Hotel at a Glance: The Mountain Club on Loon
Perched on a scenic bluff in White Mountain National Forest, The Mountain Club on Loon overlooks forested slopes and the rushing waters of the Pemigewasset River. The expansive resort feels quiet and secluded, but there's no shortage of activities here. Guests can book a massage at the three-story Viaggio Spa or ski and snowboard on Loon Mountain— ranked among the top 10 eastern ski resorts by Ski Magazine—all without leaving the property.
- Awards and press: Thanks in part to a $9 million renovation, The Mountain Club earned TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence in 2013. Fodor's commended its "clean and modern update," which included the addition of a large stone fireplace.
- Spacious suites: Suites can easily sleep a whole family—each has a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and a living room with two sleeper sofas.
- A room with a view: Large picture windows look out onto the rolling landscape from every room. All suites and some king club rooms have private balconies as well.
- Pool-side relaxation: The Mountain Club on Loon sports both an indoor and outdoor pool that customers can enjoy.
- Eat like a local: The resort's restaurant serves regional cuisine, including New England clam chowder, crab cakes, and lobster rolls on griddled hot-dog buns.
- Extra perks: Groupon customers will get a $25 credit toward any 50-minute service at Viaggio Spa, such as a hot-stone massage or Dead Sea mud wrap, and a $25 credit toward dinner at The Black Diamond Pub with the purchase of two entrees (does not cover alcohol).
Lincoln, New Hampshire: New England Town amid Ski Slopes and Forests
Formerly a mill town, Lincoln is now home to a modest collection of roadside diners and antique shops. But many visitors are drawn to Lincoln for its proximity to the White Mountains. Loon Mountain, the closest peak, looms 3,050 feet above town. The mountain is best known for its ski slopes—there are 61 trails on 370 skiable acres—and one of New Hampshire's longest gondola rides, which leads to glacial caves and beginning, intermediate, and advanced trails.
Just northeast of town, Franconia Notch State Park boasts the Flume Gorge as well as the former site of the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation that remains New Hampshire’s state emblem despite having collapsed. Photogenic nature scenes can be found at almost every turn here. Birch trees jut out of the cliffs and thick mats of moss sprawl over giant boulders. In winter, blankets of snow add to the air of tranquility.