The Local Grocer
3358 White Mountain Hwy
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Must stop for healthy, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free prepared food, groceries and fresh local produce. Eat in the small restaurant or take something to go.
Delicious salads, wood-fire grilled flatbread pizza (gluten free dough available) and local brews served in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere in North Conway village.
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Flatbread Company
2760 White Mountain Hwy
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Delicious salads, wood-fire grilled flatbread pizza (gluten free dough available) and local brews served in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere in North Conway village.
The Cider Company offers sophisticated New American dining in a restored farmhouse with a laid back bar. Go here for creative cocktails and beautifully presented, delicious food. I've never had a bad meal here, and the menu is always so appealing that I have a difficult time choosing. Don't worry, you can't go wrong! Advance reservations are a good idea. Also on site is a cider mill and small country store with a deli selling their locally-famous cider donuts, cider (all natural, no additive and unpasteurized), teas, coffees, and more. Fun to see apples being pressed into cider in fall.
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White Mountain Cider Co
207 US-302
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The Cider Company offers sophisticated New American dining in a restored farmhouse with a laid back bar. Go here for creative cocktails and beautifully presented, delicious food. I've never had a bad meal here, and the menu is always so appealing that I have a difficult time choosing. Don't worry, you can't go wrong! Advance reservations are a good idea. Also on site is a cider mill and small country store with a deli selling their locally-famous cider donuts, cider (all natural, no additive and unpasteurized), teas, coffees, and more. Fun to see apples being pressed into cider in fall.
Family-friendly spot for traditional American food and decent selection of local brews on tap. Known for its Sunday breakfast buffet. Can get busy.
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Red Fox Bar and Grille
49 US Route 16
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Family-friendly spot for traditional American food and decent selection of local brews on tap. Known for its Sunday breakfast buffet. Can get busy.
Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Co. (3378 White Mountain Highway, N. Conway - just north of the Local Grocer) is another family and group-friendly option with a great selection of their own locally-brewed beer and a crowd-pleasing menu featuring BBQ, burgers, creative sandwiches, salads and wraps and wood-fired pizza. Often looks packed from outside, but service is usually pretty speedy.
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Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Co.
3378 White Mountain Hwy
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Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Co. (3378 White Mountain Highway, N. Conway - just north of the Local Grocer) is another family and group-friendly option with a great selection of their own locally-brewed beer and a crowd-pleasing menu featuring BBQ, burgers, creative sandwiches, salads and wraps and wood-fired pizza. Often looks packed from outside, but service is usually pretty speedy.
Another recommendation from a friend with young children. Simple, kid-friendly menu. All day breakfast and classic lunch items served in the midst of train-themed décor (unfortunately a recent devastating fire means there's not as much of this as previously).
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Glen Junction Family Restaurant
12 US-302
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Another recommendation from a friend with young children. Simple, kid-friendly menu. All day breakfast and classic lunch items served in the midst of train-themed décor (unfortunately a recent devastating fire means there's not as much of this as previously).
A very short drive from North Conway to Fryeburg, Maine for award-winning food (emphasizing locally sourced meat and produce) and wine, impeccable service and a beautiful view west to the White Mountains. Worth a trip for a special dinner in the restaurant. Jonathan's pub serves the full restaurant menu in a more cozy, casual setting. Call ahead for reservations.
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The Oxford House Inn
548 Main St
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A very short drive from North Conway to Fryeburg, Maine for award-winning food (emphasizing locally sourced meat and produce) and wine, impeccable service and a beautiful view west to the White Mountains. Worth a trip for a special dinner in the restaurant. Jonathan's pub serves the full restaurant menu in a more cozy, casual setting. Call ahead for reservations.
Solid choice for pizza.
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Elvio's Pizzeria & Restaurant
2888 White Mountain Hwy
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Solid choice for pizza.
Good sushi and gluten free options in a friendly, laid back sports bar environment.
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Delaney's Hole In the Wall
2966 White Mountain Hwy
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Good sushi and gluten free options in a friendly, laid back sports bar environment.
Small, hidden gem in North Conway for breakfast and lunch. Many vegetarian and vegan options. Wonderful coconut french toast and berry pancakes and unique sandwich options.
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Peach's Restaurant
2506 White Mountain Hwy
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Small, hidden gem in North Conway for breakfast and lunch. Many vegetarian and vegan options. Wonderful coconut french toast and berry pancakes and unique sandwich options.
Advance reservations are a must here. The T.H.E. is an upscale destination for polished American fare made with fresh, local ingredients, presented in a quaint, country farmhouse setting. Recently re-opened in 2017 with a new chef, it's a great option for dining in the heart of Jackson. Live music at 7:30 PM with a selection of rotating musicians. Reservations strongly recommended, but walk ins are welcome, and it's possible to sit at the bar and order from the menu.
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Thompson House Eatery
193 Main St
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Advance reservations are a must here. The T.H.E. is an upscale destination for polished American fare made with fresh, local ingredients, presented in a quaint, country farmhouse setting. Recently re-opened in 2017 with a new chef, it's a great option for dining in the heart of Jackson. Live music at 7:30 PM with a selection of rotating musicians. Reservations strongly recommended, but walk ins are welcome, and it's possible to sit at the bar and order from the menu.
Great for coffee and breakfast or lunch to eat in or take with you on the trails. Try the Italian breakfast ciabatta. Decadent selection of desserts - I had a slice of chocolate black raspberry espresso cake when I visited - heavenly!
