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Discovering the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Snow-Capped White Mountains -Phoito by Luxury ExperienceWe visited the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Mount Washington Valley to attend the Country Inns in the White Mountains Annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour, and soon discovered there is something wonderful to experience and explore in any season as the region is breathtakingly beautiful and has long attracted artists and nature-lovers.

 

In autumn when the leaves display their finest colors and the white birches stand like graceful sentinels against the backdrop of the mountains creating textural eye candy, the mountains are perfect for hiking or mountain biking. In winter, the landscape takes on a pristine white blanket of snow and there are ski slopes, cross-country trails, and snowmobile trails to explore. It is also lovely in spring when nature heralds its arrival with flowers and fiddlehead ferns, a New England delicacy, and in the summer, when the lakes and rivers invite leisurely swimming, fishing, or boating activities. Whether you prefer restful, relaxation, or outdoor adventures, the White Mountains and the Mount Washington Valley offers something for everyone.

Where to Stay

Edward and I visited in December 2012 and stayed at The Notchland Inn, built as a private mansion in the 1860s, located in Hart's Location, New Hampshire, which is the smallest town in the state. The mansion became an inn in the 1920s, and Innkeepers Ed Butler and Les Schoof purchased it in 1993 and created a luxury inn. They are the perfect hosts, along with their friendly Bernese Mountain dogs Crawford and Felonie who greet guests with happy wags of their tails.

The Notchland Inn, Hart's Location, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
The Notchland Inn

The setting is impressive; a stunning granite mansion, located on the rise of a hill, nestled amidst birch and pine trees in the Washington Valley of New Hampshire. The ambience is elegant, yet comfortable, antiques filled, but not stuffy.

The eight guestrooms, five suites, and two cottages are sumptuous, with great attention to detail and to the décor to ensure guests' comforts, and in-room wood-burning fireplaces that invite romance. Guests who want to travel with their pets will find a friendly welcome in the two cottages.

Breakfasts are bountiful for guests desiring a leisurely entry into their morning, with pancakes, French toast, eggs cooked to order, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, and ham on the menu. For those on the go, there are muffins, fresh fruit and sliced melon, and a selection of cold cereals, juices, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Blueberry Pancakes - The Notchland Inn, Hart's Locaiton, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Blueberry Pancakes

During our stay, we enjoyed starting our day with leisurely breakfasts before venturing out to explore, and had a wonderful dinner in their restaurant. The Notchland Inn restaurant serves Dinner Wednesday through Sunday with a single seating at 7:00 pm and is open to the public as well as Inn guests. The restaurant is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Read about The Notchland Inn in the Hotels and Resorts and about the restaurant in the Restaurants sections. Read the Chefs' Recipes section for an interview with Chef Edward Stinchcomb who graciously shares a few recipes.

The Notchland Inn, Hart's Location, New HampshireThe Notchland Inn
2 Morey Road (off Route 302)
Hart's Location, New Hampshire 03812
United States
Telephone:      +1-603-374-6131
Toll-Free:        +1-800-866-6131
Fax:                 +1-603-374-6168
Email:             
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:         www.Notchland.com

Where to Dine

We had a lovely dinner at the historic 1785 Inn and Restaurant in North Conway, New Hampshire owned by Charlie and Becky Mallar for the past 29 years, where Chef Peter Willis has been the creative talent in the kitchen for 19 years.

The 1785 Inn, White Mountain, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
1785 Inn and Restaurant

The main dining room and living room are part of the original 1785 building, and the bar is an inviting step back in time. As we had dinner in December 2012, Becky had transformed the décor into a magical holiday house, which was welcoming and festive.

The menu is diversified enough to intrigue food adventurers, yet has enough mainstay items to appeal to a wider palate as well. A few of the highlights of our dinner included: Seared Duck Foie Gras with Grilled Quail Breast, Port, and Figs; Buffalo Rib Eye from Yankee Farmers Market in Warner, New Hampshire, Peppercorn Seared Delmonico Steak, Roast Sweet Potato, Turnip, and Morel Mushroom Demi Glace; and Maine Lobster and Sea Scallops with Garlic, Tomato, and Basil with Lobster Cream and Parmesan Risotto.

