Being from Rhode Island, I certainly don’t mind summers at home because of my home state’s coast. From signature coastal restaurants like Iggy’s and Aunt Carrie’s to the amazing Atlantic Ocean beaches, I really can’t complain. But there is another place where I love to spend a week or two, and that’s a four hour road trip north in North Conway, New Hampshire.
Whether you’re a New Englander, from the U.S., or from across the globe this place seriously needs to be on your bucket list. Let me tell you why.
First of all, the scenery. The White Mountains are absolutely gorgeous whether you like rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing or just walking. The views, the places to explore and the activities to do are just endless. Last year I took an off season trip to this classic town and while the winter sports had gone ad the tourist attractions and yet to open, I was never bored. Literally sitting and staring at the mountains is good fun all on its own.
The White Mountains have something for everyone. If you like canoeing, North Conway has countless rental and drop spots to glide, or even float, down the Saco River along the ledges. If you’re a hiker or climber the infamously windy Mt. Washington is a short drive out of town, and Cathedral’s Ledge, both a hiking and climbing spot, is right off the town’s main road. On the back side of Cathedral’s ledge is the well-known Diana’s Baths. The small waterfalls are relaxing to watch, extremely fun climb around and if you go at the right time of year you can literally drink from them if you so choose. The water is better than from out of a bottle. If you’re not into climbing or hiking, all three of these destinations can be reached by car or even tram if you’re interested.
Second is the food. About a minute out of the town border in neighboring Glen, NH is the Glen Junction. Every summer my family would go to North Conway and this is was always our first stop. The rustic railroad themed restaurant is a must for breakfast or lunch. The food is fresh, the staff is amazing and you’ll never get bored watching the model trains run around the tracks on the ceiling.
Maybe 500 feet down the street is Joseph’s Spaghetti Shed. If you’re a lover of Italian food like I am you will truly appreciate the hot out-of-the-oven bread, and the endless options of pasta and sauce you can choose from. It’s small, it’s family-owned, and it’s phenomenal.
On the other side of town are the two cutest breakfast nooks, The Blueberry Muffin and Peaches. The Blueberry Muffin is known for their blueberry coffee that puts every chain coffee business to shame, and I don’t even like coffee so that’s saying something. Plus each breakfast is served with none other than a blueberry muffin. Peaches offers absolutely delicious waffles and pancakes with, of course, fresh peaches on top, among their other menu times.
In town there is Flatbreads, a whole natural food pizza place where everything is made right in front of you, there’s The Lobster Trap which is a great seafood restaurant, even for an inland town, and of course every single hole-in-the-wall cafe along the main street.
Finally, there’s Storyland. Also right in Glen, this kids-tailored amusement park is a decent size with everything for everyone. I am a college student and I am seriously taking a day trip there this summer. You can ride around the park in a train, ride roller coasters, flume rides, pirate ships and even walk through a mine.
North Conway also has attractions like the Conway Scenic Railroad, the Mt. Washington Observatory Discovery Center, Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf, and much more. If you’re looking for a romantic escape, try camping in the mountains or staying at one of the town’s eccentric hotels like the Adventure Suites. While they are a bit expensive you can choose from a variety of themed rooms and enjoy a fire-lit back yard that overlooks the mountains.
I hope I didn’t go on too much of an advertising rant, but I genuinely cannot say enough about this place. I am about to book trip this year’s trip there and I will probably visit every single year since it is an exciting, gorgeous and, most importantly, cheap destination!