North Conway is a charming New Hampshire village in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley, at the foothills of the White Mountains. Its historic downtown is full of beautifully restored old buildings, such as the one that houses North Conway 5 and 10, charming coffee shops like Frontside Grind, wonderful from-scratch bakeries like Old Village Bakery, antique stores, bookstores, galleries, and outlets. Very popular with tourists, North Conway is a great starting point for skiing, hiking, taking a tour of the magnificent White Mountains and, if you so desire, looking for moose.
1.Black Cap Hiking Trail
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Black Cap is one of the most popular hikes through the White Mountains. This short 2.4-mile path is fairly easy and starts at the dirt parking lot at the end of Hurricane Mountain Road and will take you through the Green Hills Preserve, managed by the Nature Conservancy. Most of the way you will be hiking through lush, dense beech and spruce forest, until you arrive above the tree line and encounter bare rock. No camping or fires are allowed. Once you get to the summit, the views of the White Mountains, North Conway, and the Mount Washington Valley are breathtaking. The trail goes straight to the Black Cap Mountain summit, but along the way you can join other trails such as the Cranmore Mountain Connection, Middle Mountain Trail, Peaked Mountain Trail, and a few others. By taking any of them you can extend your hike to about 10 miles.
Hurricane Mountain Road, North Conway, Conway, NH 03860
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2.Conway Scenic Railroad
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The Conway Scenic Railroad is a historic railway in North Conway with two routes, the first from North Conway to Conway, which was once part of the Boston and Maine Railroad, Conway Branch. The second line goes from North Conway to Fabyan through Crawford Notch. It was once part of the Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division. The main terminal of the railroad is located in downtown North Conway and the whole station is now registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the railroad runs a range of excursions such as the 55-minute "Valley Train," which runs south to Conway or west to Bartlett. The train includes an 1898 Pullman open-deck observation car named Gertrude Emma, a dining car named Chocorua, and several 1920s heavyweight fully restored coaches. The "Notch Train" runs through Crawford Notch.
38 Norcross Cir, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-5251
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3.Cranmore Mountain Resort
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Cranmore Mountain is a popular year-round resort in North Conway Village in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It has been a family destination for the last 77 years. In the winter, it has 57 trails and glades for skiing, ten lanes of tubing, the Giant Swing, a mountain coaster, and the Soaring Eagle zipline. In the fall, there is the Ghoullog, Cranmore's haunted house, and the night rides at the Haunted Playground. Summertime is full of action with rides in the Mountain Adventure Park and a treetop aerial adventure park. The resort is the location of the first ski school in the area, opened by the celebrated ski master Hannes Schneider. His original skimobile is today a museum piece.
1 Skimobile Rd, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-5543
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Located in the heart of the White Mountains, in the small town of Bartlett near the village of North Conway, Diana’s Bath is a chain of small and pretty waterfalls. In the 1800s they were the location of a sawmill owned by the Lucy family. They abandoned it in the 1940s, and since then it has become a historic site protected by the Forest Service. The waterfalls’ accumulated drop is 75 feet. There is a 0.6-mile trail that leads to the base of the waterfall. The stream flow is naturally most powerful in the spring, when the snowmelt brings a torrent of water, creating quite a spectacle. This lovely spot is a popular family destination, but bug spray is a must.
3725 West Side Rd, Bartlett, NH 03812, Phone: 603-447-5448
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© Frontside Grind
Frontside Grind opened their doors in downtown North Conway in 1998 and quickly became a spot where local coffee connoisseurs as well as all others in need of a good cup of java come to indulge in freshly roasted, fragrant coffee. Full control of the quality throughout the roasting process allows the shop to produce some unique flavors and blends. Their downtown shop is cozy, bright, and pleasant, and their outdoor patio is a popular spot to sit, relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and watch the snowy peaks of the Moat Mountains. Frontside is also well known for their delicious bagel sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, and daily fresh hot soup.