Buffalo Rib Eye, The 1785 Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Buffalo Rib Eye

The ambience is attractive and the service is attentive. The 1785 Inn & Restaurant serves Dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm, and is open to the public as well as Inn guests. The restaurant is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Chef Peter Willis, The 1785 Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef Peter Willis

Read about The 1785 Inn & Restaurant in the Restaurants section and in the Chefs' Recipes section for an interview with Chef Peter Willis who graciously shares a recipe for a delicious taste of the restaurant.

Follow The 1785 Inn & Restaurant on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/The1785InnandRestaurant

The 1785 Inn, New HampshireThe 1785 Inn & Restaurant
3582 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, New Hampshire 03860
United States
Telephone:      +1-603-356-9025
Toll-Free:        +1-800-421-1785
Email:             
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:        
www.The1785Inn.com

We also had a delectable dinner at The Notchland Inn located in Hart's Location, owned by Innkeepers Ed Butler and Les Schoof, where Chef Edward Stinchcomb has been tempting guests' palates for the past four years.

Dining Room at The Notchland Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
The Dining Room at The Notchland Inn

Each night Chef Edward Stinchcomb prepares a 5-course, one seating dinner and offers diners a selection of two soups, three appetizers, three entrees, a salad, and three desserts on his menu. A few of the highlights of our dinner included the pasta fagioli soup, mushroom soup laced with Sherry, petite filet mignon in a rich sauce accompanied with whipped potatoes and broccoli rabe, and the blueberry crisp served hot from the oven with vanilla ice cream.

Pasta Fagioli, The Notchland Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Pasta Fagioli

The ambience is inviting with its large fireplace in the main dining room and the service is attentive. The Notchland Inn serves Dinner Wednesday through Sunday with a single seating at 7:00 pm and is open to the public as well as Inn guests. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday, and Christmas Day.

Chef Edward Stinchcomb, The Notchland Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef Edward Stinchcomb and Felonie 

Read about The Notchland Inn Restaurant in the Restaurants section, and also in the Chefs' Recipes section to read the interview with Chef Edward Stinchcomb who graciously shares a few of his recipes to tempt your palate. Read about The Notchland Inn in the Hotels and Resorts section.

Follow The Notchland Inn on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/pages/The-Notchland-Inn

The Notchland Inn, New HampshireThe Notchland Inn
2 Morey Road (off Route 302)
Hart's Location, New Hampshire 03812
United States
Telephone:      +1-603-374-6131
Toll-Free:        +1-800-866-6131
Fax:                 +1-603-374-6168
Email:             
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:          www.Notchland.com

Area Attractions

Gastronomy

We visited in early December, when the Country Inns in the White Mountains presented their Annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour where over the course of 2-days, we, along with other ticketed guests, gathered inspiration from 13 festively dressed inns, sampled 26 cookies, received cookie recipe cards, and a keepsake brass ornament.

Holiday Cookies at The Darby Field Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience       Holiday Cookies at The Inn at Ellis River - photo by Luxury Experience
    The Darby Field Inn Cookies            Inn at Ellis River Cookies        

Holiday Cookies at The Notchland Inn, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
The Notchland Inn Cookie Tray

Speaking with the other guests on the tour, we learned that for many, the tour has become a family or girlfriends getaway holiday tradition, as it is a delicious and festive way to start the holiday season, as well as to discover the unique personalities and architecture of the historic properties for future visits.

Highway in White Mountains, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Traveling Through the White Mountains

Scenic Vistas

As we drove from inn to inn for the Cookie and Candy Tour that took us through the towns in the Mount Washington Valley in New Hampshire and to the Maine border, we made time in our schedule to stop and admire the majestic vistas. The scenery included snow-capped mountain peaks in the distance, landscape lined with white birches, pristine lakes, and horses grazing in the fields. Although we saw many Moose Crossing signs, the only wildlife we saw were squirrels and blue jays enjoying a meal at a bird feeder.

