Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels Across the United States

NEW HAMPSHIRE

News
Bradford
Bethlehem
Concord
Dixville Notch
Dover
Hooksett
Jackson
Mount Washington Valley
Stratham
Sunapee
Waterville Valley

NEWS

Waterville Valley Resort Reopens Snow’s Mountain, one of New Hampshire’s Lost Ski Areas

Concord's new Main Street, Weekend State House hours,and lots of new cultural and culinary attractions means lots of fun.

Waterville Valley Resort Brings Fat Bikes to Their Roster of Winter Activities

Every Day is a Reason to Visit Jackson XC

New Bass Pro Shops outdoors store open

BRADFORD -

Where to Stay

The Candlelite Inn's special midweek package --

pays for the gas. On two-night stays, Sunday through Thursday the discount is $25 off the bill; for more than two nights' stay, the discount is $10 per night. 888-812-5571, www.candleliteinn.com

BETHLEHEM -

What to See & Do

The Highlands Inn Gas Credit --

is worth 25 cents a mile (up to $50) rebate on the gas it takes to get there. The rebate is 30 cents a mile for hybrid drivers. Free women's music concerts every Sunday. 877-LES-B-INN (537-2466), www.highlandsinn-nh.com

Truly green Appalachian Mountain Club Destination Deals stretch the tax rebate even further. Book five nights or more and save 20 percent at any combination of www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts/index.cfm AMC Huts or lodges, Sunday through Friday. Kid's First Adventure at Lonesome Lake is 12 percent off on Sunday-Friday nights and includes a spectacular view of the Franconia Range and in naturalist programs for kids. Pick 3 and Save gives a 10 percent discount at the www.outdoors.org/lodging/highland/index.cfm Highland Center or www.outdoors.org/lodging/lodges/pnvc/index.cfm Joe Dodge Lodge, and 12 percent off at the Huts, The 50+ Midweek Spring Special, available Sunday through Thursday for age 50+ starts at $87 per member per night for private rooms at Highland Lodge and includes lodging; dinner, breakfast, and a choice of buffet or trail lunch, daily programs, and complimentary use of gear from the LL Bean Gear Room. 603-466-2727, www.outdoors.org/lodging

Where to Stay

Mountain Edge Resort & Spa and the Best Western Sunapee Lake Lodge--

Discount Coupons offer deals for dining, day care, spa treatments and extended stays. Book directly to receive the coupons. 800-606-5253, www.sunapeelakelodge.com

Seven Maples Campground --

in Hancock offers a third night free for those who book two consecutive nights. 603-525-3321, www.sevenmaples.com

Cedar Pond Campground --

in Milan gives a 10 percent discount on stays of 7 nights or longer, at a campsite or in one of their cabins or campers. 860-663-2268, www.cedarpondcamping.com

Colonel Spencer Inn --

in Campton offers a Mid-Week Bonus: 10 percent off for any two consecutive nights, Sunday through Thursday night; 15 percent off four consecutive nights. 603-536-1755, www.colonelspencerbb.com

The Children's Museum of Portsmouth --

offers discount admission through pass programs with more than 40 libraries throughout New Hampshire. The passes admit up to 4 people at a cost of just $2 instead of standard admission of $6 per person, a 66 percent discount. 603-436-3853, www.childrens-museum.org

Moffett House Museum & Genealogy Center--

at 119 High Street in Berlin, FREE. Open Tuesday through Saturday year round. 603-752-4590 or 603-752-7337.

New England Sampler --

at 42 Hanover Street in Manchester is one of the best options for tax-free shopping New Hampshire-made souvenirs. $10 off all gourmet gift baskets. 603-626-4477, www.thenewenglandsampler.com

Top Notch Inn in Gorham --

is one that offers a Story Land gift for those who mention the offer when making reservations. The Inn also offers guests who book two consecutive nights, Sunday through Friday, one free Moose Tour with the tour guide providing the transportation. 603-466-5496, www.topnotchinn.com

Check Hospitality Maps in North Conway for maps and guides with more money-saving coupons for food, clothing and golf. www.hospitalitymaps.com

For more ideas, itineraries, a calendar of events and online reservations, go to www.VisitNH.gov

CONCORD

Concord's new Main Street, Weekend State House hours,and lots of new cultural and culinary attractions means lots of fun.

New Hampshire State House will be open to visitors on a Saturday for the first time in generations.  And while not everyone knows much about the capital of New Hampshire -- there is some big news coming out of this city on the Merrimack of 40,000.

