North Conway, NH - Not Just a Ski Town Anymore
North Conway, NH got its' name on the map in the 1930's when "snow trains", opertated by Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad started bringing rich city-folk to North Conway, NH to experience the new sensation called downhill skiing.
Every week, hundreds of tourists flocked to this quaint village to experience the thrill of rushing down a mountain on parallel boards strapped to their feet.
Skiing was new to America and North Conway quickly became known as the "birthplace of American skiing".
Growing up in North Conway, locals feel that some form of skiing is kind of in their DNA. A local non-profit called, Eastern Slopes Ski Club does fundraising and recruites many volunteers to form a program that teaches and allows elementary school kids up to the 6th grade to learn and ski for free.
But don't think for one second that skiing is all that North Conway, NH has to offer. In not particular order, here is my list of the top 7 things to do in North Conway that make our rural village famous!
Looking for fantastic North Conway Restaurants?
I have 7 favorite restaurants in North Conway, NH and they are a mix of family friendly, foodie, moderately priced, and local North Conway restaurants.
In no particular order, my tip picks for restaurants in North Conway are; Stonehurst Tavern, Almost There, Red Fox Bar and Grill, Taste of Thai, Jalisco, North Conway Country Club, and Horsefeather’s and are all within minutes of Four Seasons Lodge - the best North Conway lodge.
Food is not that important to me plus I'm not a foodie and I'm cheap so so those characteristics are absolutely going to influence my top 7 picks.
In no particular order, here are my top 7 North Conway restaurants.
Saco River Tubing is Fun for Everyone!
On the hottest days of summer one of our favorite things to do in North Conway, NH is Saco River Tubing. The Saco River is the hottest location for tourists and locals alike during the summer--and by hottest, I mean coolest!
Planning a family reunion can be stressful, annoying, and awful...but they typically lead to some great laughs and wonderful memories! Once the planning part of a family reunion is out of the way it's on to enjoying time with loved ones that you, typically, don't get to see very often.
In this day and age we all lead extremely busy lives and our family members move all over the place. That means you see much less of each other as time goes by and family reunions rarely get planned--and no one wants that! Or maybe you do, I don't know you so who am I to say? But you have to see them at some point and with a family reunion you can get it all out of the way at once!
Have you ever ridden the Polar Express in North Conway? The Conway Scenic Railroad does an amazing job with the help of several hundred volunteers every yeaour!
Come decked out in your matching pj's, bring Grammy and Grampy, and you'll have the time of your life on the Journey to the North Pole that recreates in a magical way, the story of "The Polar Express".
Let's get started...
We've all read the brillaint book, "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburgh, either to your children or you had it read to you as a child! And if you have not done at least that then I'm sure you've seen the movie with Tom Hanks. Either way, we've all longed to ride along Allsburgh's magical train in our coziest Christmas pajamas and we've all dreamed of what treasures we would ask Santa Claus for.
North Conway, NH and Instagram Photos
North Conway is full of gorgeous views that are completely worth exploring to get those great Instagram moments
Let's be real, Instagram has taken over as one of the leading social media outlets that we have available today--and if you're looking for views, likes, and hashtags then New England is the choice for you! North Conway, NH is stock full of locations to capture all of the pictures, Boomerangs, and videos worth showing off to the world, or just to your close friends and families.
Come to North Conway, NH for a great getaway and great spots to take beautiful shots! Whew...all that rhyming is exhausting. Back to our list!
Summertime Fun Things To Do in North Conway at a NH Cabin Rental
As you may well know, New England is the haven of four seasons of weather and the Four Seasons Lodge isn't named that by accident.
Yes, we have long winters followed by muddy springs, with a quick spout of gorgeous summer weather and we finish it off with our infamous autumn.
Once fall hits you just have to walk outside and look around to see why we've made this haven our home.
In the winter we are well equipped to deal with snow and we provide numerous things to do in North Conway for any age.
Springtime brings beautiful rainstorms and earthy smells of soil and trees blossoming while summer gives us wonderful temperatures, insane amounts of greenery and a great excuse to go outside and enjoy some fresh air.
Well folks, summer is here! We can't let it escape without taking a hold of it and reaping the benefits it brings us.
