Thursday, February 13, 2014

Waterville Estates by Deborah

Waterville Estates by Deborah

            Waterville Estates has been referred to as one of the best kept secrets in the White Mountains. The resort is located on the western side of the White Mountains in the Waterville Valley region, just 2 miles off of exit 28, Route 93.  The resort consists of single family homes and condos in a resort community.  The multimillion dollar sports center has something for all ages and it’s great for kids.  If your vacation week has a rainy day or two the indoor pools and game room will save the day.

            Here is a partial list of amenities that the resort offers.

Summer fun

2 indoor heated pools: an oval family pool with steps in the shallow end for little legs, and a lap pool. 

1 outdoor heated pool open during warm months only.

2 spas.   One indoor and one outdoor.

Locker room with showers, toilets and saunas.

Fitness room with treadmills and more

Tennis and Basketball Courts

Volley ball

Pond with sandy beach, lounge chairs,  swim float and paddle boats.

Game room with ping pong and video games

Playground with swing set

Fishing pond stocked with trout.

Picnic grounds

Hiking /Mountain biking trails

Winter fun

In addition to the amenities listed above Waterville Estates also offers the following:

Ice skating pond with warming hut

Campton Mountain Ski area.  Dependent on natural snow to open.  Chairlift and rope tow. Night skiing.

The Hiking trails are groomed for cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

For hours of operation please visit their web site:



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sunset Grille Campton NH by Christie

 Next time you're in the Campton area for a visit a great place to visit for a lunch or dinner is the Sunset Grille. It's only about a fifteen minute drive from the ski area and center of town. I think many people might miss out on eating there because it is off the beaten path slightly. It probably qualifies as a spot that is more popular with local families than with the average tourist. Hopefully the next time you're in the area you can make a stop in and try them out.

      The d├ęcor inside is unlike any restaurant I've ever been to. The dividers between the booths is all filled with money from foreign countries. It makes you wonder about the story behind it. Who traveled there and what did they see? It's also just interesting visually. The second unlikely thing they have used as a decorative item is a lot of old cameras. They fill shelves and are placed high on beams inside, as well as, decorating one entire bay window. I would also love to know where all of those cameras have been and what they took photos of in their years of use.

     My favorite part of our last visit to this restaurant was dessert. This is often my favorite part of any trip out for a meal if they have something on the menu interesting enough to make it worth the calories. The dessert we tried was called a snowball. They take a serving of ice cream and roll it in coconut and slivers of almond. After that they put hot fudge and whipped cream over the entire thing. It creates a great texture on the ice cream as well as being hot and cold at the same time.

     I highly recommend that you visit the Sunset Grille:

 2092 Us Route 3,

 Campton, NH

You can call for reservations at:

 (603) 726-3108


Monday, December 23, 2013

Snowshoeing the Lincoln Woods, in Lincoln, New Hampshire by Christie

If you're looking for an easy hike or snowshoe trail in the Lincoln, NH area the Lincoln Woods Trailhead is a great option. Last winter a friend and I spent an afternoon snowshoeing the trail. You could also cross country ski their trails or hike as well. Choosing which method you want to use often depends on what type of snow has fallen recently. For us it had recently been fairly icy so we chose snowshoes for our day in the woods.
   The trail has quite a few spots that are very scenic so you'll probably want to bring your camera along. This set of trails has a convenient parking area and public restrooms at the start of the trail. Most of the trail is very easy and flat so its a good trail for beginner hikers or those who don't want an extreme or hard hike. This was perfect for my friend and I since we didn't want to overdo it before downhill skiing the following day. Even with the flat trail we still overdid it slightly by doing a total of 8 miles of snowshoeing and I was feeling the muscles in my legs the following day more than normal. The trail is very popular and dog friendly so you will run into other hikers and their furry friends in your travels. I personally like trails like that just because I enjoy the idea that I'm not truly alone in the woods while also not being crowded. Snowshoeing is also a great way to stretch your winter sports budget. Even if you don't own snowshoes renting them is often only $15 to $20 per day. There are many places to rent snow shoes on the drive through the main part of Lincoln on the way to the hiking trails, they are all literally right down the street before you arrive at Lincoln Woods and often have signs in their windows advertising snowshoes or ski rentals. Since ski tickets are often so expensive, especially for a family with multiple children, doing one day of snowshoeing can often be a great way to still get the family outside and active without the high price tags of downhill skiing.
     Before heading out to the woods take a look at the White Mountains National Forest website for any information that might be needed. The often update things like if any parts of the trails are closed or weather conditions directly onto their website.
The page for information on Lincoln Woods specifically is:
The main page for the White Mountain National Forest is:
They have some great information on safety and winter recreation on there that you should read, especially if you are new to winter sports in the woods.

Monday, December 9, 2013

7 Mountains in Seven Days (Part Two) by Deborah

7 Mountains in 7 days (Part Two)

To pick up where I left off and continue my advice about the great deals available skiing along route 93 the next ski area on my list is: Ragged Mountain

I went skiing at Ragged Mountain for the first time last year, the day before Easter.  I was surprised to find the ski area to be much larger than I originally expected. The  Ragged Mountain web site states it has 220 acres, 55 trails,  and 7 lifts consisting of one high speed six pack express, two triples, one double and 3 surface lifts. They are not advertising any specials but if you go to their web site and buy tickets ahead of time they are offering discounts between 25-55% off advertised prices.  There are only limited tickets available.   This year Ragged Mountain has added a new tubing park.  Their web site says the tubing park is 650 feet long and has 10 lanes.  There is a carpet lift to get you to the top.  Their tubing hours are Fridays from 3-10 pm, Saturdays from 9am to 10 pm and Sundays 9 to 5.  Their tickets are priced at $23 for a two hour session.  Please note children must be 42 inches tall to tube alone.

