North Conway is known as a major destination for skiing – Cranmore is right downtown, and Attitash, Loon, Wildcat, Cannon, and several more resorts are within 40 minutes’ drive. But if you don’t ski, don’t worry! There is plenty to do on your winter vacation in North Conway without having to strap on the sticks or board. If the rest of your group is planning to head to the chairlifts, you can take advantage of these 10 fun North Conway winter activities.
There are 2 options for ice skating in North Conway- Schouler Park or the Ham Arena. At Schouler Park, you can rent skates and take a turn around the outdoor rink while taking in the village sites.The park is always decorated with Christmas lights and light-up snowflakes; it’s a true winter wonderland. It’s a great time with some fun people watching! Ham Arena is where the local hockey players practice, and it features a large, very well-maintained indoor rink. There are free skating hours, but it’s also fun to watch the local talent. Non-skaters can sit in the bleachers, listen to the music, and watch the fun.
Do you have a need for speed? Enjoy the thrill of speeding downhill, but without the skis or snowboard! With a moving walkway to take you up the hill, the tubing hill at Cranmore is easy fun. It’s open for all day and features nighttime hours too. It’s all the fun of sledding without having to find a hill and hike up it. Just sit back, relax, and glide. Since it’s right at the ski mountain, the skiers in the group can head out for their day of fun, while the rest can tube the day away and relax at the base lodge.
At the Farm by the River in North Conway, embark on a scenic sleigh ride through the fields with views to Cranmore and the frozen Saco River. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time to a simpler, quieter era. In Jackson, head over to the Nestlenook Farm for a ride on an Austrian sleigh around the 70 acre Victorian farm. Dress warm and snuggly and glide through the forest. Cap it off by cozying up to the fire in your very own vacation rental home.
Rent a sled and take a guided tour through the national forest, or find your own adventure on the extensive local trail system. (It’s actually possible to snowmobile all the way to Canada from North Conway!) Local operations include: Northern Extremes, Let’s Ride and Northeast Snowmobile Rentals. If you’re new to snowmobiling, guided tours are your best bet, as you’ll learn the basics on rented equipment while getting a good feel for operating a sled. Then you can step it up and head out into the wilds on your own!
You can’t come to North Conway without getting a little retail therapy. From Coach to Ralph Lauren to LL Bean to Banana Republic, there are plenty of options for finding yourself a little something special. Settlers Green is a major outlet shopping center, with huge tax-free discounts on your favorite brads. There are also many wonderful local shops in downtown North Conway, from the quaint Five and Dime to the gifting haven called The Penguin Shop.
Mountain biking has become a 4 season sport in North Conway thanks to fat bikes. Get a fat bike rental at Stan and Dan’s, the Red Jersey, Bob and Terry’s or Great Glen trails. See our recommendations on where to ride fat bikes here. Fat bikes have a wider tire with better grip to provide traction and stability on the ice.
There’s some excellent beer brewed in North Conway. Stop by the tasting room at Tuckerman’s and enjoy brews and board games with live music. Pair a beer with a bite at the Moat Mountain Smokehouse or the Sea Dog. For even more local beer, stop into Barley and Salt where they have over 30 craft beers on tap. You can even head a bit further south to Tamworth to check out a local distillery!
Take the Snowcoach up to treeline on Mt Washington to see the beauty of the White Mountains and experience the subarctic climate of the tallest peak in the Northeast. Mt Washington is renowned for having the World’s Worst Weather, so check the forecast before booking your trip. On a nice clear day, nothing compares to the view from the top.
If you’re on vacation, why not treat yourself? Go to Be Well Studios for a yoga class and a massage. It’s right next door to The Local Grocer, where you can enjoy a nourishing, organic meal. There are several nail shops in town if you’re in the mood for a manicure. In Jackson, you can visit the Club at Christmas Mountain for a nice hot sauna.
When the lifts close, the apres ski fun begins. Belly up to the bar, order some nachos and sing along. Find apres ski fun at Matty B’s near Attitash, the Wildcat Tavern and the Shannon Door near Wildcat, or Deacon Street and Horsefeathers near Cranmore. Things get rowdy as the night goes on – you can even make a trip up to the Red Parka for some live music!
Need a place to stay during your visit?
Pinkham Vacation Rentals has over 50 properties to choose from. Visit our website today to find the perfect place to stay during your awesome North Conway vacation!