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Autumn Nomad, Cakes & Cafe
18 Black Mountain Rd
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Great for coffee and breakfast or lunch to eat in or take with you on the trails. Try the Italian breakfast ciabatta. Decadent selection of desserts - I had a slice of chocolate black raspberry espresso cake when I visited - heavenly!
Farm to table bistro serving healthy food, options for vegans, vegetarians and everyone else! Breakfast and brunch most days, dinner Thursday - Saturday.
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Table and Tonic
3358 White Mountain Hwy
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Farm to table bistro serving healthy food, options for vegans, vegetarians and everyone else! Breakfast and brunch most days, dinner Thursday - Saturday.
Fantastic coffee in the center of North Conway - try the Bees Knees latte. Almond and oat milk available in addition to dairy milk. Great selection of breakfast sandwiches and bagels as well as tasty baked goods (blueberry hand pies, whoopee pies, cinnamon buns, home made pop tarts, muffins, bars and cookies). Tea and smoothies available as well.
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Frontside Coffee Roasters
2697 White Mountain Hwy
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Fantastic coffee in the center of North Conway - try the Bees Knees latte. Almond and oat milk available in addition to dairy milk. Great selection of breakfast sandwiches and bagels as well as tasty baked goods (blueberry hand pies, whoopee pies, cinnamon buns, home made pop tarts, muffins, bars and cookies). Tea and smoothies available as well.
Creative comfort food with a funky mountain vibe. Omelettes, breakfast bowls, pancakes and sandwiches in the morning, and a nice selection of sandwiches, chili and burgers for lunch in the afternoon. Kid friendly options (hot dogs, cheese quesadilla) as well.
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The Sunrise Shack
644 White Mountain Hwy
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Creative comfort food with a funky mountain vibe. Omelettes, breakfast bowls, pancakes and sandwiches in the morning, and a nice selection of sandwiches, chili and burgers for lunch in the afternoon. Kid friendly options (hot dogs, cheese quesadilla) as well.
Great local farm market featuring local produce, dairy (chocolate and strawberry milk in returnable glass bottles), meats, donuts, baked goods, local products and prepared food. Kids love feeding the goats and watching them play. Ice cream stand is a recent addition - frappes (milkshakes for non New Englanders) made with their own milk are a must try.
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Sherman Farms
2679 E Conway Rd
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Great local farm market featuring local produce, dairy (chocolate and strawberry milk in returnable glass bottles), meats, donuts, baked goods, local products and prepared food. Kids love feeding the goats and watching them play. Ice cream stand is a recent addition - frappes (milkshakes for non New Englanders) made with their own milk are a must try.

Drinks & Nightlife

Atmospheric tavern (including ski lift seating) in downtown Jackson featuring live music. The food is honestly not my favorite, but I like the atmosphere for a drink.
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Wildcat Tavern
94 Main Street
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Atmospheric tavern (including ski lift seating) in downtown Jackson featuring live music. The food is honestly not my favorite, but I like the atmosphere for a drink.
Irish-themed pub with live music, good for late night burgers and fries at the bar.
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The Shannon Door Pub
9 Spancil Hill Rd
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Irish-themed pub with live music, good for late night burgers and fries at the bar.
Live music and great food and drinks in an atmospheric, three-level barn at the base of Black Mountain. Typically open Friday and Sunday evenings, serving dinner from 5-9PM with music from 6:30 -9:30.
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Shovel Handle Pub
357 Black Mountain Rd
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Live music and great food and drinks in an atmospheric, three-level barn at the base of Black Mountain. Typically open Friday and Sunday evenings, serving dinner from 5-9PM with music from 6:30 -9:30.

Essentials

Places to get groceries and some prepared foods.
Small convenience store just at the bottom of the hill. All the basics and a nice selection of beer and wine. They make pizza to order.
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Kringle's Pizza & Country Store
New Hampshire 16
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Small convenience store just at the bottom of the hill. All the basics and a nice selection of beer and wine. They make pizza to order.
Closest full-service grocery store with a reliable selection of basics.
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Grant's Supermarket
9 US-302
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Closest full-service grocery store with a reliable selection of basics.
Large, well-stocked grocery store in North Conway. If you are staying for more than a weekend, this is a great place to stock up on the essentials.
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Hannaford Supermarket
32 Mountain Valley Blvd
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Large, well-stocked grocery store in North Conway. If you are staying for more than a weekend, this is a great place to stock up on the essentials.
Awesome health food store with local meat and dairy, a good selection of prepared foods and all of the dry goods you would expect of a small, local grocery focused on whole foods!
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The Local Grocer
3358 White Mountain Hwy
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Awesome health food store with local meat and dairy, a good selection of prepared foods and all of the dry goods you would expect of a small, local grocery focused on whole foods!

Parks & Nature

If you love the outdoors, here are my favorite places to be outside.
Ride the gondola to the top and walk down for amazing views of the Presidential range. There's also a fun zipline accessible by a short chair lift ride. Good place to take a picnic lunch.
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Wildcat Mountain
542 NH-16
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Ride the gondola to the top and walk down for amazing views of the Presidential range. There's also a fun zipline accessible by a short chair lift ride. Good place to take a picnic lunch.
