Opinions on New Hampshire

My wife and I have only been to New Hampshire 6 times, each time for only a few days, but I've kept track of where we stayed & ate, and some of the sights that we saw.

For lodging throughput New Hampshire, try NH Lodging.


I won't stay in a room without a private bath, so assume all rooms in a place have one if I don't mention it specifically.

Bernerhof Inn. US 302 1.5 mi w of SR 16, Glen, NH, 603-383-4414, $69, cc 7/98. The Colemans liked this place pretty well. It doesn't look very interesting to me, but I didn't stay there, so there you are.

Best Western Sovereign. Rt 9 @ Rt 10, Keene, NH, 603-357-3038, $130+$10, 7/04-7/05. Rm 268, w/2 queen beds, faced the back, not the road and not the courtyard, so it was pretty quiet except for a bit of parking-lot noise; rm 266 is same. The included breakfast, although in warming trays, was pretty good by motel standards. There's a good indoor pool and a plausible exercise room. This is the only full-service motel in Keene, so they get big group events. Early booking for weekends is necessary (even 1 month may not be early enough), but last minute rooms are, sometimes, available. This time we called on Friday to get this room on Saturday and it worked out, but it was the last such room in the hotel.

Buttonwood Inn. North Conway, NH, $85, 5/94. Friendly hosts & good breakfast make up for run-down air to some of the guest rooms and common areas. Room 1 is one of few with own bath & seemed the best to us, but it's right over the bathroom they shower their kids in, early in the morning. Very quiet location. (Just heard (1/97) from Claudia & Peter, who have been working hard on getting the place into shape. There are now 5 rooms with private baths and fewer tired looking ones. Thanks for keeping me honest, guys.)

Chesterfield Inn. West Chesterfield, NH, 800-365-5515, 603-256-3211, $115, 7/93-11/96. Looks old, but the rooms are all new construction in very good shape. Fireplace room 18, w/queen-size bed, is nice. Room 12, w/king bed & deck, and rm 11, w/2 double beds, have noise problems related to their beds being adjacent to each other's bathrooms. (The same would apply, I think, to the rooms above them.) Room 13, w/2 double beds, is quieter and cheaper. Room 22, w/king-size bed, fireplace and private patio, is the best, and most expensive.

Comfort Inn, Ashland. Ashland, NH, 603-968-7668, 800-228-5150, 7/95. This place looks perfectly decent, has A/C and cable. Get a room facing north, to look away from Burger King.

Days Inn. 175 Key Rd, Keene, NH, 603-352-7616, $96. Rm 141 was fine except for plumbing noise, 239 & 240 probably better.

Fairway Motel. New London, NH, 7/95. Didn't stay at this tiny little place, but had a look. It's very modest indeed, but there's A/C and TV. Not even as nice as the Lamplighter.

Fitzwilliam Inn. Fitzwilliam, NH, 7/98. Didn't stay here and I don't recommend you do, either. The only rooms of a decent size face the busy road. Some rooms don't have their own bathroom. It's better as a place to hang out & sip a drink from their tavern while waiting for a spouse to get done shopping for antiques.

Franconia Hotel (formerly Red Coach Inn). Franconia, NH, 800-262-2493, 603-823-7422, $99+$7, 5/94-7/05. Room 216, nonsmoking & decent, faces the view (and the road, but so what). Rooms farther down hall from 216 might be a tiny noisier at night (bar noise). Room 228 is over part of the lobby, so it gets a little noise. Rm 230, w/2 double beds, on far side of pool, was pretty good, rm 232 is similar but you only see the woods from the bed (which reduces the niceness of the view just a little).

Franconia Inn. 1300 Easton Rd, Franconia, NH, 800-473-5299, 603-823-5542, 603-823-8078 (fax), 7/93, $150 in '04 including breakfast for 2. Room 216 is very nice but on top floor, so the A/C will come in handy on warm summer nights. Great breakfast, mountain views.

Glynn House Victorian Inn. PO Box 719, 43 Highland St, Ashland, NH, 603-968-3775, 800-637-9599, bp 9/96, MC V. B. Paterman likes this place better than either the Manor or Inn on Golden Pond, with great rooms (w/fireplaces) and wonderful breakfasts.

Hilltop Inn. Sugar Hill, NH, 7/93. Busy road, their dog barks, breakfast made in advance & left in warming tray. Our room, of itself, was nice, but, given the above, I wouldn't stay there again. Go to the Fraconia Inn or the Franconia Hotel, instead.

Indian Head Resort. Rt 3, Lincoln, NH, 7/99. Cottage 35 $95: mouse. Room 515 $145: barely adequate, 1st floor, facing tennis court & road.