Snow Capped White Mountains, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Snow Capped White Mountains

Whte Mountain National Forest - photo by Luxury ExperienceWe also took a drive and a short hike in the White Mountain National Forest, where we stopped to admire the ice floes in the crevices, and the region's magnificent natural beauty. As the weather permitted, we drove along the scenic Kancamagus Highway, which is a favorite of "leaf-peepers" who like to make the drive during the fall-foliage season to experience the glory of the changing colors of the leaves.

Horses in meadow, White Mountains, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience    Lake View, White Mountains, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Come Visit and Experience the Beauty of the White Mountains

The highway begins at the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln and covers 34.5 miles to the Saco River at Conway, New Hampshire allowing us to soak up nature's sensational vistas as we drove up to an elevation just shy of 3,000 feet. Although the trees were bereft of leaves, we did have the memorable experience of spotting a rainbow during our drive.

Rainbow over White Mountains, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
A Rainbow's Pot of Gold - The White Mountain

Skiing and Snowboarding

Although snow had yet to arrive to cover the landscape with its winter white blanket, Attitash Mountain Resort in Bartlett, was making snow, and a few early diehard skiers and riders were out exploring the slopes, making us wish that we had brought our skis and had the time to make a few early morning runs.

Attitash Ski Resort, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Attitash Mountain Resort

Attitash Mountain Resort
775 Route 302
Bartlett, New Hampshire 03812
United States
Telephone:                     +1-603-374-2600
Toll-Free Telephone:     +1-800-223-SNOW (7669)
Toll-free Snow Phone:  +1-877-677-SNOW (7669) (Operated 24-hours)
E-mail:                           
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:                       
www.Attitash.com      

Covered Bridges

The covered bridges that we discovered during our travels were picture-postcard perfect. Nicknamed "kissing bridges," traversing the covered bridges allowed sweethearts to sneak a kiss without risk of being seen, and are an integral part of the history and the charm of the area.

We stopped to admire, sneak a kiss or two, and photograph many of the covered bridges including the Bartlett Bridge, built in 1851, which spans 166-feet and 10-inches in length over the Saco River. The bridge is located west of Route 302, 4.5 miles east of Bartlett Village and is New Hampshire Covered Bridge number 50. Today, the bridge is home to the Covered Bridge Shoppe, and is part of the Covered Bridge House, owned by Innkeepers Dan and Nancy Wanek, where we stopped as part of the Annual Holiday Inn-to-Inn Cookie & Candy Tour.

Bartkett Covered Bridge, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Bartlett Bridge

Another interesting covered bridge that we stopped to photograph was the Jackson Bridge, nicknamed the "Honeymoon Bridge" built in 1876, located in Jackson at the intersection of New Hampshire Route 16 and 16A on Village Street, which is still in use as a bridge. The bridge spans 121-feet and 1-inch over the Ellis River, and is New Hampshire Covered Bridge number 51.

Jackson Honeymoon Bridge, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Jackson Bridge

Shopping

For those seeking "retail therapy adventures," visitors will especially appreciate tax-free shoppingin New Hampshire.  We enjoyed browsing and taking in the area ambience in the many interesting shops and upscale boutiques in the towns, and for those who prefer to do their shopping all in one location, there are 60-factory outlet upscale stores at Settlers' Green Outlet Village located in North Conway.

Settlers' Green Outlet Village
2 Common Court
North Conway, New Hampshire 03860
United States
Telephone:       +1-888-667-9636
Website:          
www.SettlersGreen.com

Whatever season you decide to visit the White Mountains and the Mount Washington Valley, you will find that there is a diverse selection of natural wonders, attractions, and adventures to discover and experience. 

Picturesque White Mountains, New Hampshire - photo by Luxury Experience
Picturesque White Mountains

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience.

Read other materials on Destination New Hampshire in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants - The Notchland Inn Restaurant, Restaurants - The 1785 Inn and Restaurant, Chefs' Recipes - Chef Edward Stinchcomb Recipes - The Notchland Inn Restaurant, Chefs' Recipes - Chef Peter Willis - 1785 Inn and Restaurant, and Gastronomy sections.  

For area information, please visit the websites: www.VisitWhiteMountains.com and www.MtWashingtonValley.org.

For information on the annual Country Inns in the White Mountains Annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour, please visit the website: www.CountryInnsInTheWhiteMountains.com.

© December 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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