2697 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-3603
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6.Great White Mountain Tours
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With Mount Washington at 6,288 feet, the White Mountains are the highest mountain range in the northeastern United States. The range has 48 summits over 4,000 feet, fantastic hiking trails, ski resorts and areas, and such attractions as Cannon Mountain, the Mount Washington Auto Road, Arethusa Falls, Mount Washington Cog Railway, and The Basin. The White Mountains are a great place for short and long excursions. Tours4fun offers a range of trips through New Hampshire, with different destinations depending on the season and interest. Their experienced tour guides will point out the main attractions, historic spots, natural wonders, great restaurants, and shops, making sure that you do not miss anything this wonderful region has to offer.
White Mtn Highway, North Conway, Conway, NH 03860
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Highway 112, also called Kancamagus or just the Kanc, is a 32-mile-long road that runs between Center Conway and North Woodstock, just a bit south of Franconia Notch. It passes through the magnificent White Mountain National Forest and is considered to be one of the most scenic American highways. The highway is particularly popular in the fall because of the spectacular autumn foliage, but it stays open throughout the winter. Only Bear Notch Road, which links the highway to the town of Bartlett, is closed for the winter. The highway passes through two very popular tourist destinations – Kinsman Notch and Lost River.
Route 112, North Conway, Conway, NH 03251
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Located near the town of Madison in New Hampshire, Madison Boulder is a massive 83-foot-long and 23-foot high granite rock that weighs more than 5,000 tons. The entire 17-acre area around it is developed to protect this National Natural Landmark, which "is an outstanding illustration of the power of an ice sheet to pluck out very large blocks of fractured bedrock and move them substantial distances," according to the US Department of the Interior. Madison Boulder is believed to be North America’s largest glacial erratic, a rock that was moved by glacier and deposited on an area of completely different type of rock. It was once a piece of a ledge of Conway Granite and was moved about 2 miles to its current location, where it now sits on a field of Concord Granite.
473 Boulder Rd, Madison, NH 03849, Phone: 603-227-8745
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9.Mount Washington Observatory
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The Mount Washington Observatory is a non-profit private scientific and educational organization and weather observation station located on top of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. The observatory was established in 1932 to study weather and meteorological patterns. Its main goal today is to improve the understanding of the natural systems that form and influence the Earth's climate and weather. The first methodical meteorological observations on Mount Washington were conducted from 1870 to 1892 by the U.S. Signal Service, which later became the Weather Bureau. The Mount Washington station was the first of its kind in the world, and was followed by many others in different countries. The station offers frequent educational events and exhibits. The summit of Mount Washington is considered one of the world’s most inhospitable places with frequent extreme weather, making the working conditions here very difficult.
2779 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-2137
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10.Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum
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The Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum is an interactive playground and museum, one of very few places that focus on learning through play from infanthood to the age of nine, in the belief that older children play in a very different way. The museum is designed to nurture children’s natural curiosity and to encourage discovery through programs and exhibits that inspire further exploration. There are puppet shows that kids can put together, or they can dress up in funny costumes in the drama center, play with trains, drive a logging truck, climb a castle and full-size tree house, and much more.
2936 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-2992
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11.MWV Moose Bus Tours
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If spotting a moose is something you always wanted, you can do it in total comfort on board an MWV 22-passenger bus that takes moose fans on a safari every evening around 8 pm between May and October. After leaving the North Conway train station, the bus travels through the scenic roads of the White Mountain National Forest, while the passengers get into the mood by watching a fun and entertaining moose movie and learning all they ever wanted to know about this fascinating animal. The tour organizers promise a 98% chance of actually spotting a moose while driving through the forest, and most passengers claim to have seen more than one. Everyone admits to having great time while waiting for one to appear.
