PLAN YOUR VACATION FOR THIS SUMMER!
Looking for the best things to do in the White Mountains in the summer? Our area is filled with fun and adventurous summer activities you’re going to love. Spend the morning hiking and chasing waterfalls, dine at our favorite restaurants, spend a day on the links, or even take a canopy tour through the treetops. See below for the best White Mountains summer activities in Bretton Woods, Franconia, Bethlehem and surrounding areas of the White Mountains! Note – with so much to do, it’s hard to include everything. If one of your favorite things to do in the White Mountains is missing, email us so we can add it!
Some of the favorite categories include:
- Hiking and Waterfalls
- Mountain Biking
- Amusement Parks and Scenic Railroads
- Golfing on New Hampshire’s Best Golf Courses
- Canopy Tours and Ziplining
- ATV Riding and ATV Tours
- Fall Foliage Viewing
- Wildlife Watching
- Water Sports
- Horseback Riding
Other Activities in the White Mountains, by Area
Well, with so much to do, not everything fits neatly into a category, so here are some other things you may want to consider, as well! We tried separating them by area for convenience – but they are all within a close scenic drive to each other, so don’t let geography stop you! In the White Mountains, the drive is sometimes as worthwhile as the destination itself.
Mount Washington Summer Activities
Home of the worst weather in the world, the summit of Mount Washington is the centerpiece of this whole region. Many travel to its peak while traversing the Appalachian Trail. At the summit you can enjoy a museum covering this unique mountain as well as a recreation of the old hotel that was built at the summit in 1852.
You can access the summit via various hikes. But if you prefer an easier path up, the Cog Railway is a common favorite. It’s one hour each way (the train ride is half the fun!), and then you get an hour up top to visit the observatory. It’s a lot of fun and very entertaining for kids and adults alike! Another option is the Mt. Washington Auto Road which leaves from the opposite side of the mountain. To get there you can drive east on 302 to Glen Junction in Bartlett, and turn left onto RT 16. Drive through Pinkham Notch (also very beautiful!) and past the Wildcat Ski Area. The entrance will be on your left (can’t miss it!).
Bretton Woods Summer Activities
Bretton Woods offers a number of summer activities, mostly offered by the Mount Washington Resort and the ski area; you can find an up to date list on their website, at www.brettonwoods.com. Current activities include:
- Canopy Tour, Scenic Lift Rides, Horseback Riding, Fly Fishing, Guided Adventures, Tennis, Golf, Archery, Mountain Biking, River Tubing and more!
Bethlehem Summer Activities
With its location between Littleton and Bretton Woods, a short ride from I-93, Bethlehem is a great starting point to explore the White Mountains. Visit https://bethlehemnh.org/what-to-do/ to find lots of great idea on things to do in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas!
Franconia Summer Activities
The gateway to Franconia Notch, Franconia offers endless recreational opportunities – there are so many things to do in Franconia and the surrounding areas! Most of them are listed in the appropriate section of this webpage, so we won’t repeat them here, but you can also visit http://www.franconianotch.org/things-to-do/ for additional ideas!
On the other side of the notch, Lincoln/Woodstock and the resort of Loon are quaint little towns with tons of things to do. And of course, don’t forget Rt 112 – the “Kancamagus Highway”! Locally known as “the Kanc,” the Kancamagus Highway that connects Lincoln to North Conway is a famous road known for its scenic vistas and beautiful mountain trails. There are various places to stop for a hike, a view, or just enjoy the ride. You can easily do a loop from Bear Notch Road in Bartlett to Lincoln, or do the whole ride from North Conway to Lincoln. For more information and a map, visit https://www.visitwhitemountains.com/things-to-do/scenic-drives/kancamagus-highway/!
North Conway Summer Activities
One of the more popular tourist areas, the North Conway area offers endless options for things to do – from outlet shopping, to hiking, to scenic vistas and waterfalls, covered bridges, and of course StoryLand! Visit https://www.visitmwv.com/ for more information!
White Mountains Spas and Relaxation
If relaxation is what you need (and the peace and quiet of the house isn’t quite enough), a spa day might be what you need! In Bretton Woods, you can head to the Mount Washington Hotel which offers a wide array of spa services. Recently, Omni has suffered from staffing issues which have caused access to the spa to be limited, especially on busy weekends and holidays. Another great option is the spa at the Mountain View Grand, with a breathtaking setting in a tower with incredible views.