Tag Archives: Romantic Getaway

Mt. Washington Auto Road open to Summit!

Yet another reason to take that romantic NH get away in the white mountains!!  The auto road is open and nothing can quite compare to that ride…

Pinkham Notch, NH-The Mt. Washington Auto Road is now open to the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak. Visitors to the nation’s first manmade attraction can take either a guided tour or drive their own vehicle on this remarkable and historic road, which has been in operation since 1861.

The Auto Road is now open from 8-5 pm, as is the base lodge and gift shop. Beginning on Memorial Day weekend, the Summit Stage office will be open (and offering hiker shuttles). Saturday the 26th  also marked the opening of the newly dedicated Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum, as well as the Glen View Café, the Outfitters Shop and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. Alton Weagle Day, which featured and celebrated several unusual first ascents of the Auto Road.

“We are delighted to be open to the summit for our 151st season here on Mt. Washington. Although we experienced a mild winter, our spring Road opening turned out to be quite challenging, we’re particularly proud of the work our Road Crew has accomplished in the past several weeks!” noted Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. “As always, the Auto Road operation is heavily weather dependent at this time of the year so it’s often best to call ahead”, he added.

Included on the schedule for the coming season will be events as diverse as bicycle races, footraces, sunrise drives, a colonial muster in the mountains and a 1920s speakeasy casino night. For more information about Mt. Washington Auto Road operations, schedules and events please call (603) 466-3988

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Tooting our own Horn!!


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Midweek Escape to the White Mountains!

What better time to take a romantic get away into the White Mountains than during our “shoulder season” through May and June.  This is the time when we enjoy a little respite from the hustle and bustle of ski season and the warm sun-filled days of summer.  There is still loads of activities to take advantage of, but there are also lots of mid-week specials and packages that will make your stay more affordable than ever.

Here’s a great article from our friend, Blythe Copeland, of Boston magazine, about a few of the great things to do!

Just a few hours north on I-93 lie the New Hampshire woods and waterfalls that  inspired the likes of Robert Frost and Henry David Thoreau. Modern-day travelers can find their own inspiration along the 100-mile White Mountain Trail, a scenic byway dotted with information centers, trailheads, and picnic benches—all good starting points for outdoor adventures by bike, train, or foot.

By 1910, northern New Hampshire, with its temperate weather and awesome vistas, claimed more resorts than any other region in the country. Nearly a century later, the grand old hotels are all but gone, but visitors can still explore the woods and waterfalls that inspired the likes of Robert Frost and Henry David Thoreau.

A two-hour drive on I-93 lands travelers in Lincoln, at the start of the 100-mile White Mountain Trail that runs through the towns of Franconia Notch, Twin Mountain, North Conway, and Crawford Notch State Park, among others. The scenic byway is dotted with information centers, trailheads, and picnic benches. All make good starting points for outdoor adventures by bike, train, or foot.

The area is best known for its hiking trails, and experts and amateurs alike find more than enough to challenge themselves on its myriad peaks. At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the Northeast’s highest climb (www.mountwashington.org), but sudden weather changes and a steep rise—4,000 feet in just 4 miles—mean it’s not for novices. To get the same views without the workout, hop aboard the Mount Washington Cog Railway (800-922-8825, www.thecog.com), the first of its kind in the nation, for a three-hour round trip to the top. On a clear day, you can see four states, Québec, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Easier walking paths off the White Mountain Trail allow less hardy travelers to experience the lush woods on a smaller scale: from the 4-mile, moderate Nancy Pond Trail hike in Crawford Notch to the 1-mile Diana’s Bath walk just outside North Conway (get hiking guidance from the USDA Forest Service, www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain). Those looking to get off their feet can rent bikes in Gorham from Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center (603-466-2333, www.greatglentrails.com) and ride the 8-mile path through Franconia Notch State Park to the Flume Gorge (603-745-8391, www.flumegorge.com), a glacier-cut granite formation and waterfall. Or try whitewater rafting on the swift Androscoggin River (603-449-2628, www.northwoodsrafting.com) or swimming at Echo Lake State Park (603-271-3556).

