Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, North Conway, New Hampshire is the one of the East Coast’s most scenic destinations. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a relaxing vacation, there is something in North Conway for you. Check out this list of ten fantastic activities for your next trip to North Conway, New Hampshire.
1. Hike New Hampshire’s White Mountains
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are vast, rugged, and scenic. Home to some of the East Coast’s largest mountains, including Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast United States, and a giant network of trails, the White Mountains are just waiting to be hiked. Most of the trails (with some notable exceptions, such as Mount Washington) in the White Mountains start on the Kancamagus Highway, a scenic road that transects the White Mountain National Forest.
Although the trails can be steep and the weather can be harsh, there is a hike for everyone in the White Mountains. Those looking for an easier trail can hike the Old Bridle Path to West Rattlesnake or take the short stroll to Glen Ellis Falls. Hikers looking to challenge themselves can try the Lion’s Head route to the top of Mount Washington. Or, if you’re a serious hiker looking for a strenuous overnight, the Presidential Range Traverse takes you up and over seven of the White Mountain’s most prominent peaks. Whichever hike you choose, remember that the weather can change suddenly on the higher peaks in the White Mountains, even in the summer, so be prepared and get ready for a great hike!
White Mountain Saco Ranger District Office
Address: 33 Kancamagus Hwy, Conway, NH 03818
2. Visit beautiful backcountry waterfalls at Diana's Baths, Sabbaday Falls, and Rocky Gorge
North Conway is home to a stunning array of backcountry waterfalls, many of which are just a short walk from a nearby road. If you’re looking for an escape from the busy streets and outlet malls of North Conway a half day trip to one of these waterfalls might be the perfect escape. Diana’s Baths are perhaps the best known of the waterfalls, and are located just a short 10-20 minute walk on a flat gravel path while the popular Sabbaday Falls and Rocky Gorge are a 10-15 minute walk from the Kancamagus Highway on a gravel path and wooden steps.
Whether you’re looking for a short outing or a day of hiking to waterfalls, the backcountry falls in the White Mountains are sure to be a highlight of your trip to North Conway, NH.
Address: Kancamagus Highway, NH
Website: Rocky Gorge
Address: Kancamagus Highway, NH
Website: Sabbaday Falls
Address: 3725 West Side Rd, Bartlett, NH 03812
Website: Diana’s Baths
3. Shop until you drop at North Conway’s Settlers Green Outlet Village
New Hampshire is one of five states in the country without a statewide sales tax, making it a fantastic place to shop ‘til you drop. In North Conway, there’s no better place to satisfy your shopping cravings than at the Settlers Green Outlet Village. The Settlers Green Outlet Village is home to more than 70 national brand name outlets, stores, and restaurants in one convenient and beautiful location.
The vast majority of stores in the Outlet Village offer steep discounts on their in-store items and the Outlet Village also offers a coupon book that gives the intrepid shopper access to even more discounts. However, all that shopping can make one hungry, so don’t forget to stop by some of Settlers Green’s delicious eateries in the middle of the day. An excursion to the Settlers Green Outlet Village is a great family-fun activity that is sure to please everyone!
Settlers Green Outlet Village
Address: 2 Common Ct, North Conway, NH 03860
Website: Settlers Green Outlet Village
4. Go rock climbing at Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges
New Hampshire is known as the Granite State, and for good reason. Throughout New Hampshire, steep, towering granite cliffs dominate the landscape and provide ample terrain for dedicated climbers. Two of the most famous climbing areas in New Hampshire - Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges - are located just outside of North Conway and are home to world-class rock climbing with a beautiful view of the surrounding White Mountains. If you’re new to climbing, consider hiring a guide at one of the many local climbing guide services.
Traveling to North Conway in the winter? Not a problem, go ice climbing instead! In the winter months, the beautiful waterfalls that populate the White Mountain landscape turn into frozen climbing playgrounds for the intrepid mountaineer. Regardless of if you want to climb rock or ice, a day trip to climb one of these towering granite giants is one you’re sure to remember.
International Mountain Climbing School
Address: 2733 Main St, North Conway, NH 03860
5. Hit the slopes - ski at Wildcat or Attitash!
New Hampshire is home to thirty-four different ski resorts, many of which are conveniently located in the White Mountains. While most people long for warm summer days, the fun doesn’t need to stop when the mercury drops and the snow starts falling. If you’re traveling to North Conway in the winter, don’t miss your chance to ski at Wildcat and Attitash. Wildcat boasts 2,100 feet (640 meters) of vertical terrain and the longest ski season in New Hampshire. While Wildcat claims some fantastic expert-level terrain, it is also home to the longest beginner ski run in the state, making it a great spot for skiers of all abilities.
Wildcat’s sister resort, Attitash, is the largest ski resort in the area, with 68 trails and two mountains worth of terrain to ski. Lift tickets purchased at Attitash and Wildcat are good at both mountains, so don’t miss your chance to ski two of New Hampshire’s finest mountains in the same day!
