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Seasonal temptations for shoppers, skiers, and merrymakers one and all

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / October 29, 2006

Any time is a good time to visit New Hampshire, but the approach of the holidays seems to add a special glow to the Granite State. Here is a small sample of what the season holds:

Mount Washington Valley kicks off the holiday shopping season with a promotion called Harvest to Holidays. Lodging places team up with retailers to offer shopping packages including overnight stays and Shopping Survival Kits: canvas shopping bags filled with coupons, gifts from retailers, restaurants, and businesses, plus bottled water and energy bars to sustain you. Some 37 inns, resorts, hotels, and motels are participating. The Christmas Farm Inn and Spa in Jackson, for example, has a Sleigh Bells and Bows/Shop 'Till You Drop offer until Dec. 15 that includes two nights' accommodations, country breakfasts, three-course candlelight dinners, the shopping kit, hot cider and cookies served by the fire, and all taxes and dining room gratuities. The cost is $219 per person Sunday-Thursday and $281.50 per person Friday and Saturday.

Call 800-443-5837 or visit christmasfarminn.com . For more offers, visit mtwashingtonvalley.org, click on Harvest to Holidays.

Country Inns in the White Mountains will host its 10th annual Inn to Inn Cookie Tour Dec. 9-10. Seventeen inns will be decorated in holiday finery and will offer participants cookies and candies. In addition, handmade gingerbread sculptures and ornaments will be on display and there will be recipe collections from each inn. The tour stretches from Hart's Location to Tamworth and over the border to Fryeburg, Maine. Tickets total $25 for both days, or two each are included with cookie tour packages that include two nights' lodging and daily breakfast, plus other features at some inns. Prices range from $171-$523.

Call 800-626-5855 or visit countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com .

Early reservations are recommended for those who want to combine the Thanksgiving Day Buffet with an overnight stay at Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle. The Fall Harvest Package includes accommodations, Thanksgiving dinner, Fall Harvest breakfast buffet, and a welcome amenity at rates starting at $339 double occupancy.

Visit wentworth.com or call 866-240-6313 .

In Bradford, the Rosewood Country Inn is planning Dickens Christmas Weekends Dec. 1-3 and 8-10. This offer features two nights' lodging; Friday evening wassail and hors d'oeuvres; more than $350 in discounts to the Tanger Outlets, pretty paper, ribbons , and bows to wrap your purchases while carols play in the background; a Saturday evening buffet dinner; and a professional storyteller who will share tales of Christmas past as guests sit by the fire. The cost is $39 per person above regular room rates, which range from $129-$209. For New Year's, the inn shuns the noisemakers and silly hats and instead offers a quiet evening, with a complimentary buffet on Dec. 31, followed by a chilled bottle of champagne and chocolates in the privacy of your room. The New Year's Eve package includes three nights' lodging, Dec. 29-31, and costs $60 per couple in addition to the room rate, tax, and gratuity.

Call 800-938-5273 or visit rosewoodcountryinn.com .

And then there is the ski season, which to some fans is better than Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. A Mount Washington Resort Midweek Ski & Stay Package, Sunday through Thursday nights, includes a multi-mountain lift ticket each day. The offers start at $189, including breakfast and dinner at the Mount Washington Hotel; at $109 for the Bretton Arms Country Inn, including full breakfast; and from $79 for The Lodge at Bretton Woods, including continental breakfast. Participating alpine areas are Bretton Woods, Attitash, Black, Cranmore, King Pine, Shawnee Peak, and Wildcat. Nordic areas include Bretton Woods, Bear Notch, Great Glen Trails, Jackson Ski Touring, MWV Ski Touring , and King Pine. Weekend packages start at $215. (The fine print: The offer is unavailable Dec. 22-31 and Feb. 16-24. Day of arrival tickets are available for Bretton Woods only.)

Visit mtwashington.com or call 800-314-1752.

When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at carpenter@globe.com

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