The folks at New Hampshire Grand, the brand of New Hampshire's North Country marketing initiative, have outlined a holiday itinerary for those braving the great northern environs of the Granite State. Fun stuff includes a classic pancake breakfast at the Water Wheel Breakfast and Gift House on Route 2 in Jefferson, then wandering over to Weir Tree Farms in East Colebrook to pick out a Christmas tree, a family-run operation since 1945. Over in Colebrook, holiday gifts can be had at Fiddleheads, featuring American- and Canadian-made products, along with those branded Fair Trade. Creative Natives is there as well, with hand-crafted items, antiques and vintage linens.
Hit the Moose Muck Cafe, if not just for the funny name but a hearty lunch, or check out Le Rendez Vous Bakery, both in Colebrook, for Madeleines, macaroons, biscotti and Belgian chocolates, all made on premises by French chefs. Skip over to Santa's Village, a staple of North Country in summer and which on December weekends burns with about a million lights that light up the usually dark night sky.
If you spend the night, there are many options, including the Cabot Motor Inn in Lancaster (kids like the indoor pool); Town and Country Inn in Gorham; or the Royalty Inn, also in Gorham. Great eats can be had all over the region, such as Rainbow Grille for fine dining or beef at Murphy's Steakhouse, both in Pittsburg. You can go Italian in Gorham at Saladino's Market, and breakfast at Grandma's Kitchen in Whitefield. Sip coffee and browse books over at Mountain Cafe & Bookstore in Gorham as well.