1 mile (30 min.) This short walk is great for small children. It takes you past beaver ponds along a mountain stream and through the forest to excellent views of Mount Washington. Park at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center lot. Cross Rt. 16 and look for the sign for the Lost Pond Trail. After crossing a small bridge near the beaver pond, the trail curves to the right and climbs gently uphill. Continue until you see the pond on your right and be sure to look for signs of beaver and other wildlife. You may even see a moose swimming in the pond!
Lost Pond Trail (AMC)
Lost Pond Trail (AMC)
1 mile (30 min.) This short walk is great for small children. It takes you past beaver ponds along a mountain stream and through the forest to excellent views of Mount Washington. Park at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center lot. Cross Rt. 16 and look for the sign for the Lost Pond Trail. After crossing a small bridge near the beaver pond, the trail curves to the right and climbs gently uphill. Continue until you see the pond on your right and be sure to look for signs of beaver and other wildlife. You may even see a moose swimming in the pond!
0.3 miles (20 min.) This beautiful waterfall area is just outside the town of Jackson and accessible via a short, easy walk. Great place for a picnic to escape the heat of a summer day with the kids. Park in the Glen Ellis Falls parking area on the west side of Rt. 16. Go through the tunnel under Rt. 16 and down the stone walkway and stairs constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. After passing several overlooks, you will reach the falls, which drop 66 ft. Please be aware – you will climb down more than 100 rock steps to the base of the falls.
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Glen Ellis Falls Trailhead
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
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0.3 miles (20 min.) This beautiful waterfall area is just outside the town of Jackson and accessible via a short, easy walk. Great place for a picnic to escape the heat of a summer day with the kids. Park in the Glen Ellis Falls parking area on the west side of Rt. 16. Go through the tunnel under Rt. 16 and down the stone walkway and stairs constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. After passing several overlooks, you will reach the falls, which drop 66 ft. Please be aware – you will climb down more than 100 rock steps to the base of the falls.
Grab coffee and a newspaper in Jackson and head to the falls to enjoy both in peace and quiet while admiring the beauty all around you.
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Jackson Falls
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Grab coffee and a newspaper in Jackson and head to the falls to enjoy both in peace and quiet while admiring the beauty all around you.
0.5 miles (30 min.) This is a short but rewarding hike that offers excellent views of Mt. Washington and Pinkham Notch. Be careful at the top - Square Ledge is very exposed and has steep drop offs!!! From the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center parking lot, look across Rt. 16 and to the left. The large rocky outcropping is Square Ledge. Start on the Lost Pond Trail and watch for signs for Square Ledge after crossing the bridge. Follow the Square Ledge trail as it gradually climbs to the base of the ledge. A short, steep climb along the right side will lead you around to the back of the rocky outcropping.
Square Ledge Trail
Square Ledge Trail
0.5 miles (30 min.) This is a short but rewarding hike that offers excellent views of Mt. Washington and Pinkham Notch. Be careful at the top - Square Ledge is very exposed and has steep drop offs!!! From the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center parking lot, look across Rt. 16 and to the left. The large rocky outcropping is Square Ledge. Start on the Lost Pond Trail and watch for signs for Square Ledge after crossing the bridge. Follow the Square Ledge trail as it gradually climbs to the base of the ledge. A short, steep climb along the right side will lead you around to the back of the rocky outcropping.
Breathtaking, horseshoe-shaped Arethusa Falls, 160' high, are the highest in NH and easily accessible via a relatively moderate 1.4 mile trail (the first .6 mile is fairly rocky and moderately steep) out and back hike or a 4 mile loop that includes the dramatic Frankenstein Cliffs. Crawford Notch State Park.
Arethusa Falls Trail
Arethusa Falls Trail
Breathtaking, horseshoe-shaped Arethusa Falls, 160' high, are the highest in NH and easily accessible via a relatively moderate 1.4 mile trail (the first .6 mile is fairly rocky and moderately steep) out and back hike or a 4 mile loop that includes the dramatic Frankenstein Cliffs. Crawford Notch State Park.
3.2 mile round trip trail (900 feet elevation gain, 2 hours), rated the 'easy side of moderate' offers a lot of bang for your buck with wide, scenic, eagle-eye views of U-shaped Crawford Notch and excellent spots for picnics from the open summit overlooking the towering Webster Cliffs, the historic Willey slide and more. Great adventure for first-time hikers. Trailhead begins near the AMC Crawford Notch Depot on US 302, about 8 miles south of the junction of Routes 302 and 3 in Crawford Notch State Park, Harts Location, NH.
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Mount Willard
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3.2 mile round trip trail (900 feet elevation gain, 2 hours), rated the 'easy side of moderate' offers a lot of bang for your buck with wide, scenic, eagle-eye views of U-shaped Crawford Notch and excellent spots for picnics from the open summit overlooking the towering Webster Cliffs, the historic Willey slide and more. Great adventure for first-time hikers. Trailhead begins near the AMC Crawford Notch Depot on US 302, about 8 miles south of the junction of Routes 302 and 3 in Crawford Notch State Park, Harts Location, NH.
Easy .6 mile hike on a wide gravel path to a beautiful series of small waterfalls and swimming holes along Lucy Brook in Bartlett on the North Conway line. Great spot for a family adventure on a hot day. The parking lot for Diana’s Baths is on West Side Road in North Conway. From Conway Village, head north on Route 16/302 (White Mountain Hwy) past the Eastern Slope Inn. At the next set of lights turn left onto River Rd. Stay straight on River road for 1 mile when the road changes to West Side Road. Stay straight on West Side road for 1.5 miles (pass the sign for the road leading to Cathedral Ledge). You'll see the sign for the Diana’s Baths parking lot on the left side of the road.
