48 Hours: North Conway, N.H., has mountains and rivers and bears, Oh My!

Posted September 30, 2023


NORTH CONWAY, NH – New England is filled with beautiful scenery all year round, from the rolling hills in Massachusetts, the stunning beaches along the coast and the famous colors that fill the trees in Vermont every fall. A weekend in North Conway will fulfill a desire to experience what New England is all about. Known for its hiking, skiing, shopping and much more, the area has something for everyone. Home to New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, opportunities for hiking and sightseeing are endless and range for all ages and abilities. In the winter, North Conway has some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the Northeast United States, and during the rest of the year many of those areas are transformed into attractions for the whole family. North Conway is the perfect destination for anyone in search of a beautiful adventure.

View of Mt. Washington from Intervale Scenic Vista (Photos by Charlotte Snoonian).



It’s lunchtime, so head to downtown North Conway for the perfect, casual spot for a meal. Located on White Mountain Hwy, this family-friendly area is home to a plethora of restaurants, cafes and shops with something for everyone. During the warmer months, families can hang out at the playground and then enjoy an ice cream. When it’s colder, stop into one of the many cafes for a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Checking In

No matter what kind of trip you are looking for, there will be an accommodation perfect for you. The North Conway Grand Hotel is a five-minute drive to downtown, and is adjacent to outlet shopping. With an outdoor and indoor pool, spa, fitness center, arcade and restaurant, this hotel is the perfect place to stay for families at any time of the year.

Just a 10-minute drive to downtown North Conway, Nordic Village Resort is in Jackson, NH. This spot has a variety of room categories, some being pet friendly, some having full kitchens, and some rooms sleeping up to ten people. Very family friendly, there is an indoor and outdoor pool, adult-only pool, fitness center, playground, hiking trails, and much more. All year round, Nordic Village is a stunning place to stay.

After checking into a hotel, relax and explore the area. There is so much to do right on site at many hotels in and around North Conway, so spend the afternoon relaxing by a pool, shopping or enjoying the gorgeous views.

Friday Evening

For dinner, head back to downtown North Conway for pubs or pizza. Nearby, Via Roma Pizza and Mediterranean will satisfy your calzone, pizza or Mediterranean craving. The restaurant has a large menu filled with Mediterranean plates, subs, wraps and so much more. If you aren’t craving Italian food, try A Taste of Thai or Wicked Fresh Craft Burgers, both located right in North Conway.

After dinner, catch a gorgeous sunset at one of the scenic lookouts of The White Mountains highest peak, Mt. Washington. At Intervale Scenic Vista, there is a stunning view of Mt. Washington, and the sky makes the view even more serene during the evening.



Saturday will be full of adventure, so start the day off with a good breakfast. At the North Conway Grand Hotel, Mountainside Restaurant serves breakfast buffet style, and children under three years old eat free. Downtown, the Stairway Cafe has a small menu but a warm and unique atmosphere. Also downtown, Priscilla’s has a larger menu with plenty of options for kids and charming ambience. Spend the rest of the morning exploring the quirky country stores and shops up and down the street.

The serene trails of The Flume Gorge.


Take advantage of the gorgeous nature all around. The Flume Gorge is a two-mile walking loop through a natural gorge between granite walls.

Although it is a longer hike, it is relatively easy because it doesn’t involve any climbing or too much uphill travel. The trail is entirely on a boardwalk and has stairs.

If you want to experience the natural beauty but don’t want to hike, there are a lot of areas off the Kancamagus Hwy., where people can park and relax near rivers, basins and trails.

The Swift River runs right next to the highway, so pack a picnic and enjoy the company of friends and family next to the water. Even just driving through the Kancamagus will show the true beauty of the White Mountains.


After a day of exploring, a nice dinner is much needed. There are lots of brewing companies in the area, including The Muddy Moose and Sea Dog Brewing Company. Go to Stonehurst Manor for a unique experience and spectacular mountain views. The 19th century hotel is home to Wild Rose Restaurant and has a menu filled with seafood, pizza and exquisite desserts.

The stunning sunrise view from a room at Nordic Village.



Pick another one of the many cafes in downtown North Conway.

If you aren’t into hiking or being outside, the North Conway Scenic Railroad will give you the chance to see the beauty of the area without being outside and is very family friendly.

Pick from a variety of trip options that range in prices, routes and times. The views are stunning at any time of the year, but during the fall the vibrant leaves surround the railroad and offer an even more incredible view.


End the trip with another hike before you go or visit one of the ski mountains that are open all year round. Cranmore Mountain Resort offers great skiing during the winter, but the rest of the year they have a mountain coaster, mountain biking and a scenic chairlift. With younger children, StoryLand is a children’s theme park with more than 30 attractions. If the weather isn’t great, right next to StoryLand there is an aquarium the kids will also enjoy. Clark’s Bears offers unique attractions for kids of all ages.

If You Go