A 2-year, multi-million dollar project is wrapping up this fall to transform the city's Main Street--New streetscapes have made the central shopping, dining and entertainment district more inviting and attractive. There are lots of new places to shop and eat mixed with great 19th century brick architecture. Nearly completed, the project has added a 'wow factor,' with expanded sidewalks, directional signage, trees, better lighting, sitting areas, outdoor dining and more pedestrian access.

And, almost 100% of the stores and restaurants along Main Street are locally owned. They range from locally made fashion and jewelry, to antiques and juried artists, to a range of authentic cuisines including Greek, Asian, vegan and more. It is a small city with big city offerings, reminiscent of Boston‚s Newbury Street, with a variety of art-inspired stores including the League of NH Craftsmen, Capital Craftsmen and Romance Jewelers, art galleries and shops with other rare finds.

But the catalyst to the city's rebirth is that Concord packs the biggest cultural offering north of Boston. The Capital Center for the Arts has Broadway shows, international performing artists, ballet -- you get the picture. And, just across Main Street, Red River Theatres show hothouse independent films and offers events like costume parties and sing-alongs unavailable in big box theatres. Down the street, the City Auditorium has all kinds of concerts, shows and plays in a smaller setting, many of them free.

Up the road at the Steeplegate Mall, a former retail space is now the new Hatbox Theater -- an 80 plus seat performance arts space that is offering everything from theatre to magic shows. Back on Main Street, New England College has turned a storefront into an arts space, too -- with concerts every weekend. True Brew Barista in Bicentennial Square offers similar seasonal programs. The city is suddenly full of music.
That is no surprise, as the Concord Community Music School has attracted top talents to teach and preform here for more than 30 years -- their Mandolin and Fiddle festivals draw folks from miles and miles away.

It is a good time to dine in Concord, too. Not only is the city's revived Main Street drawing in big crowds, but also a variety of new restaurants have opened in the past months, shaking up the city's dining scene. Across form the State House, the Little Creperie serves a variety of crepes and waffles with tasty toppings in the heart of the Main Street.

The Smokeshow Barbeque recently opened its doors on Ft. Eddy Road, minutes from downtown, offering a tasty array of ribs, brisket, and turkey with beans and other great sides. Affordably priced, authentic and tasty - this BBQ joint is drawing rave reviews.
Not far away, Go Food Basket on Washington Street is serving up Asian fare, including homemade kimchi and hand rolled sushi -- they offer traditional Korean recipes, made with style. Also, recently opened is Lithermans Limited Brewery -- opened in April. They brew and serve more than a dozen beers at 126B Hall Street. The tasting room offers guests a chance to explore new beers, and buy their local brews to enjoy at home.

The city has a new breakfast and lunch place--Tucker's at 80 South Street. They offer fresh takes on traditional dishes˜and gluten free options. Add to that the recently opened gourmet burger eatery on S. Main Street, Vibes, and the Clean Take, which will cook you a healthy full meal to go.

Concord is, as already noted, the state capital -- with the 1819 NH State House right on Main Street -- open five days week with 194 years of history to share. Staring this weekend the monument to politics will be open to visits one day each weekend, a first.

The city lives for politics, and this is the place to learn about the NH First in the Nation Primary at the State Library, Barley House Restaurant, and Statehouse. A new Concord Chamber walking tour helps guest to explore off the beat path historic sites, such as the Eagle Hotel where Martin Van Buren became the new VP candidate, the street behind the State House where President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama drew tens of thousands, and Granite State Candy where both Clintons stopped for a scoop of homemade ice cream.

So, to sum it up -- Concord is a New England City with lots of art, culture, history and things to do. It is 1 hour from Boston, and 30 minutes from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. It has the hotels, dining, and right feel to be a destination without all of the crowds of other cities.

Five Reasons to Visit Historic Concord

It is an emerging destination worth a look. Never heard of it? Well, that is part of the emerging bit. But, what makes it a place anyone lives or would want to visit?

Here are 5 reasons to visit:

#1: 253. Yes, 2015 marked the City of Concord‚s 250th anniversary. Concord was not named after Concord, MA -- but rather after a political settlement that everyone agreed on, named Concord.

#2 Main Street. A multi-million dollar project will transform the central shopping, dining and entertainment areas of the city. Now, the Main Street is already quite attractive, with lots of new places to shop and eat and great 19th century brick architecture. But once completed, the project will add a 'wow factor,'  with expanded sidewalks, trees, sitting areas, outdoor dining and more pedestrian access.

