How to Spend 7 Days in North Conway, NH
North Conway, NH. Traveling by car, #roadtrip, is probably our most favorite way to travel, with train travel coming in for a close second. When driving long distances we set GPS to avoid toll roads. While avoiding tolls definitely saves us a fair amount of money, it’s more about traveling the backroads. Sure, it may take us a bit longer, but inevitably we enjoy the drive and we usually come across a few road wonders, such as this amazing steel truss bridge.
Washington Crossing Bridge
As we made our way home from North Conway, NH we were following the backroads and we came across this bridge, the Washington Crossing Bridge, which spans the Delaware River. The river is the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At 877 feet in length, the actual roadway is a grate and barely wide enough for two cars to pass. The original bridge was made of timber and constructed in 1834, near where General George Washington famously crossed the Delaware River in 1776.
Roaring down the highways may get you somewhere faster, and yes, we drive the highways too, but you won’t find an historic steel truss bridge on the highways.
North Conway, NH
It’s not often we get the opportunity to travel with those we love most. As it turned out, North Conway was the perfect destination for our family gathering. We spent seven days taking in the highlights of the area, and what fun we had!
Albany Covered Bridge
There’s something special about a covered bridge and there are four such bridges in/around North Conway. The Albany Bridge spans the Swift River and I must say the river’s name was chosen wisely. The original bridge was built in 1858 at a cost of $1,300. Today, it is maintained by the Town of Albany. We drove across the bridge two or three times on our various outings as it is just north of the Kancamagus Hwy. Here’s a travel tip: never miss the opportunity to see and/or drive across a covered bridge. They are Americana at its finest.
Echo Lake State Park
Echo Lake is a crisp cold 16-acre lake surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. A day at the lake offers visitors lots of beach and trail experiences. Albeit the beach span is somewhat small, there is still plenty of sandy areas along the shore. And, there are a multitude of picnic tables for a packed-in lunch.
Don’t forget your hiking shoes. At some point in the day be sure to take the 1-mile loop trail around the lake. It’s an easy flat trail, just watch out for the roots embedded in the trail.
Whether you’re tubing, paddle boarding, picnicking, hiking, or just soaking up the sun, a day at Echo Lake is a day of fun. Parking reservations are required. There are restrooms and changing rooms, as well as a small store.
Storyland Theme Park
Storyland Theme Park makes for a very fun day, especially if you happen to be traveling with a little one. The focus of the park is geared for ages two to twelve, but honestly, the adults had just as much fun. There’s something fun for every age.
The name says it all, Storyland. It’s all about tales such as the live Daniel the Tiger Show, or a meet/greet with Cinderella, or roaming through the ginormous shoe of the “Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.” There are water rides, a carousel, swan boats, a train, old-school cars to drive and the flying Dutch Shoes. Think Dumbo. And, there is a small petting zoo. There are two roller coasters. One of which is quite fast but geared toward five to twelve-years-old, but the other is a wooden roller coaster definitely for the older kids and adults.
All the standard fare is available at Storyland, with ample parking. Tickets can be purchased online. Once inside the park no cash in accepted. We took more videos than photos at Storyland, which you can watch on our Youtube Channel. Click here to watch.
Conway Scenic Railroad
If you enjoy trains, then you’ll enjoy a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad, even if it does pour rain all day. There are three main routes, The Conway Valley Train (55 minutes), the Mountaineer (4 – 5 hours) and the Sawyer River Excursion (2 hours) which is the trip we booked.
The rain was unfortunate, but we still enjoyed the experience. We booked tickets in the dome car, which put us up high for the views, which of course didn’t work out so well given the pouring rain. The train is comfortable, clean and the narration was interesting. We followed the river for maybe eleven miles before the engine switched tracks and moved to the opposite end of the train for the return trip. We captured it on video, which you can watch on our Youtube Channel. Click here to watch.
Outside food is not allowed on the train, but bag lunches are available for purchase (I believe you have to purchase at the time of booking) and the lunch actually looked quite good. Restrooms are available on the train and in the station.
White Mtn. Natl. Forest – Rocky Gorge
A visit to Rocky Gorge is a must. The force of the water (of the Swift River) was stunning with the copper-colored muddy water and white caps tumbling over the boulders with amazing power. The waterfall is a short easy walk from the parking lot. The gorge is located just off the Kancamagus Hwy, a short eight miles from North Conway.
Although swimming is not allowed, you can walk out onto the flat boulders to see the water somewhat close up. Apparently, there was a near-fatal accident back in the 1940’s, and ever since swimming has not been allowed. Having stood near the water, I can’t imagine anyone thinking it would be a good idea to attempt to swim.
To see and hear the power of the Rocky Gorge, click here to watch our Youtube Channel.
A short easy hike from the waterfall is Falls Pond. The reflections captured on the surface of the water were picture-perfect. There are several hiking trails that veer off from the pond, one of which is a loop trail around the pond. There is a $5 parking fee and restrooms are located near the parking lot.
Good Eats in Conway, NH
The food scene in Conway, NH did not disappoint. Not at all. We ate really well. As fate would have it, one driveway over from our vacation house was Leavitt’s Country Bakery. The bakery opens at 4:00 a.m. each morning (except Wednesdays) and they serve up some of the best doughnuts we’ve ever had, and we are a doughnut-loving family. But, we did not go at 4:00 a.m., although we may have acquired doughnuts on three occasions.
We discovered Cheese Louise and they had us at the word, cheese. The name alone is well-worth a visit. We loved it so much we went back a second time. By far the best grilled cheese sandwiches and mac-n-cheese we’ve had the pleasure of eating. Holy Moly they were good!
Who Wants Pizza?
Flatbread served up just what the name says. Flatbread pizzas baked in huge wood-fired pizza ovens. The salads were fresh and crisp with local greens, and the salad dressing was so tasty we bought two bottles. Dinner on the patio was an added plus.
Although it was gringo Mexican food, Fiesta Jalisco was surprisingly delicious, and a pitcher of Margaritas hit the spot on a warm summer afternoon dining on the patio. The portions were generous and we definitely needed a to-go box, or two.
Although we somehow don’t have photos, fish and chips at Sea Dog Brewery, was very good with yummy crispy coated haddock. Brunch at Peaches was also very good and it is a popular spot with the locals as well, so a wait on Sunday morning would not be out of the ordinary, but worth it.
North Conway, NH
It’s not often we get the opportunity to travel with those we love most. As it turned out, North Conway, NH was the perfect destination for our family gathering.
A year-round playground, and a popular camping destination, the area literally offers something for everyone. What do you think? Are you ready to explore North Conway and the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire?
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