Here is a list of things to do in North Conway, NH that embrace our beautiful summer weather with open arms (and some bug spray)!
$$, Amenities, Alternatives to VRBO & NH Cabin Rentals
Planning a vacation at a New Hampshire cabin rental opens up two worlds; one is a world of opportunities and the other is a world of tough decisions. This happens to us all, especially if you're planning a large family vacation at a NH cabin rental.
How do you know that North Conway, NH or a North Conway lodge is best for you?
How do you choose between a hotel or a North Conway lodge?
How do you know which option will make everyone in your party happy?
How do you find a cabin rental in New Hampshire?
What are some things to do in North Conway?
Let's be real, you don't know anything until you do some research. Unfortunately, a decision needs to be made at some point!
The Benefits of a New Hampshire Cabin Rental
What Activities Are Near My North Conway Lodge?
If you're looking for a great vacation spot that will provide things to do in North Conway with kids, elders and everyone in between then Four Seasons Lodge is for you!
Grab your family and bring them to North Conway, NH where there are endless things to do and adventures year-round.
If this list doesn't give you perfect suggestions for you and your group, type in "things to do near me" and you'll get an endless list of activities in North Conway.
Move over North Conway Outlet Shopping - Mt Washington Auto Road is Better!
Take this historic scenic route up the Mt Washington Auto Road and breathe in the panoramic views. It is an adventure for the whole family and can be remembered through gorgeous photos, videos and an earned bumper sticker that says "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" which you earn only if you drive yourself.
The Auto Road has been open since 1861 and starts just north of Pinkham Notch. It is a measly 7.6 miles of winding, narrow road all the way up to Mount Washington's Summit.
You can take your own car up there a jump on a guided tour and witness the beauty of the White Mountains while to traversing up this 4618 foot road.
Are you a foodie? Check out these North Conway, NH restaurants
Let's be real, one of the most enjoyable things that we get to experience in life is food. If you don't enjoy food, are you even human? It may be a luxury to some but it is one of the most satisfying activities we partake on a regular basis. (I partake if someone else cooks!)
The White Mountains are not just for people who want to camp out in the woods cooking hot dogs, beans and bear meat over a fire (although you absolutely can and should do something like that, at lease for the experience). North Conway, New Hampshire is a great place to do our favorite thing - EAT!
Now, obviously we still have chain restaurants (yuck!!) and "regular" dining spots but you can to those anytime! New Hampshire has a variety of original restaurants with great New England food. Here's where I'm going to beg you to steer clear of chain restaurants! You're on vacation for Pete's sake, be brave and eat local! In fact, keep your eye out for the Valley Original flag hanging proudly outside the North Conway restaurants that belong to that prestigious organization!
Whether you're into eating your food or taking pictures of it, this list if for you! These are my top restaurant picks in North Conway for the "foodie".
North Conway weather - Rainy day things to do in North Conway, NH
âYou've been planning on vacationing in North Conway, NH for a long time. Your bags are packed, you got someone to house sit while you're gone, and the last thing you do is check the weather in North Conway.
Egads, rain is predicted for your family vacation!
You need to plan some rainy day activities
Don't lose heart, there are lots of things to do in North Conway no matter the weather! You can have lots of fun walking around Settlers Green outlet shopping mall, getting awesome deals, shopping for New England made creations in the specialty shops in the Village, catch a movie, and last but not least, learn some cool stuff in the Mt Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center!
Saco River Tubing, Sun, and FUN!
Have you started planning your summer vacation? I have many suggestions of fun things to do in North Conway, NH but Saco River tubing tops this list!
Many things that folks like to do in North Conway require you to be physically fit. Not everyone is buff enough to climb a mountain or jog a few miles. I dare to say that even the couchiest of couch potatoes can climb into a canoe or kayak and float down a lazy, perfectly clear, refreshing river and go Saco River Tubing!
Back in my teens we used to head to North Conway, NH to go tubing on the Saco River. Those were the days before you could go to a big box store and purchase a tube for a few bucks.
We had the pleasure of my Dad procuring several tractor trailer tire tubes, patching the holes, filling them up, tieing them onto the roof of our car with rope, and heading north for a day of Saco River tubing.
For those that do not know the horrors of using used tractor trailer tire tubes, let me enlighten you.
First, they are heavy. I was young and weak and had to tote my tube from the car to the river which was a huge deal.
