Four-Star Resort Overlooking White Mountain Range
Though it’s tucked into 1,700 forested acres amid New Hampshire’s gorgeous White Mountains, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa still found a way to stand out: it has a blazing light display powered entirely by green energy, much of which comes from a 121-foot wind turbine that rotates out back. The resort wasn’t always this conspicuous, though. It was originally a simple country inn, Mountain View House, which was first built on these slopes in 1866. After many additions and a complete 21st-century renovation, the colonial-revival building is what you see today: a massive resort sprawled out like the magnificent peaks that surround it.
After a full day out in the mountains, pay a visit to the award-winning spa to use your $100 resort credit and decompress with a massage or immerse yourself in the 252-jet, mountain-water-filled soaking tub. There's an eclectic selection of dining options on the property where you can use your credit, too. The main dining room is an elegant venue with views of the Presidential Range; chefs whip up French specialties such as duck à l'orange. Alternatively, the Tavern serves up pub fare and local draft beers.
White Mountains: Hiking and Fishing in Protected Natural Wilderness
You can get a nice snapshot of precolonial New England when you visit the nearly 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest, located less than 10 miles south of the resort. Dozens of 4,000-foot crests hang above six designated federal wilderness areas; 100 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail meander through here as well. The forest shelters several endangered species, such as the white mountain butterfly, the canada lynx, and the isolationist poet.
In the winter, the focus for outdoorsy activity shifts from hiking to skiing. The area's well-kept trails include those at Loon Mountain, Waterville Valley, and Black Mountain. They’re all in close proximity, making it easy to ski several of them in a day. At Cannon Mountain, you’ll find 72 trails, as well as the highest ski summit and longest vertical drop in the entire state.