Over the tops of the apple trees, clouds gather in the distance above the hazy, rolling mountains. Thirteen types of apples thrive here, and have for nearly a century. Row upon row of golden delicious, macintosh, and honeycrisp apples blossom and grow throughout the summer, before droves of folks come to pluck the ripe fruit from the heavy branches. In the summertime, strawberries and peaches multiply beneath the sun, and in the fall, the staff bottle pressed, unpasteurized cider to toast hands faced with the mission of finding the perfect pumpkin that will hopefully transform into a carriage this time.
Innkeepers Ilja and Brad can point the way to prime hiking paths and wildlife-sighting hotspots, such as Moose Alley, a road famous for moose sightings. Slightly farther afield, Franconia Notch State Park and Crawford Notch State Park fall under the shadow of the White Mountains—a chain with 48 peaks that top 4,000 feet. Within Franconia Notch, skiers at Cannon Mountain can hit the same runs that Olympian Bode Miller learned on.To complete the picturesque landscape, covered bridges with crosshatched beams or latticed siding near Bath, Lincoln, and Lancaster lure pedestrians to imagine life as a presidential dog walker. Other pieces of the past lurk in Bethlehem's smattering of antique stores, which offer New Hampshire's tax-free shopping.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Tucked into the rolling greenery of the White Mountains, The Woodshed Restaurant resides in a converted 19th-century farmhouse and barn. The decor reflects the rustic charm of the setting, but the menu features plenty of modern treats. Chefs coat duck breast and confit leg in a cherry port wine reduction, or age steak tips in a sweet bourbon marinade. Though inland, they're still close enough to the sea to get fresh scallops, which they wrap in applewood bacon and serve alongside fire-roasted corn salsa. They follow up meals with all-American desserts such as apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, Denver chocolate pudding, and the chef's choice of flavored cheesecake.
The food at Mediocre Deli & Pub isn’t mediocre; in fact, it’s “well above mediocre” according to the Portland Press Herald, which added that its unique name is “a badge of deli confidence, eye-catching and ironic.” Owner Aaron Plourde and his wife Cindy may have a sense of humor about the deli’s name, but his deli’s food is downright serious.
They stock their sandwich station with five kinds of cheese and a huge variety of fresh breads. Design-your-own pizzas heap savory meats, cheeses, and veggies atop freshly made crusts. They also dish lighter eats, such as salads, kids' meals, and Maine-style italian sandwiches.
The Restaurant’s head chef, Siobhan Magee-Bonaficio, unpacks deliveries daily from local purveyors, eschewing frozen ingredients in her recipes for fresh chicken, steak, and seafood. A busy grill works overtime, searing entrees such as Mill Street steak tips ($18) and a slew of handcrafted half-pound burgers, including the Elvis ($11), which, like the King’s white jumpsuit, comes stuffed with bacon and peanut butter. The New England clam chowder ($7) sates those on a gluten-free diet, and vegetarians spear veggie rangoons ($9) paired with house-made polynesian hot mustard and asian barbecue sauces. Groups conclude meals with s’mores, served tableside with a miniature flame, toasting forks, a basket of marshmallows, and complimentary choruses of "Kumbaya."
What began as a familial distaste for plain, traditional birthday cakes has blossomed into Dirt On A Cake, a family-run ice-cream-cake emporium specializing in uniquely flavored sweets. The confectionary's signature dipped dirt cakes submerge ice-cream cupcakes—like high-school principal dunkings in Candyland—in a layer of rich milk chocolate. Party-sized ice-cream cakes sate 15–20 appetites, and personal-sized ice-cream cupcakes provide solo treats to on-the-go desserters. Dozens of specialty flavors include blueberry ginger, stout, and peppermint mocha.
It's hard to miss the chunky, red-and-white checkerboard pattern that cover's Goodheart's Pizza Parlor's exterior. And inside, a big black-and-white checkerboard coats the floor while walls pop with a stunning attention-grabbing yellow. So it's easy to see why customers are attracted to the pizzeria, and lucky for them, Goodheart's pizza delivers bold flavors that match the boldness of its decor. Specialty pizzas include the jalapeño-laced Tex-Mex pie, the feta-dotted greek pie, and the pickle-adorned cheeseburger pizza, which features ketchup and mustard in lieu of tomato sauce. Hearty traditional slices abound, too, like the Meat Lovers, vegetarian, and hawaiian, along with hot sub sandwiches and plates of pasta served with meatballs shaped like golf balls.