Explore the White Mountains of New Hampshire
This summer, 2009, my family and I visited the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and we all fell in love. My son came home with a love for moose, my husband came home with a love for Woodstock microbrews, and I came home with a love for, um, White Mountain real estate. Well, more like the possibilty of owning White Mountain real estate so I can return on whim. We all are quite smitten with the area.
We stayed in a condo at InnSeasons Resort at Pollard Brook, in Lincoln, NH. This is a fantastic complex, and our condo was A+. It had a master suite with a private bathroom, plus two other huge bedrooms and one additional full bath. The kitchen, dining, and living rooms were all open to each other and looked out at views of Loon Mountain, a popular ski resort. There was a Murphy-style bed in the living room as well as a gas fireplace. All together, the place would sleep 8 people quite comfortably. The best part was having coffee on the balcony as the sun came up over Loon Mountain.
Lincoln, NH, is conveniently located on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, a 26.5 mile stretch of road that allows for scenic pull-offs, moose sightings, and trail heads into the hills. It runs from Lincoln into the Conways (a town to go to when you want to shop). Our first evening on this road, we saw for three seconds the head of a female moose. She got spooked, though, and disappered into the trees. We also pulled off every scenice viewing spot and lost our breaths looking at the distant mountains. Stunning.
Our first full day in the mountains, we decided to do a touristy activity and visited Clark's Trading Post. This is a family-style entertainment site, complete with trained bears, steam engine train ride, and some fun old shacks each with its own theme. My favorite part was crazy Wolfman, who followed the train, cursing the visitors who threatened to take over his mine. If you've never seen a bear shoot hoops, then Clark's Trading Post is the place. Lots of good, sometimes cheesy, family fun.
We spent the remainder of the week outdoors exploring the mountains - they simply will not be ignored. My recommendations for families are Lost River Gorge, the Flume, and the various trails near Canon Mountain. Lost River Gorge contains many natural caves and rock formations for squeezing into. The Flume is a fairly easy hike with fantastic waterfalls. It seemed that no matter where we hiked, there was always a friendly river or lake to explore along the pathways.
Most afternoons, we returned to our condo to enjoy the on-site amenities. InnSeasons at Pollard Brook has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a smaller wading pool, and an outdoor hot tub. We spent a good amount of time at the outdoor pool, then enjoyed the game room, where my son and husband had an ongoing air hockey challenge. Occasionally we participated in a family event at the lodge, such as making tie-dye t-shirts. The resort offered plenty of opportunity to meet other guests.
Dining in the White Mountains offered so many options. We had one formal dinner at the Woodstock Inn in nearby Woodstock, NH. The service was professional, and the food outstanding. We returned later in the week for a more casual dinner out on the patio, and our sandwiches, burgers, and beer were no less delightful. Our other favorite eateries included Polly's House of Pancakes, where you could order a sampling of three types of pancakes one on plate. Our waitress took our order, then went to the griddle to cook our cakes up for us. I voted the cornbread pancakes to be the best - light but with a pleasing crunch on the outside.
By staying in Lincoln, we were able to access towns to the north quite easily. We went up to Littleton one afternoon to see what was so great about Chutters, a famous candy store. Well, this place had a candy counter about 100 feet long packed with jars of just about any penny candy you can imagine - Nerds, Mary Janes, neopolitan nougats, caramels. We each left there with two bags stuffed with goodies, and we didn't even get to the rainbow M&Ms display.
This is just a small sampling our week in the White Mountains. We are determined to return in the winter to give some of the many ski areas a try. There is no question that we would return to InnSeasons at Pollard Brook. The condos have extra space for storing ski equipment and winter clothes, and the gas fireplace would be perfect for an apres ski glass of wine.
If you plan to enjoy the White Mountains, there are two things you must do. First, choose to stay in Lincoln. Second, prepare to fall in love.
And if you find that you want to look for real estate, contact my good friend Steve Loynd. His real estate practice is based in Lincoln, and his love for the mountains is obvious from his blog.
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Text and photos copyright Kathryn J. Acciari unless otherwise noted.
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Kathryn Acciari, RSPS, SRS, RESE, CFA
Century 21 MetroWest
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