7 Things You Should Do This Winter When Visiting the Mt Washington Valley

Looking for a great getaway, that helps you embrace NH during the snowy season as well as things to keep you busy inside?  Here’s a road trip tip: head to North Conway and NH’s Mount Washington Valley!


Kris on the trail with chair lift above and mountain scape in backdrop

View looking out at surrounding mountain ranges from a ski trail at Cranmore

There are 6 ski mountains located around North Conway and the Mt Washington Valley, including Attitash, Black Mountain, Bretton Woods, Cranmore Mountain Resort King Pine,and Wildcat.  We decided to head to Cranmore to hit the slopes – located just 5 minutes from downtown North Conway.  It’s a great family mountain with beginner trails all the way up to expert level. They’ve also got a tubing park and adventure center complete with a mountain coaster, giant swing and zipline!

Kris looking in Sting Ray touch tank

For some indoor adventure – head up the road from Cranmore to Living Shores Aquarium. A place where visitors can discover the wonders of the ocean all year long. There are so many hands-on experiences. Be sure to take a walk through the aviary to check out the tropical birds. Get up close with ocean life at one of the touch tanks – from sting rays and sharks, to sea urchins and snails.

Close up of two otters in the water

Digital Sandbox that kids can interact with

And you have to stop by the Otter experience.  There are 6 that live here, and they are so entertaining.  Kids really dig the digital sandbox and watching creatures come to life.

Inside the Sunrise Shack with a view of the restaurant all wooden interior with large beams across the ceiling

Close up of daily special poppin burger on a plate with a side salad

The Mount Washington Valley is home to a ton of great restaurants and coffee shops.  We e’ve heard the Sunrise Shack Shack is a local favorite so had to stop by and see what all the buzz is about.  The rustic vibe is so welcoming and the comfort food is too!  They’re well known for their home cooked breakfasts but it was their lunch menu that caught our eye – packed with creative burgers, sandwiches and salads. Be sure to check out their daily Sunrise Special – the Poppin Burger did not disappoint!

View of frozen Echo Lake from wooded area with Cathedral Ledge in the background

Trail through woods with person hiking


View from on top of Cathedral Ledge with hiker and dog on top of rocky area

For another hearty dose of outdoor adventure – head to Echo Lake State Park.  There’s some great hiking trails here, including a nice scenic trail that goes around the lake.  If you’re up for it – try the trail that leads up to Cathedral Ledge. This is an incredibly popular spot during the summer, but the views of the Saco River Valley are pretty spectacular during wintertime too.

People snowshoeing along cross country ski trail in the woods

Cross country skis lined up along a fence with cross country skiers taking a break along the trail. Mountains in view in background.

CLose up of chocolate treats on a plate

In addition to alpine – the Valley offers some great places for x-c skiing and snowshoeing!  Consider trying the trails at Great Glen Trails, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation or Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring.  And February is a great time to explore the trail system because this area celebrates with the Annual Chocolate Festival. Festival participants ski or snowshoe on local trails – enjoying great scenery and sweets made by trailside businesses. Talk about a great way to indulge guilt free!

Display of historic ski clothing and gear on exhibit in the museum

Historical information of NE Ski legends

Wide shot in museum with a chair from a lift for seating to watch skiing history on big screen TV

While you’re in town be sure to stop by the New England Ski Museum. The museum showcases exhibits about Tuckerman’s Ravine, the 10th Mountain Division, regional ski pioneers as well as many local legends and New England Olympians.  Be sure to check out the display of classic skiis and other skiing artifacts on display here.

Exterior of shops in downtown North Conway

And you can’t come to this area and not shop.  After all, shopping is tax-free. There’s a variety of cool shops lining North Conway’s Main Street not to mention the outlet shopping.

Kris browsing shelves inside Zeb's General Store

Big glass jars filled with gumballs and various candy

And a must stop? Zeb’s General Store of course. It’s like taking a walk down memory lane! The store is jam packed with specialty foods – clothing and gifts – all that AND penny candy too!  There’s really so much to do in this area, these 7 stops are just to get you started exploring. Be sure to follow our travels throughout the winter on Facebook and Instagram!