#3 Uber local. Almost 100% of the stores and restaurants along Main Street are locally owned. They range from high fashion, to antiques, to a range of authentic cuisines including Greek, Asian, American, vegan and more. It is a small city with big city offerings, reminiscent of Newbury Street, with a variety of art-inspired stores including the League of NH Craftsmen, Capital Craftsmen and Romance Jewelers, art galleries and shops with other rare finds.

#4 The biggest cultural offering north of Boston. The Capital Center for the Arts has Broadway shows, international performing artists, ballet. Or, just across Main Street, Red River Theaters shows independent films  and offers events like costume parties and sing-alongs unavailable in big box theatres. Down the street, the City Auditorium has all kinds of concerts, shows and plays in a smaller setting , many of them free.

#5 Past meets present. Concord is the state capital -- that means the State House on Main Street -- open 5 days week with 194 years of history to share. But, there is a lot more. See the grave and the home of Franklin Piece, the only US President from NH. Learn about the NH First in the Nation Primary at the State Library, Barley House Restaurant, and State House. Explore off the beat path historic sites, such as the Eagle Hotel where Martin Van Buren became the new VP candidate, the street behind the State House where President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama drew tens of thousands, and Granite State Candy where both Clintons stopped for a scoop of homemade ice cream. Or, venture outside the city to see Canterbury Shaker Village, the Pierce Homestead, stone arch bridges, or Mary Baker Eddy's home (there are 2)

Where to Stay

The Centennial Inn on Pleasant Street is an upscale boutique inn with one of the best restaurants the state. Country inns surround the city, such as the award-winning Colby Hill Inn in Henniker and the Rosewood Country Inn in Bradford.

DIXVILLE NOTCH

Where to Stay

Balsams Grand Resort Hotel

Located on 15,000 private acres in the Great North Woods high in New Hampshire’s majestic White Mountains, The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel offers a world-class experience to Nordic skiers due to its unique geographic location and surrounding wilderness. Ninety-five kilometers of cross country ski trails – including 77 kilometers of impeccably groomed trails on diverse terrain – and New England’s most dependable snow conditions create the ideal experience for cross country skiers of all ages and abilities.

The cross-country skiing sport is taken quite seriously here, with trails winding through an awe-inspiring landscape that varies more than 2000 feet in elevation and professionally groomed to 16-feet wide, and double tracked with a wide skate lane down the middle. Trails are well-marked and rated for level of difficulty. One-third of trails are designated for beginners with heated shelters along the way, allowing families to ski together all day. While almost half of the trail system is labeled blue for intermediate and black for advanced skiers, The Balsams' system is unique in that it includes a  rare double-black diamond with some of the steepest terrain in New England. With the opening of the Nordic Center last year, novices and more advanced cross country skiers alike can arrange for lessons with certified pros. In addition to skis, rental equipment includes pulks, pull-behind sleds designed for touring with younger children. For added convenience, a waxing station is available.

During winter, the Balsams boats New England’s most dependable snow conditions, with precipitation rarely changing from snow to rain. In addition to Nordic skiing, The Balsams is known for its alpine ski area featuring 14 trails on two slopes with runs up to two miles long. Families in particular will appreciate that all trails begin at the top of the lift and end at the base lodge, making it easy to reconnect after runs. Other winter activities include skating on the resort’s private rink and snowshoeing on designated trails. For the more adventurous, touring by dog sled or horse drawn sleigh may be arranged through the concierge.

The Balsams is a four-star destination that boasts 202 individually decorated guestrooms and suites; four dining venues, including the Dining Room renown for its sumptuous table d’hote culinary presentations; over 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space; and unparalleled year-round recreation including nightly entertainment and children’s programs. The resorts famous “Ballot Room” serves as the polling place for the nearly two dozen area residents who are the “first in the nation” to report the results of their voting in national elections. Serving guests since 1866, the resort is included in the National Register of Historic Places, and is part of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts family -- one of the nation’s foremost hospitality and entertainment veterans.

For reservations and information about The Balsams, call 1-866-380-6798, or check web site www.TheBalsams.com.

DOVER

What to See & Do

Children's Museum of NH

This "new" museum continues the award-winning legacy of the Children's Museum of Portsmouth, founded in 1983 and nationally recognized as a leader in the field for its innovative, experiential learning programs. Serving over 97,000 visitors a year from all over New England and beyond, the Museum outgrew its original location and needed more space for exhibits, programs and events.

