Historic B & B near White Mountains National Forest
In 1766, Thomas Merrill—a lieutenant in the French and Indian War— acquired a generous plot of land for farming in the newly founded town of North Conway, New Hampshire. Eventually, he divvied up the land among his sons, who passed down their farms to the generations that followed. In 1885, Ormond Merrill opened up a hotel on his property; of that original hotel, the parlor, lobby, kitchen, and three guest rooms have survived to this day in what is now called Merrill Farm Inn. Sprawling across 7 acres on the outskirts of the White Mountain National Forest, the AAA Three Diamond–rated Merrill Farm Inn carries on the family tradition and is likewise equipped to accommodate large families.
You can enjoy views of the Saco River from the inn’s indoor whirlpool, or pop around the corner into the sauna. Guests are free to play board games or assemble puzzles in the game parlor, too. Each afternoon between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., the innkeepers bake fresh chocolate-chip cookies.
The standard hotel rooms are newly refurbished; whirlpool rooms come with a private jetted tub. Bigger families will be comfortable in the loft rooms—two-story, chalet-esque rooms that sleep up to seven. Meanwhile, the freestanding cabins, located directly alongside the Saco River, are a rustic alternative often equipped with full kitchens and gas stoves. In the morning, all Merrill Farm Inn guests can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast spread of homemade muffins, fruit, breads, cereals, juice, tea, and milk.
North Conway, New Hampshire: Historic New England Town amid the White Mountains
Nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains, North Conway is an idyllic New Hampshire town that dates back to 1765. It’s home to the region’s highest peak, Mount Washington, which tops out at 6,288 feet. Climb aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad to sightsee throughout the surrounding countryside and rolling White Mountains. It’s worth it to stop in the carefully preserved North Conway train station, a National Historic Landmark that was designed by a Boston architect in 1874.
This swath of New England is perhaps best known for its downhill skiing. Just 5 miles from the inn lies Cranmore Mountain Resort, where skiers glide down 57 trails and snowboarders catch air in numerous terrain parks. At the base of Cranmore Mountain, there’s a tubing park with 10 lanes and a tow lift, so you don’t have to trudge up the mountain with your inner tube. For a bigger adrenaline rush, try the Mountain Coaster, a single-track roller coaster that zips down the mountain through groves at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
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