Call ahead to Miller’s Café and Bakery in Littleton for a brown bag lunch of pesto caesar salad (16 Mill St., 603-444-2146), and park your crew at one of many spots along the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln. Afterward, pick up the Kancamagus Highway, a 34-mile-long, 2,855-foot-high road connecting the towns of Lincoln and Conway, and cruise past roadside waterfalls and bird’s-eye mountain and valley views.

If your little ones are feeling restless, Story Land on Route 16 in Glen (603-383-4186, www.storylandnh.com), a fairy tale–inspired amusement park, keeps families entertained with a roller coaster and water rides. And the popular Santa’s Village in Jefferson helps children get in the holiday spirit early with arts and crafts and the man in red himself (603-586-4445, www.santasvillage.com).

While in the area, don’t miss tax-free shopping in North Conway. The town is best known for its outlet center, Settlers’ Green (888-667-9636, www.settlersgreen.com), where browsers can buy discounted items from more than 60 stores. More-unique finds—handcrafted quilts, silver jewelry, local pottery—abound at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (603-356-2441, nhcrafts.org). And the cozy Bavarian Chocolate Haus (603-356-2663), with its hand-dipped truffles, fudge, and nut clusters, helps you end your travels on a sweet note.

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Where to Stay in NH!!

We’re very excited to have been named in the State of New Hampshire’s 2012/2013 Visitors Guide WHERE TO STAY section for the White Mountains.  The state highlighted the history of the inn, our amazing renovation in 2010 and boasted about our 12 room Bed and Breakfast right smack dab in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley.
They went on to talk about or hearty breakfasts, relaxing afternoon tea and, of course, the first-floor pub.

Check out the full visitor’s guide by clicking HERE.

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Jazz Performer Gretchen Parlato Coming to Fryeburg Academy!

Fryeburg Academy welcomes
Gretchen Parlato
- 2010 Downbeat Magazine’s Rising Star!
7:30 PM

Gretchen Parlato has been turning heads ever since she won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Institute International Vocal Competition. Her sultry, intriguing voice and unique, rhythmically agile phrasing came with inescapable centripetal force; the more intimate and understated she sang, the more she drew listeners in. Since hen she has toured worldwide to sold out audiences. We are thrilled to have her and know you will fall in love with her!  What better way to cap off a romantic getaway in the White Mountains this weekend!  Her latest album, The Lost and Found, is ranked #2 on NPR’s The Best Jazz of 2011!
See the article HERE.
Tickets:  $25-Adults, $20-Seniors and $15-Students.

You can purchase tickets right HERE

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Quick Getaway to Mount Washington Valley

Mount Washington Valley New Hampshire is the perfect one tank trip and a park the car romantic getaway for travelers seeking family fun this summer and spring. Designed as a pedestrian and bike friendly area, Mount Washington is the place to park the car, and enjoy a gas-free vacation. Mount Washington Valley and the towns of Jackson and Glen are just 2 hours from Boston, a little over one hour from Boston-Manchester Airport, and 3 hours from Providence.

Mount Washington Valley is a fully-featured area with world-class skiing, golf, nationally-ranked tennis courts, a skateboard park, year-round ice arena, hiking, biking, water sports, boating, and cultural activities that range from bluegrass festivals to Shakespeare under the stars. Mount Washington Valley is a unique combination of historic town, and nature-lover’s paradise, with an emphasis on family and community that brings people back year after year.

In the 1800s, visitors came to the valley by stagecoach to escape the heat of the city and enjoy an abundance of natural beauty. These days, visitors arrive by car, winding their way along the picturesque highways on their way to a pristine 500 acres surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest. It’s a breath-taking experience–or perhaps “breath-releasing.” Time and again, visitors describe turning off the highway and heading to the valley as a letting go of the outside world and a deep-seated sense of heading home.

Arriving at Mount Washington Valley, many visitors park their cars and forget them. Activities there are, in abundance: year-round sports of every imaginable variety, for everyone from absolute beginners to experts; arts and education programs for children and adults; outdoor theater, gardening, and clubs. In Mount Washington Valley, the words “I’m bored” are rarely, if ever, heard.

Hikers have been exploring Mount Washington Valley since the 1800s, which range from easy walking paths to sweat-drenching ascents. Want a short jaunt to work off the fettuccine alfredo you just had at one of the Valley’s restaurants? Take a stroll down town or through some of the covered bridges Jackson has to offer. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Wander through the woods and wildflowers on the valley floor, or hike past the scenic waterfalls. Ready to work up a sweat? Head up the 6,000+ ft. summit of Mount Washington for stunning views of the entire valley and surrounding forests. There are trails for the brave, the bold, but certainly not the beginners at Mount Washington Valley.

If you prefer wheels to hiking boots, bring your mountain bike to the Valley, or rent one there. Once again, you can take it as easy or as hard as you like. Whether its a leisurely ride around town or a dirt-kicking expedition through the woods, you’ll find plenty of trails to suit your mood. Everything from meandering dirt fire-roads to gnarly single-track is available. With miles of marked, well-maintained trails, Mount Washington Valley is a Mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts.

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Quick Travel Tips for that Summer Romantic Getaway

With gas prices, this summer, hovering around the $4/gallon mark, many people may be reconsidering taking that summer road trip. However, the Tire Industry Association (TIA), one of the leading global authorities on tires, offers six tips drivers can use to stay safe, reduce fuel consumption and thus make that NH romantic getaway a reality.

1. Perform a visual inspection and check tire pressure. According to TIA Senior Vice President of Training Kevin Rohlwing, improperly inflated tires are one of the biggest contributors to a car’s fuel inefficiency. Drivers should check the owner’s manual or the placard on the inside of the driver-side door to determine the correct inflation, and always check the pressure first thing in the morning, when tires are “cold.

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A Quick History of Jackson NH

Jackson is such a quaint historic town we thought we’d share a quick note about the history from our friends at the historical society.  A great  place for a romantic getaway and an exciting day of hiking, biking, swimming or even shopping, Jackson NH is a great town to visit, explore or even settle.

The first settlers in our area came from Madbury, New Hampshire and they called their new settlement New Madbury. At the time of incorporation on December 4, 1800, Adams was adopted as the town name in honor of President John Adams. It remained so until 1829, when the name was changed to Jackson.

While the record, official or otherwise, is unclear as to who instigated the name change, it was motivated in response to the election of President Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. The popularity of President Jackson is reflected in that only one vote was cast for keeping Adams as the name.

In the mid-1800′s, Jackson became a popular destination for artists arriving by coach to capture the scenic beauty of the area on their canvases. Others attracted by the what they saw on canvas began to arrive. At first, farmers opened their doors to these visitors, and many expanded their own homes into boarding houses. Hotels were then built to accommodate visitors arriving by train for the summer to enjoy the mountain air, croquet and conversation on the expansive porches.

In 1876, the covered bridge which spans the Ellis River was built by Charles Austin Broughton and his son Frank. At that time it was named the “Honeymoon Bridge”. Local custom has carried on a romantic tradition with many newly married couples having their photograph taken there, thus adding another memory to their special day. Jackson’s Covered Bridge, a Paddleford truss construction, is one of 55 remaining today. It is well maintained by the town and is protected by a fire protection system to alert the local fire station.

World War II brought an end to these glorious summers. Although many of the grand hotels of Jackson are now gone, the splendor of this Village remains. Visitors now come year round to enjoy the views, covered bridge, white steepled church, water falls, mountains, and rolling farmland. They now stay in country inns, B&B’s, lodges, or the only remaining grand hotel and sample local flavor in the restaurants.

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North Conway named one of world’s best ski towns!!

Whether boasting steep drops and extreme skiing or romantic get aways in the picturesque mountains, there are many factors that make a great ski town!  National Geographic scoured the world in search of the best!  When all the powder was settled, North Conway came out in the top 25!

