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Best of the New Hampshire White Mountains | Editors’ Choice Awards

Your Yankee editor-approved guide to the best of the White Mountains, from restaurants and hotels to favorite activities and things to do.

3.90 avg. rating (77% score) - 10 votes

Heading to the White Mountains of New Hampshire this year? Along with classics like driving the Kanc and taking the kids to Story Land or Santa’s Village, we’ve got the perfect roundup of what to see, do, and eat while you explore in our “Best of the White Mountains” collection.

Best of the New Hampshire White Mountains

网投平台大全Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park

Best of the White Mountains | Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park

Kindra Clineff

Best Things to Do in the White Mountains


This park is 网投平台大全 to state treasures such as the , the beach boasts a direct view of spectacular Franconia Notch, and a serene stretch of sand meets crisp, clear water (with a roped-off area for kids). Rent a canoe, a kayak, or a pedal boat on the spot at ’s Lakeside General Store, where you can also stock up on sunscreen and souvenirs. Find out why we consistently crown it the best state park in New Hampshire.


Although moose-spotting is a notoriously unpredictable pastime, the odds of seeing one of these magnificent beasts are heavily in your favor on these town-sponsored tours. With special permission from the state, Gorham Moose Tours’ buses are outfitted with lights that not only make moose easier to spot but also easier to photograph. The reported success rate is better than 90 percent, which offers a much more attractive prospect than prowling the roads in your car at dusk: Yes, you can spend hours sitting by the roadside along Moose Alley and hope, but it’s a better bet — and safer — to go with the pros. A 2018 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Nature Experience.”

Pinkham Notch

This 10-mile loop brings you up two high summits — Mount Hight and Carter Dome, which each approach 5,000 feet — and through Carter Notch, an impossibly beautiful mountain pass that’s 网投平台大全 to two mirrored lakes and a secluded Appalachian Mountain Club hut serving up tasty soups and snacks. To be sure, the hike via the Nineteen-Mile Brook, Carter-Moriah, and Carter Dome trails is a rigorous one, but the varied terrain and breathtaking scenery are, as the kids say, #worthit. A 2019 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Day Hike.”

网投平台大全Mount Washington Cog Railroad

Best of the White Mountains | Mount Washington Cog Railway

Aimee Seavey

Bretton Woods

While options for scaling Mount Washington’s dizzying 6,288 feet include hiking and driving, thankfully there’s also the only Cog Railway east of the Rockies—a 19th-century feat of engineering that’s been clinging to the steep slopes for more than 150 years. A three-hour round trip affords plenty of time to ogle views of the classic Omni Mount Washington Hotel, Vermont’s Green Mountains, and New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. On the summit, you can explore the Extreme Mount Washington exhibit and historic 1853 Tiptop House. A 2014 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Adrenaline-Rush Train Ride” and 2016 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Tourist Hot Spot.”

See More: The Mount Washington Cog Railway | Train Ride to the Top of Mount Washington


Wondering how to cross a river when there’s no bridge? Preparing to embark on a hike across a glacier? Learn these and other wilderness secrets and skills on professionally guided outdoor adventures in the White Mountains. Mount Washington and other rugged terrains are the year-round classroom for teaching mountaineering essentials such as backcountry camping and navigating with a map and compass. And here’s a tip for free-spirited lovebirds looking to tie the knot: You furnish the license, and they’ll furnish a justice of the peace who’s also a licensed guide. A 2018 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Wilderness Expedition.”

North Woodstock

This giant natural funhouse in Kinsman Notch tells a dramatic tale: Mile-deep glaciers melted into streams that rushed through cracks in the bedrock, eroding them into a gorge. Stones and gravel washed through, scouring and carving potholes and chutes. Then wind and winter freezing took over, tearing huge slabs from the granite walls that fell and covered the river. Today you can climb through the gorge they created, following the brook through caves and narrow passages to see it burst out in waterfalls and swirl in huge potholes, as your kids learn about glaciers and geology and even, for a small fee, pan for gemstones and fossils in the Lost River mining sluice. A 2018 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Family Adventure.” 


New England’s highest peak — 6,288 feet — Mount Washington claims some of the world’s worst weather and the second-highest wind speed ever recorded. The eight-mile drive to the top is a hair-raiser; drop-away vistas on fair-weather days are stupendous, with visibility up to 130 miles and views of New York and the Atlantic. Bonus: The summit’s Extreme Mount Washington museum at the Mount Washington Observatory explores the nitty-gritty of the mountain’s subzero, hurricane-force drama. Road open May to October, depending on weather. A 2015 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best White-Knuckle Vista.”

Best Inns & Hotels in the White Mountains

Crawford Notch

Attention, outdoorsy types: This lodge nestled in idyllic Crawford Notch is the perfect jumping-off point for all your White Mountain adventures. Choose from a private room—with or without en suite bathroom—or a bunk room, and enjoy the included meal service as well as free guided hikes and ranger programs. And before you hit the trail, stop by the L.L. Bean Gear Room, which is stocked with rental equipment and clothing (daypacks, rain pants, gaiters, etc.) that would make your most diehard thru-hiking pals envious. A 2019 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Mountain Getaway.”

Green’s Grant

Come for the view — a wall of windows in the lounge offers a Presidential Range panorama — and stay for the creature comforts at this new 68-room hotel at the base of Mount Washington. The fifth iteration of the Glen House and the first property on the site in more than 50 years, it features an outdoor deck with a fire pit perfect for aprés-ski lounging, an indoor saltwater pool, and the Notch Grille. Add in thoughtful design touches evoking the area’s history, such as clean Shaker lines, artifacts from the local Abenaki tribe, and granite accents, and there’s a new must-visit destination in the Whites. A 2019 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best New Hotel.”

Bretton Woods

With golf and tennis in the summer, hiking in the spring and fall, and skiing in the winter, this is indeed a resort for all seasons. From the moment you breathe in the fresh mountain air and enter the historic Great Hall, replete with soaring ceilings and stone fireplace, you’ll fall under the Omni Mount Washington’s spell. Especially magical is the 25,000-square-foot spa, featuring rooms with views of the surrounding peaks and a long menu of facials, wraps, and seasonal treatments — including the intriguing Mountain Mu-xing Therapy, a deep-tissue massage administered with warm bamboo and rosewood tools. A 2019 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Wellness Retreat.”


One of the grandest of the grand hotels that still dot the land