Inn at Strawberry Banke. Portsmouth, NH, 7/00. Bouncy queen-sized bed, dusty room, slightly mildewed bathroom, bright street lights in most of the windows, street noise which is covered only partly by the AC, but it lets up near midnight, all for $130. Decent breakfast and convenient location.

Inn on Golden Pond. Holderness, NH, 7/95. Stingey breakfast, stingy bathroom fixtures, stingy return policy; just plain a mean-minded proprietor in general. Don't stay here; go to either the Comfort Inn or the Glynn House Victorian Inn, both in Ashland, instead.

Knoll Motel. Plymouth, NH, bb 8/00. Friends of mine have stayed here and said it was very plain and simple but a reasonable value for the money.

Lamplighter Motel. New London, NH, 603-526-6484, 7/95. Right on busy road, but A/C helps cover noise. Rm 23 is nonsmoking and adequate, if kinda drab. Proprietor is a nice guy, but a bit inefficient.

Lodge at Bretton Woods. Bretton Woods, NH, 603-278-1000, $75+$7, 7/98-7/05. Much cheaper than the Mt Washington Resort, you can see the Resort as part of your view, and you can still use their facilities, like the Sports Center. Zealand room was OK except for noise from the swimming pool. Rm 215, w/2 queen beds, has good views, but some noise from all sides. Rm 216 is oriented so the view isn't seen from the bed, but otherwise fine. Rm 225 gets only an occasional bit of stairway noise.

Mary Chase Inn. Rt 3, Holderness, NH, 603-968-9454. Haven't stayed here, but some guy named Richard Gilmour sent me mail saying it was nice. Only one room, the $125 suite, has a private bath, but it includes a fireplace, a balcony, and a full breakfast.

New London Inn. New London, NH, 7/93. Public space charming but our room was a dump. Breakfast is good, though, so do eat here. (Just heard 8/97 from Terance O'Mahoney, the new owner. It sounds like he's working hard to improve the place, so it's probably worth another look.)

Sunset Hill House. Sunset Hill Rd, Sugar Hill, NH. Seemed a bit overpriced for the rooms they offered, although the setting is certainly a quiet one and the easterly views are damned good.

Super 8. Rt 9 west of Rt 10, Keene, NH, 800-800-8000, $108, 7/08. Rm 107, w/king bed, reeked of citrus cleaner and passersby could look right in. Rms 201-207 face east, not the big road, and are OK. Rm 221, w/2 beds, faces north (a store parking lot) and is OK.

Town & Country Motel. Gorham, NH, $65, 10/96. Light construction and weird ramps in hall made room 134 a bit noisy. We were there in late October and the weather was kinda grim, but I don't think that's the only reason we didn't get a good feeling from that place.

Unique Yankee B&B. 354 Upper Troy Rd, Fitzwilliam, 603-242-6706, $120. Richard Munson is a good host, who prepares a decent breakfast, even if served on a warming tray. The bath w/extension-hose shower thing is too weird in the jacuzzi room. The turn from Rt 12 from Keene to Fitzwilliam is marked by the big round fire station sign.

White Mountain Hotel. North Conway, NH, 5/94. Nonsmoking rooms are in earshot of LOUD kitchen ventillator. Rooms facing same as entrance (south) might be quiet.


Most of the ratings (like *) are mine. Ones that aren't give the initials of the reviewer.

Audrey's. Rt 101 west of downtown Dublin, NH, * rpk 7/04. Tuna sandwich, egg salad sandwich. NB: still has a smoking section.

Biederman's. 82 Main St (Rt 3) under Volpe's Market, Plymouth, NH, 536-DELI, ** 7/95, casual. Tuna & swiss w/lettuce & tomato on onion roll, smoked turkey & smoked gouda w/lettuce & tomato & mayo & honey mustard on pumpernickel heated in oven.

Bretton Arms Country Inn. Mt Washington Resort, Rt 302, Bretton Woods, NH, 603-278-3000 rr, * rpk 7/98-7/05, neat, cards, $40. Salads, pork tenderloin w/maple dijon sauce, venison w/maple sauce, sirloin, almond yukon cakes, hot fruit cobbler. OK: chicken w/prosciutto, mocha cake, garlic mashed potatoes, quail breast bbq, crab cake, (skimpy) chateaubriand of beef. NB: ask how much each cordial costs before ordering; they stuck me for $25 for one glass (and I won't say for which one, just to be sure you ask for every single one).

Casey J's. Rt 12 @ rt 119, Fitzwilliam, NH, fair rpk 7/99-7/00. Burgers, bbqed beef on bulkie, tuna on rye w/slice of swiss. Avoid: (stale) potato chips, (weak) chocolate milk.

