Quaint New England Charm amid the Fall Foliage and White Mountains
Though its name implies a winter destination, Christmas Farm Inn and Spa has all the makings of a storybook hideaway no matter the season. Its main house was built in 1786 on a 15-acre tract of land near ski resorts in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. With its wide-plank floors and patchwork quilts, the building is a picture of New England charm. The hotel is conveniently located near several attractions, including Wentworth Golf Club, North Conway Golf & Country Club, and the scenic trails and colorful fall foliage of White Mountain National Forest.
Each of the bed and breakfast's 18 guest rooms in the main inn and saltbox has a Yule-themed moniker, such as Sleigh Bells, Blitzen, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The latter features cherry furniture, plaid curtains, and an ottoman crafted from leftover holiday fruitcakes. The carriage house rests on the hillside just above the main house and boasts a great room with a stone fireplace that might offer some warmth on cooler autumn nights. One of the inn’s oldest parts is the barn, where the haylofts have been converted into two-story barn-loft suites. Many of the other rooms have romantic touches to them, too, such as fireplaces, complimentary wine, and two-person whirlpool tubs.
The onsite Aveda concept spa features steam and massage rooms, a relaxation lounge, and seven treatment rooms. Unwind in the indoor pool and jacuzzi, or retire to the porch that face the picturesque mountains of the Presidential Range.
For dinner, chef Stan Shafer—recently named Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation—cooks up New England classics, including clam chowder and other more innovative dishes, such as maple-pecan salmon. Next door, bartenders at the pub serve up frosty brews in a lively atmosphere.
Jackson, New Hampshire: Outdoor Adventure amid the Mountains
The sleepy town of Jackson is surrounded on all sides by the White Mountain National Forest's meadows, lakes, and mountain peaks. Jackson offers a wide range of activities, from Black Mountain’s horseback and pony rides to Cranmore Mountain Resort’s zipline, tubing, and giant swing ride. Guests can also visit the nearby Settlers' Green Outlet Village for year-round, tax-free shopping.
Wildcat Mountain offers gondola rides up to the summit where you can take in sweeping scenic views of the area. The White Mountain National Forest, which spans more than 1,000 square miles, is a massive playground for hiking, picnicking, fishing, and viewing wildlife. The warmer seasons also mean the opening of Story Land, an imaginative theme park that has delighted children since 1954.
Nearby, sweeping mountain vistas and colonial architecture unfold along the 100-mile White Mountains Trail National Scenic Byway. A segment of the loop winds near Jackson, passing white-steeple churches, country cottages, and covered bridges. Miles of groomed hiking trails lead off from the byway in every direction, attracting cross-country skiers after fresh snowfalls.