After a decade-long search for larger space, the Museum signed a 60-year lease in 2005 with the City of Dover for the Butterfield Building at the corner of Washington Street and Henry Law Avenue. Since then, while championing a $3.6 million capital campaign, the Museum has completely renovated the 20,000 sq. ft. building, adapting it for use as a publicly accessible museum and upgrading the structure and internal systems to secure Leadership in Environmental Engineering Design (LEED) certification. The entire building is now a working exhibit on environmental efficiency and stewardship. Located on the banks of the Cocheco River, surrounded by Henry Law Park, The Children's Museum is a gateway to the future downtown waterfront development.

The new Museum provides triple the exhibit space of its previous home, with the following benefits:

New exhibits with a wider range of topics and more in-depth exploration of topics are immersive experience-and- discovery centers for learning:

- The Museum's signature Yellow Submarine is a state-of-the-art focal point. Completely CNC-design engineered and manufactured by the Museum's Roe Cole, the new sub replicates the experience of deep-sea dives thanks to computer animation and control systems integration created by students in Professor Bill French's Electronic engineering and technical program at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. Roe Cole, Proprietor of Roe G. Cole Custom Design and Construction (Kittery ME) and his crew were responsible for constructing all of the custom exhibits for the new museum, all designed in-house under the direction of Susan Kaufmann, Exhibits Director.

- Build It Fly It gives junior aerospace engineers the chance to flight-test their own designs while learning the concepts of aerodynamics, engineering and physics. This exhibit was designed by Museum exhibit staff member Eric Yuan and custom-fabricated by FlexLink (Allentown, PA).

- Cochecosystem explores the natural and industrial environment of the Cocheco River, from natural beaver and osprey habitats to a naturalist's study to the mills. Christopher Pothier's murals form the backdrop to the Cochecosystem display while a trolley hand-crafted by Don Bishop duplicates the mill workers' experience.

- Primary Place expands the Museum's age range to early-learner infants to 3-year-olds. A space filled with colorful original murals by children's book illustrator Karen Holman and hand-carved wood play sculptures by Joshua Sargent Primary Place affords more discovery opportunities to the youngest members of the family.

Two levels of fully ADA-accessible space link the entire exhibit area visually and physically by an all-abilities ramp/gallery for visual arts exhibits. The exhibits themselves are also designed to allow children with mobility issues equal hands-on access rather than isolating them from the rest of their group. They can accompany their class up the ramp to second floor exhibits, for example, instead of having to divert to the elevator (though a new elevator has been installed.) The Dino Dig offers a chair-level "dig-site" as well as one children climb into.

First-rate visitor service and amenities include storage space for jackets and strollers, snack area, group orientation space, well-designed entry, and family restrooms on each floor.

The new Museum builds on an established reputation as an invaluable, supplemental education resource for schools and families:

- The Children's Museum is one of the most-visited attractions in New Hampshire with an established reputation for drawing family visitors to the state. Surveys show that 87 percent of the families who come to the Museum traveled to the area specifically for that purpose.

- The Museum provides educators with assets that are not available elsewhere to expand the depth and breadth of traditional curricula with informal alternatives to in-classroom learning. Learning in our Museum setting is a self-directed process of active engagement with experiences New Hampshire Department of Education standards are the foundation for every exhibit.

- The new Museum builds on an established reputation as a self-supporting, financially-stable asset to the community. Fully 60 percent of operating revenue comes from admissions, sales, events and program fees. The balance comes from corporate partners, members, individual donors and foundations who enthusiastically support the Museum's mission and accomplishments. Virtually every major corporation in New Hampshire has contributed to the capital campaign and programming initiatives.

Full details about the new Museum can be found on the new web site, designed by Brown & Co. of Portsmouth. Visit www.childrens-museum.org or call 603-742-2002.

HOOKSETT

New Bass Pro Shops outdoors store opened

With some of the largest mountains on the East Coast, and major rivers such as the Merrimack, Piscataqua, and Connecticut, New Hampshire offers one outdoor adventure after another. The new Bass Pro Shops Sportsman’s Center in Hooksett is a tribute to New Hampshire’s natural beauty, outdoor traditions, and abundant wildlife. The store opened Feb. 19, 2014 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony that begins at 6 p.m.   

The 139,000-square-foot Hooksett Bass Pro Shops, located at 2 Commerce Drive, offers something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors, whether it’s camping, fishing, hunting, boating, and more. It will outfit the area’s outdoor sportsmen and women, in addition to the many people who visit New Hampshire to enjoy the state’s natural resources.

