Oct 3, 2014

Fall Fun Traveling Like A Local

It is no secret the fall colors are exploding and it's just a matter of time before a strong wind or rain storm will bring the extravagant display to an end.  If you are planning to get to North Conway and Bartlett this season, this is the perfect time.  Many travelers today want more from their vacations, including authentic experiences that are off the beaten path. Knowing where the locals go and what they like to do is key to discovering the hidden gems of any destination. Fortunately, for you, finding this seemingly secret information is easier than you think, especially since you've got a insider working for you!


Here are a few tips to help you "live like a local" on your next trip to the White Mountains of NH!

1. Research weather patterns: I am a huge weather nerd and love to learn about the wind patterns, pressure differences and the like. As you likely are aware, the weather in New Hampshire can change rapidly and the weather atop Mt. Washington is more erratic than that! By looking into average temperatures, you might be able to plan your get-away during the off-season and still enjoy beautiful weather. For example, fall is simply beautiful in the Mount Washington Valley and this is a great time to take advantage of some seasonal specials at local restaurants and attractions. The "shoulder seasons", as spring and fall are called are some of the best times to visit.

2. Look beyond the hotel: The Mount Washington Valley is ripe with hotels and resort options, which can be wonderful. But for a more authentic experience, and yes, we're a little biased, why not stay at an historic bed and breakfast. Our rooms are simply elegant and incredibly comfortable and the food is second to none. One of my favorite features of our location is that we're just North of the "main drag". While shopping and all the excitement of downtown North Conway are some of the main reasons you are visiting, it is nice to ease your way up Route 16 and settle into the tranquility of our Inn. Who knows, you might even mingle and make some new friends.

3. Try the local restaurants: Food provides an inside glimpse into a region's history, culture and favorite flavors and North Conway is no different. A "rule" I employ when traveling is to never eat at a "chain" or at some place that I can visit when I'm home. Don't get me wrong, there are times when a quick pizza or sub is the order of the day. But, as a rule, I would encourage you to stop into any place that looks like a locally owned dining spot. Also, as you are out and about during your daily activities, ask the employees where you're visiting to recommend some good places to stop. Moat Mountain, Muddy Moose and Cabin Fever are a couple of our favorites. There are so many great ones to pick from up in the valley, half the fun is trying them all!

4. Pick where you Play: What do locals do in their free time? Do a little digging and you will discover where the locals go (and the places they avoid) during their free time. I'm not suggesting you hit the waterpark when it is 50 degrees out, but there is certainly some logic to not being where everyone else is. Some of my favorite days skiing have been mid-week, cloudy, lousy days. The slopes are empty and there are no lift-lines. I also don't mind hiking in a rain shower, so consider that to take advantage of a normally busy trail like Chocorua. If you capitalize on the "less-than-ideal" conditions, your experience is likely to be surprisingly great.

5. Talk to the locals: This may seem obvious and silly, but you would be surprised how much information you can get from that person next to you at the pub. North Conway residents typically have a lot of pride in this area. Remember, they chose to LIVE here, in the place where you choose to VISIT. Most of these folks are more than happy to share their thoughts on favorite restaurants, stores, trails and more. An approachable smile, a friendly attitude and willingness to listen might help you learn about an amazing coffee shop or rarely frequented summit that your family will adore. Just don't ask about their favorite fishing spots. We have the draw the line somewhere.