Chesterfield Inn. Rt 9, W. Chesterfield, NH, * 7/93-11/96, D daily 6-9, jacket s, cards, $15-22. Crab cakes, venison, duck, salmon, beef tenderloin, Brazilian mixed grill, house wines, chocolate cake w/creme anglaise. Breakfast: French toast (but crusted version only OK), blueberry pancakes. OK: fried chicken, lemon cheesecake, (tart, not sweet) blueberry crisp, scrambled eggs.

Clam Shell. just off I-93 at exit 42, Littleton, NH, 603-444-6445, fair rpk 5/94-7/99, casual, cards, $cheap. Seafood pie, crab clusters. OK: sirloin tips, grilled swordfish.

Common Man, The. Rt 3, Ashland, NH, * 7/95, neat, cards. Duckling w/apple & cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes. OK: filet mignon w/bernaise sauce. Avoid: rice pilaf.

Dutch Treat. Franconia, NH, fair rpk 11/96. Monte Christo (if a bit rare), scrambled eggs w/corned beef hash.

Elm City Brewing. inside Colony Mill mall, 222 West St, Keene, NH, 603-355-3335, * rpk 7/04-7/08. Turkey melt, chicken caesar, bbq bacon burger, Buffalo chicken sandwich, some medium-dark Scottish beer. Avoid: (slightly sour) no name beer, (sour) brown ale, (blah) Munich Dunkel.

Fabyan's Station. Rt 302, Bretton Woods, NH, * rpk 7/98-7/05, ns3, cards. Burgers, chili, fries. OK: chef's salad.

Franconia Dairy Bar & Restaurant. Franconia, NH, * 7/99-7/05. Grilled ham & cheese, chili dog, fries, slaw, mocha frappe, black raspberry ice cream.

Franconia Inn. Franconia, NH, * 7/93-7/99, B&D daily, neat, cards, $18-22. Duck breast stuffed w/wild rice & mustard cream leek sauce, chicken w/peaches & cherries. OK: pork tenderloin, French toast (when on 5-grain bread; on French bread might be better, so ask).

Fritz Main St, Keene, NH, * rpk 7/08. Turkey "club" sandwich (which includes melted cheese). A little slow, almost annoyingly so, especially when later orders came out first, but the sandwich was very good.

Homemade Ice Cream. Rt 3 east of Inn on Golden Pond, Holderness, NH, * 7/95. Chocolate, strawberry, pistachio.

Hooligans. Kearsarge St, N Conway, NH, fair 5/94, casual, cards, $cheap. Filet mignon. OK: chicken marsala.

Lovett's. Franconia, NH, fair 7/93, D daily, neat, cards, $16-20. Trout, meringue glace w/strawberries. Avoid: chicken breast w/Calvados sauce, pot de creme.

Lui Lui's. W Lebanon, NH, * 7/01-7/05. Chicken Caesar salad. OK: (salty) Zeppo (pepperoni) pizza.

McKenna's. New London, NH, fair 7/95, ns3. Chicken salad sandwich, blueberry pie. OK: chicken salad plate, fries.

Millyard. Colony Mill, 222 West St, Keene, NH, fair rpk 7/98, casual, cards, $20. Bourbon St NY strip steak w/caramelized onions. OK: Delmonico steak.

Molly's Balloon. Hanover, NH, fair 7/93, casual, cards. Club sandwich, turkey sandwich.

New London Inn. New London, NH, * (breakfast) 7/93-7/95, B&D daily, neat, cards. French toast. OK: corn pancakes w/blueberries.

Piazza. Main St, Keene, NH, * rpk 7/98-7/08. Hard ice cream (eg strawberry, mocha chip), chocolate malted frappe. Reportedly OK: soft ice cream flavor mixes. NB: they have billions of combination flavors and very long lines.

Pizza Chef. New London, * rpk 7/93-7/95, ns3. Salads, subs.

Polly's Pancakes. Sugar Hill, NH, rr, * 5/94-7/05, only Sa-Su during low seasons like May, casual, cards. Blueberry cornmeal pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, (overpriced but good) sausage.

South Main Ice Cream. 21 S Main St (Rt 3), Plymouth, NH, 536-1850, * 7/95. West Lynn Creamery ice cream.

Squam Seafood. Rt 3, Holderness, NH, * ? 7/95. Lobster.

The Stage. downtown, Keene, NH, fair rpk 7/00, casual. OK: salads, some chicken dish w/a Mexican flair.

Sunflower Cafe. SE corner of intersection of Rt 12 & Rt 119, Fitzwilliam, NH, * rpk 7/07. Turkey club sandwich, chicken salad sandwich w/walnuts & grapes, cookies.

Stickney's (downstairs on the patio of the Mt Washington Hotel). Bretton Woods, NH, * rpk 7/98-7/05, casual. Club sandwich, turkey wrap, iced tea.