The store’s imagery, murals, and displays reflect the region’s geography and wildlife populations.  From mountain vistas and sparkling waterfalls to birch tree forests and rushing trout streams; vast New England-Acadian timberlands, the Merrimack Valley and the seacoast region; from deer and moose, bear and bobcats, turkey and ducks—all find their place inside the store.

Bass Pro Shops – Store, Museum, Art Gallery, Entertainment and More
Bass Pro Shops uniquely designed, award-winning stores are often considered to be part museum, art gallery, antique store and aquarium, and centers for conservation education and fun. They also offer the area’s largest selection of high-quality outdoor gear as well as a staff of dedicated professionals who promote the outdoor lifestyle and live it as well. In fact, Bass Pro Shops has been voted best in delivering service excellence two years in a row by J.D. Power and Associates.

Using many area artifacts, antiques, period pictures, state record wildlife mounts and memorabilia, the store becomes a living museum of the region and its hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies.

Decorating With Nature in Mind
Hand-painted murals wrap the store’s interior and depict familiar scenes of the region. One gets the sense of traveling through New Hampshire’s landscape as the murals transport the viewer through a series of panoramic vistas—all beautifully replicated with the stroke of an artist’s brush. Through the use of special lighting techniques, the murals take on a living, breathing quality.

A 13,000-gallon freshwater aquarium is a focal point of the store and will be stocked with more than 150 fish native to the area such as striped bass, black/white crappie, lake sturgeon, rainbow trout, freshwater drum, northern pike, walleye and channel catfish.

Wildlife Exhibits Showcase New Hampshire Species
Museum quality wildlife exhibits and dioramas are seen throughout the store. At any moment visitors could expect to come upon a flock of wild turkeys, bear emerging from a stand of trees, beaver working on a dam or a moose standing in a bog.

Mallard, northern pintail, and green-winged teal in addition to Canada geese —all are scattered throughout the exhibits and imagery of the store.

Bass Pro Shops dedication to detail is evident wherever visitors look as artisans work to create a visual style unique to that store, including handcrafted ornate metal fire screen doors, iron railings, sconces and more.

The White River Fly Shop, featuring antique and collectible fly fishing memorabilia, has a vast selection of the latest in fly fishing gear. Experts will continue the art of hand-tying flies on site and assist customers in making the perfect selection.

In the hunting department, customers will find an equally impressive array of hunting clothing and gear while the archery department offers a bow set-up shop and a 20-yard archery range.

More than a hunting and fishing store, visitors also will find items perfect for camping, hiking, outdoor cooking, bird watching or whatever their outdoor pleasures may be. A gift and nature center offers a variety of items such as artwork, lamps, bird feeders, furniture, home decorating items, gifts for the holidays, and cooking accessories such as cookbooks, spices, grills, and jerky making items.

A wide selection of men’s and women’s footwear and apparel, featuring popular brands including Columbia, North Face, Bob Timberlake, and RedHead, are also available.

About Bass Pro Shops®
Bass Pro Shops®, which specializes in outdoor fun, operates 83 retail stores and Tracker Marine Centers across America and Canada that are visited by more than 116 million people every year. Bass Pro Shops stores, many of which feature restaurants, offer outdoor gear while their catalogs and website serve shoppers throughout the world. The company’s Tracker Marine Group®, which has produced the number one selling brand of fishing boats for more than 35 years, manufactures and sells a variety of boats for fishing and cruising. Family fun is on tap at Bass Pro Shops resort Big Cedar Lodge®, voted number six by Travel + Leisure Magazine as World's Best Hotels for Families. For more information, visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bassproshops.

JACKSON

Every Day is a Reason to Visit Jackson XC

Since the 1930's the Jackson Ski and Outing Club has made recreational events and skiing competition part of its many traditions. Today, the Jackson Ski Touring Center maintains those traditions by offering a number of fun weekly events, all of which are open to the public.

Nearly every weekday, there's a different event or incentive for getting out on the snow, and of course the weekends are packed with plenty to do as well.

Whether it's Tuesday Trekkers, Wednesday 2-4-1, Throw Back Thursday or Friday Gliders and Sliders, there is always something going on in Jackson. Those interested in snowshoeing are encouraged to check out Tuesday Trekkers, an expertly guided social snowshoe trek through the forests of Jackson. It‚s an activity for all abilities and happens every Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. for just $10.

Wednesday 2-4-1 is just as it sounds. Bring a friend and tour Jackson's miles of trails at a two for the price of one discount.

On Thursdays, Jackson XC spices it up with Throw Back Thursdays. Hit the trails dressed in your best retro ski garb and try to the staff as they judge for best outfit. The guest who is staff pick of the day gets hot cocoa with marshmallows served in a Jackson XC mug and bragging rights.

Friday's Sliders and Gliders are two hour tour groups led by ski school instructors, who are there to offer technique tips and moral support. After skiing, the group gathers in the Touring Center for refreshments and socializing. For just $10 and the price of a day pass, anyone looking to improve their technique is encouraged to take part.

Of course the weekend offers plenty of great reasons to ski Jackson XC, but Saturday's weekly free wax clinic from 12 to 1 p.m. and Alpine Sundays are opportunities not to miss. Wax clinics offer guests a chance to learn how to properly maintain waxless or waxable skis, whether they are classic or skate. And for those that are also alpine skiers, bring in your Saturday or Sunday lift pass and receive a 33% discount on a day pass, rentals and lessons.

Snowshoe nature tours are available on weekends from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Expert snowshoe guides lead guests to places along the trails and off the system that most people wouldn‚t find. These tours are $10; snowshoe rentals are available for $12. Private tours can also be scheduled through the Touring Center.

For a complete listing of events, visit the online calendar at www.jacksonxc.org/event-calendar.

The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, chartered to maintain trails in and around the charming Village of Jackson, NH. The "Foundation" maintains 150 km of varied and breathtaking cross country ski and snowshoe trails. Foundation trails connect with A.M.C. trails in Pinkham Notch and White Mountain National Forest backcountry adventure trails. The Foundation operates under a Special-Use Permit with the White Mountain National Forest, and with the cooperation of 75 private landowners, and the Village of Jackson. More information about the Foundation and its offerings can be found on the web at www.jacksonxc.org.

MT WASHINGTON VALLEY

Where to Stay

1785 Inn Offers Drinks, Fido gifts, Mud Masks, and More

PARTAKE IN THE 1785 INN’s FLAMING COCOA LAVA DRINK – They call this “warm mud to take the chill off of a cool spring evening”, the 1785’s signature flaming Cocoa Lava is sure to leave you smiley clean; have two and you’d better plan to spend the night! This drink features a flaming concoction of Peppermint Schnapps, hot chocolate and Bailey’s Irish Cream all topped off with whipped cream and cinnamon (for that dirty look!). The glasses are rimmed with caramelized cinnamon sugar, just to add to the filthy goodness of this drink. Info: 800-421-1785, www.the1785inn.com.

What to See & Do

Zeb's General Store Has Maine Mud Chocolate Products & Mudslide Coffee

Walk into Zeb’s General Store, and the old-fashioned penny-candy counter takes you back in time. Zeb’s is the largest purveyor of New England-made products in the country, and features such wonderful Mud Season offerings as a muddy Moosely Dark Chocolate Sauce, along with White Mountain Mudslide Coffee. In the height of the mud season, you’ll find Hogwash soaps, perfect for groveling in the mud for the ultimate in a clean complexion. Info: 800-676-9294, www.zebs.com

FOUR YOUR PAWS ONLY-

Mud Boots & Rain Gear for Fido and Fifi - We all know the best way to protect floors is to take off our boots when we come in the mud room, but what about our four-legged friends? Four Your Paws Only offers a full range of pet gifts, supplies and gear for inclement weather, including reflective dog boots and yellow doggie slickers. Info: 800-327-5957, www.fouryourpawsonly.com.

Garden Dreams

Mud Masks - Garden Dreams, a locally-based purveyor of fine soaps and spa products offers a Mud Mask with roots in French Green Clay and Oatmeal. It’s a wonderful product to awaken the body to spring and good clean mud. The instructions suggest covering the entire body in the mud mask, and once dried to run into the freshly melted lake during Mud Season for the ultimate in refreshing tingle. Of course, for the less adventurous, a warm shower will offer equal cleanliness but no where nearly the tingle. Info: 603-367-9913, www.gardendreams.org.

Red Parka Pub

Mudslide Drinks and Pies - Just to get into the mud-mood, order the 16-ounce Mason Jar Mudslide at the Red Parka Pub, one of Mt. Washington Valley’s après- mud fun institutions. Follow that up with the Mud Pie – a generous concoction of Oreo cookies, nuts, coffee liqueur, in between mounds of coffee ice cream, syrup and whip cream, and you’ll be sure you’ve just landed in mud-heaven. Info: 603-383-4344, www.redparkapub.com.

