Cozy New England Charm in White Mountains
For many, the quintessential image of wintertime coziness is a crackling fireplace in a New England farmhouse set amid snow-covered mountains. At The Christmas Farm Inn and Spa, such scenes are par for the course. Built in 1786 on a 15-acre tract of land in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the inn’s main house is the picture of early American charm, from the wide-plank floors and patchwork quilts to, yes, the wood-burning fireplace.
Each of the bed-and-breakfast’s eighteen uniquely decorated main-inn guestrooms and salt-box guestrooms has a yule-themed moniker, such as Sleigh Bells, Blitzen, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The latter room—which owes its spaciousness to the fact that it used to be two rooms—features cherry furniture, plaid curtains, and an ottoman constructed from holiday fruitcakes deemed too dense to eat. The carriage house rests on the hillside just above the main house and boasts a great room with a stone fireplace, elegant rooms with two-person whirlpool tubs, and easy access to the AVEDA concept spa's steam and massage rooms, relaxation lounge, and seven treatment rooms.
The indoor pool and jacuzzi offer aquatic recreation and relaxation, and on the porch, white rocking chairs face the picturesque summits of the Presidential Range. For dinner, chef Stan Shafer cooks up New England classics such as clam chowder as well as innovative dishes such as maple-pecan salmon. Next door, the Mistletoe Pub offers a convivial atmosphere to go along with its frothy brews.
Jackson, New Hampshire: Mountain Splendor, Covered Bridges, and White-Steeple Churches
Surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest on all sides, the sleepy town of Jackson presents an idyllic respite from workaday bustle. The meadows, lakes, and mountain peaks dotting the landscape also make it a haven for hikers, paddlers, and feral hobbits. Seasonal activities such as downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and snowmobiling are readily accessible either at the inn or within a 20-minute drive.
A drive along White Mountain Scenic Byway gives an up-close view of the area’s natural splendor as well as its covered bridges, white-steeple churches, and quaint country cottages. Once the snow starts to fall, cross-country skiers can traverse nearly 100 miles of groomed trails leading in every direction. Neighboring ski resorts lure downhill skiers and snowboarders to their powdery slopes.