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New Hampshire Travel: North Conway, Heart of the Mount Washington Valley

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Uploaded on Jun 4, 2010

From March 6 to 13, 2010 we went on a trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to sample some of the fantastic skiing that this mountain area has to offer and to discover some of the history of this popular Vermont vacation destination. We stayed at the Attitash Mountain Village, literally a 5 minute walk from the Attitash / Bear Peak ski area.

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a fantastic year-round getaway for travelers of all ages and inclinations. Summer offers a wide range of activities such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, and other nature pursuits, particularly in the protected White Mountain National Forest area.

At 6288 feet (1917 m) Mount Washington is the tallest mountain in the range, and it is also the highest mountain in the northeastern United States. Wind speeds of more than 230 miles/hour (370 km/h) have been measured at the top of this mountain. During the summer months, a cog railway whisks visitors up to the top of this imposing mountain. The Mount Washington Observatory conducts research and provides weather and climate-related educational programs to the public. Meteorological observations have been conducted here since 1870.

One of the areas most well-known landmarks was the "Old Man of the Mountain", a special rock formation on Cannon Mountain that resembled the facial profile of an old man. It had been New Hampshire's state emblem since 1945, but this characteristic rock formation fell off in May of 2003. A memorial is supposed to commemorate this iconic state symbol.

The White Mountains is essentially where North American skiing had its beginnings. Today, the region boasts some of the best skiing in the northeast, with popular resorts such as Attitash -- Bear Peak, Cannon Mountain, Bretton Woods, Cranmore Mountain, Loon Mountain, Waterville Valley and Wildcat Mountain. Just about an hour from the Mount Washington Valley is Sunday River in Maine, a ski resort that stretches across eight mountain peeks.

North Conway is the heart of the Mount Washington Valley and features many restaurants, specialty retailers and outlet shopping. This small town is also the starting point for the famous Conway Scenic Railroad which offers sightseeing tours to scenic Crawford Notch. The train station is a registered National Historic Landmark.

In addition to skiing and local explorations in Bartlett and North Conway, I also arranged for a personal guided tour of the world-renowned Mount Washington Hotel. Opened in 1902, this hotel is one of the White Mountains' last remaining grand hotels and impresses with its opulent design and architecture More than 250 artisans were brought in from Italy to complete the stucco masonry and intricate granite work. This hotel was the location of the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 which established, among other things, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1996. In early 2009 an addition of 50,000 extra square feet (4600 m2) was opened which houses a spa and conference center.

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