New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley is all about the outdoors. Just a short two-hour drive from Boston, this idyllic nature retreat has hiking, watersports, mountain biking, and much more to help you get back to nature.
How to Do a Weekend in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Make The Valley Inn your home-base for the weekend. The Valley Inn offers spacious rooms and suites that you can spread out in, and most have kitchenettes so that you can eat in if you’re looking to save money (or you just want a quiet night). The Valley Inn is in a great location—you can relax in its forest-side pool and enjoy mountain views, or walk to Town Square in less than 10 minutes.
All stays at The Valley Inn also include a Freedom Pass, which is a must-have if you’re visiting the area. The pass gives you free access to the White Mountain Athletic Club, ice skating, tennis courts, the resort shuttle, mountain bike rentals, chairlift rides, kayak rentals, stand-up paddleboard rentals, pedal boat rentals, and more. I saved hundreds on activities by having this pass during my weekend in Waterville Valley.
Check in to The Valley Inn and rejuvenate yourself after the drive with a dip in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool.
When you’ve swum up an appetite, take an easy walk to Waterville Valley’s lively Town Square for dinner at La Hacienda Mexicana, a vibrant Mexican restaurant that draws a fun crowd on weekend nights. The guacamole here, prepared tableside, is unbelievable. Continue the “dinner with a show” theme by finishing your meal off with a fried ice cream for dessert—it’s set on fire right next to you. It’s fun to watch and even better to eat.
After dinner, take a seat outside in the square and enjoy the free live music that takes place on weekend nights.
Get up early (the inn’s complimentary coffee will help with this) and challenge yourself to what Waterville Valley is known for—the White Mountains. Offering hundreds of hikes for all abilities, this mountain range is home to the majority of New England’s tallest mountains. Mount Osceola, Mount Tripyramid, and Mount Tecumseh are all nearby and can be summited on a day hike.
After a long day of hiking, use your Freedom Pass to visit the nearby athletic club to soak your tired muscles in the whirlpools.
Replenish those carbs by stopping by Olde Waterville Pizza Co. for a slice (or three). If the weather is nice, get your pies to go and enjoy them in the Town Square, where there’s free live music again tonight. Treat yourself to dessert at retro-style Sugar Rush, where you’ll find ice cream in a wide variety of flavors, plus throwback candy that you might not have seen in years.
Waterville Valley is all about the outdoors, so today is another early day. Use your Freedom Pass for a free mountain bike rental and then ride over to Waterville’s ski resort, where you and your bike can take a scenic chairlift ride up the mountain (your lift pass is also included in the Freedom Pass). Ride a mountain bike trail back down to the base, stopping at some of the swimming holes and waterfalls you’ll find along the trail to cool off.
Grab lunch at Mulligans after your trail ride, which has a wide variety of options that will please anyone in your group.
After, use your Freedom Pass to take out a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or pedal boat around scenic Corcoran’s Pond.
Bars & Restaurants
- Corcoran’s Pond and beach
- Town Square
- White Mountains
- Waterville Valley Resort
More from SmarterTravel:
Caroline Morse was hosted by Waterville Valley. Follow Caroline’s adventures around Boston and the world on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline and on Twitter @CarolineMorse1.
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