Adventure and Relaxation
A summer visit to New Hampshire's 4-season village, Waterville Valley
A quiet village, surrounded by New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest may seem like a nice place to escape this summer, but when you add mountain biking on 100 miles of trails, golf, canoeing, swimming, and tennis to a town square filled with shopping and dining, there’s no doubt that you’ve found a really great place to escape this summer. Waterville Valley Resort has the perfect mix of activity and relaxation to make a terrific summer.
Waterville Valley’s Freedom Pass make the active part of a trip to the White Mountains simple — with the Freedom Pass, guests can enjoy a 2-hour standard mountain bike rental each day of their stay. Waterville Valley is surrounded off-road trails in the White Mountain National Forest, making it the perfect destination for mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts, but the pass also lets guests ride the chairlift up Snow’s Mountain, making a mountain biking adventure almost entirely downhill. The chair lift ride by itself is a relaxing adventure, gliding slowly up the hill over wildflowers and among treetops — and with lucky timing you may be serenaded by a retired opera singer who helps riders find their feet at the top of the lift.
At each turn onto the next hole, golfers are treated to another spectacular view of the White Mountains surrounding the valley
Or use the pass to hit the links at the resort’s historic 9-hole golf course. The course was created in the late 1800s by the summer residents looking for another fun outdoor activity. It officially opened in 1898, making it one of New Hampshire’s oldest courses. The open and casual atmosphere of the early days has carried through to today welcoming people of all ages and abilities. At each turn onto the next hole, golfers are treated to another spectacular view of the White Mountains surrounding the valley. This par 31 layout has four par-4 holes, providing a challenging golf experience for everyone.
Not a golfer? Then play tennis on the 18 award-winning clay tennis courts. Waterville Valley Tennis Club is one of the top tennis resorts in the country for its facilities, value and programs for children. For years, it has been recognized by Tennis Magazine as one of the Top 50 tennis resorts in America, and was also named by the magazine as one of the Top 5 Best Bargains and one of the Top 5 Family Resorts. The Club was also just ranked number 13 in the world by Tennis Resorts Online. But don’t let all the honors intimidate you. This down-to-earth club welcomes tennis players of all abilities. Owner and Head Pro Tom Gross has designed a program that introduces new players to the game while allowing more experienced players a chance to work on their serve and back hand. Parents can enjoy the afternoon volleying with the kids or sneak away for a quick game.
The pass also lets visitors rent a canoe, kayak, pedal boat or stand-up paddle board on the spring-fed pond, the perfect way to cool down. Or even cool way way down at the indoor ice arena. Yes, ice skating in the summer, even if you don’t have skates, since ice skate rentals are available for a small fee.
With the Freedom Pass guests have access to the White Mountain Athletic Club’s indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, indoor jogging track, and strength & cardio centers. Whether you’re looking to get a good sweat in the cardio room or want to lounge by the outdoor pool, the White Mountain Athletic Club has it all. Enjoy indoor and outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools, saunas, the cardio and weight rooms — even an indoor climbing wall!
Families with younger children can enjoy a Curious George storytelling every Saturday at 11am and 4pm, where parents and children can curl up and listen to the classic story of that mischievous monkey. The story tellings are at the Margret & H.A. Rey Center located in Town Square. The center is dedicated to the authors of the beloved children’s book, Curious George, promoting both the arts and sciences, featuring reading, art, nature and astronomy seminars. The non-profit Rey Center is named for the authors of the popular Curious George books. The Rey family owned a home in Waterville Valley, which is now open to the public as the Curious George Cottage.
Of course there is a lot more to do in Waterville Valley — special events like concerts, festivals, and theater, art exhibits, nature presentations, competitions, and celebrations are on the calendar throughout the summer.
The Town Center holds most of the village’s shops, including outfitters, a country store, gift shops, café, and ice cream shop.
The Coyote Grille, located on the second floor of the village’s Athletic Center, features a country décor features wooden beams from a 200-year-old barn. Chef and owner Sean Stout has created a comfortable, casual, pub atmosphere, with live music on Fridays.
But the food is the reason to visit – Scott brought his talent with seafood from Rhode Island and Cape Cod to the west side of the White Mountains. The Point Judith calamari is prepared Rhode Island style – tender and spicy, and the Prince Edward Island mussels were sautéed in a white wine garlic sauce. Appetizers also include a salad made with a julienne pink lady apple, baby greens, shaved red onion, candied pecans, and cave aged bleu cheese in a roasted shallot vinaigrette and a Thai spring roll made with marinated grilled chicken and julienne vegetables.
Of course, after a wonderful dinner, a comfy bed is called for. There are multiple lodgings throughout Waterville Valley, but the Freedom Passes are available to guests staying at Town Square Condos, Black Bear Lodge, Golden Eagle Lodge, Best Western Silver Fox Inn, Village Condominium and Valley Inn. Each of the lodgings are different — the Town Square Condos are above the shops in the Town Center, while all of the other lodgings are nearby.
Valley Inn, located in the middle of the village, a short stroll from the athletic center and the Town Square. This modern family-owned hotel features hotel rooms and suites, many with kitchenettes. Our room’s sleeping area was separated from the living area by glass sliding doors and looked out toward the mountain. The living area included a kitchenette, breakfast table, and for extra guests, a sleeper sofa. In the lobby, Steve Cahill and his friendly staff kept the atmosphere welcoming and cheery, with hot popcorn and smiling faces. The common areas of the Valley Inn includes fireplaces and cozy couches. There is also a guest laundry, seasonal outdoor pool, and meeting spaces.
So this summer, look for adventure and relaxation in Waterville Valley Resort.
For more information and too book a Freedom Pass vacation, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit www.visitwatervillevalley.com.