Mountain Inn Set on 70 Acres of New Hampshire Wilderness
Sunset Hill House Inn has been attracting visitors since the late 19th century, when city dwellers would flee the crowds and coal-choked atmosphere of New York and Boston for the unhurried pace and pristine mountain air of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Nearly 200 years after it welcomed its first visitors, the hilltop inn and its idyllic surroundings won the hearts of Alonzo and Nancy Henderson, who left their corporate jobs to take on innkeeping responsibilities full-time. Today, the couple and their four children continue to look after the inn, which serves as a mountain escape year-round.
Many of the guest rooms got a new look after the inn hosted a Decorator's Showdown in 2011. “I love to decorate," Nancy says, "but just can't seem to find the time to do what I know should be done." So she devised a contest in which interior designers were allowed to treat individual rooms as a blank canvas, with guests voting on the results. Room 302 was crowned the winner following a lengthy primary season and several runoffs. The design incorporates a bird motif and colorful accents from retailer Garnet Hill. Though each room is different, all of them offer spectacular views of the White or Green Mountains, along with the inn's views of 40 named peaks and 7 mountain ranges.
Mornings at Sunset Hill House Inn begin with a complimentary breakfast of cooked-to-order omelets, pancakes, and french toast. At Restaurant at Sunset Hill—one of two onsite eateries—chefs use herbs and produce from local farms as well as their own kitchen garden to craft prix fixe menus and à la carte options ranging from $25 to $39. Restaurant at Sunset Hill is a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs property helmed by chef Brill Williams and is the winner of seven awards from Wine Spectator magazine, whereas the New Hampshire Tavern is a more laid-back alternative that serves burgers and locally brewed beers.
Sugar Hill, New Hampshire: Quaint Town Close to Ski Mountains in New England Wilderness
The rural town of Sugar Hill lies north of Concord in the heart of New Hampshire’s ski country, an area home to 7 mountain ranges and 40 separate peaks, and a short drive from the Bretton Woods ski area. It makes a good base camp for those visiting Cannon Mountain, arguably the state’s best ski destination and one of New England’s first. There you’ll find 55 downhill trails, including some challenging steep runs and sheer rock faces, as well as nearly 40 miles of cross-country trails. Sugar Hill is also just a short drive from Loon Mountain, which readers of Ski magazine voted one of the Top 10 Ski Resorts in the eastern United States, thanks to its popular long cruiser runs.
Non-skiers can still enjoy the wintertime here by visiting the free Franconia ice rink or the outdoor rink at Loon Mountain. Being in the heart of the Franconia Notch State Park area gives Sugar Hill visitors plenty of opportunities for sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling–including at the on-site nordic ski and snowshoe center–and guests at Sunset Hill House Inn celebrate the holidays by cutting down their own Christmas trees.
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