Just what makes a classic ski town? It starts, naturally, with skiing and snowboarding so good they attract people like youth-bestowing fountains. Then add an inviting mountain burg steeped in ski heritage, amenities, and culture. These are the 25 best. For insider tips, we asked local luminaries where to stay, play, and party, whether you’re on a budget or indulging.
—Aaron Teasdale  (See the full article here)

North Conway, New Hampshire

Photograph by Greg Keeler, Cannon Mountain

Best For: History-buff families in the northeastern U.S.

North Conway may be less well known than many of the towns on this list, but only a few towns in North America can rival its skiing heritage. Tucked into Mount Washington Valley in the White Mountains, some of the first purpose-cut ski runs on the continent and a host of other innovations in grooming, lifts, and ski schools were developed here in the 1930s. North Conway was one of the leading lights in American skiing for decades before Western resorts rose to prominence. Much of that old New England character lives on today in the town of 2,349, where skiing is still tightly woven into the small community’s social fabric.

This may have something to do with the fact that there are no less than seven different downhill areas with an easy drive of town (and six Nordic ones). Visitors here will likely focus on three. Cranmore sits two miles from the main village. It’s an excellent starting point for families, with its revered ski school and abundant non-skiing activities, including indoor tennis, climbing walls, on-mountain tubing, and a plummeting rail-coaster ride. Attitash, seven miles up the valley, is the biggest of the bunch, with 73 runs and the region’s best terrain park. No-frills, expert-friendly Wildcat, a half-hour drive, is the wildest, tallest mountain of the three, with the most vertical and spectacular views of nearby Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. Wildcat and Attitash now share the same owners and feature interchangeable lift tickets, so if the weather is belligerent at Wildcat, which is not uncommon, you can skip 16 miles over to the more sheltered Attitash.

Ask a Local

Tom Eastman, a ski historian and reporter for Conway Daily Sun, has lived and skied in North Conway for the last 30 years. Here are his recommendations.

Best Digs

Budget: The Yankee Clipper Inn
Swank: White Mountain Hotel & Resort

Best Eats

Cheap: Horsefeathers is great for families, with good pizza, pasta, and seafood.
Gourmet: Maestro’s has incredible Italian dishes.

Best After-Ski Party Spot

Red Parka Steakhouse & Pub is a skiers’ hangout, with live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and an open mic on Mondays.

Best Rest-Day Activity

Head for the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center right on South Main Street, where kids can learn about meteorology and the peak’s record-setting wind speeds. Then go to Farm by the River Bed and Breakfast with Stables for a sleigh ride.

North Conway’s Classic Run

The Lynx Trail at Wildcat runs top to bottom and snakes its way across the fall line while enjoying sweeping views of Tuckerman Ravine and Mount Washington.

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Romantic getaways without kids

I think most of the parents out there can appreciate those moments you get without kids.  Of course we love our children and cherish the times spent with them, especially as they grow up, but a quiet Jackson, NH romantic getaway is often just the thing!!  our friend Eileen Ogintz from Fox wrote a nice article about her adventures and I wanted to share it!  Enjoy!

Romantic getaways without kids
Where’s the music?

We succumbed to the sales pitch for the “romantic,” albeit pricey gondola ride early one evening on Venice’s famed canals, but our gondolier, decked out in the traditional striped shirt, didn’t sing, much less talk to us.

I don’t think he spoke English and our Italian didn’t go beyond buon giorno. Still it was fun gliding on the narrow canals past Marco Polo’s house, Mozart’s House, the famous Bridge of Sighs (legend has it, that the bridge takes its name from the sighs of prisoners stealing their last look at freedom before making their way to their cells from the Doges Palace.)

As for the romance, honestly, we just laughed at the kitchy-ness of it all. At least we could relax and not worry about the kids’ reaction — (so lame … I can’t believe you spent money for this!) That entire trip to Italy and Croatia, in part on a Windstar Cruise last fall, was full of moments like that — just-us time, sans kids — no sibling squabbles to mediate, no children’s opinions, no juggling different agendas, no playing psychologist, nurse and cook.

