Historical Resort Overlooking White Mountain Range
Eons of erosion helped to create the distinct rock formations that make up the White Mountains, a towering Appalachian range stretching across northern New Hampshire. Though it isn't prehistoric, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa has been carefully sculpted over a long period, too. The first iteration of the resort was as a 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 Revivalist building is what you see today: a massive resort sprawled out like the magnificent peaks that surround it.
Situated on 1,700 forested acres, the resort stands out at night as a vast blaze of light against the dusky woods. It has a light display powered entirely by green energy, much of which comes from a 121-foot wind turbine that rotates out back.
In springtime, you can play a round at the resort's nine-hole golf course, which has 360-degree views of three mountain ranges. Links magazine named it one of New England's Top 25 Courses. After a full day out on the course or in the mountains, pay a visit to the award-winning spa to decompress with a massage or immersion in the 252-jet, mountain-water-filled soaking tub.
There's an eclectic selection of dining options on the property, too. The main dining room is an elegant venue with views of the Presidential Range; its chefs whip up French specialties such as duck à l'orange. Alternatively, the Tavern serves up pub fare and local draft beers.
Like many places in the resort, the Grand View guest rooms have a nice view of the peaks; many come with private balconies.
The White Mountains: Hiking and Fishing in Protected Natural Wilderness
You can get a nice snapshot of pre-colonial New England when you visit the nearly 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest, located fewer 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 too. The forest shelters several endangered species, such as the White Mountain butterfly, Canada lynx, and the isolationist poet.
In the spring, the focus for outdoorsy activity shifts from skiing to hiking. On the area's well-kept trails, you can often see moose, foxes, and other native wildlife. The forest is also home to a number of fishing ponds and scenic and wild rivers that are good for paddling.