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White Mountain Region
Chris' Travel Notes
You just have to get outdoors in New Hampshire during the spring and fall! And there are so many ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery! Get out on the water of the State’s lakes, rivers and seacoast through everything from surfing to kayaking and canoeing to white water rafting. Take to the mountains and hike part of the thousands of kilometers of New Hampshire’s scenic trails
- including nearly 2,000 kilometers in the White Mountain National Forest and a section of the Appalachian Trail. Or tackle rock climbing that’s suitable for beginners to experts – it’s not called the Granite State for nothing!
You can also enjoy scenic drives that wander through the picturesque New Hampshire countryside. Make sure to make lots of stops along the way to enjoy the fairs, festivals, museums, galleries, music halls and historical architecture that you will happen upon in your travels. Or pause to dip your fishing rod in a lake or two. New Hampshire is the perfect place to meander wherever your fancy takes you - or choose to travel the famous scenic byways such as the Kancamagus Highway, White Mountains Trail, and the Currier & Ives Trail.
The countryside of New Hampshire is very diverse. This small State offers a Seacoast region with sandy beaches, the stunning White Mountain region - plus lakes, small villages, rolling farmland and cities such as Concord, the State Capital.
If you love to shop – New Hampshire is a tax free shopping haven! Your dollar goes further in a wide choice of boutiques, stores, malls and outlet centers. Plus you’ll discover antique shops as well as authentic New Hampshire products made by local craftspeople.
And when it comes to food and accommodation – again there is a huge selection for all tastes and budgets. From brand name hotels to boutique B&B’s and from modern accommodations to historic converted mills – wherever you lay your head in New Hampshire you will find a warm welcome.
More and more Canadians are also finding RV-ing and camping a fun and leisurely way to explore New Hampshire. There are RV campgrounds and full-service sites that have ocean views or which are next to rivers or mountains - New Hampshire offers incredible variety for campers. Visitors can choose a family-friendly or RV-friendly campground near popular attractions, retreat to a backcountry tent site or cabin in the White Mountain National Forest - or relax at a lakeside campground. You can rent by the week, month or season.
And it is all so easy to get to! New Hampshire is less than 8 hours’ drive from Toronto and just 3 hours from Montreal. Major airlines offer direct flights to/from Toronto and connecting service from Montreal into Manchester Regional Airport. Major bus lines such as Greyhound also offer service into New Hampshire cities.
This White Mountains Region is known for its outdoor activities, as it is home to the 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest as well as some of the state’s largest and most well-known ski resorts. It is also home to Mount Washington, the East Coast’s largest summit standing 6,288 feet tall.
A trip to the top of Mount Washington is a must! The beauty of the mountains and the thrill of ascending the Northeast's highest peak are just as enchanting today as they were in 1869, when Sylvester Marsh opened a railway to the top.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway was the world's first mountain-climbing rack-and-pinion railway and it boasts the steepest railroad tracks in North America. You feel a real sense of adventure and history as you lurch up a 5-km-long trestle to the summit. The ratchety climb provides fine vistas of Mount Washington State Park surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest. The views from the top extend beyond New Hampshire as far as Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec, and the Atlantic Ocean.
But the White Mountains Region is not just about scenic beauty. There are also many fun family attractions such as Cranmore Mountain Resort which offers Zip Lining and more, Polar Caves Park, Story Land and Whale's Tale Water Park, just to mention a few.
Like everywhere in New Hampshire, there are festivals awaiting you.
25th Annual Chowder & Microbrew Fest:
May 25, 2014
Waterville Valley area restaurants bring their chowders to booths at Town Square in the hope of winning the coveted prize of the “Golden Clam Award.” The annual event also features a beer garden and live entertainment.
Fields of Lupine Festival:
June 4-20, 2014
The Fields of Lupine Festival is an annual three-week event sponsored by the Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce and it is now in its 17th year. Many have likened the beauty of this event to the brilliance of New Hampshire’s fall foliage season. The Lupines are plentiful in the area and it was the businesses in the Sugar Hill, Franconia and Easton who started the Fields of Lupine Festival. Participating local businesses offer special events and sales promotions during the three weeks of the Festival.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region (of which the White Mountains Region is a part). AMC is the oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization in the US and knowledgeable staff offer outdoor experiences and programs focused on AMC’s New Hampshire huts and lodges.
