Mt Washington Valley is perfect for free and affordable family fun in NH
NEWS FROM MT WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH – July, 2013
Contact: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, PR@MtWashingtonValley.org
WHY SPEND HUNDREDS WHEN YOU CAN FIND FREE VACATION FUN IN MT WASHINGTON VALLEY?
Your guide to fee-free vacation ideas in New Hampshire’s White Mountains
North Conway, NH – Summer time is vacation time in Mt Washington Valley. Home to the most affordable ski town in the East, according to TripAdvisor, it’s no surprise that the region also offers affordable and free fun in the summer too. The great American vacation doesn’t have to break the bank here. Families seeking affordable outdoor fun and adventure can spend a week in Mt Washington Valley for under $650 including lodging and daily adventure.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Adventure: Try a few of these free options, taking advantage of the 660,000 White Mountain National Forest surrounding Mt Washington Valley.
- Biking – Bring the bikes and set out through the forest on mountain bike trails. Prefer something on road? No problem – bike paths and wide shoulders accommodate peddlers on the road in this bike-friendly destination. Click here for some popular routes and trail ideas.
- Hiking – Stay a week and you’ll simply scratch the surface for fabulous hiking in Mt Washington Valley. Stay a year, and you’ll still find new family hikes for the whole family! From waterfalls to swimming holes along the way, the White Mountain National Forest offers family adventure daily. Click here for some of the more popular family hikes. Note: a parking fee is required at any of the White Mountain National Forest parking locations.
- Natural Swimming Holes & beaches – Kids love pools, but it’s the natural kind that they’ll tell everyone about when they return to school in September and talk about the highlights of their vacations. The whole family will love Mt Washington Valley’s swimming holes, rivers and lakes for the refreshing and clean waters that promise to cool you off on the hottest days. Mt Washington Valley is filled with brooks and rivers offering access for tubing, and incredibly, an inland beach too. Grab an inner tube and float down the river or sit beneath running water in a babbling brook; either way, you’ll cool right off on a warm summer day and enjoy a day on the water too. Click here for great swimming ideas.
- Fishing: Mt. Washington Valley offers anglers a variety of excellent opportunities for catching brook and rainbow trout, along with small mouth bass, perch, pickerel, salmon and bullheads. Who knows, you might even catch sight of a bald eagle watching attentively from a perch above, or happen upon a beaver or otter while you're fishing. New Hampshire fishing licenses are required for residents age 16 and older and all non-residents who are interested in fishing. Click here for suggestions of the best spots for fishing.
- Letterboxing: If the thrill of the hunt is what you seek then that's what you'll find in the villages with the highest peak. Search high and low throughout this town and gather all of your stamps to earn your letter-boxing crown! Letterboxing is a favorite adventure among families who follow clues to earn stamps where ever they travel. Click here for many clues to gathering stamps all-the-while exploring fun businesses in Mt Washington Valley. Best of all, it’s a day of free adventure!
- Aerial views from atop Cathedral Ledge: Renowned among rock climbers as the ideal climbing ground, visitors to the area can drive to the top of Cathedral Ledge and park then walk to the ideal viewing spot for an aerial view of Mt Washington Valley. Time it right, and you just might see a climber come up over the top of the ledge. Be sure to bring your camera. No admission charge to drive the Cathedral Ledge Road; access off West Side Road in North Conway.
Free Family Events & Attractions:
- Tuesday nights at the movies: Tuesday nights are movie nights at Settlers’ Green Outlet Village through August, where family-oriented (G or PG-rated) films are shown at dusk on a giant 16-foot outdoor movie theater. Comfy outdoor chairs are set up for the first 30 people, and ice cream and popcorn are available. It’s a free event each Tuesday, starting at dusk. Pre-movie activities begin at 7 p.m. and include face painting, movie trivia with prizes. Info: http://settlersgreen.com/events/news-and-press.
- Wednesday Science in the Mountain Series: This free lecture series for your budding geologists and animal lovers takes place on six successive Wednesdays from July 17- August 21 at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway. From bats to black bear, the series will focus on a different topic each week. All programs start at 7pm. For a complete schedule, visit http://www.mountwashington.org/education/science_in_the_mountains/.
- Wednesdays at Wildcat Outdoor Tours: Here’s a great chance to explore Wildcat Mountain with a professional naturalist and guide who’ll teach a different aspect of Pinkham Notch’s diverse ecology each Wednesday. Enjoy a guided hike and learn about a different topic each week including flora and fauna of the forest, pond eco-systems or high alpine environments. Meet at the guest services desk at 10am to take part in this free series. Note: any tours taking place at the summit require the purchase of a Scenic Gondola ticket for each person. For a complete schedule, visit http://www.skiwildcat.com/events.html?id=5214.
- Free Scenic Chairlift Rides at Bretton Woods: What a way to enjoy spectacular views of Mount Washington! Hop aboard the Bethlehem Express Quad at Bretton Woods Resort for a free and relaxing chairlift ride to the top of the mountains. Bring a picnic and hike down, or enjoy lunch at the mountain top restaurant. For those who enjoy a little more thrill, attach your mountain bike to the chairlift and ride down! Now through October 22nd, visitors are treated to one chairlift ride per day, from 9am to close (5pm in summer, 4pm in fall). Info: http://brettonwoods.com/activities/adventure_center/scenic_lift_rides.
- Weather Discovery Center: Visit the only museum in the country totally focused on weather. This museum teaches children about everything from how wind works to a simulation of what it was like to be atop Mount Washington when the highest winds were recorded. Kids can even take their place in front of the “green screen” and pretend to be a meteorologist on camera! A trip to the Weather Discovery Center promises new facts and findings for the smallest to the tallest of weather buffs. Admission is free thanks to the generosity of sponsors who cover the cost of visitors’ admission.
Choose from ten campgrounds offering everything from mountain views to riverfront sites and yurts to rustic and cozy cabins. Basic tent sites start at about $40 per night. For a touch of the unusual, opt for Frost Mountain Yurts or rent a trailer or a waterfront camping cabin from Danforth Bay Camping & RV Resort with bluff-top views, with rates around $100-$130 per night. Another option is the White Mountain Hostel where family rooms accommodating two adults and two children are $58 for non-holiday nights. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) offers two options for family lodge accommodations with food included at the AMC Highland Lodge in Crawford Notch and Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch, not to mention White Mountain Hut accommodations for hiking families. Plus, to give you plenty of time to explore, stay four nights at any of the AMC destinations and you’ll get the 5th night free, when you stay Sunday through Friday through August. Be sure to reserve any of these options in advance; because they are highly affordable they’re also popular. Average price for five nights lodging at Mt Washington Valley’s affordable options varies by options and locations - $200-$600+.
Consult the Conway Daily Sun or the Mountain Ear, two free newspapers distributed throughout Mt Washington Valley, for great dining specials, 2-for-1 offers and coupons for dining. Specials vary from week to week, and with 75 different restaurants to choose from, you can be sure you’ll find something for every palette and budget.
For more ideas for affordable fun in Mt Washington Valley, visit www.MtWashingtonValley.org. There you will find listings for lodging, attractions, adventure, dining, golf, theater and arts, and hundreds of vacation specials. And speaking of free, your shopping is tax-free! No sales tax in New Hampshire, so Mt Washington Valley is your back-to-school shopping headquarters too, with more than 200 outlets, shops and stores. To talk to a Mt Washington Valley vacation concierge, call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364). To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, visit www.VisitNH.gov.
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High and low res photos available. Contact Marti Mayne at PR@MtWashingtonvalley.org.