Sweeney Ridge Metalsmiths

"Wipe Your Feet" Plaques– Adults know to wipe their feet when they enter, but how about Rover? Sweeney Ridge Metalsmiths offer a “Wipe Your Feet” sign featuring your choice of twenty different breeds of dogs for $20. While it may not keep the mud off the rug, it’ll be a great reminder to kids and possibly even pets. Info: 888-600-9470, www.sweeneyridge.com.

For more information on vacationing during Mud Season or beyond in Mt. Washington Valley, NH, visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or call 800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) to request your free vacation planner.

STRATHAM

more soon

SUNAPEE

Where to Stay

The Blue Acorn Inn

Owned by Innkeepers Deb & Kurt Markarian (21 Sleeper Road, Sunapee, NH 03782; 603-863-1144 -- E-mail innkeepers@ blueacorninn.com), the Inn is nestled on 22 acres on a quiet road just minutes from Lake Sunapee and Mount Sunapee Resort. It is a four season inn that offers a comfortable, cozy atmosphere for guests looked for their "Home Away From Home." Guests enjoy the warmth of the family, friendly inn which is a pleasant change from hotels.

Built in 1847, The Blue Acorn Inn offer 6 uniquely decorated rooms. All the guests can enjoy the Great Room with its large fieldstone fireplace, a patio and a big backyard that is shared with the local wildlife. There's plenty to do here - enjoy the scenery, hike, bike, see the fall foliage change, ski, snowmobile, ice skate on the pond, go snowshoeing, downhill sking. During spring, watch the maple syrup being made at one of the local sugarhouses. Hold an outdoor reception or family gathering here, or during summer, take a chair-lift to the top of Mt. Sunapee for a breathtaking view. Take a leisurely cruise on the lake on the MV Mt. Sunapee or do your own boating on the lake. Pack a picnic and head to Sunapee State Park for a swim. In the evening, relax by the fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa or tea. In addition to the huge hearty country breakfasts and the spectacular sunsets ~ The Blue Acorn Inn is the perfect way to start and end your day. Gift Certificates are always available.

WATERVILLE VALLEY

About Waterville Valley Resort

Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained four season resort. Known as New Hampshire’s Family Resort, it features 265 skiable acres with an altitude of 4,004 feet and vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 60 trails, and 11 lifts. This year Waterville Valley Resort opens Green Peak Expansion, the first Resort’s expansion in more than 30 years and the only one on the East Coast. Lodging options include country inns, condominiums and all-suite hotels. For more information, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit waterville.com.

Location: Waterville Valley Resort, 1 Ski Area Rd, PO Box 540, Waterville Valley, New Hampshire 03215,

Waterville Valley Resort Reopens Snow’s Mountain, one of New Hampshire’s Lost Ski Areas

Waterville Valley Resort Snow’s Mountain, one of New Hampshire’s “lost” ski areas, will reopened on February 25, 2017 exclusively for Season Passholders at Waterville Valley Resort. Closed since 1996, this will be the second time since 2014/15 the chairlift has run in the winter months allowing for an additional 9 acres of terrain.

At one time, Snow’s Mountain was the primary terrain at Waterville Valley Resort, until Mt. Tecumseh turned on its lifts in 1966. Snow’s Mountain saw less and less use until its trails became snowboard only in 1995 and then closed for good the following season. Since then, the chairlift has stayed in operation during the summer for access to its expansive mountain biking trail system which are also used for hiking. In 2014/15 Snow’s Mountain reopened and proved to be a very attractive destination for the Season Passholders.

The Opening Ceremony will take place by the Snow’s Mountain Chair Lift at 10 am. The Snow’s Mountain Chair Lift will run from 10am to 2pm exclusively for Season Passholders.

Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained four season resort. Known as New Hampshire’s Family Resort, it features 265 skiable acres with an altitude of 4,004 feet and vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 60 trails, and 11 lifts. This year Waterville Valley Resort opens Green Peak Expansion, the first Resort’s expansion in more than 30 years and the only one on the East Coast. Lodging options include country inns, condominiums and all-suite hotels. For more information, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit waterville.com.

Waterville Valley Resort Brings Fat Bikes to Their Roster of Winter Activities

The latest in a series of expanding off-mountain activities at Waterville Valley Resort is the addition of fat bikes available to rent from the Nordic Center. Fat bikes mountain bikes with oversized tires designed to float in soft and challenging terrain, including snow. Developed in Alaska in the early 1980's, fat bikes have grown in popularity in recent years but are still rare to find at ski resorts in the White Mountains.

