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Like I’ve mentioned in recent posts, one of the biggest perks about where I’m working in the summer is checking out all of the surrounding sites & attractions. Luckily, I’m situated right in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley. There’s an insane amount of things to take in and experience! Shopping, nature, touristy stuff – it’s all here!
Mount Washington Auto Road
Not for the leery driver! If you’re feeling brave behind the wheel, get in your car and drive up to the summit of Mount Washington! For approximately $30 per vehicle, you can reach the highest point in the Northeast.
While the road is windy and steep, not to mention that some are mostly gravel without a guardrail, the views are worth it. I also had a blast just putting my car in low gear and rolling all the way down. Once you arrive and pay the entry fee, you receive an instruction sheet, a CD to play that’s on track with your drive up and down the mountain, and the infamous “This Car Climbed Mount Washington” bumper sticker.
When I drove up, the weather was absolutely perfect. When the weather is clear, you can see so far from above the treeline. The weather can also change drastically from bottom to top – it was 75F on the bottom, but the temp at the top was 55F on the day I did it, so plan accordingly.
There is food, a gift shop, hiker’s stuff, and a teeny tiny post office at the top. Also, take a few minutes to check out the tiny weather museum at the summit. They have a really cool map that shows you all of the things that you can see from the summit if you know what to look for!
If you can take the altitude, it’s a sight to behold. I wouldn’t miss it if you’re in the area.
The Barnstormers Summer Theatre
We all know that finding a nearby theatre would be high on my list when I’m traveling anywhere! Luckily, I found a professional summer theatre that’s not all that far from camp! Presenting a full summer season of musicals, comedy, and drama, this is the oldest continuously running summer theatre in the United States! Started in 1931 by President Grover Cleveland’s son, Frances, this theatre starts it’s summer season at the end of June and runs until the beginning of September.
I’ve been lucky to take in a few productions over the course of my summers out here and I’ve never been disappointed! There’s literally something for any type of theatre patron in their seasons. The theatre facility itself is quite charming. The building sits in the tiny village town of Tamworth and it clearly stands out. And it’s almost always packed – so they must be doing something right. Price points are quite affordable as well – and we all know how I feel about that!
Located just across the street from the theatre mentioned above is this small batch liquor distillery! Who would have known that such a cute shop and distillery would be in this tiny little town!? Not me!
I ventured in right before a show I was seeing at The Barnstormers and was quite impressed with all of their offerings that I had tried. Focused on using ingredients that are local to the area, there are so many unique flavor combinations to be found here! I enjoyed trying the Maple Jack, Von Humboldt’s Turmeric Liqueur, and then the Blue Lion Chicoree Liqueur that I ended up purchasing to bring home! The Blue Lion Chicoree Liqueur was SUCH a surprise. I love all things coffee and chicory is a flavor that is SO similar. It’s got that dark roasted taste, but it’s sweet and spicy. I had to spring for a bottle to bring home! I’m super pumped to mix it into a few concoctions once I’m back in Indy!
Settlers Green Outlets
Y’all. New Hampshire has tax-free shopping. This can be dangerous, but I highly recommend swinging by here if you have things you need to stock up on at home. Maybe it’s clothing, shoes, kitchen accessories, underwear, or even candles – they have an outlet for that! I’m always impressed with the selection of stores and goods that are available here. I’ve always had a very pleasant experience here with plenty of parking and food options in the nearby area.
Fancy Coffee in North Conway
As I’m typing this right now, I’m nearing the end of a delicious First Bloom (maple & lavender) latte from The Metropolitan Coffee House in North Conway. First, it’s a great place to swing in and get some work done on a rainy day like today, but there’s also a lot to take in inside of the building. Start with their HUGE coffee, sandwich, and dessert menu and your mouth will literally be watering before you even get up to the counter to place an order. Then, continue walking throughout the building to see the work of many local artists all around you and play games upstairs! Plus, the gelato parlor in the back is pretty cool, too.
Another popular stop for me is Frontside Coffee Roasters. I literally find myself here for the Kahlua & Baileys Lattes that they sell! I also love their bagel sandwiches and other coffee accessories that you can check out in-store!
Clark’s Trading Post
This is probably the most touristy place I’ll be suggesting to you. Clark’s Trading Post is a family theme park that’s been in some form of operation since 1928. With plenty of attractions for the whole family, the one that gets the most hubbub is the famous Bear Show. Black bears are trained to perform in a few shows each day at Clark’s Trading Post. They are performing unmuzzled and unrestrained, which is a good thing. You can see the bears do silly things like ride a scooter, jump through hoops and walking on giant balls. I have personal feelings about animals performing, but it doesn’t appear that the bears are in any sort of distress, so that’s good. I also recommend checking out the 2.5-mile train ride and seeing if you can spot the “Wolfman” on your journey. Also worth a mention is the climbing wall and the segway park for some of the young people in your group. Merlin’s Mystical Mansion is also a lot of fun if you like funhouse attractions.
Located close to North Conway, this lake makes for a simple, yet great, day of fun for all ages. There’s a beach for swimming and fishing, there’s a long walking trail and plenty of places to sit if you want to pack a lunch. The cost to visit is very reasonable for individuals, as well as groups.
Great Locally Owned & Operated Food Choices
When I’m not working, I’ve been trying lots of food and visiting some really great restaurants. Here are a few of the favorites that I’ve visited while in the region.
Delaney’s Hole in the Wall – Show up here any evening and expect to wait! I’ve been here a handful of times and I’ve always had to wait for a table, so practice patience. The wait has always been worth it each time, but be ready. With a menu that covers just about anything – pizza, sushi, ribs, salad, burgers, and sandwiches, no one in your party will leave hungry. I almost always order sushi or a pizza. I personally suggest The Delaney’s Sampler or the Alfredo Hitchcock!
Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Pub – More off of the beaten path, you’ll find this cozy place nestled next to a small inn in the Intervale Resort Loop. With family seating, bar seating, and a cozy lounge off to the right of the bar, you’re sure to find a spot in this bustling restaurant. Pasta, ribs, seafood, gluten-free — it’s all possible!
Peach’s Restaurant – This is a must if you’re looking for a great breakfast/lunch! This little restaurant fills up very quickly, but after one visit, you’ll know why. They have a good selection of lunch sandwiches, but they definitely focus on cooking up a great breakfast. The pancakes are delicious, the breakfast sandwiches fill you up, and the home fries are delectable. I don’t know what they’ve done to their potatoes, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you can get a table!
Have you ever visited the Mount Washington Valley area – New Hampshire or Maine? Tell me what you’d like to try!