Happy New Year! Can you believe its 2015? Back to the Future promised we'd all have flying cars and hoverboards by now, what gives? Mike and I rang in the New Year with a trip to North Conway, NH. My family used to vacation there every year during school winter vacation week and I've always loved it up there. Mike is currently suffering from a broken elbow so winter sports were not in the forecast for us this time, but we still found a lot to do!
We drove up on New Years Eve and took the scenic route by way of the Kancamagus Highway. Driving the Kancamagus takes you right through the White Mountain National Forest. There are stops along the way that offer beautiful views of the White Mountains.
The Swift River runs parallel to the Kanc. You can even stop and swim in some spots during the summer. Obviously there was no swimming happening in single digit temperatures but we still stopped and checked it out.
Once we checked in to our hotel we headed downtown for dinner and to watch the fireworks. They lit off fireworks from Schouler Park which is in the center of the downtown area. Turns out it is REALLY cold to watch fireworks in 2 degree weather in the middle of winter. The fireworks display was pretty impressive though so it was worth freezing our butts off. I wanted to take some pictures but I was way to frozen, the one above was taken when people were gathering in the park before the fireworks started.
We stayed at the Green Granite Inn. They have a huge fireplace in the lodge that was so cozy to warm up to at night. Overall we enjoyed our stay. The rooms were clean, the staff was very friendly and they had a free breakfast every morning.
Besides a lot of shopping and eating, we also wanted to do some sightseeing in the area so we decided to check out the famous covered bridges.
Arguably the prettiest of the three bridges in the Conway area is the Jackson, NH covered bridge, aka the "Honeymoon Bridge". Its painted bright red and it was all decorated for Christmas. Jackson is such a cute little town. If you are ever in the area its worth the trip over the bridge to check it out.
Next we checked out the Swift River Bridge in Conway, NH. This one was my favorite. Its no longer accessible by cars so there is a little park there and you can walk inside the bridge.
Just downstream from the Swift River Bridge sits the Saco River Bridge, also in Conway, NH. Its interesting reading the history about the two Conway covered bridges. Back in 1869 heavy rains caused so much flooding that it caused the Swift River bridge to lift off its foundation and barrel down the river into the Saco Bridge. Both bridges then broke apart and the debris traveled two miles downstream. Both were rebuilt shortly afterwards and much of the lumber was salvaged and used to rebuild both structures. Seeing how low the water level is now its hard to imagine the water getting up that high!
While we were in Conway, we decided to check out the Tuckerman Brewery. Although it didn't look like much from the plain warehouse exterior, inside there is a new beautiful bar and tasting area. The back of the bar is all windows and behind it you can watch the brewing process in action. We also went on a tour and learned about their history and how they brew. The tasting room staff was very knowledgeable on their four brews. We had only tried the Pale Ale previously and we loved the three other offerings, our favorite being the ALTitude.
All in all it was a great winter getaway and hopefully we'll get back there soon!