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Diana's Baths
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Easy .6 mile hike on a wide gravel path to a beautiful series of small waterfalls and swimming holes along Lucy Brook in Bartlett on the North Conway line. Great spot for a family adventure on a hot day. The parking lot for Diana’s Baths is on West Side Road in North Conway. From Conway Village, head north on Route 16/302 (White Mountain Hwy) past the Eastern Slope Inn. At the next set of lights turn left onto River Rd. Stay straight on River road for 1 mile when the road changes to West Side Road. Stay straight on West Side road for 1.5 miles (pass the sign for the road leading to Cathedral Ledge). You'll see the sign for the Diana’s Baths parking lot on the left side of the road.
The Imp Trail is one of the most popular, but strenuous day hikes in Pinkham Notch, with fantastic views of Mount Washington, the Northern Presidentials and the Carter-Wildcat Mountain Range. Forming a 6. 4 mile loop, it climbs up a cliff known as Imp Face which has a jaw-dropping view of the entire valley below. The trail is a bit steep in places and there are several stream crossings, but experienced hikers and others who are fit will have no trouble. Park at the northern trailhead and follow the 6.4 mile loop trail up and back down. Walk .5 mile along Rt. 16 back to your car.
Imp Trail
Imp Trail
The Imp Trail is one of the most popular, but strenuous day hikes in Pinkham Notch, with fantastic views of Mount Washington, the Northern Presidentials and the Carter-Wildcat Mountain Range. Forming a 6. 4 mile loop, it climbs up a cliff known as Imp Face which has a jaw-dropping view of the entire valley below. The trail is a bit steep in places and there are several stream crossings, but experienced hikers and others who are fit will have no trouble. Park at the northern trailhead and follow the 6.4 mile loop trail up and back down. Walk .5 mile along Rt. 16 back to your car.
This is an out-and-back hike 5.4 mile hike to the summits of Mount Martha and Owl's Head: two peaks on Cherry Mountain (directly west of the northern Presidentials). Rated as difficult and steep in parts, Mount Martha offers views to Franconia Ridge and Owl's Head has excellent views to the Presidentials, including Mount Washington. Mount Martha is included on New Hampshire's 100-highest list.
Mount Martha
This is an out-and-back hike 5.4 mile hike to the summits of Mount Martha and Owl's Head: two peaks on Cherry Mountain (directly west of the northern Presidentials). Rated as difficult and steep in parts, Mount Martha offers views to Franconia Ridge and Owl's Head has excellent views to the Presidentials, including Mount Washington. Mount Martha is included on New Hampshire's 100-highest list.
The trailhead is a bit of a drive from the condo - but this unforgettable hike is really worth the extra effort. The Franconia Loop trail runs from north to south linking Mt. Lafayette (5240), Mt. Lincoln (5089) and Little Haystack (4780) along a knife-edge, above treeline trail that drops thousands of feet to river valleys on either side. This is one of the most spectacular and memorable hikes in the White Mountains and it's important to do it in fair weather because once on the ridge, you are completely exposed to the elements. I like to start on Old Bridle Path to allow for a stop at the AMC Greenleaf Hut before reaching the summit of Mt. Lafayette (you can turn around here if the weather goes south) and then descend the waterfall-filled Falling Waters trail to get back to the car. I know others who swear by the opposite direction. Good idea to check the latest AMC trail info for trail conditions and always be prepared for cold temperatures and wind on the ridge. 9 miles/7 hours, difficult and technical. Try it on an early fall week day as it can get busy in summer. Trailhead at Lafayette Place Campground exit off Franconia Notch Parkway (I-93), Franconia/Lincoln, NH.
Franconia Ridge Trail
The trailhead is a bit of a drive from the condo - but this unforgettable hike is really worth the extra effort. The Franconia Loop trail runs from north to south linking Mt. Lafayette (5240), Mt. Lincoln (5089) and Little Haystack (4780) along a knife-edge, above treeline trail that drops thousands of feet to river valleys on either side. This is one of the most spectacular and memorable hikes in the White Mountains and it's important to do it in fair weather because once on the ridge, you are completely exposed to the elements. I like to start on Old Bridle Path to allow for a stop at the AMC Greenleaf Hut before reaching the summit of Mt. Lafayette (you can turn around here if the weather goes south) and then descend the waterfall-filled Falling Waters trail to get back to the car. I know others who swear by the opposite direction. Good idea to check the latest AMC trail info for trail conditions and always be prepared for cold temperatures and wind on the ridge. 9 miles/7 hours, difficult and technical. Try it on an early fall week day as it can get busy in summer. Trailhead at Lafayette Place Campground exit off Franconia Notch Parkway (I-93), Franconia/Lincoln, NH.
Mt. Chocurua (3475') offeres a wonderful 360 degree vantage point for overlooking Mt. Washington and the pristine Sandwich Range Wilderness. Champney Falls trail is a 7.6 mile out and back option that climbs the northeastern ridge of the mountain and passes by the famous Champney Falls. At 3.2 miles take the Piper trail .6 miles to the summit and descend the way you came. Not the highest or easiest climb (or most deserted!), but few peaks can compare with the views from here. Trailhead about 10 miles west on Kancamagus Highway from junction Routes 112/16, Albany, NH.
