"30th Anniversary in North Conway" Top 5 Page for this destination North Conway by 850prc

North Conway Travel Guide: 82 reviews and 218 photos

We love New England

Bonnie and I (and often Sara, too) have traveled the world. As of next March, we will have touched seven continents. But honestly, if we have a favorite place or part of the world, I'd have to say that it's New England, in the American northeast. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine just have a way and spirit that pleases us. So when it came time to choose a spot for a long weekend celebrating our 30th anniversary, we knew basically where it would be.

Specifically, we chose North Conway, NH. Located on the state's border with Maine, about midway between Massachusetts and Canada, the villages of Conway are a mecca for travelers, skiers and winter sport enthusiasts, foliage visitors (aka leaf peepers), naturalists, hikers and campers, artists, and basically anyone who truly loves the Yankee lifestyle. I did say "villages"... technically there are several that make up "Conway", with North Conway being the largest and best known. The others include Center Conway, East Conway, South Conway and Lower Conway.

If you're looking for a great place to spend a long weekend, to perhaps sample your first go-round with a bed and breakfast stay, you might want to try Conway.

Each season has its special glory... Winter brings endless snows and the magic of the season. And of course, there are the winter sports, hitting the slopes. We love skiing, I wish we were better at it.

Springtime erupts with the traditional rebirth, as this beautiful region awakens from the long cold downtime of winter.

Summertime is truly a gentle time of outdoor activities, water sports, outdoor activities and just the enjoyment of memorable days with loved ones.

But autumn is the artists' palette, the true glory of the region. For a few weeks during early October, varying by a few days throughout New England for the heaviest color intensities, the annual changing of the leafs never fails to amaze me. There is a huge industry built around simply heading to New England to see this annual color show. Fall foliage tours and tourists are everywhere. The local nickname for these tour groups are "the leaf peepers". And while sometimes we/I find myself snickering a little bit about these tour buses full of seniors being ferried from place to place, I have to give them credit. I can't imagine wanting to be anywhere else but New England in the fall. I guess life's experiences have told them where to spend their fall.

Charming Country Life at an Inn

As we usually do when staying in New England, Bonnie and I chose to do the bed and breakfast route. I made another incredibly good choice in Conway, the Darbyfield Inn. You can learn more about the Darbyfield with my hotel tip.

I will say to anyone heading to Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine - take some time to research the local inns, the local bed and breakfasts. Communicate with the innkeepers and staff, and when it just feels right, you've found your perfect stay.

If you stay at the Darbyfield, be sure to spend a little alone time out on the back lawn, in the charming pair of Adirondack chairs. (See my official 30th anniversary photo taken IN those chairs over on my "just relax with a glass of wine" things to do tip.

Formerly Pigwacket.... really.

As everywhere in New England, there are pleasant towns and villages everywhere. They have slightly different feels in Maine (more nautical) and Vermont (more rural and country), but New Hampshire's villages and towns - especially the area around Conway - all have a single-minded Yankee spirit that is palpable.

As for the Conway area itself, it was (according to a pamphlet I read ) named for Henry Seymour Conway, ambitious son of a prominent English family, who was elected to the House of Commons at age twenty, and also fought at the Battle of Culloden in Scotland. He was made Secretary of State in 1765, and the town was named Conway that same year. Early settlers in the area had named the area Pequawket, known colloquially as Pigwacket, after the nearby mountain. Conway boasts many natural features such as Cathedral Ledge, Echo Lake State Park, and Mount Cranmore.

Although I do like the native names, I have to admit that Conway is more pleasing and appropriate than Pigwacket for this gentle place.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Everything good about New England... foliage, friendly welcomes, crafts, maple syrup, the great outdoors
  • Cons:I wish they'd turn the lights on at night in the small towns. Drove up to Conway from Portland, Maine on a dark and rainy night. Scary.
  • In a nutshell:I could easily decide to live in New England. The hard part would be deciding where. A dozen miles or so outside Conway might be a very good choice.
  • Last visit to North Conway: Oct 2010
  • Intro Updated Oct 30, 2010
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Reviews (16)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Hi Pete, I'm old enough to remember the five and dime -- glad they still have one in North Conway, even if prices have gone up a bit. Here we have a "one Euro" store where most things really only cost € 1, but it's mostly trashy plastic stuff.

  • mallyak's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Congratulations on your 30th anniversary and your wonderful page!

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Terrific page about your anniversary trip! Your excellent descriptions entice me to visit New Hampshire again after many years. I genuinely enjoyed your descriptions of the stores you visited, particularly the "5 and 10 Cent" store---I guess it's my age!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Yes, New England has a special feel to it, doesn't it? Glorious colours here Pete and great restaurant & shopping tips. And very many congratulations on your 30th anniversary :-) Our turn next year!

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    Great pages !I love New England too.We had a wonderful chance to see the fall colours on our drive throughon our way to Florida ...early November!Spectacular.

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