Of course, I love traveling with my children, their pals and various other pint-sized relatives. I do it all the time. (Read my trip diary about our most recent family trip, sailing in the Caribbean.)

But there’s something deliciously decadent about an adult-only trip, whether you manage just a night away in a nearby hotel (Affinia has a “Kiss and Tell” deal starting at $139 in New York City and Washington, D.C., $149 in Chicago, complete with a list of the most romantic spots to kiss) or a trip of a lifetime to Patagonia. (Tierra Patagonia offers guided adventures during the day — think horseback rides to view nesting Andean Condors — and luxurious accommodations at night in the 40-room lodge, complete with signature spa treatments.)

If you choose instead a few days of kicking back in the sun or on the slopes, rather than the practical condo, opt for a quaint B&B like the Red Clover Inn in Killington, Vt. or boutique hotel like The Sky Lodge in Park City, Utah. There are plenty of bargains — even to Tahiti. They’re touting deals including airfare starting at $1,699 per person, from Los Angeles. Check out websites like www.luxurylink.com that promise unique experiences at five-star accommodations around the world, at up to 65 percent off best-available rates, or Groupon Getaways with Expedia.

“Even a few days alone can help couples recharge and reconnect with each other,” said Dr. David Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at the University of Vermont Medical School. No wonder nearly 70 percent of travelers polled last summer said their personal romantic relationships would benefit if they vacationed more together, Hotwire reports. So this Valentine’s Day, instead of the chocolate and flowers, give your significant other a promise of a just-us, guilt-free break in the months to come.

“Letting your kids stay home while you go away can also support their growing sense of independence and autonomy,” Dr. Fassler added. “Although kids certainly miss their parents, short-term separations can actually enhance resiliency by helping them develop new coping skills.” So now that you’ve let go of the guilt, where to go?

Obviously somewhere you won’t be surrounded by other people’s children. Consider the, adult-only new Travaasa resorts in Hawaii and Austin, Texas that integrate local activities and organic culinary programs. The 29-room Kenwood Inn and Spa, located in Sonoma, Calif., respectfully has a no-children policy, which, they promise, will enhance romance. Did I mention the guests-only restaurant serves farm-fresh, Italian-inspired cuisine?

Since you don’t have to worry about the kids’ happiness, try something you’ve never done. Take a glass-blowing class with the Hotel Murano’s Hot Piece of Glass Package in Tacoma, Wash., which has emerged as the center of the American art glass movement. Put your romance on ice and go ice fishing with your honey and then cuddle up at the Blue Harbor Resort and Spa on Lake Michigan. Located in Sheboygan, Wis., the Blue Harbor is just two hours from Chicago. Climb one of St. Lucia’s famous pitons or zipline under the stars in Antigua. Be a castaway for a day on a deserted island in the Bahamas, complete with beach chairs, drinks and lunch, of course. (Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours can arrange it all.)

Learn all about the farm-to-table movement from the resident forager at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, R.I., where you can take an “In the Kitchen” workshop focused on seasonal ingredients. (The deluxe hotel has a first-rate spa, too, and you can snare good off-season deals.) See more of Italy than Renaissance art and churches with customized Country Bred Encounters tours, whether you want to make parmesan cheese on a cheese farm or make ceramics with a master in Umbria. Combine gourmet dining, wine with the adrenaline rush of river rafting with O.A.R.S on special Wine on the River Tours. Go camping — without all of the work — with El Capitan Canyon.

Along California’s central coast, you’ll stay in a furnished safari tent and pick up your barbecue kit at the Canyon Market. At Orenda in the Lake George area of New York’s Adirondacks, all meals are provided and outdoor activities are customized.

Volunteer working with children in Cambodia, playing with lions in Zambia or building a house in Uganda. Go Voluntouring offers many options.

As for us, in Europe, we had a blast without the kids doing things they would have never considered — like our overpriced gondola-without-the-music tour of Venice.

Sometimes a little imperfection, I told the kids, just adds to the romance.

For more on Eileen’s trip without the kids to Europe, read her trip diary and also follow “taking the kids” on Twitter, where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments.

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