Top Ten Winter Outdoor Family Getaways

The Best of New England: Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
  |  Gorp.com

In my mind, Waterville Valley has it all. It's a lovely, laid-back, family-friendly resort with plenty of amenities and snow. And of all the New England resorts, it's one of the most accessible. Just two hours from Boston (many others are three hours away), it's surrounded by great White Mountain scenery.

Best of all, if you stay in at any of the many Waterville Valley Resort accommodations (which include rooms at inns and lodges, suites, and condos), the price includes lift tickets, cross-country ski and snowshoe passes, access to pools and the athletic club facilities, ice skating, shuttle bus transportation, summit clinics, free tubing on Thursday nights, and fireworks on Saturday nights. This is what parents love best: a place where there's plenty to do and you've already paid for it.

Waterville Valley is smack in the middle of the White Mountains, so there's plenty of opportunities to get away from it all, whether you're up for a gentle snowshoe hike or a winter's climb to a 4000' summit. One of our favorite spots is a picnic at Greeley Ponds, surrounded by snow, sun, and mountain peaks. Winter doesn't get any better in my book.

The downhill is good for both experts and beginners, and I truly adore the Waterville cross country trails. There are easy groomed trails for beginners, and advanced trails that have a real backcountry feel. Intermediate cross country skiers will enjoy the gentle grades of the 2.9-mile trail from Livermore Road to lower Greeley Pond. More advanced skiers won't want to miss the 1.7-mile trail between Greely's upper pond and the Kancamagus Highway, which offers plenty of manageable thrills for those with confidence. Remember that either of these routes are backcountry adventures, so be sure to take abundant clothing, food, and water, and make sure everyone in your group is up for such an expedition.

A few years ago we pulled our three-year-old son along behind us in a pulk, and this year we'll be toting our twin toddlers. I can't wait to get back to Waterville.

Resources

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

Waterville is perfect for all manner of activities: nordic and downhill skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, tubing, swimming, tennis, racquetball, winter hiking, snowshoeing. Visit www.waterville.com, or call 1-800-GO-VALLEY

In Waterville Valley, you're surrounded by White Mountain National Forest, as well as countless historic and natural points of interest—this is Old Man of the Mountain country!

Everything you ever wanted to know about the New Hampshire. Enjoy your trip!


Best Hotels in Waterville Valley

$103-$168
Average/night*
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#1
The Valley Inn
$104-$142
Average/night*
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#3
Snowy Owl Inn and Resort

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