Hotel at a Glance: The Beacon Resort
When 93-year-old Jess Guernsey discovered the Flume Gorge in 1808, she rushed home to tell her family, who couldn’t believe her fantastical description—a narrow canyon awash with rapids and waterfalls, flanked by towering granite walls. Today, you can take in this gorgeous sight from a boardwalk built along the gorge, a popular destination within about a mile of The Beacon Resort. Located amid the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the resort is close to hiking trails, lakes, and the ski slopes at nearby Loon Mountain.
Because the property dates back to the 1940s and has evolved throughout the years, guest rooms are sprinkled throughout different buildings. The floral-accented front-view rooms, which have flat-screen TVs and pillow-top mattresses, overlook the pool and playground. Comfortable and contemporary west wing units are housed in a two-story structure located behind the main building.
Run by three generations of the Clermont family, the inn offers plenty of kid-friendly entertainment between the playground, the game room, and indoor and outdoor pools. The owners’ homey influence shines through in Dad’s Restaurant, an onsite eatery specializing in prime rib, lobster-stuffed jumbo shrimp, and other surf ‘n’ turf dishes. After a meal, you can head to the lounge and relax next to an oversize fireplace or hang out in the jacuzzi and sauna.
Lincoln, New Hampshire: New England Town amid Ski Slopes and Forests
Formerly a mill town, Lincoln is now home to a modest collection of roadside diners and antique shops. Many visitors are drawn to Lincoln for its proximity to the White Mountains. Loon Mountain, the closest peak, looms 3,050 feet above town. Ski slopes stay busy in the cooler months; in the spring, mountain bikers and rock climbers take over. The mountain also has one of New Hampshire’s longest gondola rides, which leads to glacial caves and a summit observation tower.
Just northeast of town, Franconia Notch State Park is home to the Flume Gorge as well as the former site of the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation that remains New Hampshire’s state emblem despite having collapsed in 2003. Photogenic nature scenes can be found at almost every turn: birch trees jut out of the cliffs and thick mats of moss cover rocks. Hikers flock to the area to navigate the wooded trails and catwalks, and on warmer days, you can shake hands with your reflection off various glistening lakes.