Second, they were filthy. I remember baby-sitting for weeks to buy a new, beautiful bathing suit to wear on our weekend vacation. Everyone laughed at me all weekend because my butt was solid black. You see, back then I was not a lay down and float kinda gal. I used to sit on it like a swing so I looked like I was sitting on a donut. I never wore that bathing suit again but I still remember feeling like I was all that and a bag of chips until cloth met rubber.
Third, the fill stem was child torture. Anyone over 55 knows the pain and probably has a scar or two from them slicing their arm or leg on one of those bad boys.
I still own a tire tube or two but I have not used them in years. Head down to the local store and buy one or rent one from the great companies in town that will drop you off with your rented tube, kayak or canoe and then cart your soggy, dripping self back to your car at day's end.
Now-a-days, we have all sorts of options when it comes to enjoying a day in the water. Forget about going to a water park and floating down one of their chlorine filled "lazy rivers". Come tubing on the Saco River in North Conway, New Hampshire and enjoy the real thing!
The Saco River is a 136 mile river that begins flowing up in the Crawford Notch, New Hampshire and it heads straight through New Hampshire to Western Maine before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
It is a beautiful river that is one of the largest attractions in North Conway! Saco River tubing is a dream come true on a hot summer day, but don't forget to check out my other blog called 8 Perfect Summer Days in North Conway, NH.
Whenever you hear about things to do in North Conway in winter, you immediately think of skiing
Whether your idea of a fantastic ski vacation is making fresh tracks in black diamond glades OR making sedate runs on a freshly groomed blue trail with some time in a toasty sauna after, the ski mountains in and around North Conway will fit the bill!
Even if you are traveling with someone that likes the cold, crisp mountain air but doesn't want to get too far from the niceties of city living, North Conway, NH will work! Toasty saunas, candlelit dinner, spa afternoons, and outlet stores as far as the eye can see will satisfy those that appreciate the finer things in life.
Traveling with little ones? Check out North Conway's kid friendly ski resorts. If skiing doesn't tickle their fancy there's always these things to do in North Conway; tubing, skating (in Schouler Park), exploring, hiking, making snow angels and selecting their favorite candies at the North Conway 5 & 10 Cent Store.
Most vacationers drive about three hours to North Conway and vacation heaven! The Mount Washington Valley has been a vacation destination since the early 1800's.
North Conway abuts the 800,000 acre White Mountain National Forest which is home to 5 ski resorts, is a perfect haven for cross country skiing, winter hiking, and for the brave at heart - ice climbing. (contact IME for ice climbing info)
North Conway originally was a one horse town with skiing being the only thing to draw folks to town. The opening of Settlers Green in 1988 changed all that!
Once the North Conway Outlets took off, scads of restaurants popped up all over North Conway
Snowcoach Popularity Crushes North Conway Outlet Stores
You've decided to go on vacation in North Conway. It's winter. You don't ski. Hmmm... in the past you would have spent all your free time at the outlet mall in North Conway.
Today's vacationers have a much more exciting and cheaper thing to do in North Conway, NH!
The Snowcoach at Great Glen Trails has fast become "the" thing to do. In fact, if your heart was set on a sunrise coach ride, forget it. They are sold out ALREADY for the season!
You're probably traveling with several families if you're vacationing at Four Seasons Lodge. A snowcoach ride will provide you some serious bonding time as your coach careens down the snow packed Mt Washington Auto Road with everyone screaming wildly - ONLY KIDDING!
The ride up and back is very gentle and the snowcoaches are operated by well trained and very knowledgable drivers! Pick their brains about the snowcoach and Mt Washington. You'll see wildlife, bond with family members you didn't even think you liked, and get great pics you can post and brag about on social media!
Celebrate Christmas in the White Mountains of New Hampshire
There are plenty of family friendly things to do in North Conway, NH during the winter.
There is nowhere better than New England to get you into the Christmas spirit!
Why would you want to spend Christmas anywhere besides a winter wonderland? You wouldn’t!
We all want to cozy up in a North Conway vacation rental by a roaring fire with a big mug of hot chocolate with your entire family and admire this beautiful time you get to spend together.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of cozying up next to a roaring fire in Florida literally sounds like hell.
Here are the top reasons to spend any winter holiday in North Conway and the White Mountains.