'One of Waterville Valley Resort's most unique features is the wide variety of activities available to guests off the slopes,' says Nordic Center Director Leah Wilson. 'Whether you're an alpine skier or not, the valley a great place to stay and play. Fat biking is another excellent option in addition to the cross country skiing and snowshoing available at the Nordic Center.' There is 15km of 'many use' trails within the Nordic system where the fat bikes will be available to ride. These are part of Waterville Valley Resort's mountain bike trail system in the summer.

The Nordic Center is stocking a small fleet of fat bikes that are now available to the general public 7 days a week as conditions allow. For more information, call the Nordic Center at 603-236-4666.

Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained four seasons resort. Known as New Hampshire‚s Family resort, it features 220 skiable acres with an altitude of 4,004 feet and vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 50 trails, and 11 lifts. Lodging options include country inns, condominiums and all-suite hotels. For more information, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit www.waterville.com.

Stay and ski free at Waterville Valley's Valley Inn

The Valley Inn has a new ski free deal valid for midweek stay. Guests who book a room midweek will get 2 free midweek lift tickets to Waterville Valley Resort for each night they stay. That is a value of up to $150 per night. Room rates start at $184.76 per night, including all taxes and fees. See more at www.valleyinn.com/deals-packages.

Waterville Valley Resort Earns High Marks in Ski Magazine Reader Survey

Waterville Valley Resort has been ranked the #2 overall resort in New Hampshire for 2015 by Ski Magazine. Located just 2 hours from Boston, the resort was ranked #14 in the East. After being ranked #18 last year, the new polls would suggest that skiers and snowboarders are becoming more aware of the steps forward the resort has made over the last few years.

Contributing to Waterville Valley Resort‚s rankings is success in both Kid-Friendly Activities and Terrain Parks. Ranking #4 and #3 in the East in each category respectively, the resort ranks #1 in New Hampshire for both. 'We've become known as New Hampshire's Family Resort over the last few years and it's a title we're proud of' said CEO/General Manager Chris Sununu.'In addition to having an exceptional group of instructors on the mountain, we've put an emphasis on opening the community up to families so that the fun doesn‚t end when you take off your skis and snowboards. Town Square has always been a center for family activity and opening up the new tubing hill in the Valley added an exciting, new dynamic for our guests last season.'

Being among New Hampshire's top ranked Terrain Parks is not new for Waterville. TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine named Waterville Valley Resort the #4 Terrain Parks in the East and #1 in New Hampshire for 2014. 'With a lot of the on mountain experience defined by weather and natural contours, it's tough to stand out with so many great resorts in the region,' said Parks Manager Luke Mathison. 'Waterville Parks focus on progression, from young beginners through advanced freestyle riders, through our series of learning, small, medium, and large parks. Our parks continue to raise the bar with innovative features for all ability levels through creative design and feature flow.'

Waterville Valley Resort was also ranked #3 in the East in Off-Hill Activities.'The tubing hill was even more popular than we expected last season,' said Sununu. 'It was a great addition for kids and adults as The Clubhouse features a bonfire and beer and wine. The Recreation Department also has Kids Nights and story times with Curious George. Those along with our traditional Saturday night fireworks, dogsled and sleigh rides make the Valley a great place to bring the family for a whole weekend. The Valley is a truly unique mountain village with plenty of activities  ifyou‚re not on the mountain.'

Another highlight in the survey for Waterville was being ranked #5 in the East for Dining and #6 in the East for On-Mountain Food. 'Starry Nights has really enhanced our on mountain dining experience,' continued Sununu. 'It only happens a few times a year, but there's nothing better than riding the chairlift under the stars and skiing to a gourmet meal with cocktails and entertainment. We finish the night with s‚mores and a torchlight parade down the mountain for a really unique experience for everyone.'

Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained four seasons resort. Known as New Hampshire‚s Family Resort, it features world-class alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, an indoor ice rink, and activities and events for the whole family. Waterville Valley Resort offers 220 skiable acres with an altitude of 4,004 feet and vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 50 trails, and 11 lifts. For more information, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit www.waterville.com.

Location: 1 Ski Area Rd., Waterville Valley, NH 03215. The mailing address is: PO Box 540, Waterville Valley, NH 03215.


Home | New Jersey Books | Outdoor Tips | Travels | Product Reviews | Holidays | Contact Us

All information and photography © 2007-2011 Arline Zatz. All rights reserved. Contact us if reprint permission is needed.