Attitash Mountain Ski Area
Address: 775 U.S. 302, Bartlett, NH 03812
Website: Attitash Mountain Ski Area
Wildcat Mountain Ski Area
Address: 542 Route 16, Pinkham Notch, Gorham, NH 03581
Website: Wildcat Mountain Ski Area
6. Visit the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center
At 6,288 feet (1,916 meters) and on top of the Northeast’s highest peak, Mount Washington, sits the Mount Washington Observatory. Located at the confluence of several frequent storm tracks, the summit of Mount Washington is known for some extreme weather, such as its once record-breaking maximum wind speed of 231 mph (372 km/h). A team of scientists inhabits the observatory on Mount Washington year round, collecting meteorological data and forecasting the next big storm.
Down in North Conway, the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center is the perfect place to experience the wonders of these meteorological events without the extreme conditions. This interactive science museum is great for people of all ages and boasts a variety of exhibits and presentations designed to educate the public about the weather we experience every day. Don’t skip a visit to the Mount Washington Weather Discovery Center during your next trip to North Conway!
Mount Washington Weather Discovery Center
Address: 2779 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860
7. Travel along the Conway Scenic Railroad
The Conway Scenic Railroad is a heritage railway that runs two historic rail lines from the center of North Conway. The railroad journey departs from a Victorian-era station and features vintage railcars from the 1920s. You can choose from four excursions, two of which travel through the Mount Washington Valley and two of which travel through rugged mountain terrain in the Crawford Notch. The shorter “valley” excursions travel either to Conway or Bartlett on historic rail routes past rolling farmland, dense woodlands, and steep mountain ranges. The longer “notch” trips take about half a day and travel along the former Maine Central Railroad’s famed Mountain Division Line along tracks built in the 1870s.
On both trips, you’ll be treated to live onboard commentary about the history of the railroad and the surrounding areas. A trip along the Conway Scenic Railroad is a great experience for people of all ages and is a great way to see the beauty of the White Mountains in a historic setting.
Conway Scenic Railroad
Address: 38 Norcross Cir, North Conway, NH 03860
Website: Conway Scenic Railroad
8. Go for a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway
The Kancamagus Highway is an American Scenic Byway that travels through the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, right outside North Conway. Trailheads and scenic overlooks populate the road, giving motorists and recreationalists the opportunity to better appreciate the beautiful landscape surrounding them. While hiking opportunities are plentiful along the road, driving the Kancamagus Highway is a worthy activity unto itself, especially in the autumn months when the fall foliage makes for some spectacular views.
The highway starts in Conway, New Hampshire and ends on the west side of the White Mountain National Forest in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The roundtrip takes a few hours, but you can also combine the drive with a day trip to Lincoln to really get the full White Mountain experience. Just remember to fill up on gasoline before you go - there are no amenities along the road - but in any case, it’s sure to be an adventure!
Address: Kancamagus Highway, NH
Website: Kancamagus Highway
9. Visit Conway, Bartlett, and Jackson's historic covered bridges
New Hampshire is full of historic covered bridges, and the North Conway area is no exception. These beautiful historic landmarks were all built in the 1800s and serve as constant reminders of New Hampshire’s rich history. Within an hour’s drive from North Conway, you can see three bridges, in Conway, Bartlett, and Jackson, each with a unique design and feel. While some of the bridges, such as the one in Jackson, are still open for motorized traffic, others, such as the Bartlett bridge, are now home to gift shops and stores. A short tour of the covered bridges in the North Conway area is a great half day activity for those interested in the beauty and history of the Mount Washington Valley.
Covered Bridge Map
Website: Covered Bridge Map
10. Drink up at North Conway’s Moat Mountain and Tuckerman Brewing Companies
While the White Mountains are best known for their hiking and outdoor opportunities, they are also home to some of the Northeast’s finest breweries. Located in the North Conway area, Moat Mountain and Tuckerman Brewing Companies boast some fantastic local brews. Moat Mountain is a combination brewery and smokehouse, making it a great place for dinner and drinks after a day of adventure in the White Mountains.
If you’re looking for a brewery tour and tasting session, head to Tuckerman’s, where you can learn about the process of making their award winning beer before enjoying a flight of beers at the tasting room. Many of these beers aren’t available outside northern New Hampshire, so don’t miss your chance to experience the best of North Conway at Moat Mountain and Tuckerman Brewing Companies!
Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company
Address: 3378 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860
Tuckerman Brewing Company
Address: 66 Hobbs St, Conway, NH 03818
Website: Tuckerman Brewing Company
Experience the beauty of the White Mountains
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling rock climbing adventure or a scenic train ride through historic notches, there is an activity in North Conway for you. Choose from an assortment of outdoor excursions and indoor destinations to make your next trip to North Conway one to remember.
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