Champney Falls Trail
Mt. Chocurua (3475') offeres a wonderful 360 degree vantage point for overlooking Mt. Washington and the pristine Sandwich Range Wilderness. Champney Falls trail is a 7.6 mile out and back option that climbs the northeastern ridge of the mountain and passes by the famous Champney Falls. At 3.2 miles take the Piper trail .6 miles to the summit and descend the way you came. Not the highest or easiest climb (or most deserted!), but few peaks can compare with the views from here. Trailhead about 10 miles west on Kancamagus Highway from junction Routes 112/16, Albany, NH.
Taxing (AMC rates it moderate) hike up Mt. Eisenhower (4760') offers good footing on Edmand's Path (the oldest maintained footpath in America) before the steep push to its flat summit. Great 'above treeline' hike for first time-hikers. Awe-inspiring view of other nearby Presidential range peaks. Edmands Path and Mount Eisenhower loop, 6.6 miles round trip. Always check weather conditions in advance, carry a current map and guidebook, along with a compass and knowledge of how to use it. All Presidential peaks are as exposed as Mt. Washington, and should be treated with the same respect and caution. Severe winter-like storms can occur year round. Trailhead on Mt. Clinton Rd., Crawfords Purchase, NH.
Mount Eisenhower
Taxing (AMC rates it moderate) hike up Mt. Eisenhower (4760') offers good footing on Edmand's Path (the oldest maintained footpath in America) before the steep push to its flat summit. Great 'above treeline' hike for first time-hikers. Awe-inspiring view of other nearby Presidential range peaks. Edmands Path and Mount Eisenhower loop, 6.6 miles round trip. Always check weather conditions in advance, carry a current map and guidebook, along with a compass and knowledge of how to use it. All Presidential peaks are as exposed as Mt. Washington, and should be treated with the same respect and caution. Severe winter-like storms can occur year round. Trailhead on Mt. Clinton Rd., Crawfords Purchase, NH.
Classic ascent of Mt. Washington and most popular day hiking route to the summit of Mt. Washington (6288'). 8.2 miles round trip, 5-9 hours, 4000 elevation gain. Easiest and most popular route to the summit, but strenuous hike. Considered 'required reading' for hikers, this trail starts behind the Pinkham Notch visitor center and continues up, up and up to the summit. Always consult the weather report, pack plenty of water and dry-wick and warm layers and rain gear (even on good weather days). Extremely severe storms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly, be very cautious.
Tuckerman Ravine Trail
Tuckerman Ravine Trail
Classic ascent of Mt. Washington and most popular day hiking route to the summit of Mt. Washington (6288'). 8.2 miles round trip, 5-9 hours, 4000 elevation gain. Easiest and most popular route to the summit, but strenuous hike. Considered 'required reading' for hikers, this trail starts behind the Pinkham Notch visitor center and continues up, up and up to the summit. Always consult the weather report, pack plenty of water and dry-wick and warm layers and rain gear (even on good weather days). Extremely severe storms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly, be very cautious.
Beautiful views (including Mt. Washington) from an empty fire tower at the top of Kearsarge North. Close to North Conway and per the AMC guide, 'one of the finest viewpoints in the White Mountains'. From NH 16 in Intervale, head east on Hurricane Mountain Rd. which leaves the highway just north of the 'scenic view' parking area. The trailhead for the Mount Kearsarge North trailhead is on the left, 1.5 miles from NH 16. Beware of slippery ledges when icy or wet. This is one of the best 1/2 to full day hikes in the area. 6.2 miles up and back, moderate side of difficult.
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Kearsarge North Trailhead
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Beautiful views (including Mt. Washington) from an empty fire tower at the top of Kearsarge North. Close to North Conway and per the AMC guide, 'one of the finest viewpoints in the White Mountains'. From NH 16 in Intervale, head east on Hurricane Mountain Rd. which leaves the highway just north of the 'scenic view' parking area. The trailhead for the Mount Kearsarge North trailhead is on the left, 1.5 miles from NH 16. Beware of slippery ledges when icy or wet. This is one of the best 1/2 to full day hikes in the area. 6.2 miles up and back, moderate side of difficult.
Relatively short, moderate, 5 mile (round trip), 4 hour hike up to Mt. Crawford's summit starts moderately but becomes steeper about .3 miles in. Very rewarding, panoramic White Mountain views from the summit. From the intersection of US 302 and NH 16 in Glen, follow US 302 west for 12.1 miles. Park in the Davis Path lot on the right, across from the Notchland Inn on Rt. 302.
Mount Crawford
Relatively short, moderate, 5 mile (round trip), 4 hour hike up to Mt. Crawford's summit starts moderately but becomes steeper about .3 miles in. Very rewarding, panoramic White Mountain views from the summit. From the intersection of US 302 and NH 16 in Glen, follow US 302 west for 12.1 miles. Park in the Davis Path lot on the right, across from the Notchland Inn on Rt. 302.
The 8.4 mile ascent of Mt. Washington from the west side via Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and Jewell Trail Loop is easier than from the east. Views are fantastic on all trails but always be prepared for wind and foul weather and know what you're doing!
Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead
Base Station Road
The 8.4 mile ascent of Mt. Washington from the west side via Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and Jewell Trail Loop is easier than from the east. Views are fantastic on all trails but always be prepared for wind and foul weather and know what you're doing!
