Travel Exchange is back and I’m thrilled to have on the blog today Jenn with @westchesterlvng who tells us all about her family summer vacation to North Conway, New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a place I really haven’t spent much time in – apart from a couple trips to an old friend’s ski cabin way back when – and I definately haven’t spent any time there in the summer.
I would imagine New Hampshire would be an amazing place in the summertime for all the outdoor adventure it offers, what with the mountains, lakes and outdoor activity. As much as we love the beach, we also love heading to the mountains in the summer as we have in the past to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. There is nothing like a dose of fresh mountain air for us New Yorkers!
Below is my interview with Jenn – New Hampshire sounds like such an ideal place to go to for a summer vacation, and the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure, always our favorite combo! NH is definately going on my east coast summer list going forward!
How did you decide on New Hampshire as a destination to take a family vacation? Where in NH did you go?
Our older two children attend sleepaway camp in NH and we thought it would be fun to take a family vacation with our younger son during the week leading up to Visiting Day. We stayed in North Conway, NH. This was the second year in a row that we went on this trip.
Myself, my husband & our youngest son, Zane, 8
What time of year did you go and how was the weather?
We vacationed in mid-July and the weather was warm during the day and cooler at night. Day time temps – high 70’s/low 80’s, 50-60’s in the evening.
How long is the drive? Did you break it up at all and if so where?
The drive is approximately five and a half hours. We started the drive from Larchmont early in the morning and stopped for lunch at Town Docks in Meredith, NH. This restaurant is located on the banks of Lake Winnipesauke and it’s the perfect spot to relax during the long drive up to the White Mountains. After lunch we walked around a section of the lake before continuing the drive up North.
The previous year we stopped in Portsmouth en route to the North Conway area. We toured Market Square and had lunch Harborside at River House.
Where did you stay in North Conway and how did you discover it? What were the accommodations and amenities like?
We stayed at The White Mountain Hotel and Resort, a beautiful resort off the beaten path in a scenic location in North Conway. We discovered this hotel the previous year when we stayed in the main drag in North Conway. As novice NH travelers, we stayed by the Outlets and wanted a different experience the second time. While The White Mountain Hotel & Resort is located in a scenic location by Echo Lake State Park and White Horse Ledge, it is conveniently located a short drive to the center of North Conway. There are rooms and suites, a full service restaurant with mountain vistas, a pool, golf course & a walking trail to Echo Lake. In the evening, there is a campfire by the pool and the kids can make s’mores.
What kinds of activities did you do on your trip?
We spent a lot of time exploring the outdoor attractions. We hiked a portion of the trail at White Horse Ledge and spent time on most afternoons at Echo Lake. Another hot spot was Diana’s Baths. We enjoyed hiking to the waterfalls. We also enjoyed spending the morning tubing on the Saco River.
Zane’s favorite experience was spending time at Cranmore Mountain Adventure Park. We challenged ourselves at the Aerial Adventure Park & completed the ropes course. We also went on the Mountain Coaster, the Giant Eagle & Summer Tubing rides. For lunch, we rode the chairlift to the summit. We also spent a morning driving up Mount Washington. Prior to the experience, we were confused by all of the bumper stickers proclaiming, “This car climbed Mt. Washington.” The experience is actually quite the feat! The view from the summit is spectacular and almost makes the treacherous ride worth it!
In addition to the outdoor activities, we spent time in North Conway. There are outlet malls at Settlers’ Green but best of all is North Conway Village. Highlights of the Village include: Village Green, Conway Scenic Railroad and lots of shops and restaurants. Our favorite restaurants:
Frontside Coffee Roasters for gourmet coffee, bagels, muffins & breakfast sandwiches
Chef’s Bistro – located in the Village, Farm to Table restaurant, amazing fare
Muddy Moose for family dining – fun for kids
Favorite Shop – Zeb’s General Store – They literally have it all. New England specialties, crafts, candy galore, NH souvenirs, candles, toys & loads of gifts
What were the highlights for you? Kids?
We enjoyed the entire vacation! I enjoyed hiking to the lake by the hotel and spending time in nature. Michael enjoyed relaxing at the lake and the waterfalls at Diana’s Baths. Zane’s favorite part of the hotel is the location by the hiking trails, the pool, the lake & the arcade. Zane’s favorite activity was completing the ropes course at Cranmore. He enjoyed the challenge and his favorite part was the zipline.
What are your top tips for taking this kind of vacation?
Since there are so many attractions to choose from, it is helpful to plan out the trip in advance. There is plenty to do in the immediate area in and around North Conway.
Did you feel the trip was a good value for what you got?
Yes! The resort is a great deal for what it offers & it is possible to spend a decent amount of time enjoying the amenities on site.
Would you recommend this vacation to others?
Absolutely! The trip combined the perfect balance of relaxation, sightseeing & active pursuits. We plan to return on this vacation with all three of our boys. After seeing the pictures and hearing about our adventures, they want to visit the attractions as well.
Thanks so much, Jenn, for being a guest on the blog – I’m so glad I learned all about summertime in New Hampshire and what a wonderful place it makes for a family vacation!
To read more Travel Exchange posts, see: