The White Mountains area offers quaint, old-time charm with plenty to do and see for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re spending the day at Story Land, hiking to the Flume Gorge, taking in the views from the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, or riding the alpine slide at Attitash, you’ll never be bored. With so many unique attractions, all you need is a beautiful vacation rental in the White Mountains to make your stay complete. Here are 11 of the best places to stay when you visit the White Mountains.

1. North Conway

hillside view
Source: Flickr / Andy Langager

Known for its scenic, rugged terrain and incredible natural beauty, North Conway is the perfect destination for lovers of nature. Whether you’re skiing at Cranmore or visiting the treacherous Frankenstein’s Trestle at the Scenic Railroad, North Conway is a fantastic place to explore. Spend the day hiking at Rocky Gorge, or take a canoe out for a day on one of the area’s lakes. Visit North Conway during late through September to early October to experience some of the most breathtaking fall foliage you’ll ever see. The White Mountain National Forest is also one of the best places in the country for rock climbing if you’re feeling daring.

2. Lincoln

bridge above the river
Source: Flickr / Terry Straehley

Lincoln is a great place to visit if you really want to experience the heart of the White Mountains. Lincoln is home to a significant amount of the White Mountain National Forest, as well as the Appalachian Trail and Franconia Notch State Park. A hike to Lonesome Lake is an invigorating way to spend the day. If you’re too tired to head back to your vacation rental, Lonesome Lake Hut offers lodging and food. For a more leisurely stroll, take the scenic paved trails leading to The Basin, a series of waterfalls that cascade through naturally carved stone ending in a whirlpool.For stunning aerial views of the area, head rides the tramway at Cannon Mountain or the zip line at Loon.

3. Littleton

covered bridge
Source: Flickr / James Walsh

Littleton is a small town located on the edge of the White Mountains and bordered by the Connecticut River. The downtown area offers plenty to explore, including a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and pubs. The Kilburn Crags are a great place for hiking, and Moore Dam Lake, the largest undeveloped body of water in the state, is the perfect location for your favorite water sports. The Ammonoosuc River is a lovely location for packing a picnic and just relaxing and taking it all in.

4. Berlin

green trees near the lake
Source: Flickr / Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Berlin is a small city bordered by the Androscoggin River and the White Mountains. It’s also home to Jericho Mountain State Park, one of New Hampshire’s best locations for riding ATVs and snowmobiles. During the summer, the recreational park at Jericho Mountain State Park is a great place to bring the kids, and it features a beach, bath houses, and picnic areas complete with grills to cook up a hot meal.

5. Campton

old covered bridge
Source: Flickr / Corey Balazowich

Small in size but large in spirit, Campton is a charming town located in the foothills of the White Mountains. Enjoy the welcoming, small-town atmosphere and scenic rural views. If you’re visiting between late May and early October, be sure to stop by the farmer’s market for local meats, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, crafts, and so much more. This area offers plenty of outdoor areas that are ideal for bird and other wildlife watching, fishing, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, cross-country skiing, and virtually any other mountain activity you can dream up.

6. Whitefield

sunset view on the mountain
Source: Flickr / Bill Damon

Another small and quaint town in the White Mountains region, Whitefield embodies the classic rural New Hampshire vibe. Enjoy an evening of professional, award-winning performances at the Weathervane Theatre. Be sure to head over to Mount Willard for a beginner-friendly hike to the peak with its majestic view.

7. Bethlehem

grassland at the hillside
Source: Flickr / George Adams

Bethlehem is an inviting small town that’s home to the Strawberry Hill and Cushman state forests. It’s also crossed by the Appalachian Trail. Plenty of mountain activities is readily available year-round. Movie buffs are sure to love the historic Colonial Theatre, one of the oldest continuously operating movie theaters in the United States

8. Gorham

mountain range
Source: Flickr / Selbe Lynn

Gorham has that small-town, old-time NH vibe that visitors love. It’s often used as a home base by visitors to the Presidential Range and the White Mountains. Spend the day at Moose Brook State Park enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, and mountain biking. For a spectacular scenic ride, take a drive down Mount Washington Auto Road. Gorham also offers excellent rafting, ranging from family-friendly class II adventures to extreme class IV whitewater rafting.

9. Plymouth

sunlight on the fog
Source: Flickr / James Walsh

Plymouth is a great place to stay, with plenty of nature and local attractions in the area. Catch a movie or show at The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center, and then learn about the area at the Museum of the White Mountains. Pack a lunch, and take in the sights at Tenney Mountain, Langdon Beach, and Fox Park.

10. Franconia

bridge inside a bridge
Source: Flickr / Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos

Franconia is home to many of New Hampshire’s most iconic natural attractions, including Flume Gorge and Franconia Notch, both located in the beautiful Franconia Notch State Park. Fans of Robert Frost are sure to be thrilled visiting The Frost House, the former home of the beloved poet.

11. Lancaster

covered wooden bridge
Source: Flickr / James Walsh

Lancaster is a family-friendly town with plenty to offer. See a movie at the Rialto Theatre, or bring the kids to the children’s theater for an enchanting experience. Another hit for movie lovers, Northern Nights Drive-In is a great place to enjoy the nostalgia of an outdoor film. The Mechanic Street Covered Bridge is a timeless New Hampshire landmark that’s worth visiting.