Come in From the Cold in North Conway, New Hampshire

Posted December 9, 2009 by Kate Hamman

NH-Chocorua-RiverbendInn-DEF When the weather outside is frightful, come to the White Mountains, where it's delightful. In North Conway, you can experience extreme wind while safely indoors at a discovery center, or thaw out with hot drinks and art in a local coffeehouse. And at the end of the day, let the warm welcome of a colorful inn just down the road melt away your icy exterior.

Mount Washington Observatory's Weather Discovery Center: In 1934, researchers stationed at the observatory atop Mount Washington experienced record-breaking winds reaching up to 231 m.p.h. Now, so can you. Step inside the recreated cabin to listen, watch, and feel as the wind howls and tears outside. After you feel the full force of weather, gain a better understanding of it at interactive stations, where you can dock a model boat by manipulating the breeze, shoot wind at a target, or learn about surrounding mountain ranges on a topographical map. Admission is free.

The Met: Known as the meeting place for North Conway, the Met goes beyond your typical coffee shop and doubles as an art gallery. Housed in the town's old bank, this hip hangout's interior is playfully decorated with traditional to abstract art work hanging above purple velvet couches. Each painting or print is for sale, and prices start as low as $20 per print. The Met encourages you to warm up or energize with a cup of gingerbread apple cider or locally roasted coffee as you admire the talent. Espresso drinks start at about $2.50.

Riverbend Inn: L.A. transplants Craig and Jerry have turned this New England B&B into a top-notch boutique-style hotel. Overlooking a flowing river in nearby Chocorua, the inn combines Craig's natural culinary talent with Jerry's interior design expertise. Come surround yourself with the sensuous warmth of the richly colorful rooms, and the large collection of Asian artifacts purchased during the dynamic duo's many travels. And in the morning, take pleasure in apple-creme-brulee French toast or Jerry's grandma's rugelach. Rooms start at $100 per night, and packages are available throughout the year.

To search for flights and compare prices to Portland, Maine, which is home to North Conway’s closest airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Riverbend Inn)

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