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Embrace the Chill: Unforgettable Outdoor Experiences in New Hampshire's Winter

Nestled in the northeast of the United States, New Hampshire is a state that offers an abundance of natural beauty. From majestic waterfalls cascading down rocky cliffs to tranquil rivers winding through lush forests, there is no shortage of stunning landscapes to explore. The state is also home to some of the most fantastic mountain ranges, including the White Mountains, which offer breathtaking views and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. During winter, the state comes alive with various activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. 


Here's a suggested itinerary for experiencing what New Hampshire offers in the winter. 




Discover the best New Hampshire winter weekend activities


  1. Scenic transportation – Aerial tram, Cog railway, scenic snow coach… take your pick!

  2. Scenic drive – Kancamagus Highway 

  3. Ski, Snowboarding Lessons or Snow Tubing 

  4. Ice Castles, Woodstock NH

  5. Igloo Dining, Woodstock NH 




Where to stay








When we travel, we prefer to stay at a local Airbnb to be a part of the community and experience the local culture. There are numerous options for renting beautiful condos, townhouses, and cabins in this area on websites like Airbnb.com and VRBO.com













Day one and two


A- Frame , Franconia New Hampshire

A stunning A-Frame villa from the 1960s is located in Franconia, set on a one-acre land, and is just 5 minutes away from Cannon Mountain and Echo Lake. This luxurious villa offers two bedrooms with four comfortable beds, 800 thread count linens, luxury down comforters with duvet covers, and fluffy, full-sized sherpa Pendleton blankets for extra warmth and comfort.








Day three and four:


Indulge in the cozy and relaxing atmosphere of this 2-bedroom cabin featuring 2 comfortable beds. The rustic ambiance provides a perfect escape from the hustle of everyday life while still offering modern home amenities. This space is ideal for a romantic retreat or a fun getaway with friends or family. Less than 10 minutes from downtown North Conway's local shops, restaurants, and adventures, the heart of the White Mountains is perfect for exploring.







Additional Resources To Make Your Getaway Extra Cozy







New Hampshire Road Trip Tips:


Please keep in mind the following information for your upcoming trip. You may not have cell service in some regions of the state, so it is advised that you download all necessary maps and take screenshots of entrance passes, restaurant menus, and any helpful files or web pages.


As you will be walking on rocky terrain and near water, it is recommended that you wear warm shoes or boots with a good grip. Hiking boots are a great option to keep your feet dry in water. 





Expect many people at attractions and during lessons, so plan accordingly if you have tickets. Additionally, the Kancamagus Highway is a popular location, so if the weather is nice, anticipate crowds and adjust your plans accordingly.



4-Day New Hampshire Itinerary

For a four- or five-day trip, divide it into two parts. You can explore Franconia, Littleton, Lincoln, and Woodstock on days one and two. Then, you can drive along the scenic Kancamagus Highway to North Conway and spend the remaining two days there to experience the local scene. 





After the Mount Washington State Park summit facilities close for the winter in mid-October, the summit operations also cease. But don't worry; you can still enjoy a thrilling Cog Railway experience during the colder months as the primary destination throughout the winter is Waumbek Station, where you'll have an unforgettable experience. 


Waumbek Station is located in an alpine meadow at an elevation of roughly 4000'. Trains will end their journey in winter at this newly redesigned and expanded station. 

You'll be amazed by the breathtaking panoramic views from the southern Presidentials to the Canadian border. 


Before returning, you'll have about 25 minutes to enjoy complimentary hot refreshments, warming huts, and a blazing fire pit. The round trips to Waumbek are roughly 1 hour, and the fares are reduced. You can even purchase roast-your-own hot dogs and s'mores at the Base Station.







The Mt. Washington SnowCoach, driven by four tracks instead of wheels, offers guests a unique and unforgettable adventure by transporting them to treeline on the Mt. Washington Auto Road, which is at an altitude of approximately 4,200 feet, and into a sub-arctic world. 






All tours are narrated by expert guides, and the SnowCoaches are designed to be warm and comfortable. During the tour, the SnowCoach departs from the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center and ascends about two-thirds of the way to the summit of Mt. Washington via the Auto Road, gaining over 3,000 feet in elevation. At the "Top of the Tour," passengers can exit the SnowCoach for a few minutes to take photos and videos before boarding again for the downward journey back to the base.







Take a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway; keep in mind that many sites are part of the White Mountain National Forest and are closed during the winter. 



PRO TIP: I recommend that you refuel your vehicle and use the restroom before embarking on the Kancamagus highway. There are no gas stations or convenience stores available along the entire 56-mile route. However, you will find rest stops and other necessary facilities at both ends of the highway, regardless of which direction you enter or exit from.








North Conway adventures


If you're feeling hungry, stop for lunch in Conway and try the delicious gourmet grilled cheese at Cheese Louise. Or grab a pizza and salad at Flatbread Pizza Co.  After lunch, take some time to explore the town of North Conway. Visit the Hand Crafter's Barn and Zeb's General Store to browse locally handcrafted gifts. The Metropolitan Coffeehouse is perfect for trying seasonal coffee roasts. Don't forget to check out the New England Ski Museum and pick up some treats at Bavarian Chocolate Haus. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even take an evening moose tour with North Conway Moose Safari. Finally, make sure to visit the other notable stops,




Day 3 Winter Sport Lessons and Tubing (or ride the GOndola to the top of the mountain and enjoy some cocoa!)


New Hampshire's White Mountains are a skier and snowboarder's paradise, offering several popular and diverse downhill ski areas, including Attitash Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain, Loon Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain, Bretton Woods, King Pine, Waterville Valley Resort, and more. Many centers offer rentals, lessons, and dog-friendly trails. 










While your friends and family enjoy their lessons, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of Mount Washington by enjoying a scenic ride on the Skyway Gondola!


Head straight to the lodge. It's the perfect way to unwind and where you can stay cozy while sipping on hot cocoa, having a snack, and playing Uno without any worries.



Don't miss out on the fun - the White Mountains have something for everyone! Even if that means hanging in a warm lodge and watching the snow fall!













During New England's cold and snowy winter months, it can be challenging to go outside and explore. If you're not into skiing or snowboarding, winter is a time to cozy up next to the fireplace with a good book and wait for spring to arrive. However, the Ice Castles in New Hampshire are an attraction that will make you want to bundle up and head to the mountains.


This unique experience, which relies on Mother Nature, makes Ice Castles look different yearly. Each castle weighs around 25 million pounds and requires a team of 20 to 40 skilled artisans to design and construct over several weeks The ice castles are approximately one acre in size and are illuminated with vibrant LED lights, creating a truly magical experience.




If you want to experience the magic of Ice Castles in New Hampshire, there's more to do than that. You can also explore caverns and caves, slide down ice slides and snow tubes, take sleigh rides, and enjoy a mystic forest light walk where beautiful ice sculptures surround you. If you want to go on a sleigh ride, you can purchase tickets online for an additional fee. This year, a new addition is called the Polar Pub, where you can enjoy hot or cold winter-themed drinks while sitting at an icy bar.


After your fantastic adventure at the ice castles, you should check out the Igloo Dining experience at the Woodstock Inn. It's the perfect winter retreat for you and up to six of your buddies to hang out on the terrace and enjoy some delicious food and drinks. You can reserve the igloos for two hours, and they come with everything you need to stay cozy, including small heaters, blankets, and a Bluetooth speaker to play your favorite tunes. So grab your friends, sip some cocktails and local beer, and enjoy the winter wonderland!



 

Get Read to Hit the Road!


If you're planning a long weekend in New Hampshire, you're in for a treat! There are so many things to see and do in the state, and you won't be disappointed. To help you make the most of your visit, I have some suggestions for the best attractions and activities that you can check out. With these ideas, you can ensure that your long weekend is filled with fun and adventure!


 Let me know in the comments below which stop you think is the most exciting. And, if you want more winter content, make sure to follow me on Instagram. With me as your guide, you're in for an adventure you won't forget!







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