It’s easy to see why New Hampshire is considered a prime ski destination. The White Mountains are the tallest peaks in the Northeast, and this New England state experiences plenty of snow throughout the winter. From beginner-friendly trails at Cranmore Mountain to expert skiing trails at Cannon Mountain, there are numerous ski areas to choose from in New Hampshire. As for activities, indulge in luxurious pampering at Bretton Woods, or focus on snow sports at Mount Sunapee. No matter your preference, you can find an incredible New Hampshire vacation rental near the region’s top ski resorts.
1. Loon Mountain
Located in the White Mountain National Forest, Loon Mountain has 61 ski trails designed for everyone, from complete beginners to seasoned experts. This resort has one of the state’s strongest snowmaking system, so guests can enjoy packed snow even when the temperatures rise. The Loon Mountain Adventure Center has snowshoeing, snow tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and a zip line ride, making this resort the perfect vacation destination for families who enjoy a variety of winter activities. Relaxation is available at The Mountain Club, with several dining options, swimming pools, and a spa. For a lovely view of the area, take a guided snowshoe tour to the summit, then return to the base on a gondola.
2. Cannon Mountain
Experienced skiers looking for a challenge test themselves on the 2,330-foot vertical drop of state-owned Cannon Mountain ski resort, overlooking Franconia Notch State Park. The mountain’s high 4,080-foot elevation brings a great deal of snow to the area, and the resort ‘s energy efficient snowmaking equipment guarantees there will be plenty of powder when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Cannon Mountain has 81 trails accessed by 10 lifts, and the Aerial Tramway cable car zips passengers to the summit for a clear view of four different states and Canada. Families with little ones or beginner skiers can also enjoy Cannon Mountain, with Tuckerbrook Family Area nearby providing 14 family-friendly trails and four lifts.
3. Bretton Woods
For upscale pampering along with top-notch skiing, guests head over to the state’s largest ski area, Bretton Woods. Terrain parks, 62 trails and 35 glades cover 464 acres and offer views of Mount Washington, Silver Cascade, Arethusa Falls, and Frankenstein Cliff. Adults and older teens can enjoy nighttime skiing every Friday and Saturday, while younger children learn about snow sports through the resort’s Hobbit Ski & Snowboard Programs. Other recreational activities include cross-country trails, a climbing wall, panoramic zip line tours, and dedicated mountain bike trails. There is a full-service 25,000-square-foot spa at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, so you can rest your weary muscles after a full day of skiing before heading back to your vacation rental.
4. Waterville Valley
Nestled in the center of the White Mountain National Forest, Waterville Valley is a self-contained ski resort offering plenty of activities for all ages. The resort is close to both Boston Logan and Manchester airports, and provides free buses to the slopes and villages, so you don’t need a car during your visit. There are approximately 60 trails and 12 lifts at Waterville Valley, so lines are never long, even during the busy season. You can find vacation rentals, shopping, and dining throughout the village, plus other winter activities such as ice skating, dogsleds, and sleigh rides. Those looking for relaxation after a day on the slopes head to one of the available spas.
5. Cranmore Mountain and North Conway
North Conway is one of the top resort vacation destinations in New Hampshire, with shopping, dining and entertainment available when you need a break from skiing. Nearby Cranmore Mountain has one of the state’s oldest ski resorts and provides 57 trails, many with gorgeous views of the Presidential Range and Mount Washington. Choose from a wide variety of ski levels, from beginner trails to those suited to expert skiers. Children enjoy exploring the Cranmore Mountain Adventure Center, with a tubing park, Giant Swing, Soaring Eagle Zip Line, and Mountain Coaster. Nonskiers can find bargains in the top brand outlet shopping centers of North Conway before settling into The Metropolitan Coffeehouse or Stairway Cafe for lunch.
6. Mount Sunapee
Mount Sunapee packs 66 trails and 10 lifts onto a 1,500 vertical, and is an excellent option for those who want a vacation that focuses solely on skiing. The ski resort is only 1.5 hours from Boston, so you can fly into Logan Airport and reach the slopes in a short time. Mount Sunapee is one of the more laid-back and family-friendly ski vacation destinations in the state, offering discounts and lodge space where you can bring your own food, ideal for packing a lunch back at your vacation rental. The New England Handicapped Sports Association offers lessons at Sunapee, making it a leader in adaptive skiing and perfect for family members with physical challenges.
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