Cute chalets, iconic mountain peaks, snow clad quaint villages, coniferous forests, and some of the prettiest drives in the world – a road trip in New Hampshire is one of those things you must experience once in a lifetime. Many famous writers and intellectuals including Robert Frost, Daniel Webster and E.E. Cummings had called New Hampshire home. We travelled to New Hampshire to immerse ourselves in its natural beauty, remoteness and rugged independence. Snow-laden panoramas made every corner look like a picture postcard.
While a number of tourists drive to New Hampshire for skiing in the White Mountains, not everybody knows about a romantic little village, North Conway. North Conway is nestled in the heart of Mount Washington Valley in New Hampshire’s picturesque White Mountains. The quaint village took us back in time and the incessant snowfall gave a fairytale touch to the little town. The picturesque village can get quite busy during ski season but other than that, it’s usually quiet. We would recommend staying here instead of touristy places in the vicinity. North Conway makes for the perfect romantic getaway during the last weeks of December when it’s covered with a blanket of snow but the skiing crowd hasn’t yet descended on the village.
Our drive from Cincinnati to the little village of North Conway took approximately 14 hours. Owing to the slow moving traffic (due to a snowstorm), we reached at night and checked into our lovely AirBnB cottage. Cooped up amidst the mountains, the cottage was easily one of the most charming properties we’ve ever stayed at! Scenic and spacious rooms offered outstanding views of the snow-clad surroundings and an unobstructed view of snow-laden mountains. Watching everything getting quietly covered in snow from the comforts of the bed was unparalleled.
The first place we visited in North Hampshire was the Echo Lake State Park. Echo Lake might seem distinctly underwhelming but it acquired a personality of its own in the frozen state. A scenic trail offered a stunning view of the lake against the 700-foot Cathedral Ledge which towered over the lake. As it was snow-clad, so the mile-long auto road and hiking to the top of Cathedral Ledge was not accessible. A hike to the top gives impressive views of the Saco River Valley and the famed White Mountains.
With the snow storm predictions, we didn’t plan out our itinerary much. We were mostly there to enjoy the snowfall and the quiet country life. Owing to blizzard and snowfall, it was nearly impossible to drive through foot long snow everywhere. Everything as far as eyes could see was covered in layers and layers of snow. We were a little petrified of stepping feet on snow without knowing the depth of it. The streets were empty but beautiful; cute cottages and houses on both sides of the road made the drive through memorable. Amidst blizzard, crunchy snow beneath us and hot cocoa in tow we drove all along the pictorial New Hampshire countryside.
It is easy to spend days walking around the countryside, doing nothing but relishing the sights and sounds of the country life. Make sure to pack a picnic because there are dozens of picnic spots along the way. Take a stroll in the town centre, sample local cuisines for lunch, and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the White Mountain. Don’t forget to refuel on your vacation with locally owned restaurants as they offer a variety of locally and home-made food! Pair it with tax-free specialty and outlet shopping for the perfect getaway.
Enjoy all seasons and make the most of your vacations!
Abhi & Suchi