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Jackson in Early December

Leeds, UK
10 posts
Jackson in Early December

I am currently in the planning process for mine and my much better half's honeymoon later this year.

After speaking to a travel agent in the UK, they recommended the Wentworth and after reading about it i have decided to include it in the itinery.

There are a couple of question marks concerning the stay, the first is the weather and the road conditions, would we have any major problems at that time of year

the second is about what to do their apart from skiing? everything always mentions the skiing and little much else seems to be open at the time of year we plan to go

finally, what is the nightlife like, are there places to go that arent just restaurants.

I know it seems alot to ask, but any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Mark

Antrim, New...
Level Contributor
2,241 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Jackson in Early December

I'll try and answer a couple of your questions. Weather should not be a problem. Even if it snows, the roads are usually clear within hours of the storm ending. Driving while it is snowing is the only potential problem. It is slow and slick, and if you are not used to it and/or adventuroous, you'll want to avoid it. Otherwise, it is early winter in Jackson in December. You could as easily have clear grounds as 3 feet of snow on the ground. And it could get very cold, but that is not a guarantee. You will definitely want to be prepared for it, though.

Given that NH, and especially the White Mountains and Northern NH, get a lot of snow, that is what people go there for. You can go downhill skiing or cross country skiing. Jackson is the place for ski touring, or cross country skiing. Either way, you can get lessons and rent all the gear. If you don't ski, and don't want to try, there are ski mountains that have tubing hills, where they tow you to the top of a hill and give you a large inner tube to sit in and slide down the hill. It is great fun and requires no skill. There is also ice skating, snow shoeing, and plain old hiking, though that can be challenging in deep snow.

If none of this appeals to you, then you may want to reconsider if Jackson, and the White Mountains is the place for you to go. The area is gorgeous, any time if any day, but if winter isn't your idea of fun, and you are looking for nightlife, you may want to consider being closer to an urban area. Don't get me wrong, I think you will find nightlife in the Jackson and Conway areas - plenty of restaurants, bars with skiers, dancing, Karaoke, some live music. But there are no major club or concert venues, for instance.

So, if this does not sound like what you were hoping for, but still wanted something a bit more low key, maybe somewhat rural, or with the mountains accessible, but not in your face, you may want to consider Portsmouth, NH, Portland, ME or Burlington, VT. All three are small cities that nevertheless have old restored, walkable downtowns, with lots of nice shops, galleries, museums, cafes, restaurants, more nightlife, and concert venues, and even sports arenas with either college and/or professional hockey and basketball, and maybe a concert or monster truck event. All three cities offer some very attractive, luxurious and romantic accommodations. And each one is close enough to the natural and scenic beauty and charm of New England that Jackson offers plenty of.

Leeds, UK
10 posts
2. Re: Jackson in Early December

Thanks for the information, and taking the time to write such a detailed response

i had already included burlington into the itinery anyway, but will have a look at the other locations

We are not into the heavy nightlife, just looking for somewhere with a bar where you can have a conversation,listen to a jukebox, and maybe watch some live music - as long as it is not dance music, i prefer my music with guitars included

Thanks again

Mark

Jackson, New...
Level Contributor
112 posts
66 reviews
3. Re: Jackson in Early December

Hi Mark,

We own a condo at the Wentworth and really love the Jackson area. The owners of the Wentworth Fritz and Ellie are from Europe (Switzerland and Ireland). They are very nice, hospitable people as are all of the employees.

Be sure that when you book a room at the Wentworth you specifically ask for one of those pictured on the website - they are really beautiful. A few years ago we had invited too many people up to our condo for New Years Eve and booked a room at the Wentworth for some friends visiting from Italy. We were very disappointed in the room. It was very old and not updated. It was cheaper but we were embarrassed after teliing them how wonderful the Wentworth was.... The Wentworth does have great food, a cute bar with a piano player on weekends, they have a pool table and free computer (and free wireless access).

We head up to Jackson from Boston almost every weekend in the winter and rarely have a problem with driving. The roads are generally cleared as soon as it snows. It is sometimes tough to drive if it is snowing but it normally just takes extra time as the plows are out.

There are lots of other hotel options if the nicer rooms at the Wentworth happen to be booked:

The Snowflake Inn is a newer B&B in the town center (2-3 years old). Every room has a jacuzzi and fireplace and it is an adult only hotel. I think the room comes with an in room massage. The owner makes cookies/pastries for the guests. We went over to an open house once it was a nice place.

The Inn at Thorn Hill is another nice place. They have a great restaurant and wine list and an in house spa. I have never seen the rooms but the inn burnt down several years back and was rebuilt so it is also newer. It is slightly up the hill from the village (mabe 1/8 of a mile). They have gotten tons of awards (check out their website).

Last, the Lodge at Jackson Village is also a great choice (they are rated # 1 in Jackson on trip advisor). We also met the owners at an open house. They were very nice. The rooms are all very cute. They are located at the end of the village across the street.

As far as eating - lots of great places right in Jackson Village that you can walk to from any of the hotels I have mentioned:

Shannon Door Pub - Irish food, excellent pizzas and have 2 Irish guys with guitars on Fri/Sat - they accept only cash but have an ATM machine inside.

J-Town Deli - great place for picking up groceries, good lunch sandwiches/picnic food, breakfast is okay, not great but it is a great place to sit on Sunday with a newspaper and meet some of the locals.

Thompson House Eatery - mid to upscale dining - great food especially their salads.

Wilcat Tavern - fun on Tuesday nights, its an open Mike nite. They have a fine dining establishment and a pub. Both have great food. Under new ownership and I have to say it's gotten even better.

I have already mentioned the Wentworth & Inn at Thorn Hill - both are fine dining.

The Red Fox Pub - casual, affordable and really cheap good Sunday brunch. They have a kid's only room where families sit and kids can run around and do what they want - play with toys, watch movies, etc.

Yesterdays - awesome breakfast!!

Outside of Jackson try:

Horsefeathers in North Conway - has been around for years, great place, great food - casual dining but serve some unique foods. Try the Asparagus Crab Bisque.

For a great Sunday Brunch (a bit expensive but well worth the price - need reservations) stop by the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway (off of West Side Road at Hales Location). While there take a drive up Cathedral Ledge for great views of the valley.

Also check out Mae Kelly's Cottage Restaurant North Conway - good food (Irish) - the owners are very nice. Lots of locals go here on Friday evenings to sit out on the deck, have a few drinks and listen to the band.

For an Italian meal check out Bellini's in North Conway. The owner Vito is very personable and goes out of his way to make sure his guests are happy - if you are from Italy this is probably not a good choice as it is not as good as the meals I have had there - but close!!

We have also had good meals at Delaney's Hole in the Wall, North Conway (they serve everything but have great sushi).

The 1785 Inn (North Conway) is very upscale & expensive but the food was great.

The Lobster Trap is good if you are looking for seafood (casual dining on Westside Road in North Conway).

Pick up a copy of The Mountain Ear - it's a free weekly newspaper that comes out on Thursdays that lists all of the local events/happenings.

Skiing is really the main attraction in the area but there are also other winter activities.

From anyplace in the Jackson Village you can cross country ski right from the door. There is also snowshoeing. There are two rental places right in town across from the Wentworth.

Nestlenook Farm is on the right as you pass through the covered Bridge into Jackson. They offer outdoor ice skating and horse drawn sleigh rides. They have small fires at night where you can stand to warm up and watch the other skaters (they rent skates).

In North Conway (15 minutes away) there is outlet shopping. Also there are lots of quaint shops in North Conway.

AMC usually holds nature walks and talks in the area (these will be listed in the Mountain Ear). Sometimes they have moonlight snow show walks.

Cranmore and King Pine offer tubing. King Pine is a bit father away but it is less crowded and the price more reasonable. You can buy a two hour time slot and they limit the number of people.

The Conway railroad runs part way through December. You should enter the lottery to try to win Polar Express tickets. it is mainly a kids activity but since it is your honeymoon it might be fun. It's tough to get tickets but one of the cutest things I have done - I really thought I was at the North Pole!! http://polarexpress.org/

You can also take a ride on the snowcat part way up Mount Washington. I never did this but it looks fun.

For nightlife try the Wildcat Tavern (bands), Shannon Door (Irish singers), Mae Kellys (bands and/or Irish singers), upstairs at Horsefeathers or the Red Parker (I think they are open the latest).

Jackson, New...
Level Contributor
112 posts
66 reviews
4. Re: Jackson in Early December

By the way - we haven't gotten much snow in the past two years!!

5. Re: Jackson in Early December

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