The Perfect Winter Escape
The White Mountains of New Hampshire have earned its name from the white, snow-capped mountains dominating the region’s landscape. It’s these beautiful mountains that have created a winter paradise for those looking for winter beauty, exhilarating recreation, and a cozy getaway during the colder months. Whether you are planning a winter trip with family fun, a couples retreat, or a solo trip with your pup – the White Mountains region has something to offer everyone. Here’s the perfect five-day winter itinerary for your next visit to the Whites.
Day 1: Arrival and Town Exploring
Arriving in the White Mountains in winter is an experience unto itself. The rolling hills and mountains covered in snow-laden trees are the ideal backdrop as you arrive at your rental house. Unpack, settle in and take a moment to admire the views. If you’re traveling with kids, let them play in the snow, build a snowman, or have a friendly snowball fight. For dog owners, walk the property and allow you (and your furry friend) to stretch your legs.
In the afternoon, explore a nearby town. For those who like the hustle and bustle – take a look at North Conway or Lincoln. Here, you can window shop, visit a local boutique, or grab a drink or bite. In North Conway, warm up with coffee at The Met Coffee Shop or try a local brew and nachos at Moat Mountain Brewpub. In Lincoln, grab a snack and coffee at the White Mountain Bagel Shop or a brew and burger at One Love Brewery.
Once you’ve gotten the lay of the land, stock up on groceries for the week before returning to the ultimate rental. For dinner, embrace the warmth of the house. Cook up a comforting meal and settle in for the night.
Day 2: Outdoor Adventure
Now’s the time to experience some of the amazing outdoor recreation the White Mountain region has to offer! Start your day with a hearty breakfast and pack your backpack for a winter hike. For safety, include the hikers’ ten essentials and make sure to include extra warm layers and warm footwear. For winter hiking, wear insulated winter boots and pack traction devices like snowshoes or micro-spikes. Don’t have any? No problem. Outfitters like IME, Great American Ski Company, REI, and Gorham Bikes and Ski can hook you up with snowshoes, skis, and more for your trek.
There are an array of trails suitable for various skill levels in the White Mountains. If you’re traveling with kids, choose the family-friendly frozen Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch State Park or the cascading brook called Diana’s Bath in North Conway. For a bit more of a challenge, tackle Mt Jackson in Crawford Notch State Park or Kearsarge North in North Conway. All these trails are accessible to dogs as well! If you have questions or concerns, pop into the AMC Highland Center or AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center to ask experts about trail conditions and purchase a trail map. Lastly, check the higher summits forecast before tackling some of the White’s taller peaks.
After your invigorating hike, return to your rental house. Unwind by the fireplace and reflect on the day’s adventure with a beverage and meal. If you’re with children, consider a family movie night complete with blankets and popcorn.
Day 3: Snow Activities
Day three is all about embracing the winter sports that the White Mountains are renowned for. Head to one of the fantastic nearby ski resorts like Loon Mountain, Bretton Woods, or Cannon Mountain. These resorts offer a range of activities, from skiing and snowboarding to tubing and snowshoeing.
For families with kids, many of these ski resorts provide excellent ski schools and childcare services. This can allow parents to hit the slopes with peace of mind. If you have a four-legged friend with you, inquire about pet-friendly trails for a snowy hike. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the resort choices, check out our blog for details on each resort’s offerings and strengths.
In the evening, return to your rental house for a relaxing night. Enjoy time together and make more memories by having a board game night!
Day 4: A Unique Experience
The White Mountain region is home to many unique winter experiences that you probably cannot experience at home. On day four, consider one of the unique excursions below:
- Snowcoach – Want to experience New Hampshire’s tallest mountain in winter? Take a trip on the Snowcoach. This 1.5-hour tour will take you up to treeline in a tracked vehicle. This unforgettable adventure will give you a true taste of winter in the White Mountains and is accessible to the entire family.
- Dog Sledding – Here’s your chance to try out dog sledding! Muddy Paw Sled Dog provides family-friendly tours. Experience the White Mountains in a truly unique way!
- Snowmobiling – At Northeast Snowmobile, you’ll be outfitted with a snowmobile rental to fit your experience level, safety equipment, training, and trail maps at their trailside location.
- Ice Castles – Step onto a magical ice castle, walk through the fairy forest and tube down the sledding hill. Ice Castles will not only be a favorite memory of your kids, but grown-ups will also appreciate the wonder!
- Sleigh Ride – Bundle up for a classic sleigh ride over snow-covered trails. There are multiple outfitters including Franconia Notch Stables and the Omni Mount Washington Resort.
- Winter Skyrider Tour – Alpine Adventurers in Lincoln offers a winter zipline tour experience. Fly across a snowy forest on an adventure of a lifetime.
After your incredibly unique adventure – return to your rental house for a cozy night in. Consider stargazing if the skies are clear, and reflect on your adventure thus far.
Day 5: Relaxation
On your final day in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, choose leisure. If you have kids, let them enjoy a lazy morning of playing in the snow or building a snow fort. For dog owners, take a relaxed morning walk and allow your furry friend to savor the winter scents.
In the afternoon, check out some of the local culture. Stroll through North Conway and pop into the New England Ski Museum. This free historic site will take you through New England’s rich ski history and introduce some of the famous skiers the region has produced. If the kids are getting antsy, take them to the Living Shores Aquarium, where they can experience stingray touch tanks and an otter show. Lastly, if you want some serious relaxation, book a spa appointment at the Omni Mount Washington Resort where you’ll wind down from your vacation with pure relaxation. As evening comes, end with a special meal out at one of the White Mountains’ excellent restaurants.
A Trip of A Lifetime
Whether it’s your first time to the White Mountains in winter or you’re a seasonal regular, there’s tons to pack in over a five-day vacation. From top-notch ski resorts to unique family-friendly excursions to cozy coffee shops – it’s the perfect place for a winter getaway.
Book Your Adventure Today!
Don’t miss out on the winter magic that awaits you in The White Mountains of New Hampshire. Book your favorite vacation rental today and prepare for a journey filled with wonder, excitement, and relaxation.
Written by Lindsey Lapointe