Mount Jackson (4052') is the southernmost 4000 footer on Mt. Washington's southern ridge. This hike leaves from Crawford Notch (east side of 302 across the street and 100 yards north from the small parking area on the west side of the road. The trail loops over both peaks via the Webster-Jackson and Webster cliff trails. Rocky summit with 360 degree views. Strenuous. 6.5 miles round trip, 2,500 ft. elevation gain, 4.5 hours.
Webster - Jackson Trailhead
Crawford Notch Road
Mount Jackson (4052') is the southernmost 4000 footer on Mt. Washington's southern ridge. This hike leaves from Crawford Notch (east side of 302 across the street and 100 yards north from the small parking area on the west side of the road. The trail loops over both peaks via the Webster-Jackson and Webster cliff trails. Rocky summit with 360 degree views. Strenuous. 6.5 miles round trip, 2,500 ft. elevation gain, 4.5 hours.
Mount Jefferson (5716') via Caps Ridge trail (2700' elevation gain), 5 miles round trip, 4.5 hours (strenuous). This is a quick climb to rocky ridges, alpine vegetation and spectacular views of Mount Washington and the Northern Presidentials. Includes steep scrambles over rocks that can be dangerous when wet or icy and frightening to those with a fear of heights in any weather. Considerably exposed above treeline, so avoid when thunderstorms or high winds are in the forecast. From westernmost intersection of NH 16 and US 2 in Gorham, drive west on US 2 for 9.25 miles. Turn left on Valley Rd. in Jefferson. After 1.25 miles (the last .2 of which is gravel), turn left onto Jefferson Notch Rd. (gravel and rough, but should be passable for regular cars). The parking area is on the left, 5.2 miles south of Valley Rd. From the south, the parking area is 3.4 miles north of Base Rd. which runs from 302 near Bretton Woods to the Cog Railway.
Caps Ridge Trail
Caps Ridge Trail
Mount Jefferson (5716') via Caps Ridge trail (2700' elevation gain), 5 miles round trip, 4.5 hours (strenuous). This is a quick climb to rocky ridges, alpine vegetation and spectacular views of Mount Washington and the Northern Presidentials. Includes steep scrambles over rocks that can be dangerous when wet or icy and frightening to those with a fear of heights in any weather. Considerably exposed above treeline, so avoid when thunderstorms or high winds are in the forecast. From westernmost intersection of NH 16 and US 2 in Gorham, drive west on US 2 for 9.25 miles. Turn left on Valley Rd. in Jefferson. After 1.25 miles (the last .2 of which is gravel), turn left onto Jefferson Notch Rd. (gravel and rough, but should be passable for regular cars). The parking area is on the left, 5.2 miles south of Valley Rd. From the south, the parking area is 3.4 miles north of Base Rd. which runs from 302 near Bretton Woods to the Cog Railway.
Three trails lead to these twin peaks that stand above Jackson Village. The most popular route combines two trails that meet on the northern summit where a cozy cabin commands a view of Mount Washington and the rugged Carter Range. Impromptu hikers will enjoy the climb and the White Mountain panorama.
South Doublehead
Three trails lead to these twin peaks that stand above Jackson Village. The most popular route combines two trails that meet on the northern summit where a cozy cabin commands a view of Mount Washington and the rugged Carter Range. Impromptu hikers will enjoy the climb and the White Mountain panorama.
Scenic public park near the Conway Scenic railway. Fireworks on the 4th, children's play area, paved paths and benches, clean public restrooms, ice cream, restaurants and shops nearby.
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Schouler Park
White Mountain Highway
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Scenic public park near the Conway Scenic railway. Fireworks on the 4th, children's play area, paved paths and benches, clean public restrooms, ice cream, restaurants and shops nearby.
Several miles of walking and biking trails in walking distance to downtown North Conway. Easy terrain that's great for kids/families, and lots of shade for hot days.
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Whitaker Woods
2820 White Mountain Hwy
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Several miles of walking and biking trails in walking distance to downtown North Conway. Easy terrain that's great for kids/families, and lots of shade for hot days.

Entertainment & Activities

Iconic and well-preserved family amusement park founded has catered to generations of New England families since 1954. Best for ages 2-12.
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Story Land
850 NH-16
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Iconic and well-preserved family amusement park founded has catered to generations of New England families since 1954. Best for ages 2-12.
Mountain and aerial adventure parks offer fun for kids ages 3 and up. Features a ropes course, mountain coaster, obstacle course, bouncy house, bungy trampoline, giant swing, zip lines, hiking trails and more. http://www.cranmore.com/#_=_
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Cranmore Mountain Resort
239 Skimobile Rd
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Mountain and aerial adventure parks offer fun for kids ages 3 and up. Features a ropes course, mountain coaster, obstacle course, bouncy house, bungy trampoline, giant swing, zip lines, hiking trails and more. http://www.cranmore.com/#_=_
Black Mountain stables offer scenic horseback rides along mountain trails with breathtaking vistas. Pony rides are available for younger children.
Black Mountain
Black Mountain stables offer scenic horseback rides along mountain trails with breathtaking vistas. Pony rides are available for younger children.
Year-round, indoor water park with slides and a wave pool located at the Red Jacket Resort in North Conway. Call ahead to find out about general public opening times and rates. Have not visited personally, but this is recommended by friends who have young children.
