I recently spent a perfect fall day in New Hampshire's White Mountains. The White Mountains are a mountain range covering the northern quarter of the state of New Hampshire. Known for their alpine hut system for hikers, we didn't take advantage of them as we only had one day. But we did find five really fun activities to do in one day!
1. Cannon Mountain Tramway
Cannon Mountain is a ski resort located inside Franconia Notch State Park. The first aerial tramway operated at this resort in 1938 - in fact, you can see one of the original trams at the adjacent New England ski museum along with Bodie Miller's gold medals. When not in use for ski season, the tram can transport up to 80 people to the top of Cannon Mountain in 8 minutes for incredible views. Once at the top, there is a snack bar/cafeteria with an outdoor deck to enjoy and an observation deck, which we climbed. (Sadly, we just missed a proposal at the top!) I loved this ski resort and riding the tram. It's not glitzy but just rustic New England ski resort that looks as if it hasn't been updated in years. The kind of resort where you can bring your own lunch and buy an economical season pass because you love skiing. And those views - well, they were pretty incredible!
2. The Flume Gorge
Before visiting here, I wasn't even sure what a flume was. Basically, this is a waterfall descending through an 800 foot gorge. So .....a flume gorge. Also located within Franconia Notch State park, you start your visit at the Visitors Center. After purchasing your ticket you have a choice of two ways of getting to the gorge - just visiting the gorge (and being dropped off by a shuttle bus) or doing the entire 2 mile loop starting and ending at the visitors center. Either way includes walking and lots of stairs - not stroller or wheelchair friendly. When the flume gorge was first discovered there was an egg shaped rock between the two walls of the gorge but it was washed away in a storm in 1883.
3.Stay at Indian Head Resort and visit the Betty & Barney Hill Incident Site
Indian Head Resort is located in Lincoln, New Hampshire and is a resort with a view of the Indian Head mountain. Located on Shadow lake, the resort has a hotel, cottages and house rentals. There are two restaurants, a gift shop, canoeing on the lake, ice skating in winter and an outdoor pool and hot tub. When we were there, there was a large coach dropping off guests and several people biking through the parking lot. This resort is definitely old school - the roadside cottages are reminiscent of motor lodges from the 30's, 40's and 50's when Americans were road tripping on Route 66. In front of the resort is the historical marker for the Betty & Barney Hill Incident Site. Betty and Barney Hill were an American couple who were allegedly abducted by aliens at this site in 1961. It was the first widely publicized UFO incident and it became a best-selling book and movie. Currently, there is another movie in the works. Who knew?! I didn't!
4. Drive the Kancamagus Highway
One of the most famous and iconic leaf peeping highways in New England, the Kancamagus Highway is only 34.5 miles in length. There are no gas stations, no stores, no restaurants and no other retail establishments on the Kanc, as it is known, but there are plenty located in the towns of Lincoln and Conway at either end. There are pull-offs and restrooms along the way. Expect crowds and traffic, especially on the weekends. It is a beautiful drive - and we drove it about a week before fall foliage peak.
5. Eat at The Common Man
The Common Man is a restaurant chain in New Hampshire. Started in 1971, there are now six Common Mans along with several other variations of the chain. We ate at the one in Concord, New Hampshire which looks like an old New England style house. There was an hour wait so we opted to sit in the bar area. One of the unique things about Common Man is that they have a cheese, dip and crackers bar instead of a salad bar. Another thing they do is serve sauteed veggies with every meal. And last but not least, they serve white chocolate squares after every meal. Just a little something different, and refreshing. (We had the lobster mac n cheese) Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos as it was dark the whole time we were there. Visit their website here
So there you have it! Five things to do in New Hampshire's White Mountains. And I know there are millions more but that's what my daughter and I accomplished in one day. Just think if you had more time?!
I'm linking up: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Friday Postcards at Walking On Travels, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner. Go check them out!