31 Fun Things to Do in North Conway, NH

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If you like cute towns set amongst the mountains, you will love North Conway, NH. Some of the best things to do in North Conway NH are outdoor activities — but there’s plenty to do both outdoors and indoors for every kind of traveler!

Here at New Hampshire Way, we are big North Conway fans. Many of us have been visiting every year since we were kids. But even if you’ve never been before, you’ll realize that this is the kind of place you can return to again and again.

North Conway is located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, surrounded by natural wonders. This is very much a four-seasons town. Summer is about swimming in lakes and tubing down the Saco River. Fall is all about leaf-peeping from every angle. Winter is all about skiing and snowmobiling, and late spring is a great time for hiking!

The town of North Conway itself is small with just a handful of restaurants, the outlets, a collection of good hotels and B&Bs, outdoor adventure outfitters, and several small independent shops.

Let’s explore North Conway together!

North Conway Village is home to beautiful shops like these.

Travel to North Conway

North Conway has a population of about 2,000, but it’s one of the most popular destinations in New Hampshire. People come from all over New England to enjoy the mountain surroundings.

What are some of the best things to do in North Conway?

Some of the best things to do in North Conway include driving up Mount Washington, visiting Zeb’s General Store, and taking the Conway Scenic Railroad. 

How much time do you need in North Conway?

You could visit the town of North Conway in just an afternoon, but to explore the surroundings of North Conway, we highly recommend staying at least three days.

How do you get to North Conway?

North Conway is best visited by car. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from Portland, Maine; a two-hour drive from Manchester, NH; and a three-hour drive from Boston. There are also buses from Boston.

Is North Conway a good place for kids?

North Conway is a fantastic destination for kids — one of the best places for kids in New Hampshire! There are tons of easy hikes, skiing, river tubing, and of course, Story Land.

Things to Do in North Conway, New Hampshire 

North Conway’s surroundings are so lovely, you might just want to chill out and enjoy the serenity. And that’s perfectly acceptable.

You can expect to spend most of your time outdoors when visiting North Conway, whether it’s climbing the mountains, skiing down them, swimming in lakes, or heading out to see moose or go dog sledding.

As far as more urban activities go, North Conway is famous for its outlet shopping at Settlers Green. But North Conway Village is home to several lovely small gift shops that are worth perusing. There’s also hitting up the local breweries, distilleries, or coffee shops.

Here are our favorite things to do in North Conway, NH! This list contains places within North Conway and places within a short drive.

The Conway Scenic Railroad driving through a landscape of yellow and green trees during the fall.
The Conway Scenic Railroad is at its best in early October. Via Shutterstock.

Conway Scenic Railroad

The Conway Scenic Railroad is one of the most scenic train rides in the United States, and arguably the best way to view fall foliage in New Hampshire. Trains run year-round, and are worth the trip in any season, but there’s something special about the fall colors.

There are three different trains to choose from. The Conway Valley excursion is 55 minutes round-trip and is a classic rural train ride. Coach costs $20 for adults and $14 for children ages 4 to 12. 

The Bartlett-Sawyer excursion will take you along the Saco River Valley to either Bartlett or Sawyer River. The round trip lasts 2 hours and costs $54 for adults in coach and $40 for children. 

The Mountaineer is the most extensive option and will take you on a scenic route through Mount Washington Valley and Crawford Notch. The train has vintage 1950s passenger cars to create an immersive experience. It lasts about 5.5 hours and tickets start at $65.

If you’re going to do the Conway Scenic Railroad during fall foliage, book as early as you can. It tends to sell out very quickly.

A busy general store with lots of products on the shelves, plus an old-fashioned barbershop pole and antique Coca-Cola cooler.

Zeb’s General Store

Every small New England town needs a general store — and Zeb’s is one of our favorite general stores in New Hampshire. A terrific local store that sells homemade soda, fudge, snacks, and more, Zeb’s is a place where you can still get “penny candy” (no longer a penny a piece, but close).

On the upper floor, Zeb’s sells New Hampshire products and souvenirs, more than half of which are from local vendors in New Hampshire and surrounding New England.

Zeb’s is truly an experience. The goal of the store is to take you back in time to when general stores were more commonplace in the US. Here you can enjoy the old-fashioned counter and antique displays with over 5,000 different products. 

The store opened in 1991 and is now one of the most beloved businesses in all of North Conway. We highly recommend a visit to Zeb’s, and we bet your kids will love it.

People ordering from the Met coffeeshop, with a chalkboard covered with a variety of interesting latte combinations.
We see you looking at that coffee menu!

Have Coffee at The Met

We love visiting independent coffeeshops in New Hampshire, and one of our favorites happens to be in North Conway. The Met is right in the heart of North Conway, steps from the Conway Scenic Railroad, and features local art on its walls.

The Met is known for its creative coffee options, some that we’ve never seen before — you can get a pecan pie latte or a hot butter rum roast. Not a coffee drinker? They have 15 flavors of hot chocolate and a variety of smoothies, too.

We love the Met for breakfast in North Conway, and they feature a variety of breakfast sandwiches, muffins, quiches, and bagels. You can also get light lunches here — think sandwiches and salads.

The Met has outdoor and indoor seating, making it the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up. 

Hot day? Cool your feet in Diana’s Baths!

Diana’s Baths

Diana’s Bath is a series of pools and waterfalls located within the White Mountain National Forest, close to North Conway in the town of Bartlett. A short, flat 15-minute walk through the forest will take you to this outdoor playground, where rocks and rushing water converge into dozens of swimming spots.

Yes, you can swim in Diana’s Baths — in the summer months, this is one of the best places to cool off near North Conway! Most of the swimming is more like wading or relaxing. Just be sure to be cautious, as the rocks can be slippery. This is one of the best things to do in North Conway with kids, but keep an eye on them.

There are no facilities here besides a restroom in the parking lot, but this would be a lovely spot to bring a picnic.

Because Diana’s Bath’s is part of the White Mountain National Forest, you’ll need to pay $5 per day for a parking pass. Bring cash — most people drop the fee in envelopes at the site.

A massive rock ledge with views over the countryside: mostly green trees with a few turning red, and green mountains in the distance.
The view from Cathedral Ledge, via DepositPhotos.

Cathedral Ledge

Cathedral Ledge is home to the best view in the North Conway area. A mile-long auto road takes you up further and further until you reach the summit, where you can park and walk to the edge. Here you’ll be rewarded with with spectacular views all over the White Mountains.

From the top, you’ll see the Saco River Valley, the White Mountains, Echo Lake, and more. It’s free to visit the state park and worth it for the amazing views. All you need is around 20 minutes or so to enjoy the beauty at the top of Cathedral Ledge.

Most people drive to the top of the 700-foot ledge, but there are hiking trails that lead to the top and some people even rock climb their way up!

Cathedral Ledge State Park is free to visit — one of the best free things to do in North Conway, NH — but they ask for donations at the summit. Cathedral Ledge is just down the road from Diana’s Baths and practically next door to Echo Lake State Park, so all three sights pair well together.

A sandy beach in front of a still green lake surrounded by pine trees, and a big gray rock face in the distance.
A peaceful day at Echo Lake State Park.

Echo Lake State Park

Echo Lake State Park in North Conway is a lovely spot for a relaxing visit near North Conway. (Keep in mind that there are two different Echo Lakes in the White Mountains — this is not the one by Artist’s Bluff in Franconia.)

This state park is a day destination, and many visitors come here to have a picnic and swim in the lake. Outside the summer season, few people swim and you can enjoy glassy reflections of the surrounding ledges.

Arguably the easiest hike in the White Mountains is around Echo Lake — it’s about a 10-minute flat walk. If you’ve got young kids, this can be a good spot to introduce the concept of hiking with very low stakes!

It costs $4 for adults and $2 for children to visit the state park. Parking is limited but you can make reservations ahead of time, which we especially recommend if it’s a summer weekend.

A bartender in a slouchy orange sweater pouring beer from a tap made from a huge slab of granite.
You can’t get more Granite State than the tap at Ledge Brewing Company!

Visit Breweries

New Hampshire is in the middle of a craft beer revolution. If you’re at all interested in New Hampshire’s breweries, you’re in luck — three are in or next door to North Conway.

Moat Mountain is a brewery and restaurant in North Conway with a large, extensive menu. If you want to sample several different beers, this is the place — we nearly fell over when we saw our beer flight came with EIGHT beers, the most we’ve seen in New Hampshire!

Beers here include the Hoffman Weiss, with a banana flavor that actually works; the Bone Shaker Brown ale, with caramel flavors; and Scottie’s IPA, with the slightest hint of pine.

You should come here for a full meal, because we love the food at Moat Mountain! They’re known for their smoked meats, which find their way into everything from nachos to pizza. We recommend the sweet and spicy brussels sprouts and the Texas-style brisket and andouille sausage chili.

Tuckerman Brewing Co in Conway is an outdoor beer garden open every day, rain or shine. Come here for a jovial time! Just south of North Conway, Tuckerman has a rotating selection of interesting beers, from the citrusy, piney Rockpile IPA to the Wild River wheat beer with coriander and orange peel.

There is also a light food menu with snacks, and if you’re looking for live music, Tuckerman often has musicians performing at the brewery.

Ledge Brewing Company in Intervale, New Hampshire is only a 5 to 10-minute drive from North Conway. Here’ you can tell you’re in the Granite State, with beer taps made from giant slabs of granite! Unusually, they choose not to filter their lagers, instead layering them.

We loved the Foxhound, a brown ale on the way to being a stout that almost had root beer vibes. And the Show Pony was the perfect introductory IPA for people who don’t drink them, must gentler than their flagship. As You Wish IPA.

Read More: The Best New Hampshire Breweries

A paddle of five shot glasses with spirits in front of Cathedral Ledge bottles of spirits.
Sample the wares at Cathedral Ledge Distillery — and take home your favorites.

Visit Distilleries

New Hampshire is enjoying a spirits revolution, with distilleries popping up all over the Granite State! One is right in North Conway, and one is a short drive away.

Cathedral Ledge Distillery is New Hampshire’s sole organic distillery, and they’re particularly proud of their vodka and gin. We loved their flavored liquors, especially the fig vodka and horseradish vodka (the latter is perfect for Bloody Marys). But the true standout was the maple liqueur, sweet and syrupy like amaretto.

When visiting, you can taste up to five different spirits; you can also book a tour of the distillery for $10. These bottles make great souvenirs — the maple liqueur is a great way to share New Hampshire with loved ones at home!

Tamworth Distilling is a true gem of the state, with gorgeous displays of spirits and accoutrements in the middle of the village of Tamworth, about 30 minutes from North Conway. We wouldn’t put this on our list of things to do in North Conway if we didn’t think it was special!

Tamworth Distilling offers tasting flights, and they have a variety of spirits on offer from gins and vodkas to Chocorua rye and VSOP apple brandy. If you see any Old Man of the Mountain bourbon bottles, grab one — they sell out quickly!

A car driving down a curvy highway surrounded by perfect fall foliage: trees of red, orange, and yellow.
New Hampshire drives don’t get better than the Kanc. Via Shutterstock.

Drive the Kancamagus Highway

The Kancamagus Highway, a 35-mile journey along route 112, is the most scenic drive in New Hampshire. And it happens to depart from Conway, running all the way to Lincoln. Today it’s designated an American Scenic Byway for its history, culture, and aesthetic beauty. 

The drive takes you through the White Mountain National Forest, past several viewpoints, waterfalls you can hike to, covered bridges, historic sites, gorges, and areas to have picnics. While you can drive the Kanc from end to end in just an hour, we recommend spending a full day exploring the surroundings.

The Kancamagus Highway is at its busiest during the fall, when leaf peepers arrive in droves. The best part is how it’s still undeveloped to this day. You won’t find any gas stations or restaurants, so plan ahead. (There are toilets at destinations throughout.)

If you’re spending your entire White Mountains trip in North Conway, you can drive the Kancamagus all the way and back in a single day. If you’re spending time in the Lincoln or Franconia areas, this is the best way to get there. Keep in mind that this is the White Mountain National Forest and parking is $5 per day.

Read More: Complete Guide to the Kancamagus Highway

A tiny train chugging down the tracks on top of Mount Washington, a rocky landscape surrounded by cloud formations.
The Cog is a unique way to climb the highest peak in New England!

Experience Mount Washington

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast United States at 6,288 feet. There are many ways to enjoy Mount Washington, which is in the heart of the White Mountains and part of the Appalachian Trail. You can drive up it, take a train, a bus, a slowcoach, or even climb it yourself!

Be sure to pack warm clothing, because the Mount Washington summit is famously home to “the worst weather in the world” — much colder and windier than North Conway.

The Mount Washington Auto Road, a 30-minute drive north of North Conway, opened in 1851. At the time, it was the Mount Washington Carriage Road and used to take four hours to reach the top by horse and wagon. Today, the nearly eight-mile drive takes about 30 minutes to reach the summit. 

To drive up the mountain, it costs $45 for the car and driver, $20 for adult passengers, and $9 for children ages 5 to 12. You can also choose to join a two-hour guided tour, which will take you up the Auto Road by bus, which costs $51 per adult and $31 per child. 

The road is closed in the winter, but you can jump on the Mount Washington SnowCoach, a vehicle that has snow tracks instead of wheels, for an awesome winter experience. It costs $59 per adult and $35 per child. 

One of our favorite things to do in New Hampshire is the Mount Washington Cog Railway. It was the first mountain climbing cog railway in the world and to this day is the only one operating in North America. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience for getting to Mount Washington’s summit, and the views along the way are amazing, too. Prices start at $49. (Note that the Cog is on the other side of the mountain from the Auto Road, in Bretton Woods.)

For very experienced hikers and only very experienced hikers, you can climb Mount Washington. This should not be a casual undertaking, though — Mount Washington can be deadly if you don’t have the proper experience and preparation. Weather changes quickly and can be brutal. You can usually have a snowball fight on the summit in the middle of the summer!

Taking the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the summit is a 4.2-mile hike and it takes about 4.5 hours to reach the summit. The full trip, including the descent, takes about eight hours.

So what is there to do at the summit of Mount Washington? Mount Washington Observatory! Here you can learn about the science and history of Mount Washington. You’ll also find a gift shop and snack bar in the Mt. Washington State Park Sherman Adams Center — the perfect place to warm up from the weather.

A mom, dad, and two kids smiling in front of Arethusa Falls, a tall waterfall with a thin but wide cascade over ridged rock.
A family hike to Arethusa Falls, via New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism.

Hike to a Waterfall

The North Conway area is home to some of the best hiking in the White Mountains. Want to enjoy nature at its finest? Hike to a waterfall! There are plenty to choose from in the North Conway area.

Sabbaday Falls are located right off the Kancamagus Highway in White Mountain National Forest. The hike is only 0.7 miles and mostly flat, so it’s a good one to do with kids or people who want something low-key. It’s a highly trafficked hike and one of the most popular waterfalls in New Hampshire.

Ripley Falls are located in Crawford Notch State Park, a short drive from North Conway. The hike is about 1 mile each way, but there’s a lot more up and down and some rougher trails, making it a more moderate choice. The falls themselves are light and on a large rocky slab.

Arethusa Falls are also in Crawford Notch, and the hike here is moderate but longer, about 2.8 miles long. The 140-foot waterfall is one of the tallest and we think one of the most beautiful in New England.

There are plenty more waterfalls to see — go find the one that speaks to you!

A family with a dad, mom, and two little kids standing on top of a ski mountain in brightly colored snowsuits.
Hitting the slopes in New Hampshire, via New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism

Skiing

Yes, North Conway is a fantastic winter destination. It’s one of the top ski towns in the US with hundreds of trails within a 30-minute drive.

Cranmore Mountain is the most popular place to ski in North Conway and it’s located just one mile from downtown in the White Mountains. There are 56 trails at a variety of ski levels. It’s open all four seasons for skiing, snow tubing, a year-round adventure park, and other seasonal events.

Wildcat Mountain Resort is located between Gorham and Jackson, which about a 30-minute drive north of North Conway. There are over 2,100 vertical feet of skiing, 5 lifts, and a bunch of trails to enjoy. Wildcat is more suited to experienced skiers.

Attitash Mountain in Bartlett, NH, is an excellent ski resort for families, only a 15-minute drive from North Conway. There are 68 trails and 11 lifts along the two connected mountains which include Bear Peak and Attitash Mountain. (Attitash is also a great summer destination for families, with an epic mountain coaster!)

King Pine Ski Area is located in East Madison, which is about a 25-minute drive from North Conway. It’s another solid family-friendly place to ski. There are a ton of trails and even a terrain park for working on some cool tricks. 

Read More: The Best NH Ski Resorts

A 50-something man and woman walking down the street in North Conway holding shopping bags.
Shopping in North Conway, via New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism

Settlers Green Outlet Village

Looking for non-outdoorsy things to do in North Conway NH? We got you. North Conway is one of the best destinations in New Hampshire for outlet shopping!

Settlers Green Outlet Village has more than 70 shops and even some local boutiques as well as various places to grab a bite to eat. It’s hugely popular with people from all over New England, especially around the end of summer for back-to-school shopping.

Best of all? NO SALES TAX. Shop to your heart’s content knowing that the price tags are the exact amount of money you’ll have to pay!

A ride with brightly colored fish swings flying through the air, parents and kids on them.
Story Land is one of the best things to do in North Conway NH with kids!

Story Land

Do you have young kids? They are going to love Story Land, a dreamy Storybook-themed getaway for little ones. The amusement park has over 30 attractions ranging from roller coasters, to a castle, to driving antique cars. The park has been open since 1954 and if you have young children it’s a must-visit. 

Take it from our team here at New Hampshire Way — we loved Story Land when we were kids, and today we love taking our kids, nieces, and nephews to Story Land to enjoy the magic for themselves! It has such a gentle nature to it, which seems rare in a theme park these days.

There are even shows and games in the park for families to take part in. Trust us, you’ll love a day here — and perhaps it will become an annual tradition.

Tickets cost $45 for anyone above the age of 2.

A shy moose peeking out between the bushes to see what's on the ground. It's a female with no antlers.
Yes, you can go on a moose safari in New Hampshire!

Moose Tour

If you want a New Hampshire experience you’ll never forget, go on a New Hampshire moose tour! Yes, moose live here in New Hampshire, though you have to go into the Great North Woods and stake out the kinds of remote areas that moose love.

Located locally in North Conway, MWV Moose Tours runs from late May to Columbus Day starting at 8:00 PM and ending around midnight. You’ll get on a bus and go looking for moose in all the best spots. The success rate of seeing a moose is 94% through August and then it begins to drop. Prices for adults range from $35 to $45 depending on the season and $25 to $30 for children. 

Another great option is Gorham Moose Tours, which is about a 40-minute drive from North Conway. The bus tours lasts 3 to 4 hours and run from the end of May to the end of September. The success rate of seeing a moose is between 93% to 97%. The price for adults is $35 and children 12 and under are $25.

The New Hampshire Way team did a tour with Gorham Moose Tours and loved every minute of it. Though it’s not within North Conway, this is actually an advantage because you spend less time on the tour driving up to see the moose. Which is a lot of time when you consider we saw moose in Lake Umbagog and Dixville Notch.

Three snowmobilers heading down a snowy trail in the woods.
Hit the snowmobile trails near North Conway! Via New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism.

Snowmobile Tour

Looking for a badass winter sport? Consider trying snowmobiling for the first time! Snowmobiling is very popular in New Hampshire with more than 7,000 trails all over the state connecting all over New England and even into Canada.

If you’re an experienced snowmobiler, there are plenty of places in the surrounding North Conway area to rent a snowmobile.

But if you’re new to the sport or want a guided tour, check out Northern Extremes Snowmobiling, which runs tours from Bartlett (just outside North Conway) and Bretton Woods (close to the Omni Mount Washington Resort). These tours show you an adrenaline-packed adventure in the White Mountains with the advice and security of expert guides.

Another great option is Sweet Rides Snowmobiles in Madison, New Hampshire, which is about 30 minutes from North Conway. They’ll take you on a private tour no matter what level rider you are. They know the trails and can bring you to any specific place you’d like or you can drive around the surrounding area. If you’re an expert rider it’ll feel like riding with a friend and if you’re a beginner you’ll have your own private instructor. 

Read More: Things to Do in New Hampshire in the Winter

A man floating along alone in a black inner tube on a teal river.
Beat the heat and grab a tube! Via DepositPhotos.

Tubing on the Saco River

If you’ll be visiting North Conway during the summer, you can cool off in an inner tube on the Saco River! It’s a relaxing way to spend your day — or take a break from hiking — and fun for people of all ages!

The Saco River Tubing Center in North Conway will shuttle you up the river so that you can tube back down to where your car is parked.

While floating down the Saco River, you can get off at any of the multiple beaches for a picnic or some swimming. You may even find a rope swing or two. 

There are a few route options that range in price from $15 to $32. The routes include a 1-mile trip that takes 1 to 3 hours, a 3 mile trip with small rapids, a 5-mile all-day floating experience, and a few other options. 

Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park

Yes, even in North Conway you can enjoy a water park on the coldest day of January. Indoor water park, baby! Located in the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, Kahuna Laguna Water Park. The indoor water adventure park is one of the best in the US — and only available for those staying at the resort hotel. 

If you’re visiting North Conway with kids, it’s worth staying at the Red Jacket to enjoy the waterslides! The water park has 3-story tubes, slides, pools, fountains, bridges, a tipping water bucket, and so much more. 

The waterpark costs an additional $38 per guest at the hotel and is free for children under 2 years old. The hotel is located just a few minutes from the central downtown area of North Conway, so it’s in the perfect spot. 

Read More: The Best New Hampshire Water Parks

A group of friends clinking glasses of wine.
Good friends, good wine. Via DepositPhotos

Visit a Winery

Does New Hampshire make wine? Of course! All 50 states make wine these days. And you can try some White Mountain wine right in North Conway.

The White Mountain Winery in North Conway has a variety of wines including Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and even dessert wines. The winery is located right in downtown North Conway, the perfect spot on a day of exploration.

If you want to make an afternoon out of it, you can also visit Whippletree Winery in Tamworth. It’s a 30-minute drive from North Conway. There is a large wine menu including reds, whites, rosé, fruit wines, and other specialty wines like the Maple Ice Wine and a Chocolate Truffle Port. 

A gallery filled with handmade pottery, wooden boxes, jewelry, and trinkets.
Your New Hampshire souvenir is waiting for you here.

Visit the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen

We are huge fans of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, is a large craft organization that has been around for over 89 years. Its mission is to promote fine crafts and support artists from all over the state.

You can visit one of the Fine Craft Galleries that are located all over New Hampshire. The stores feature all handmade goods and there is a wide range of products from jewelry to quilts to pottery and more. If you want a New Hampshire souvenir that you’ll treasure forever, this is the place.

There is a League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fine Craft Gallery right in downtown North Conway. It’s the perfect place to find a handmade souvenir to commemorate your trip to the White Mountains and support a small business and local artist.

A bright, cozy living room with soft red sofas, an oriental rug, a fireplace, and areas to chill out.
Cranmore Inn is well worth the splurge. Used with permission of the property.

Where to Stay in North Conway, NH

North Conway is a small town, but it has a lot of sprawl. We recommend staying in North Conway Village, the central part of North Conway, to have walking access to several nearby destinations. Aim for Zeb’s General Store — that’s as close as you can get to the dead center of everything.

Here are New Hampshire Way’s favorite places to stay in North Conway:

Best Luxury Hotel in North Conway: Cranmore Inn — This is one of our favorite B&Bs in New Hampshire, with 15 well-appointed rooms, cozy common areas for relaxing, and delicious breakfasts dished up by Eddie and Christopher each morning. And it’s walking distance from North Conway Village.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in North Conway: Kearsarge Inn — Mid-range travel is all about finding a place that doesn’t break the bank but feels special, and Kearsarge Inn is such a nice and comfy hotel, steps from North Conway Village, with rooms from simple studios ranging up to the penthouses.

Best Budget Hotel in North Conway: Colonial Hotel — This roadside motel looks simple from the outside, but it has everything you need — clean rooms, decent space, and a short drive from the attractions. The in-room jacuzzi tubs are a surprising bonus!

Best Hotel for Families in North Conway: Red Jacket Mountain View Hotel — Your kids will be thrilled that their hotel comes with a built-in indoor water park and arcade! The Red Jacket Mountain View has clean, spacious rooms perfect for families, and you’ll love the waterslides at Kahuna Laguna year-round. It’s also close to North Conway Village and all the fun in-town activities.

Read More: The Best North Conway Hotels and B&Bs

Downtown North Conway with adorable cafes and shops lined up in a row and people walking down the street.
North Conway demands at least a few days.

How Much Time to Spend in North Conway

How much time do you need for North Conway? To visit downtown North Conway, you could do it all in one day. The downtown isn’t very large and you could walk around, check out some shops, and grab food all within an afternoon.

But any North Conway visitor knows that this place is all about the outdoors. To explore the surrounding mountains, forests, and state and national parks you should give yourself at least a few days. Depending on how outdoorsy you are, you may want more time than you think.

Would it be overkill to spend a full week in North Conway? Not at all! We would love that trip! Having a full week in North Conway will give you a chance to explore the region in more depth, and you can plan further away day trips to different parts of the White Mountains.

The old-fashioned yellow train station for the Conway Scenic Railroad, looking like a gingerbread house, mountains in the background.
North Conway takes awhile to get to, and that’s the point.

How to Get to North Conway, NH

North Conway is a bit of a drive from most major cities, which is a big part of its appeal. It’s 1.5 hours from Portland, Maine; two hours from Manchester, New Hampshire; and three hours from Boston, Massachusetts. All of these cities have major airports, but Boston is your best bet for international flights.

In terms of public transportation, there are a few bus options from Boston. Amtrak bus lines offer buses from Boston to North Conway via Concord and Tilton that take about 3.5 hours. Concord Coach Lines has buses between Logan Airport and North Conway that take 4-4.5 hours.

Once you’re in North Conway, you’ll see that most people get around by car, with a few exceptions (like people staying in North Conway Village and skiing Cranmore Mountain) getting around on foot. There is no Uber in North Conway, but there are several taxi services.

The New Hampshire countryside: mountains in the background, a river running through, and several orange, yellow, and green trees.
We love North Conway in the fall months!

Best Time to Visit North Conway

We keep emphasizing that North Conway is a year-round destination — but if we are talking the VERY best time to visit North Conway, you want to aim for peak fall foliage. Fall foliage in North Conway tends to peak around early October.

Fall is beautiful, and the temperatures are nice too, but fall is also a busy and expensive time to visit. The most expensive hotel stays of the year are during peak foliage, and they can rise sharply, especially at high-end spots.

Want to avoid the highest prices and biggest crowds? We happen to love mid-to-late September. This is early foliage, with the beginnings of trees turning red, but the weather is lovely and since kids are back in school, most families aren’t traveling at this time.

Summer is another great time to visit North Conway and the White Mountains. You can hike, swim, and go tubing down the Saco River. It can get hot during the day, but evenings are still a bit cool in North Conway.

Winter in North Conway is a totally different kind of trip — and North Conway is one of our favorite New Hampshire winter getaways. You can use North Conway as a base for everything from skiing and snowboarding to ice skating, sleigh rides, and snowmobiling!

Spring is a bit tougher in Northern New England — we unfortunately get “mud season” for much of the spring months, but by May, conditions are much nicer. May is a great month for hiking in and around North Conway.

North Conway may be busy during the fall, but it never gets crazy-crowded like other popular US mountain destinations. Yes, the parking spots downtown can fill up, and there can be traffic on the main road, but most people are out and enjoying nature and never all in the same place at once.

The outside of the Met Coffeehouse: a brick square building, with lots of black and white striped umbrellas outside and people dining at cafe tables.

Is North Conway Worth It?

Of course North Conway is worth it! North Conway is one of the most special places in New England. It’s the perfect combination of adrenaline destination and family-friendly spot that works as a year-round getaway.

Even if you’re not an avid hiker or much of an outdoorsy person, you’ll surely fall in love with it after a trip to North Conway. There are options for everyone here.

Go enjoy your trip to North Conway — and pretty soon you’ll be planning your next trip!

More on the White Mountains:

Best North Conway Hotels and B&Bs

Complete Guide to the Kancamagus Highway

Hiking the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire

50+ Best Things to Do in New Hampshire

See all White Mountains posts here.

Have you been to North Conway? Any tips?

1 thought on “31 Fun Things to Do in North Conway, NH”

  1. OK, I stayed in North Conway at the Grand Lodge last October and have to say, I barely checked out the town other than a quick drive through. Clearly I missed out on some charming things!

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