North Conway, NH and the Mount Washington Valley offers a vibrant four-season palette of vacation adventures. The outdoor action never stops, from the first floral awakenings of spring over our stately mountainsides to the vast silent stillness of winter’s white blanket. The summers are bright with blues and greens all draped in sunshine and the vibrant colors of fall simply cannot be equaled. Each season brings with it an array of activities, sights and sounds that define a vacation destination and, for us lucky enough to live here, the place we call home.
Spring brings with it a quiet pace. Since we are between seasons (or in the “shoulder” season) the traffic slows, the fervor quiets and the mountains begin their rebuilding and regeneration into floral masterpieces. This time of year also allows for some overlapping activities rarely attained. Where else can you ski a few runs in the morning and then take in 9 holes of golf after lunch!? This is one of my favorite times of the year. The bugs have not come out yet, the nights are still chilly and the days are slowly starting to warrant shorter sleeves and fewer layers. Mornings on the deck with a coffee and a sweater are a great way to start the day.
Summertime is when the family activities are all in full swing. The attractions are open and bustling. The hiking trails are littered with families out for a casual stroll as well as the more adventurous folks sweating every step of their ascent. If you can catch a fair weather day atop Mt. Washington, there is really nothing better. Spending time picking out landmarks including lakes, ponds, mountaintops, towns, states and even countries is something you won’t soon forget. The lakes and ponds are being stocked for the anglers and are providing a cool, refreshing respite from the summer heat. Cyclists are making their rounds over the Kanc or through one of the notches. Even rainy days are full of indoor activities like shopping, movies and yummy food at some great restaurants and cafés.
Autumn in the White Mountains is something very special and one of the highlights of the year for residents and visitors alike. The temperatures have cooled, the bugs are all but gone and the hustle and bustle of the summer season is starting to subside. The comfortable days and cool evenings combined with the changing leaves just exudes energy and motivation. As the very tops of the White Mountains start to assume their namesake role, the excitement of the winter season starts to build. If you can catch the view of an expansive horizon filled with foliage colors topped with a snow capped mountain, a more beautiful photo-op you will not see. There is no better time to spend the day exploring the back roads of the Mount Washington Valley and the White Mountains. I always picture a convertible sports car zooming down a tree-lined road with the “exhaust” of fallen leaves in its wake.
Winter tends to duplicate summer with the flow of people and energy since there is so much to explore and enjoy. Layer-up and head out on any adventure that suits your needs. From the priceless silence of a winter hike to the thrilled cheers from the sidelines of a half-pipe, there is an adventure to make you smile. Snowmobile tours can take you deep into the woods to experience the vastness of the White Mountain National Forest. The huge networks of cross-country ski trails will allow you to explore the forest as well and will raise your heart rate in a slightly different way. Whatever path you choose, finishing it off with a hot drink by a warm fire is sure to get you thawed out and ready for another day.
Living or playing in the Mount Washington Valley is hard to beat. That is why we live here and why our roads are full of out-of-state license plates and rental cars. Yes, the real estate market is “taking it on the chin” right now, but the age-old adage of “Location, Location, Location” still rings true. People love it here and I firmly believe this area will be a destination and a great place to call home for generations to come. If you are selling your house, have confidence that someone will love your home and love living here as much as you did. And if you are buying a house, you can rest easy that North Conway and the Mount Washington Valley will forever be a place you love to call home.