Lodge in White Mountains at Start of Scenic Byway
Locals call it “the Kanc"—a 35-mile roadway that spirals up into the wilderness of the White Mountains. Officially, though, it's called the Kancamagus Highway, and it was originally built in the 1960s to provide drive-in access to New Hampshire’s rocky gorges and plunging waterfalls. The road soon became one of the first officially designated National Scenic Byways, and Kancamagus Lodge sits right at the start of it. This means that guests are uniquely positioned to access mountain vistas by car or on hikes at nearby forest campgrounds.
The guest rooms are simply yet comfortably furnished—deluxe rooms feature steam showers and some have balconies, while ground-level standard rooms offer easy access to the car lot. Outside, you’ll find fire pits with grilling areas, but if you’d rather dine indoors, Kancamagus Lodge has two onsite eateries. At CJ’s Penalty Box—one of the only sports bars in the area—the walls are lined with screens to ensure you don’t miss a game while you’re on vacation. Upstairs at Brittany’s Food & Spirits, chefs prepare a menu of comfort-food favorites with creative twists. Amid views of the surrounding mountains, diners can dig into steak, seafood, vegetarian dishes, and specialty hamburgers topped with stroganoff sauce, onion rings, or jalapeño peppers.
Lincoln, New Hampshire: Small Town Conveniently Located Near Ski Hills and Forests
Formerly a mill town, Lincoln is home to a modest collection of roadside diners and antique shops. But many visitors are drawn to Lincoln for its proximity to the White Mountains. Kancamagus Lodge sits just 1 mile from Loon Mountain and nearly 370 acres of New England skiing. Most of the trails skew toward intermediate skiers, but experts can take advantage of the top-to-bottom runs and 15 acres of slopes. Terrain parks dotted with ramps and sliding rails are wide-open playgrounds for boarders, and a snow-tubing park was recently added for younger kids. Come summer, Loon Mountain opens up its climbing walls, mountain-bike trails, and one of New Hampshire's longest gondola rides. Kancamagus Lodge puts visitors less than 10 miles from the Flume—a natural gorge framed by towering granite walls with a rushing stream at the base. Photogenic nature scenes can be found at almost every turn here—birch trees jut out of the cliffs, and thick mats of moss are spread over rocks. Hikers flock to the area to navigate the wooded trails and catwalks, and on warmer days, travelers can shake hands with their reflection on the surface of various glistening lakes. The late spring in particular is an ideal time to visit, when snow melt from the winter builds up in the streams and gushes over the waterfalls.