Views of the White Mountains from Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s scenic White Mountains region is most famous for gorgeous Mt. Washington. At 6288 feet, this beauty comes in as the highest mountain peak in the Northeast. Hiking, a scenic cog railroad ride to the summit, and driving the Mt. Washington auto road are all popular activities during the summer months.

You may have noticed people with a bumper sticker that reads “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington.” The sticker refers to the steep mountain road that you will encounter as you drive 7.6 miles up to to the summit. On a unique note, this popular drive is the oldest man-made tourist attraction in the US!

However, don’t rule out a winter vacation just yet. This gorgeous quaint area of New England is a winter wonderland this time of year. With endless opportunities for winter recreation in the beautiful White Mountains, New Hampshire is the ideal destination for a winter getaway. Those who love winter sports and plenty of snow will never run out of things to do. Take a look at just a few of the top winter activities to enjoy during your winter vacation to scenic New Hampshire.

Cross country skiing at Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods is one of the premier places to ski in New Hampshire. Recently, the resort claimed the number one spot on Ski Magazine’s list of the best overall ski areas. With 49 trails, Bretton makes the list of biggest Nordic centers in the East. Skiing through the scenic White Mountains is an incredible experience. The forest views, the remote setting, and the variety of trails easily make Bretton Woods a must-do on any New Hampshire winter vacation.

Location: 99 Ski Area Rd Bretton Woods, NH 03575

Check out these gorgeous views! It was a rough 3 hour workout, but well worth it for the incredible scenery.

Cross country skiing at Bretton Woods Nordic Center - New Hampshire

Sleigh rides and skating at Nestlenook Farms

Nestlenook Farms is the picture-perfect New England winter wonderland. The old-fashioned Victorian ice rink, complete with chime music and a snowy mountain backdrop, looks as if it is a scene straight out of a snowglobe. A festive horse drawn sleigh rides takes you on a scenic journey around the farm, complete with romantic snowy views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Both activities are musts on any winter visit to the area, especially around the holidays. Visiting Nestlenook is pretty close to recreating an idyllic Hallmark Christmas movie fantasy!

Location: 66 Dinsmore Rd, Jackson, NH 03846

What a gorgeous setting for a sleigh ride! I was lucky enough to capture this shot with no one else in the picture!

Horse drawn sleigh ride at Nestlenook Farm in Jackson, New Hampshire

I have never seen an ice rink in a more beautiful setting! What a perfect holiday treat!

Nestlenook Farms ice rink in Jackson, New Hampshire

A weekend getaway at a rustic lodge

Bear Mountain Lodge has been rated amongst the top bed and breakfasts in the US. This charming New Hampshire inn is located in Bethlehem, which is nestled right in the heart of the gorgeous White Mountains. In addition to a featuring stunning log cabin design elements and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains, inn amenities include complimentary use of snowshoes, a delicious homecooked breakfast, and guided snowshoe tours (for a small fee).

Discount tickets to Bretton Woods and Cannon Mountain (both ski resorts are located just a 15 minute drive away) are available to guests interested in downhill and cross country skiing.

Location: 3249 Main St, Bethlehem, NH 03574

The log cabin design and remote location make this lodge the perfect winter escape!

Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, New Hampshire

The onsite snowshoe trails

Snowshoeing at Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, New Hampshire

Winter sports in the White Mountains

Greely Ponds trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

Although summer is the ideal time to visit New England’s beautiful 800,000 acre forest, winter also provides a picturesque setting for numerous activities including: cross country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, and skiing/snowboarding. Omni Mount Washington Resort, Cannon Mountain, and Attitash Mountain Resort feature some of the best skiing in the state.

Visit the White Mountains National Forest website for additional information regarding seasonal activities.

 More Fun Winter Ideas

*Take a SnowCoach ride up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. A SnowCoach tour allows you to enjoy the incredible snowy winter scenery even when the road is not open to the public. Tours run from December through March.

*Visit The Christmas Loft in North Conway. This festive year-round shop is a must visit, whether or not the Christmas season is near.

*Visit Settlers’ Green Outlets in North Conway, a year-round tax free shopping destination. Here you will find over 60 outlet stores. I was pleased with the Brookstone outlet, which offers tremendous discounts on many of the same items found in the regular store.

*Enjoy a weekend dinner at the Muddy Moose Restaurant and Pub in North Conway. Get out of the cold and warm yourself up in the cozy, log cabin inspired dining room. Food and service are great as well!