Sunny Day Diner. Rt 3 s of I-93, Lincoln, NH, 603-745-4833, B&L daily, D F-Sa, * rpk 7/99, ns3. BYOB. Seafood medley, pot roast, peach shortcake. OK: chocolate brownie pudding.

Thai Garden. 118 Main St, Keene, NH, 603-357-4567 rs, ** rpk 7/99, daily L 11:30-3, D 5-10, casual, cards. Beef satay, ground chicken w/curry, pad Thai.

Town & Country Motel. Gorham, NH, fair rpk 10/96, neat, cards. OK: pork chops, chicken shishkebob. Avoid: "fresh" fruit cup, apple "crisp" a la mode.

Twin View. Rt 3 at Rt 302, Twin Mountain, NH, 603-846-7736.

Whilley House. Rt 302, Crawford Notch, NH, * 7/99. Black raspberry ice cream.

Other reviewers: ? - ?.


Alstead Mica Mine first left on Cobb Hill Rd, off of rt 123 east of Alstead, go to gate, walk. The dirt road off of Cobb Hill Rd is practically impassable for anything other than a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle. (I didn't break the car, or get stuck, but I easily could have.) Wear all the bug spray you have, and put more on after you swim, for the walk back to the gate. It's private land, but Susan & I weren't kept out or rousted by the friend of the owner who was camping there that weekend. The mine is full of dark green water that's pleasantly cool.

Arethusa Falls. Rt 302, Crawford Notch, NH. A moderate hike of 1.3 miles, but the falls are great.

The Basin. Franconia Notch, NH. The basin itself it pretty nice, but we especially liked the trail over to the Kinsman Cascade, where there are rocks that a stream runs down.

Cannon Mountain Gondola. Franconia Notch, NH, $10, 7/01. Very low key, mind you, but quite pleasant. The ranger on the gondola gives a bit of info on the way up. There's a trail around the summit that takes you to the observation tower, from which there are expansive views. The trail is quite short, so the more ambitious may want to hike a bit on the trail that heads down the mountain, but keep in mind that you have to go all the way down or slog back up. It's not a remarkably interesting trail, either, so I recommend turning back before going down very far.

The Flume. Franconia Notch, NH, $8. There's a lot of build up, with a visitor's center & all, for what turns out to be just a nice cascade running through some rocks, but it's still nice, and, if in the area, what else were you going to do? The rest of the trail, past the pool, etc, is worth taking. The walk from the Basin is easy if you don't get tricked into leaving the paved walkway to go onto the hiking trail.

The Kancamagus Highway. We drove through in mid-May, when traffic was very light. During leaf-peeping season expect it to be bumper-to-bumper. We stopped to hike over to Champney and Pitcher Falls and Sabbaday Falls; all are easy to reach and well worth the time.

The Lost River. Kinsman Notch, NH. Not very exciting, but worth the time, once.

Lower Ammonoosuc Falls. off Cherry Mountain Rd, off Rt 302, between Twin Mountain & Fabyan, NH. Turn left as soon as you turn onto Cherry Mtn Rd, and park in the area up on the right. Walk from there. The best spot for swimming (and pretty damned good, at that) is where the river is most exposed to the path.

Mount Kearsarge. Rollins State Park, 4 mi. north off SR 103, Warner, NH. Not a big deal, as mountains go, but the view is good. The road takes you much of the way up; from the parking lot it's 1/2 mile to the top, but only the last 100 feet is steep. That part is up the smooth, granite crown, so coming back down requires just a bit of care, and nerve, but a recommended path is marked. I wished I had used bug repellant, since there are flies up there. Don't keep your brakes on constantly as you come down.

Science Center of New Hampshire. jct. SR 3 & SR 113, Holderness, NH. They give small lectures on one or another of the animals they have; we enjoyed the one we saw, of their great-horned owl. Strictly an if-you-are-in-the-area-anyway sort of sight.

Upper Ammonoosuc Falls. off Base Rd to Cog Railway, Bretton Woods, NH. It's where there are cars on both sides (or parking for them). The (small) falls are very close to the road; you can't miss them. Do me a BIG favor, please, and carry out at least one piece of the refuse left all over the place. This is now public land, and swimming is legal, but VERY hazardous, especially near the falls itself. The water is freezing cold; everyone gets in by jumping in from a great height. The lowest such point is about 8 feet above the water; it's on the side of the river further from the road. Take a good, swift step off to be sure to clear the rock itself and to hit the deepest part of the pool below. Wearing water shoes is a big help, especially during the climb back up to wherever you left your clothes.

Vilas Pool. Alstead, NH. Don't go. Some rich guy set it aside for the local kids to play there but the pool is all murky and nobody goes there, anymore.