Ragged Mountain Ski Area exit 23 off 93.

620 Ragged Mountain Road Danbury NH 03230

Next up is Gunstock.

Gunstocks’ stats say they have 227 acres, and 55 trails.  The lifts consist of 1 high speed quad, 2 quads, 2 triples, 2 conveyors and one handle tow. Night skiing has 24 trails and 6 lifts.    Gunstock is where I learned to ski when I was about 5 years old.  To give you an idea of my age, it was called Belknap way back then.  Gunstock is a very family oriented ski area with all kinds of deals. I urge you to check their website as they are constantly adding new deals as the season progresses.   This week they have a “learn to ski” free week running until December 15, 2013.  Gunstock also has night skiing from 4 to 10pm which is great if you think you can’t do a full day on the slopes. Additionally, Mondays are two for one at $65 and Tuesdays are two for one night skiing for $42.  Please note that the two for one Mondays does not apply to 12/30 1/20 or 2/17.  If you are heading north on a Friday it may be fun to head up a little early to stop and enjoy Gunstocks Family Friday nights from 4 to 10pm, two adults and 2 teens for $99.  They also have a great Family Pack Sunday that you can take advantage of before heading home from your ski weekend.  The deal consists of two all-day adult tickets and two teen/child tickets for $199.

Gunstock Ski area Exit 20 off 93

719 Cherry Valley Road Gilford NH 03249


My last Mountain located off 93 is Mount Sunapee.

Their stats according to their web site say 66 trails on 233 acres.  They list that they have many ways to get to the top of the mountain, there are 11 lifts including 3 quads (one high speed), 2 triple chairs, 1 double chair and 5 surface lifts.  Mount Sunapee much like Gunstock has all kinds of special deals.  

 “Magic Mondays” all tickets are $47.

“Ladies Tuesdays” ladies ski all day for $52 plus a buffet in Goosefeathers Pub.

Wednesday is two for one day.

“Thrifty Thursdays” ski and ride all day for $59

Sunday afternoon if you are a NH resident you can ski from 12-4 for $42.
Mount Sunapee is easy to get to. Just take Route 93 to I89 just south of Concord and follow to RT 103.
1398 RT 103
Newbury, NH 03255

I hope this gives people some good ideas of when to visit other ski areas this winter and save some money at the same time. 


Monday, December 2, 2013

7 Mountains in 7 Days Part One by Deborah


          If you ski the mountains off 93 there are some great deals to be had.  I have put together this list of the best deals for the winter of 2013 - 2014.  You could ski a full week and never ski the same mountain and save money at the same time. 

1.     First up is Bretton Woods. 
          Route 302
          Bretton Woods
          New Hampshire, 03575

This mountain is the furthest from our vacation homes in Campton, requiring a drive one hour north of exit 28 on Route 93 but worth the trip.   Bretton Woods is located off Route 302 in Bretton Woods, NH. Their website says they have 464 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 62 trails and 35 glades and three terrain parks. It also states that they have a total of ten lifts, including four high-speed quads.

Wednesdays is the best day to hit the slopes as they have 2 for one tickets for $74.  If you are 65 or older come on Thursdays as all day tickets are just $50 per person.   Just be aware this deal is not valid on 12/25, 1/1 or 2/19.

For new updated rates or deals visit:

2.     Cannon Mountain 

Franconia Notch State Park
9 Franconia Notch
Franconia, NH 03580
I- 93 to Exit 34B & 3
The mountain has a total of 73 tails and glades. Also their website states that they have 10 total Lifts,  1 70-passenger Aerial Tramway; 1 Detachable Quad Chair; 2 Fixed Grip Quad Chair, 3 Triple Chairs; 1 Fixed Grip Double Chair, 1 Handle Tow, 1 Wonder Carpet.
Visit here on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a 2 tickets for $72 deal or 1 for $47. These offers are not valid on 12/26, 12/31, 2/18, or 2/20. Also, New Hampshire residents can ski every Wednesday for $25 if they present a NH ID.
New Year’s special is 2 tickets for $72 and Super Bowl Sunday 2/3 2 for $72. 
You can find more information on their website at
3.     Loon Mountain
60 Loon Mountain Road
Lincoln, NH
In the car just follow 93 to exit 32.
Loons’ official stats say they have 61 trails, 370 acres, 12 lifts, 1Gondola, 3 high speed quads, 1 fixed grip quad, 1 triple chair, 3 double chairs, two magic carpets and one handle tow. 
I am disappointed that Loon does not have any special deals.  Early in the season they had all ages for $29 but that seems to be over now as of 12/2.  Two years ago they had a great deal on Sundays, ski 12-4 for $25.  My guests loved it as they could check out by 11am, scoot up to Loon in 15 minutes and ski the afternoon before heading home.  I hope they bring this back someday.
Their website is
4.     Waterville Valley
 1 Ski area road
 Waterville Valley, NH 03215
In the car it’s an easy ski area to find, just follow 93 to exit 28 and follow route 49 east to Waterville Valley.
Their website advertises 220 skiable acres, a total of 52 trails, 2 high speed quads, 2 triple chairs, 3 double chairs and 5 surface lifts.
Like Loon they do not seem to have any specials other than tickets right now before the full season starts are about $20 less than normal.  This only seems to be guaranteed through 12/6.
In past years they have had $1 tickets for April 1st. That’s a great deal if you are still thinking about skiing, by then I have started thinking about the beach. 
However, guests who rent from me or any other home within Waterville Estates can get a $15 discount on lift tickets for adults any day.  This deal requires tickets be purchased through the Waterville Estates Recreational Center.
The Waterville Valley Ski Area website is: