Since it first opened its doors in 1956, the Town and Country Inn has been a key stopover during New Hampshire's presidential primaries. In fact, every president since Richard Nixon has stayed at the inn. Located in the heart of the White Mountains, about a three-hour drive north of Boston, the Town and Country Inn is a comfortable base from which to explore the surrounding wilderness or descend a staircase that once bested Gerald Ford.
Located beneath a vaulted wooden ceiling and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, the indoor heated pool and jacuzzi allow guests to swim year round. In the hotel’s dining room, chefs prepare daily breakfast dishes such as omelets ($6.95) and belgian waffles ($4.95), and dinner entrees including roast prime rib of beef ($19.95) and fresh Maine lobster (market price). To burn off a big meal, head to the health club or try out one of the nearby hiking and biking trails that lead into the White Mountains and Great North Woods. There are also four nearby golf courses, including Androscoggin Valley Country Club just across the street.
Northeast Snowmobile Rentals has locations in Gorham, New Hampshire, and Fryeburg, Maine; that puts them right next to the vast system of snowmobiling trails near the White Mountain National Forest and surrounding areas. Head to one of their facilities and you can choose from a herd of brand new Arctic Cat snowmobiles, as well as single- and double-sleds.
The team has mapped out a well-marked system of trails where you can take self-guided snowmobiling tours. Beforehand, a team member will equip you with a helmet and a map of the area so you won’t have to ask a local moose for directions. Northeast Snowmobile Rentals can also equip riders with boots, gloves, bibs, overalls, and jackets for each journey.
A network of 40 trails, including and six gladed trails, cut through the 249 acres at Shawnee Peak, which offers 98% snowmaking coverage. Slopes range from beginners to experts-only, with names such as Fat and Happy, Poacher's Paradise, and The Vain. The mountain also features three terrain parks—one of which is designed for children—brimming with air-bestowing features such as box jumps and the newly added BigAirBag. The five lifts that service these slopes run late into the evening for night skiing, which keeps 19 trails open and sometimes culminates in moon-lit ski races and whispered discussions about which famed 1924 skier is haunting the bathroom.
A more than 75-year-old ski school prepares visitors of all ages to tackle the mountain's slopes, while day-care providers watch over future skiers. In classes suited to adventurers as young as four years old, professionally trained instructors guide small groups of skiers and riders through basic to advanced techniques of skiing and snowboarding. Throughout each season, the resort hosts a variety of activities and events.