North Conway, Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-662-3159
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12.North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store
© North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store
Almost 80 years old, North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store has been a village landmark since 1939, when Sidney Sweeney and his wife Lillian opened for business. The still operating general store is the oldest store in North Conway and is located in an 1840 building on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is an architectural rarity for North Conway of its time, a two and half story wood frame structure with a gabled roof obscured by the typical western-type false front a full three stories high. The ground floor has one storefront with glass windows on both sides of a recessed entrance. The look of the interior dates to the beginning of the 20th century and has a tin ceiling, plaster walls, vertical board wainscoting, glass and wood counter displays, and maple floors. Things to Do in New Hampshire
2683 S Main St, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-3953
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13.North Conway Farmers' Market
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Recently relocated to the parking lot at Twombly's Market at 649 East Conway Road, the North Conway Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from May to October from 9 am to 2 pm. This popular market sells only locally produced food items, organic produce, baked goods, free-range eggs and meats, prepared foods, and items created by local artisans. There are also seedlings, hand-spun yarn, maple syrup, goat cheese, hand-made soaps and cosmetics, and many other local products. There is often music, and the smells of freshly cooked foods attract locals who come to stock up on fresh supplies, hang out, and get to know their neighborhood farmers.
North Conway, Phone: 603-662-0943
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14.Old Village Bakery
© Old Village Bakery
If you are a North Conway local, you will know that the Old Village Bakery is the place to go for freshly baked bread, pastries, and pies. If you are a visitor, the smell of fresh bread will guide you from the train station across the street to a 15-year-old bakery run by former meteorologist Mark Ross-Parent, who gave up his job in Antarctica and on top of Mount Washington to devote his time to his life-long passion for baking. Beside delicious crunchy bread made from scratch in the back of the store, you can also get the best croissants outside of France, focaccias, spanakopita, lunch sandwiches, pastries, old-fashioned pies, and cakes. They also sell excellent coffee.
50 Seavey St, North Conway, NH 03860, Phone: 603-356-8989
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15.Tuckerman Brewing Co
© Tuckerman Brewing Co
Tuckerman Brewing Company is a family-owned and run brewery in Conway, New Hampshire, which currently makes three year-round beers, a pale ale, an altbier, and the 6288 Stout, or what they call “mountain-brewed beer.” Their brewery and tap room are located in a rustic, large space with industrial chic décor, long picnic tables, and a large curved bar, where patrons love to hang out, try their beer, socialize, and occasionally enjoy live music. New visitors can also take a tour of the brewery and learn about the process and the ingredients used – just pure water, malt, hops, and yeast. Tuckerman currently produces almost 8,000 barrels a year – about 70,000 cases. Part of the proceeds from the sale goes to support the Mount Washington Observatory, a non-profit weather station located at 6,288 feet on Mount Washington.
66 Hobbs St, Conway, NH 03818, Phone: 603-447-5400
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15 Best Things to Do in North Conway, New Hampshire
- Black Cap Hiking Trail, Photo: Courtesy of ahavelaar - Fotolia.com
- Conway Scenic Railroad, Photo: Courtesy of alpegor - Fotolia.com
- Cranmore Mountain Resort, Photo: Courtesy of Taras - Fotolia.com
- Diana's Baths, Photo: Courtesy of duke2015 - Fotolia.com
- Frontside Grind, Photo: Frontside Grind
- Great White Mountain Tours, Photo: Courtesy of smuki - Fotolia.com
- Kancamagus Highway, Photo: Courtesy of Julian - Fotolia.com
- Madison Boulder, Photo: Courtesy of larshallstrom - Fotolia.com
- Mount Washington Observatory, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Anton Gvozdikov - Fotolia.com
- MWV Moose Bus Tours, Photo: Courtesy of mtnmichelle - Fotolia.com
- North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store, Photo: North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store
- North Conway Farmers' Market, Photo: Courtesy of smashingoats - Fotolia.com
- Old Village Bakery, Photo: Old Village Bakery
- Tuckerman Brewing Co, Photo: Tuckerman Brewing Co
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of rickmandia - Fotolia.com