Family-Friendly Journey to the North Pole – The Polar Express
Here are some really fun things to do in North Conway, New Hampshire during your holiday this year (or any year).
Sometimes, getting away for the holidays is the best way to celebrate with the whole family. You could spend your holiday down in Florida where it’s warm but then you miss out on all the coziness and things to do in North Conway that winter has to offer.
Trust me, no one is wrapped in a blanket, sitting by a fire and drinking hot chocolate in Florida…but they are doing it in North Conway.
We All Ride the Family Struggle Bus.
Do you ever strive to have a drama free and perfect holiday with your family?
We all do! But it’s a struggle to stay friendly with all your family plus, you'd be one of a kind if it was perfect!
We all have them, and they can be a blessing, an annoyance, or downright frustrating. Either way, you are stuck with them…and no I’m not talking about freckles! I’m talking about families.
Holidays can be a struggle and the larger your family is the more likely you are to get on each other’s nerves to some degree. Holiday season means shoving parents, step parents, siblings, girlfriends, boyfriends, crazy aunts, crazy uncles, crazy cousins, and pesky in-laws into one room and expecting a beautiful, happy holiday. What a nice dream.
Everyone has a messy family. No one is perfect, and no one has a perfect family no matter how hard they try to prove otherwise.
It’s easy to pretend your family life is purely beautiful and functional when you’re all focusing on your own lives but once the holidays arrive all of that pretending flies right out the window. The holidays are a great time for families to get together and remind everyone how dysfunctional we truly are, sometimes in the best ways.
Don't Cry... There's LOTS of Things to DO in North Conway!
Kid Friendly Rainy Day FUN at Four Seasons Lodge in North Conway, NH
Just in case a private, heated INDOOR pool, toasty sauna, foosball, Karaoke, Wii and more are not enough to keep you busy at Four Seasons Lodge on a rainy vacation in North Conway, I've compiled a list of low cost/high enjoyment things to do in North Conway, NH!
North Conway started out as a winter ski destination and in the last 25 years has morphed into a four season resort town with just about every type of activity you can imagine!
So, grab your raincoat and head out for some good old fashioned fun on this rainy day!
What do Autumn, Fryeburg Fair, Return of the Pumpkin People, Oktoberfest and Sherman Farm Corn Maize have in common? North Conway!
In Autumn, New England, and particularly the White Mountains is full of beautiful foliage, pumpkins, sweaters, boots, fairs, mountains, hot chocolate and everything fall. It’s easily the best time of year (hello, pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING).
Autumn in New England is astonishingly picturesque with perfect sweater weather and great activities that are fun for the whole family!
Kids can enjoy autumn just as much as adults can. They can jump into piles of leaves, carve pumpkins, or go on haunted hayrides. Here are some family-friendly and fun, October activities that happen every year in the North Conway area.
There are plenty of non Autumn things to do in North Conway, some that you'll have to reach for your wallet and others that Mother Nature has provided for us! Family friendly things to do that are low cost or free one of the wonderful side effects of vacationing in the White Mountains!
Things To Do in North Conway that are Family Friendly
When folks think of North Conway, visions of ski slopes and outlet malls dance in their heads. North Conway and the surrounding towns have much more than that to offer and most of it is family friendly and affordable!
I have so many wonderful memories of time spent in the White Mountains and more specifically, North Conway, NH! As soon as I could, I migrated to North Conway to live and have never looked back!
My folks loved the mountains of the Presidential Range. Every time we drove north we were subjected to the trip down memory lane of their wedding and subsequent honeymoon in North Conway. If I do the math correctly, my family's passion for the area started 67 years ago!
My memory of North Conway goes back more than 50 years... ouch! It's funny though, the things I remember most are the things I love to do with my family!
For years my young (and now all grown up) family enjoyed splashing around in waterfalls, hiking lots of the local mountains, spending a leisurely day floating in a canoe, gazing at the stars from the top of Cathedral Ledge, exploring all the local covered bridges, squishing our toes in the sand at local beaches and winding drives along the "Kanc" to peek at foliage.
If your kids are not nature nuts, there are kid friendly activities that will delight even hard to please kids! These days, there is a laundry list of attractions in North Conway that are more high tech and commercial... and fun, don't forget the FUN!
We are locals and know the ins and outs of North Conway.