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Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park
2251 White Mountain Hwy
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Year-round, indoor water park with slides and a wave pool located at the Red Jacket Resort in North Conway. Call ahead to find out about general public opening times and rates. Have not visited personally, but this is recommended by friends who have young children.
Unfortunately - this is closed during summer of 2022 so that upgrades can be made to lift operations for winter. Ride the Nor-Easter mountain coaster (side by side, two person roller coaster set into the side of Attitash mountain). Fun downhill trip (2880 feet) through banked curves, dips and a helix, speed is self-controlled. Zipline, Alpine Slide and scenic chairlift rides are also available.
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Attitash Mountain Resort
775 US-302
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Unfortunately - this is closed during summer of 2022 so that upgrades can be made to lift operations for winter. Ride the Nor-Easter mountain coaster (side by side, two person roller coaster set into the side of Attitash mountain). Fun downhill trip (2880 feet) through banked curves, dips and a helix, speed is self-controlled. Zipline, Alpine Slide and scenic chairlift rides are also available.
Great place to learn about the weather station at the top of Mt. Washington without having to hike, drive or take the cog railway to the top. Short film provides an overview of the weather station and its history and there are some intriguing exhibits that teach about weather.
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Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center
2779 White Mountain Hwy
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Great place to learn about the weather station at the top of Mt. Washington without having to hike, drive or take the cog railway to the top. Short film provides an overview of the weather station and its history and there are some intriguing exhibits that teach about weather.
Northern Extremes offers river trips down the Saco (tubes, kayaks - single and double, canoes). Offers several guided trip options of various durations as well as rentals and shuttle service. Reservations are strongly recommended (esp. for weekends). This activity is good for peace and quiet mid-week.
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Northern Extremes
1946 White Mountain Hwy
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Northern Extremes offers river trips down the Saco (tubes, kayaks - single and double, canoes). Offers several guided trip options of various durations as well as rentals and shuttle service. Reservations are strongly recommended (esp. for weekends). This activity is good for peace and quiet mid-week.
The Saco River is a wide and gentle flowing river which has areas of sandy beaches and woodlands. It is easy to rent a canoe, kayak or tube to take the family on a safe adventure down the Saco River. Riverside location allows you to paddle or float back to your car. No waiting for shuttles after a relaxing day on the river. They offer a variety of day trips from 5 to 11 miles as well as rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Tubes and Paddleboards.
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Saco Canoe Rental Company
558 White Mountain Hwy
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The Saco River is a wide and gentle flowing river which has areas of sandy beaches and woodlands. It is easy to rent a canoe, kayak or tube to take the family on a safe adventure down the Saco River. Riverside location allows you to paddle or float back to your car. No waiting for shuttles after a relaxing day on the river. They offer a variety of day trips from 5 to 11 miles as well as rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Tubes and Paddleboards.
Offers guided rock climbing. Their intro to Rock Climbing Course allows guests to safely try the sport of rock climbing on some real rock cliffs. Depending on skill level and goals for the course, they climb at one of a number of local crags in New Hampshire. They show you how to set up an anchor, how to belay, and how to climb. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Northeast Mountaineering
1054 Pinkham Notch Rd
Offers guided rock climbing. Their intro to Rock Climbing Course allows guests to safely try the sport of rock climbing on some real rock cliffs. Depending on skill level and goals for the course, they climb at one of a number of local crags in New Hampshire. They show you how to set up an anchor, how to belay, and how to climb. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Great Glen trails in Pinkham Notch is a family friendly spot for biking at the base of Mt. Washington. Take Route 16 North from Glen to Pinkham Notch and Auto Road. Carriage roads and single track appeal to riders of all abilities in a safe, scenic area. A $10 bike pass is required to ride trails. Rentals available.
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Great Glen Trails
1 Mt Washington Auto Rd
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Great Glen trails in Pinkham Notch is a family friendly spot for biking at the base of Mt. Washington. Take Route 16 North from Glen to Pinkham Notch and Auto Road. Carriage roads and single track appeal to riders of all abilities in a safe, scenic area. A $10 bike pass is required to ride trails. Rentals available.
Presidential Range Rail Trail, Gorham. (Mountain biking) Turn left at the light, head west on Route 2 toward Randolph, 1 mile to parking lot on right. A dirt and cinder trail starts there and goes about 18 miles from Gorham to Jefferson. Best section for families is the first slightly uphill section to Pinkham B Road (4 miles) that follows Moose River.
Presidential Ridge Road
Presidential Range Rail Trail, Gorham. (Mountain biking) Turn left at the light, head west on Route 2 toward Randolph, 1 mile to parking lot on right. A dirt and cinder trail starts there and goes about 18 miles from Gorham to Jefferson. Best section for families is the first slightly uphill section to Pinkham B Road (4 miles) that follows Moose River.
Thorne Pond, Bartlett (mountain biking). On Route 302, across from Attitash Bear Peak, turn into parking lot. There are 12 miles of easy to moderate dirt roads and trails around pond and down to Saco River.
Thorne Pond Conservation Area
Thorne Pond Conservation Area
Thorne Pond, Bartlett (mountain biking). On Route 302, across from Attitash Bear Peak, turn into parking lot. There are 12 miles of easy to moderate dirt roads and trails around pond and down to Saco River.
Biking/Mountain Biking: Mountain Division Trail, Fryeburg, Maine. Length: 4 miles. Grade: rolling and flat. Parking: Fryeburg Visitor’s Center, Route 302, Porter Road, off Route 113, parking lot near the Eastern Slope Regional Airport on Route 113. Paved rail with trail with several options for starting points, difficulty, and length, benches along path and restrooms at the visitor’s center.
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Mountain Division Trail
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Biking/Mountain Biking: Mountain Division Trail, Fryeburg, Maine. Length: 4 miles. Grade: rolling and flat. Parking: Fryeburg Visitor’s Center, Route 302, Porter Road, off Route 113, parking lot near the Eastern Slope Regional Airport on Route 113. Paved rail with trail with several options for starting points, difficulty, and length, benches along path and restrooms at the visitor’s center.

Sightseeing

Perhaps not for the faint of heart, but worth the ride to the top for the alpine landscape, majestic panoramic views and interesting historical and weather information. You can drive yourself, or ride up in a shared van. Definitely worth a trip. http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/
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Mt. Washington Auto Road
1 Mt Washington Auto Rd
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Perhaps not for the faint of heart, but worth the ride to the top for the alpine landscape, majestic panoramic views and interesting historical and weather information. You can drive yourself, or ride up in a shared van. Definitely worth a trip. http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/
Old-fashioned railroad experience on vintage trains that leave from a circa 1874 Victorian station in the center of North Conway Village. They offer a range of excursions from Thomas the Tank Engine-themed rides to rides through scenic Crawford Notch over historic railroad bridges and trestles and passing scenic bluffs, steep ravines, waterfalls and brooks and dramatic mountain views. Schedule and tickets available online.
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Conway Scenic Railroad
38 Norcross Cir
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Old-fashioned railroad experience on vintage trains that leave from a circa 1874 Victorian station in the center of North Conway Village. They offer a range of excursions from Thomas the Tank Engine-themed rides to rides through scenic Crawford Notch over historic railroad bridges and trestles and passing scenic bluffs, steep ravines, waterfalls and brooks and dramatic mountain views. Schedule and tickets available online.
Gorgeous road that provides amazingly scenic vistas of the White Mountains at every turn. Lots of places to stop along the way for photos, many trailheads for hikes of various distances and ability levels, some leading to waterfalls. Take your time on this drive and enjoy the surroundings, get out of the car to explore!
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Kancamagus Highway
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Gorgeous road that provides amazingly scenic vistas of the White Mountains at every turn. Lots of places to stop along the way for photos, many trailheads for hikes of various distances and ability levels, some leading to waterfalls. Take your time on this drive and enjoy the surroundings, get out of the car to explore!

Shopping

Here are some of my favorite shopping recommendations in the area.
Interesting, eclectic selection of whimsical and artistic décor for home and garden.
RavenWood Curio Shoppe
Jackson Village Rd
Interesting, eclectic selection of whimsical and artistic décor for home and garden.
Hands down best full-service ski store in the area. Extremely knowledgeable salespeople, great gear and service.
Stan and Dan Sports
2936 White Mountain Hwy
Hands down best full-service ski store in the area. Extremely knowledgeable salespeople, great gear and service.
Old-fashioned general store with great selection of candy, maple syrup and gifts. Giant smarties, homemade turtles - definitely worth a stop.
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Zeb's General Store
2675 White Mountain Hwy
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Old-fashioned general store with great selection of candy, maple syrup and gifts. Giant smarties, homemade turtles - definitely worth a stop.
Historic 5 & 10 cent store in downtown North Conway. Nostalgia and good selection of penny candy and old-fashioned, hard to find favorites.
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North Conway 5 and 10
2683 S Main St
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Historic 5 & 10 cent store in downtown North Conway. Nostalgia and good selection of penny candy and old-fashioned, hard to find favorites.
Local, independent bookseller with nice selection of titles for kids to adults.
White Birch Books
2568 White Mountain Highway
Local, independent bookseller with nice selection of titles for kids to adults.
So excited that REI has opened a store in North Conway. Great selection of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Definitely worth a stop.
REI
1498 White Mountain Hwy
So excited that REI has opened a store in North Conway. Great selection of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Definitely worth a stop.
EMS has great sales on quality outdoor gear, but not as many brands as REI carries. Still worth a stop for the gems you might be able to find in the clearance rack!
Eastern Mountain Sports
1640 White Mountain Hwy
EMS has great sales on quality outdoor gear, but not as many brands as REI carries. Still worth a stop for the gems you might be able to find in the clearance rack!
Great ski shop. Nice selection, super friendly people and amazing boot fitting skills.
Sport Thoma
Great ski shop. Nice selection, super friendly people and amazing boot fitting skills.
Beautiful shop that features hand made items by local NH artisans. High quality pottery, artwork and jewelry. Great place to find a unique gift or something special for your home to remember your trip.
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League of NH Craftsmen North Conway Fine Craft Gallery
2526 White Mountain Hwy
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Beautiful shop that features hand made items by local NH artisans. High quality pottery, artwork and jewelry. Great place to find a unique gift or something special for your home to remember your trip.
A must stop if you're looking to bring home a special souvenir or treat for your dog and cat. My favorite place to shop for pets by far.
Four Your Paws Only
1821 White Mountain Hwy
A must stop if you're looking to bring home a special souvenir or treat for your dog and cat. My favorite place to shop for pets by far.