The Highland Center Lodge
in Crawford Notch is AMC’s flagship lodge in the White Mountains. With magnificent waterfalls, soaring cliffs, and surrounding forest, the natural world will draw you in. Hike to nearby peaks or take a quiet stroll around a mountain lake – the Lodge is perfectly located and you can reach some stunning views for relatively little effort. And the AMC offer a complete range of programs and guided adventures suitable for families, teens and adults of all abilities.
The Highland Center offers full buffet breakfast to fuel up for a hike to the southern Presidential peaks, rock climb nearby Frankenstein Cliffs, or to play in Arethusa or Ripley Falls with your family. Evenings bring a hearty, home-cooked dinner - then settle into your private room, complete with private bathroom. Bunk space and shared bath options are also available in the lodge as well as at Shapleigh Bunkhouse, located on the premises.
The Hampton Inn
, North Conway is surrounded by beautiful countryside and the White Mountain National Forest. This modern hotel is only 15 minutes from Mount Washington yet only two miles from the shops and restaurants at North Conway town center. Visitors can enjoy tax-free outlet shopping at Settlers Green Outlet Village just two blocks away. Plus golf, hiking, fishing and canoeing are available all year. Kids love Santa’s Village, a 30-minute drive away, and the Story Land Theme Park seven miles away with rides, shows and storybook characters. Children and teens will also love the 5,000 sq. ft. indoor water park.
Every member of the family is welcome as this hotel is pet friendly, and the Hampton Inn North Conway offers a complimentary hot breakfast buffet as well as complimentary wireless High-Speed Internet access.
Sea and sand, history and culture, all come together in New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region. New Hampshire’s diverse sea coast offers cruises, whale watches, fresh lobster and chowder, breweries, gardens and beaches - all waiting for you. Ocean side visitors will discover unique experiences, which include the famed Hampton Beach Boardwalk or the charming portside city of Portsmouth. New Hampshire’s 18 miles of beaches are also some of the cleanest in the United States, as they were one of four beaches given a five-star rating by The National Resources Defense Council.
The lovely town of Portsmouth is yet another example of the diversity to be found in New Hampshire. It shows off the cultural side of the State with its museums, galleries, music halls and historical architecture. You’ll discover some of the best restaurants, live theatre, live music, shopping, romance and historical sites in New England. And it’s one of America’s prettiest towns according to Forbes Traveler.
The Music Hall in Portsmouth is the region’s centre for the performing arts, literature and education. It features curated on stage and on screen entertainment from around the world in its Historic Theater (a landmark 1878 Victorian building) and the intimate Loft around the corner.
There are festivals galore, of course – here are just a few:
“Hit The Decks” in Portsmouth: May 16, 2014
Visitors can celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer in this seaside city with all day specials at local restaurants, bars and attractions as they open their outdoor patios and decks to welcome the change in the weather.
Live Free & Play Festival in Portsmouth: June 6-7, 2014
Seacoast Attractions celebrate the beginning of summer with weekend specials aimed at bringing families to the city.
Prescott Arts Festival
in Portsmouth: June
Since 1974, Prescott Park has been a favorite summer tradition in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region - presenting music, dance, art and theatre to visitors on the banks of the Piscataqua River at no fixed admission. This season will feature performances of the hit musical “Annie”, the New Hampshire Art Association’s exhibit at the Park’s historic Sheafe Warehouse, food festivals featuring regional favorites and music festivals in a variety of genres including folk, jazz, country, Americana and Root & Rhythm.
The Holiday Inn® Portsmouth
hotel is a perfect location and a great launching point for historic sites like Strawbery Banke Museum, USS Albacore Museum and the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. It is also a short drive from the thrilling rides at Water Country. Other nearby attractions include the Kittery Outlets, Prescott Park Arts Festival and the beaches of New Hampshire.
The hotel offers complimentary WiFi, and an indoor Pool and fitness centre. The Table 21 Restaurant and Bar offers Italian, seafood and American dishes and the sports lounge with large flat screen TVs is available for casual dining.
Want to know more about the destination? Check out Chris' Travel Notes!
Chris writes extensive Travel Notes for each show that will help you plan your next trip. Find out more about the Destination; Climate; Getting Around; Accommodation; Kids to Seniors; History; Sports and Activities; Attractions; Culture; Cuisine; Special Deals and where to go to get even more information!
Click on the Travel Notes icon to download a pdf file that you can read, print out and even take with you on your travels!
Saturday April 19, 2014
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