“Mud season” is a transition time in the mountains, usually ranging from early April until Memorial Day weekend in May. The winter is winding down and it’s right before things pick back up for summer. Many places in the area are small businesses who use the quieter time to take vacations or renovate and update. Plan ahead for mud season and to check to see if things are open ahead of time, most places will post on Facebook or their websites if they’re closed for a few days. It’s the best time to visit if you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing trip away. You won’t have to wait in lines and you won’t have to sit in traffic.
Above the notch or below, there’s always a few of those folks who don’t ski. Maybe it’s too cold, maybe it’s not your thing. If your family and friends are skiing at Loon or Cannon, there’s plenty to do right in Lincoln and Franconia Notch but if you want to get out of town and explore, Littleton is well worth the 30 minute trip.
Littleton has a Main Street Community with unique shops and restaurants to pop in and out of all on the main strip. From small antique shops to clothing boutiques and the world’s largest candy counter! Littleton is a must-stop trip if you’ll be in the area for a few days or even on a day trip. The League of NH Craftsmen store carries handmade goods from local New Hampshire artisans and they even offer classes and workshops at their studio school.
You may also be interested in “The Non- Skiers Guide to the White Mountains.”
Littleton offers an abundance of pampering options. Fresh Salon and Day Spa is located just behind Littleton’s Main St. and offers hair, nail and facial services. Littleton Nails is right in downtown, located on Main St. At the Omni Mount Washington, located in Bretton Woods, you’ll find a full service day spa with breathtaking views from their deck. The only thing that makes the view even better is sitting there with a drink in hand!
Looking to stretch your muscles? There’s yoga classes at the Tannery Marketplace and just a town over at Balance Bethlehem. Jax Jr. is right on Main St. if you’re looking to sit back, relax and watch a movie. Take a walk through Littleton’s Music Park, that sits alongside the river or stop and play a little tune at one of Main Street’s pianos. For the music lovers, Northern Lights Music is one of the top boutique guitar stores in the country!
Littleton is home to Chutters’ flagship Candy Store, holding the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Longest Candy Counter” at 112 feet. With a store dedicated to sweets, sours, spicy and savory your mouth will be watering by the time you leave. Make sure to try the fudge! If your family is skiing or riding on the mountain at Bretton Woods, they can enjoy some candy with Chutters on the mountain atop the Zephyr lift. There’s even a smaller store in downtown Lincoln, right on Main St.
Looking to warm up with a hot beverage, maybe a pastry or two? Blue Jay Coffee and Tea Bar located in the Village Bookstore or the French Sisters are great spots for just that. For lunch, Schilling Beer Co offers locally brewed German style beers and brick oven pizzas, you won’t be disappointed. Some of the local favorites are the pretzel and beer cheese appetizer, the cheese platter and the Maple Bacon Stromboli. How can you say no? They offer tasting flights of beers and are currently preparing to start an expansion which will add to their production capabilities, set to start this spring.
Littleton is the “Be Glad” town, so kick back, grab a bite to eat, pop in the shops, have a drink, savor some sweets and enjoy their unique and award winning downtown.
There’s always one or two in every bunch, the folks who don’t ski. Generally, you happily set up shop in the base lodge with a good book and a warm beverage but not anymore! Here’s the insider’s scoop to all the things for the non-skiers in the White Mountains.
Drop the rest of the group off at the slopes and let’s see what the day could have in store for you.
Whether your family and friends are skiing Cannon, Loon or Bretton Woods, there’s plenty to do nearby, from right up the road to an hour away, you’ll never set up shop in the lodge with your book again!
You may also be interested in “The Non-skiers Guide to Littleton, New Hampshire.”
You’ve got spas: Solstice North Day Spa, Viaggio Spa at The Mountain Club on Loon, Luminous Day Spa, Lincoln Nails, Daydreams Hair and Nails – that’s just to name a few! Book a massage, facial or get your nails done.
Then of course, there’s shopping! The Basecamp of the White Mountains, Lincoln and North Woodstock, boast some great shops on their Main Streets. In Lincoln, Bass Outlets, Chutters Candy store, various Lahouts shops including their Summit Shop and Life Is Good. While most of the stores in downtown Lincoln are within walking distance, a few may require driving. Woodstock has a more condensed Main Street allowing you to easily walk from storefront to storefront. Shops range from Fadden’s General Store and Maple Syrup, Gifts From the Fields Farm and Forests, art galleries and Sunburst Trading and Import Co.
While out and about shopping, you’ve got your pick of a few different coffee shops including Half Baked and Fully Brewed, White Mountain Bagel Co and Cascade Coffee House. Cozy up with a good book and enjoy a little more peace and quiet or simply enjoy the ambiance of the White Mountains.
Did we mention that the Basecamp of the White Mountains is home to a local brewery, with another planned and a full production winery. The Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery is right on Main St. in North Woodstock with a full selection of year-round and seasonal brews made right on site. Seven Birches Winery is a full production winery located in RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain, crafting and sampling their classical European varietals and NH fruit wines. Tastings are available at both Seven Birches and Woodstock Inn seven days a week.
On Saturday’s, both Seven Birches and Woodstock Inn offer tours of their facilities and “chats” with the winemaker and brewers. You can do one or the other or get the best of both worlds and do both!
All this exploring making you hungry? Grab lunch at one of the many restaurants in town. Some of the local favorites are the Gypsy Cafe, Black Mountain Burger and Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery. Gypsy Cafe’s menu features “around the world” cuisine with the wide variety of crafted dishes, while Black Mountain Burger will hit the spot with a juicy patty, maybe some wings? Their fried mac and cheese balls are also a favorite! Woodstock Inn offers something for everyone with their large menu as well.
Visit Fired on the Mountain to paint your own pottery. Loon Mountain has snow tubing, ice skating, ziplines in addition to skiing and riding! Alpine Adventures has off road tours, zipline tours and the BigAirBag. RiverWalk Resort just opened their brand new skating rink in 2016; the first of its kind in the country. You’ll have to visit the resort in the summer and winter to find out what makes it so special! Go see a movie at Barnzs Cinema in downtown Lincoln.
Get your sweat on at Live A Little Fitness offering fitness classes daily, ranging from boot camp to yoga, pilates to kickboxing and zumba.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to do if you’re not a skier. There’s also no reason to stay cooped up in the base lodge all day, it’s your vacation too!