North Conway - America's original shopping mecca

Mount Washington Valley, Jackson and Intervale beckon you
The Christmas Farm Inn and Spa is one of Mount Washington Valley's many premier lodgings.

Cross Country and Down Hill Skiing, Great Food and Factory Outlet Shopping too

The Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce offers the short video of North Conway on the right. This town is one of America's first collections of factory outlet stores. On our first night we ate at the Margarita Grill. Pat had the Grilled Salmon special.On night two we dined at the Christmas Farm Inn on this huge double braised Lamb Shank.
Jackson justifiably describes itself as the #1 Cross Country skiing area in the Eastern United States.
Next we ate at the 1785 Inn. Pat started with Foie Gras and followed it with an excellent Duck.
Server Paris diBrandi making a flaming coffee us.
The New England Inn was excellent as well.
We had lunch one day at the Mount Washington Resort.
This grand dame of New England hotels has been in operation since 1902. This is a postcard is from that era.

The chamber's guidebook goes on to claim that North Conway is a buzzing hub in the Mount Washington Valley, with dozens of locally owned restaurants, unique stores and shops and lodging establishments, ready to welcome you, and they are 100 percent correct, because Mount Washington Valley is a favorite excursion for families and couples.

Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, dominated by towering Mount Washington, the valley is famous for its skiing, scenic tours, hiking, biking, swimming, rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, dining out and for being one of the most family-friendly destinations in New England.

North Conway Village also has great entertainment for your children like the MWV Children's Museum or the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center.

Both are free of charge and will keep any kid entertained for hours.

Cranmore Mountain ski area located a few blocks from downtown in North Conway, is one of New England's oldest ski areas. It began operations in 1937.

The White Mountains are within a day's drive of more than 70 million people, and receive nearly two million international visitors annually.

Tourism is the #1 industry here since Ethan Allen Crawford opened his lodging to travelers in the early 1800s, and like ourselves the first tourists came from Massachusetts. and included such literary luminaries as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Mount Washington

A half hour's drive north will bring you the the mountain for which the valley is named - Mount Washington.

Bretton Woods Ski Resort, for example, was recently named a "favorite family getaway" by a survey of travel journalists.

It opened for skiing this year before Thanksgiving.

Their sister property, The Mount Washington Resort, is undergoing a massive update and is open to the public.

Inspired by the White Mountain flora and fauna, the resort has created a new 25,000 square foot spa as extraordinary as its surroundings.  Spa treatment rooms feature endless views of Mount Washington, the Presidential Range and Crawford Notch.

A part of a multi-phased $70 million transformation at the Omni Mount Washington Resort includes additional terrain for backcountry adventures .

Where to stay

The Christmas Farm Inn and Spa

Christmas Farm Inn and Spa is a beautiful inn which also boasts a state-of-the-art spa, and offers dining and lodging in Jackson New Hampshire.

We stayed here two nights. The Christmas Farm Inn is 8 miles (about 20 minutes) north of North Conway and is New England's premium cross country skiing town.

The inn earned the 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

This is the perfect setting for a trip to the White Mountains. Visitors can take advantage of the state's tax free shopping in North Conway which offers a large selection of one of a kind shops and dozens of factory outlet stores.

And everyone can enjoy the indigenous animals here which includes moose and bears.

When you're done, relax and pamper yourself in the resort's luxurious spa where I had the best facial ever, and my wife raved about her massage.

The restaurant in the main house at the inn was wonderful for both breakfast and dinner. It is under the direction of Executive Chef Stan Shafer, who recently won "Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation

See their menu here.

The New England Inn and Lodge

The New England Inn & Lodge is located 3 miles north of North Conway on nine acres of land on the Intervale Resort Loop (Route 16A), a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle while still being only minutes from everything.

For the next two nights we stayed in one of their rustic and comfortable log cabins with a jacuzzi. This was our first time at the Inn, and we stayed in the 'Beaver Dam' cabin and loved the fact that there was a very cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace.

It was absolutely breathe taking when we walked in our cabin, the wood smell, the beautiful stone work and simple but fitting furnishings for this setting.

One of the nights we had dinner at the inn's great restaurant, Tuckerman's Tavern.

This is a local favorite for comfort food with great service, and all around good times.  They call themselves  "Totally Independent, Totally Family & Totally Delicious."

Try the Mountain Man's Meatloaf. See their entree menu here.

Where to dine

The 17895 Inn and Restaurant, North Conway NH

Frommers Travel Guide Newsletter  says this inn has "One of the top 15 views in the world from a Hotel or Inn."

The 1785 Inn is a wonderfully relaxing place to vacation at any time of year. The "Scenic Vista" from their lawn is one of the most frequently photographed and painted views in the U.S.

The 1785 Inn has been honored with many awards over the years, including the Gourmet Diners Society "Golden Fork Award" for 1996 through 2012 and the Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" for 1986 through 2011.

Fifteen year veteran server, Paris diBrandi, was very informative and attention.

See their November menu along with their monthly recipe here.

Margarita Grill, Glenn NH

Margarita's offers fresh, affordable southwestern inspired cuisine made from ingredients from local farms.

The food at Margarita Grill is Southwestern, a blend of many cuisines: gringo, Native American, Pre-Hispanic, Hispanic, Cowboy, Chuckwagon, and Mexican, with a smattering of Creole and Cajun thrown in for good measure.

See their menu here.

Stickneys at the Mount Washington resort, Bretton Woods NH

We had lunch one day in Stickneys which is on the patio level of the Omni Mount Washington Hotel. This all-new pub and steak house brings “farm-to-table” to the North Country, integrating fresh local and regional products with the finest ingredients available. Serving lunch and dinner daily, sit by the fire on a cool evening or enjoy al fresco dining in the warmer months.

What to do

In addition there are these fun activities:

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